Olavi Virta

Singer, Musical Artist

1915 – 1972

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Who was Olavi Virta?

Olavi Virta was a Finnish singer, acclaimed as the king of Finnish tango. Between 1939 and 1966 he recorded almost 600 songs, many of which are classics of Finnish popular music, and appeared in many films and theatrical productions. Of his most acclaimed tangos are Punatukkaiselle tytölleni, Ennen kuolemaa and Täysikuu, while standouts from his other popular music are Poika varjoisalta kujalta, Hopeinen kuu, Eva and Kultainen nuoruus. He was also the second tenor of the quartet Kipparikvartetti in the early 1950s. At the beginning of his career he received three gold records for the songs Ennen kuolemaa, Tulisuudelma and La Cumparsita. Olavi Virta's career was cut short by a scandalous arrest for drunken driving in 1962, after which the press mockingly called him "The Singing Meatball." Ten years later he succumbed to alcoholism, living his final years in poverty.

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Born
Feb 27, 1915
Sysmä
Also known as
  • Virta, Olavi
  • Ola Virta
  • Oskari Olavi Ilmen
  • Oskari Olavi "Ola" Virta
Spouses
Children
Nationality
  • Finland
Profession
Died
Jul 14, 1972
Tampere

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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