Barış Manço: The Iconic Voice of Turkish Music

OV Digital Desk

Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Barış Manço (2 January 1943 – 1 February 1999) was a Turkish rock musician, singer, composer, actor, television producer and show host. One of the founders of the Anatolian rock genre, he was a pioneer of rock music in Turkey. Manço has composed approximately 200 songs and is one of the best-selling Turkish artists of all time. Even after his passing, he continues to be one of the most popular public figures in Turkey.

Life and Career

Barş Manço was born on 2 January 1943 in Üsküdar, Istanbul, Turkey. His mother, Rikkat Uyanık, was a famous singer in the early 1940s. In the 1950s, while attending Galatasaray High School, he formed his first band, Kafadarlar. The next band he formed, Harmoniler (The Harmonies), recorded cover versions of popular American twist songs and rearrangements of Turkish folk songs in rock and roll form in 1962 and 1963, thereby establishing the Anatolian rock movement, a synthesis of Turkish folk and rock music.

Upon graduating from high school in 1963, he traveled to Paris and Liège where he formed bands with local musicians and recorded some singles mainly in English and French, but also in Turkish. In 1964, he resumed his studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Liège, Belgium. He toured with his band Les Mistigris in Germany, Belgium, France, and Turkey until 1967. His remarkable albums were Mega Manço, 24 Ayar Manço, Mançoloji, and many more. On 1 February 1999, Barış Manço died of a sudden heart attack.

Award and Legacy

Barış Manço was an influential pop singer in Turkey. During his early career, he and his various bands contributed to the Turkish rock movement by combining traditional Turkish folk music with rock influences, which is still one of the main characteristics of Turkish pop music today. On 2 January 2013, Google Doodle celebrated Barış Manço’s 70th Birthday.