Tapio Rautavaara

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Kaj Tapio (”Tapsa”) Rautavaara (8 March 1915 in Northern Pirkkala, Finland – 25 September 1979 in Helsinki, Finland) was a Finnish athlete, singer and movie actor.


Early life

Tapio Rautavaara was raised by his single mother and his formal education ended at the elementary level. By the outbreak of the Finnish Winter War in 1939, he had worked as a roadworker, a lumberjack and as a storeman at a co-operative mill. His national military service was with the Finnish Navy in the mid 1930's.

The war years

When the Winter War broke out the Navy was not very active in the war and Rautavaara was allowed to continue working at the Osuustukkukauppa (OTK) mill. However, when the Continuation War broke out he was called to the army and he was ordered to be the first year of the war in the front line.

In summer 1942 Rautavaara was transferred to the war entertainment troops and worked for two years as a radio journalist on the frontier based Aunus Radio. During this time he became known to the troops. In the summer of 1944 the Finns had to pull out from East Karelia and Rautavaara’s radio career ended.


Music career

Rautavaara was one of the most beloved singers in Finland. Some of his famous songs include Isoisän olkihattu (Grandfather’s Straw Hat), Reppu ja reissumies (The Backback and the Hobo), Korttipakka (The Deck of Cards), Lapin jenkka (The Lappland Schottische), Juokse sinä humma (Run, Horse, Run), Kulkuri ja joutsen (The Tramp and the Swan), Tuopin jäljet (Marks of the Tankard), Sininen uni (Blue Dream) and Anttilan keväthuumaus (Anttila’s Spring Fever).

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