Born in the countryside and working in a port town on the coast of the Black Sea, Romanian wedding violinist Ion Petre Stoican wanted to break into the Bucharest market, which was dominated by a coterie of influential lautari families. He'd tried working there once before but it was hard to build a reputation for yourself when you were just another musician in from the provinces. Luck came unexpectedly when he noticed a man behaving in a suspicious way and handed him over to the police. The man turned out to be a foreign spy. By way of a reward, Stoican was given the chance to record an album with the state-operated label, Electrecord. "The most important Gypsy musicians from the Bucharest Lautari scene" (to quote the CD case) became his backing band, and the album had the effect that he must have hoped for: he made his reputation in Bucharest and played there until the end of the '80s. He died not long after the fall of Ceauşescu in 1989.