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47777
: Sep 10 2010, 04:59 PM



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: Sep 21 2010, 12:18 PM



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: Sep 23 2010, 07:06 PM



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11.5






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nikomar
Blogthean
Σωτηρία Μπέλλου
Αυγούστου 1921 27 Αυγούστου 1997 29


Η κορυφαία τραγουδίστρια του λαϊκού και ρεμπέτικου τραγουδιού, Σωτηρία Μπέλλου, γεννήθηκε στις 29 Αυγούστου 1921 στο χωριό Χάλια της Χαλκίδας. Ήταν μέλος εύπορης οικογένειας και η μεγαλύτερη από τα τέσσερα αδέλφια της. Είχε το όνομα του αγαπημένου της παππού, Σωτήρη Παπασωτηρίου, που ήταν παπάς στο Σχηματάρι. Στο πλευρό του, ζυμώθηκε από μικρή με τους εκκλησιαστικούς ήχους και τη βυζαντινή μουσική.



Τραγουδίστρια αποφάσισε να γίνει όταν είδε στον κινηματογράφο την ταινία Η Προσφυγοπούλα με τη Σοφία Βέμπο. Οι γονείς της, όμως, είχαν αντιρρήσεις κι έτσι σε ηλικία 17 ετών αποφάσισε να κατεβεί μόνη στην Αθήνα. Εκεί παντρεύτηκε τον Βαγγέλη Τριμούρα, ελεγκτή στα λεωφορεία, με τον οποίο είχε γνωριστεί όσο ήταν ακόμη στη Χαλκίδα. Ο γάμος τους κράτησε μόνο έξι μήνες και η Σωτηρία βρέθηκε στις φυλακές Αβέρωφ, όταν στον τελευταίο τους καβγά του έριξε βιτριόλι στο πρόσωπο. Στο Εφετείο η ποινή της μειώθηκε από 3,5 χρόνια σε 6 μήνες και αφέθηκε ελεύθερη.



Το μαρτύριό της συνεχίστηκε όταν επέστρεψε στο πατρικό της στη Χαλκίδα, καθώς οι δικοί της θεωρούσαν ότι τους ντρόπιαζε. Μην αντέχοντας το καθημερινό ξύλο, αποφάσισε να ξαναδοκιμάσει την τύχη της στην πρωτεύουσα. Καθώς η μέρα αυτού του ταξιδιού της συνέπεσε με την 28η Οκτωβρίου 1940, πέρασε όλη την περίοδο του πολέμου και τα χρόνια της Κατοχής κάτω από δύσκολες συνθήκες και κάνοντας διάφορες δουλειές. Ανάμεσα στα άλλα τραγουδούσε για ένα χαρτζιλίκι σε διάφορα ταβερνάκια, με μια κιθάρα που είχε αγοράσει στο μεταξύ.



Μετά την απελευθέρωση και αφού γνώρισε από κοντά την αγριότητα και τις διώξεις του Εμφυλίου, όντας ενεργό μέλος του αντάρτικου, την ανακάλυψε σε μια ταβέρνα των Εξαρχείων ο θεατρικός συγγραφέας Κίμων Καπετανάκης και τη σύστησε στο φίλο του Βασίλη Τσιτσάνη. Ο βάρδος του ρεμπέτικου ενθουσιάστηκε από τη φωνή της και της πρότεινε να μπουν μαζί στο στούντιο.


Η επιτυχία των πρώτων της ηχογραφήσεων με τον αξέχαστο Τσιτσάνη (Συννεφιασμένη Κυριακή, Τα Καβουράκια, Όταν πίνεις στην ταβέρνα, Κάνε λιγάκι υπομονή) την καθιέρωσε ως λαϊκή τραγουδίστρια, ενώ τα χρόνια 1948 - 1955 ήταν περιζήτητη ανάμεσα στους κορυφαίους συνθέτες. Μεταξύ άλλων, συνεργάστηκε με τους Γιάννη Παπαϊωάννου (Γύρνα στη ζωή την πρώτη, Κάνε κουράγιο καρδιά μου, Άνοιξε, άνοιξε), Γιώργο Μητσάκη (Ο ναύτης, Το σβηστό φανάρι), Απόστολο Καλδάρα (Είπα να σβήσω τα παλιά), Απόστολο Χατζηχρήστο, Μανώλη Χιώτη κ.ά.


Η καριέρα της γνώρισε μία κάμψη στα πρώτα χρόνια της δεκαετίας '60. Από το 1966, όμως, κέρδισε ξανά τη θέση της κορυφαίας ερμηνεύτριας του είδους, προχωρώντας σε πρωτοποριακές συνεργασίας με σύγχρονους έντεχνους συνθέτες: Μούτσης (Το φράγμα), Σαββόπουλος (Το βαρύ ζεϊμπέκικο), Ανδριόπουλος (Λαϊκά προάστια), Κουνάδης (Δεν περισσεύει υπομονή), Λάγιος (Λαός), Ανδριόπουλος κ.ά. Παράλληλα, ξανατραγούδησε παλιά λαϊκά και ρεμπέτικα τραγούδια, από τα οποία την αγάπησε η νέα γενιά και τη στήριξε στις αδιάκοπες εμφανίσεις της στα λαϊκά κέντρα, στις μπουάτ της Πλάκας, καθώς και σε μεγάλες συναυλιακές και άλλες πολιτιστικές εκδηλώσεις.


Το Μάρτιο του 1993 ήρθε αντιμέτωπη με τα πρώτα σοβαρά προβλήματα υγείας, όταν εισήχθη επειγόντως στο νοσοκομείο Σωτηρία με βαριά αναπνευστική ανεπάρκεια και πνευμονικό εμφύσημα. Λίγο αργότερα, διαγνώστηκε ότι έπασχε από καρκίνο του φάρυγγα. Έχασε τη φωνή της και δύο ημέρες πριν τα 76 γενέθλιά της, στις 27 Αυγούστου 1997, άφησε την τελευταία της πνοή
στο νοσοκομείο
Μεταξά
του Πειραιά.
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47777
: Sep 25 2010, 05:13 PM



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ED EMERY

REBETIKA A BRIEF HISTORY

by Ed Emery [Institute of Rebetology, London] *

From about the 1850s, in the side streets of Asia Minors Smyrna, the popular quarters of Istanbul, the back alleys of the port of Siros and the working-class areas of Athens, Piraeus and Thessaloniki not to mention the United States, and all parts of the world where emigré Greeks had flocked in their thousands a new music began to be created: popular song, and the style of song that we now call rebetika. It spread rapidly. First among the Greeks of Asia Minor, then in emigré communities in the US, and finally after 1922 on the Greek mainland.


Rebetika reached the height of its popularity between the two world wars. It was standard musical fare in clubs and bars and featured largely in the discography of 78 rpm records that were produced in Greece and the US at that time.


The support enjoyed by rebetika at the popular level was not matched among the arbiters of morality and cultural values. The music was heavily censored in the 1930s. But the censorship did not kill rebetika; far from it. Immediately after the Second World War it witnessed a major boom in Greece, which lasted through to the mid-1950s. A boom explained in part, perhaps, by the sufferings and social upheavals caused by the Civil War and in part by the economic pressures that contributed to the growth of urban centres such as Athens and Thessaloniki.


During the past twenty years all the main exponents of rebetika the heirs of the singers and composers who came from Asia Minor after the military disaster of 1922 have died. They have left behind a wealth of recordings, which are slowly being collected and catalogued by rebetologists. In the meantime new generations of singers and players are emerging, to keep the tradition alive. Not only in Greece, but in Greek communities in the US, Britain, Australia and elsewhere, there are clubs where the old songs are sung and enjoyed and where a tradition of new songs is being forged.


The purpose of this introduction is to sketch some of the background and history of rebetiko music.



Greece and the Greeks


Greece today is a country of more or less fixed borders, on the Mediterranean, between Italy and Turkey. A member of NATO and the European Union. A country with a strong national identity, reinforced by its distinctively non-accessible language and alphabet and its all-pervasive Orthodox religion. But even today the borders of Greece are subject to pressure and liable to erosion the general threat of Turkeys military might; specific Turkish pressures in the Aegean and on the eastern mainland; pressure from the proponents of a Greater Albania; and the recent emergence of Macedonia as an independent state to the north.


More importantly, Greece is Diaspora, scattered all across the world, as communities of political refugees and economic migrants. Since the days of Alexander the Great there have been Greek communities found throughout Asia. In the past century Greeks have migrated as far afield as Australia and the United States. And the past fifty years have seen large-scale migrations within Europe itself. Greeks, and their communities, are to be found more or less everywhere. In a very real sense, as much as a fixed geopolitical entity, Greece is an imagined community.


And, despite the best efforts of Greek nationalists to prove the contrary, Greece is a bastard culture. A rich and complex admixture of cultural elements deriving from far and wide. It is precisely for this reason that, through the various periods of flag-waving Greek nationalism, rebetika has proved such a reference point for dissident spirits. It is fiercely transgressive; it flies in the face of accepted moralities and legalities; but it too is a bastard culture par excellence. A complex coming-together of musical modes and rhythms, combined with a distinctive argot that borrows from all the languages of the Mediterranean seaboard.


A shifting, changing entity


As regards its formal borders, the original Greek state, carved out of a 400-year subjugation to the Ottoman empire, was established in 1832 by the Convention of London. In 1864 the Ionian islands (Corfu, etc) were annexed and in 1881 Thessaly and part of Epirus were added. During the First World War other territories were taken from Turkey and added to Greece the rest of Epirus, Macedonia, Western Thrace, Crete and the islands of the eastern Aegean. Perhaps the most significant outcome of the First World War was the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres, which gave Greece the right to occupy Eastern Thrace, but also the hinterland of Smyrna (present-day Izmir, on Turkeys Mediterranean coast). Directly from this derived what Greeks call the Asia Minor catastrophe (see note 7 below). Subsequently, in 1948, the islands of the Dodecanese were also annexed to Greece.


As regards the diaspora, Greeks were to be found wherever there was trade. They are, after all, a major maritime nation. In the 1790s a Greek was mayor of Moscow (a relative of mine, as it happens). In 1815 the newly founded (and revolutionary) Greek Friendly Society had active branches in Moscow, Bucharest and Trieste, as well as all the major cities of the Levant. By the turn of the century, outside Greece itself the major urban centres with Greek populations were Smyrna, Istanbul and Alexandria, and within Greece, Athens, Thessaloniki, Piraeus, Patras and Ermoupolis (the port of the island of Siros). Furthermore, prior to 1922, there were upwards of 1,000 Greek communities living in Anatolia (Asia Minor), in what is now Turkey, from Cappadocia to Trebizond.


The population shifts and migrations were many-fold and all contributed to the great magmatic, largely urbanized, multinational conglomerate which now constitutes Greekness.


As regards Athens, in 1834 the city became the capital of the newly formed Greek state. In that year its population was a mere 10,000. By 1920 it had grown to reach 285,000 and a mere eight years later, thanks to the massive influx of Greek refugees, it stood at 453,000. By 1980 it had risen to 3 million, out of a total national population of 9 million in other words, a third of the population of Greece lived in Athens. A similar industrialization and population growth affected the other sea ports, especially Thessaloniki, which was a rail terminal and trading outlet for the landlocked countries of the Balkans.


This phenomenon of urbanization, with country populations moving into cities, went hand in hand with an outward migration. Over the 30-year period 18931924, the United States drew in the labour-power of 500,000 Greeks, from a country whose total population was 2,500,000. And after the Second World War Greeks emigrated to Western Europe in their thousands, some looking for work in labour-hungry states such as Germany, others seeking to escape the constraints of FascistOrthodox Greece and find new freedoms for instance in Paris, where some of todays rebetologists were among the students of May 68, and Italy, where the universities had a massive presence of Greeks throughout the 1970s.


Setting the scene


To give an idea of the social ambience in which rebetika originated, we have the following picture provided by Lysandros Pitharas, who made an excellent documentary on rebetika for British television:


Its 1935, in a working-class bar on the Athenian waterfront. From the outside, the bar looks like a ramshackle hut, but inside, the atmosphere is furious. In air thick with the smoke of narcotics and incense, a small band sits on a stage. The lead bouzouki-player eyes half shut plays a lingering solo (taxim) to shouts of aman... . Suddenly, the other players thump their feet and begin playing a harsh, incessant rhythm, with the singers voice rasping:


Stash up my weed, sister,

Go get some weed,

When were stoned together,

A bouzoukis all I need


(Markos Vamvakaris,
Alaniaris, 1935)


The crowd, made up of poor people, mostly men, roars its approval. One of them, hat cocked to one side and jacket hanging from one arm, rises to the floor. Eyes shut and body swaying, he dances, bringing his hand now to his forehead, now to the ground, all the time beating the rhythm of the music with the soles of his shoes. This is the dance of the mangas [spiv], a dance known as the zeibekiko. The music he is dancing to is rebetika a Greek blues... 1


The meaning and derivation of rebetika


Like all subculture musics, rebetika poses difficulties of classification. And these difficulties begin even with the meaning and derivation of the word rebetika itself. Individual rebetologists each have their own explanations, duly averred, and if one is true then it follows that the others, equally firmly asserted, are not. What follows is merely a selection:


The most likely derivation is rembet, an old Turkish word meaning of the gutter.


Some people claim that it derives from the Serb word rebenòk (pl. rebiata), which means rebel.


The Turks called their irregular troops rebet asker. Thus the rebèts were people who would not submit to authority.


It very probably derives from the Persian and Arabic root reb, rab, rubaa or arbaa, which mean four. In the plural form rubaat or arbaat mean fours but also quatrains... In Arabic, rab also means God and Lord...


The word may have its roots in the Hebrew rab, from which the word rabbi is derived.


The word rembetiko is a corruption of the archaic and also modern term remvastikos (meditative) and is derived from the verb remvo or remvazo, which means I wander... literally... and in the figurative sense of my mind is wandering in an anxious mood.


The strongest assertion as to rebetikas historical origins, and perhaps the most suggestive for us, is the following, by the late Ole Smith of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Having studied a recent discography of pre-Second World War ethnic recordings in the US, he says:


It is now possible to give a much more balanced view of the emergence of the term rebetiko, which can be shown beyond doubt [my emphasis] to have made its first public appearance as a musical term among Greeks in the US... It is now absolutely clear that the term was first used in print in the United States, and that the first to have songs characterized as rebetiko must have been Marika Papagika, who recorded a rebetiko at least before December 1926. This was the song ÓìõñíéÜ on Greek Record Co. 511. [... ] At present we cannot say why the songs were called rebetika.2


The social setting of rebetika

What we can say is that rebetika was the music of the rebetes. So now the question is, Who were the rebetes?, in the sense of the people who lived and created the songs and music of rebetika. The present book is an attempt to provide the answer to that question. But I would like to begin by sketching the elements of the broader social and musical setting.


In the rapid growth of population on the Greek mainland from 1850 onwards, there was a large migration to the cities. In part, this was made up of people leaving the countryside. In part, it was the massive arrival of refugee Greeks from various parts of the diaspora community.3 From Russia after the Revolution... from Pontus and the shores of the Black Sea... and from that part of Asia Minor (Smyrna in particular) which is now Turkey. From Asia Minor alone, in 192223, an estimated 1,500,000 Greeks arrived on the Greek mainland as refugees.


The effect of these forced migrations was to shatter the previously existing social and economic structures of Greece. Classes and hierarchies that had existed in the diaspora communities were turned topsy-turvy in the bedlam of flight and the ensuing struggle for survival. There was no housing to accommodate the newcomers and little health or education provision. Unemployment was the rule, since jobs could not be created out of nothing, and the incoming refugees faced the additional pressures of racism.


So the violent break-up of traditional social structures was accompanied by another violence, in the ways in which social spaces and living conditions were organized for the newly arrived migrants. Large slum communities, shanty towns, grew up around the big cities, Athens, Piraeus and Thessaloniki chief among them. They were characterized by poverty, unemployment, rootlessness, homelessness, police oppression, social deprivation, prostitution, criminality and drugs.


The transition, from 1832 onwards, from a rural to an urban-based economy brought into being a new form of song the urban song in the same way that, in the US, the blues songs of the countryside developed into urban blues when black labour-power was drawn into jobs in the cities. Within this generic urban song, the distinctive style that we now know as rebetika began to emerge.


It was a musical sub-culture, a music of the lower classes. And this we could call the first phase of rebetika. Petropoulos explains:


The womb of rebetika was the jail and the hash den. It was there that the early rebetes created their songs. They sang in quiet, hoarse voices, unforced, one after the other, each singer adding a verse which often bore no relation to the previous verse, and a song often went on for hours. There was no refrain, and the melody was simple and easy. One rebetis accompanied the singer with a bouzouki or a baglamas [a smaller version of the bouzouki, very portable, easy to make in prison and easy to hide from the police], and perhaps another, moved by the music, would get up and dance. The early rebetika songs, particularly the love songs, were based on Greek folk songs and the songs of the Greeks of Izmir and Istanbul.4


In the large urban ghettos that had developed around Greeces major cities the social upheaval was immense:


In Piraeus, the port of Athens, tens of thousands of unemployed people inhabited these ghettos, where their only livelihood was petty crime, smuggling and odd jobs. In the tough life of the city a new urban sub-culture held sway, with their own dialects, codes of dress and ways of life that of the manges. At night they gathered in hashish dens to hear the new music that by the turn of the century had transformed the bouzouki into a symbol of their urban pride...5


The dynamics of this urban song were transformed utterly by the arrival of the Asia Minor (Anatolian) refugees post-1922. This was in fact a two-way population transfer, agreed under the terms of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne: Greek-speaking Turks from the present entity of Greece were shipped en masse to Turkey, and Greeks from what is now Turkey were shipped to Greece (many of them in the face of murder, rape and torture at the hands of the Turks, intent on repeating their massacre of the Armenians). These migrant Greeks brought with them a musical culture that transformed the rebetiko song tradition.6


The cataclysmic Smyrna catastrophe was crucial to rebetika history.7 After a futile war, one and a half million Anatolian Greek refugees suddenly poured into the Greek cities and inflated the problems of the urban poor to breaking point. The music that the refugees brought with them was at first very different to that of the manges. It was oriental. Their clarinets, violins, santouris (hammer dulcimers) and kanonakia (zithers) vied with the bouzouki-players for the attention of the urban poor.


In a 1993 interview, Mikis Theodorakis (Greeces best-known composer, who shifted from being a communist dissident to becoming a conservative minister) outlines the process involved in this transformation of rebetiko song. First he describes the long-standing folk-music tradition and the Byzantine hymnology, with its roots reaching back to classical Greece. He talks first about modes, then about the strong Italian influence, and then about the incursion of tonal music into the Greek world of modal music:


Rebetiko music is based on musical modes it is a modal music whereas the music of urban songs is tonal. Modal music had its origins in the modes of the ancient world. In ancient Greek music, the modes were a series of eight descending sounds which were characterized by different orderings of tones and semi-tones. There were three main modes the Dorian, the Phrygian and the Lydian but there were also others, such as the Ionian, the Mixolydian, the Hypophrygian, etc. In fact Plato himself, in his Republic, distinguishes between Western and oriental music, between the Ionian and the Dorian, and says that oriental music should be rejected...


Both these modes passed into Greek popular song and also into Arabic and Turkish music. Byzantine scales also had a great influence on Turkish and Arabic music and the Byzantine scales were based on the Dorian, Ionian, Aeolian scales, etc...


Theodorakis then describes the musical revolution that took place in Europe under the Enlightenment, with the advent of the tempered scale, which made harmony possible whereas in Greek, Turkish and Arabic folk song the music is isophonic, or without harmony.


However, rebetiko song significantly remained within the modal tradition, which is characteristically oriental and ultimately derives from classical Greece. It is a music which is paradoxically, challengingly, strikingly at odds with the Western musical tradition, which partly explains why it is so enticing to the European ear. Theodorakis continues:


So, at the end of the nineteenth century and the start of the twentieth, Greek folk song was predominantly modal. In the Ionian islands, on the other hand, because of the Italian connection and trade with the rest of Europe, the tonal revolution had made a breakthrough, in the form of serenades...


But then the refugees arrived from Asia Minor, bringing with them a music that was basically Turkish...


At this time, the bourgeoisie, on the other hand, was influenced by tonal music, European music. On the island of Siros, and in Patras and Smyrna, they already had lyric theatre, musical review shows and operetta, brought from Europe via the merchants. The bourgeoisie were humming the tunes of Italian opera.


But the ordinary folk loved and sang Turkish music, with Turkish words, and rebetika, with words in Greek, because these gentle melodies were more in tune with their bitter experiences of life [...] The chosen instruments of the rebetes were the bouzouki and the baglamas (the latter because it was small and could be easily concealed), and these were the instruments played in the prisons... These were men of great sensitivity, who lived in city environments, and whose state of mind could not be expressed in the serenades of the islands, nor in the imported European music, nor in folk song, nor in the Byzantine hymns and the music of the Church. But their feelings could be expressed fully in the rebetika and the bouzouki...8


To this Costas Ferris adds a note about the role of Giovanikas:


The great explosion and development of rebetika came with the growing popularity of the Smyrnean Minore mode (also known as the Minore of the Dawn), which was created towards the end of the nineteenth century by the violinist Giovanikas. Born in Wallachia (Romania), he lived in Mytilene, Constantinople, Smyrna, and often toured in free Greece. Giovanikas, who had a classical musical culture as well as knowing a lot of traditional island music, had the brilliant idea of combining gypsy (Balkan) polyphonic (and thus Western) chords in the cymbalon, santouri or other instruments, with the monophonic oriental Niavent dhromos mode in the melodic lines of the soloist singer or violinist. This mating produced a vibrant combination of Western polyphony with Byzantine and oriental monophony.9


Markos Vamvakaris and the manges

Sociology apart, the social setting of rebetika is perhaps best summed up in the figure of Markos Vamvakaris. In the words of Lysandros Pitharas:


The 1930s were the Golden Years of rebetika and the life and times of its most famous composer, Markos Vamvakaris, gives a flavour of what this era was like. He was born in Syros in 1905. At the age of eight he was already bored with working in factories; by the time he was twelve he had been imprisoned for black marketeering. In 1920, when he was just fifteen, Markos stowed away on a ship bound for Piraeus and started a new chapter in his life.

On reaching the mainland, he found work loading coal, but quickly discovered the underworld of this tough city. The petty hoodlums and smugglers of the port soon became his friends and by his late teens Markos companion was an older whore, and his life that of the tekkedes [hash dens].

Markos had two great loves in his life smoking hashish and bouzouki. It was not long before he started to become known as a mangas. The nearest English equivalent to the term mangas is wide boy, or spiv. The culture of the manges was so underworld that even Greeks disagree about what they were. Generally, they were twilight characters living on the edge of the law. Many of them spoke their own street dialect (koutsavakika) and dressed with a streetwise swagger (hats, spats, suits). They were involved in the petty crimes of the ghettos, often carrying knives. These were the characters behind the most underworld themes of rebetika the songs about smuggling, prison and so on.

By 1933 Markos had won their admiration with his music. He had teamed up with two Asia Minor refugees, Stratos and Artemis, and a fourth musician mangas called Batis. They were the most popular rebetika band to win a wide following all over Athens with songs like Ime alaniaris... [Im a wide boy... ]:

Im a wide boy wandering the streets,

So stoned I dont recognize anyone I meet.

(Markos Vamvakaris, Alaniaris, 1935)


But life was cruel to the mangas. Markos brother, for instance, died of a drug overdose early in the 1930s. His second brother became a knife-carrying thug, spending most of his life in prison. Artemis too died in 1943 from a drug overdose, an event he prophesied in the most famous rebetiko junkie song, The Junkies Lament:


From the time I started to smoke the dose,

The world turned its back on me.

I dont know what to do.

From sniffing it up I went onto the needle,

And my body began to melt...

(Kostis, Apo tote pou archisa, 1910, recorded again by A. Delias, 1934)


The social acceptability of rebetika

Rebetika had its travails. As a musical form, it was banned by the Metaxas dictatorship in 1936. The rebetika musicians became targets for arrest and victimization by the authorities. Tekkedes were frequently raided, and if people were caught singing rebetika (or indeed playing the bouzouki), they were likely to be taken for dissolute hash-smokers and shipped off to internal exile.


And the smoking of hashish was no small part of rebetiko culture. In the Ottoman empire hashish had been freely available and was openly smoked in cafes. In Greece too, for a period, people smoked freely. The hash den was known as a tekkes from the Turkish tekke, meaning dervish convent and the rebetes who frequented these dens sometimes referred to themselves as dervishes. Hashish cost virtually nothing and was a poor mans way of forgetting lifes troubles. There are songs aplenty celebrating the smoking of hashish (in fact two Danish rebetologists have produced a whole book of them, and a French company recently issued a record of hash-den songs.10 After the Second World War, however, they began to disappear. During the NaziFascist occupation of Greece no rebetika recordings were made although this is not to say that the songs were not sung.11


Vassilis Tsitsanis, one of the greats of rebetika, was apparently singing songs featuring hashish right through the period of Nazi occupation, but these could only be issued as recordings after 1946, when the record factories reopened in Greece. Then, in 1947, censorship was reimposed and drug songs were again banned. That censorship is still in force today the law has never been repealed, and in theory the words and music of all recordings must be submitted to the censors office (although presently the law is not enforced). Rebetika was also attacked by the Communist Party, for instance by Nikos Zachariades, who described it as the music of knife-fights and decadence.


The first public sign of rebetikas emergence into respectability came in 1948, right in the midst of the fratricidal war that was tearing Greece apart. One of the countrys leading modern composers, Manos Hadzidakis, made a speech at a conference, defending rebetika and claiming it as an integral part of the Greek musical heritage. Up to that point the cultural elites had seen it as a music of criminal low-life, sung and danced in prisons and dope dens, and linked to drugs, violence and prostitution. Hadzidakis, albeit a conservative, claimed it as an authentic music of the people, an art form of high musical quality and nobility. He also pointed out that the taste for rebetika united all classes of Greeks, right across a geographic spectrum that had previously been regionally divided. It was and this was a poignant moment in a country divided by civil war a unifying force between all Greeks.


Shortly afterwards, with the Civil War ended, rebetika was discovered. It came out of its low-life backwaters and into night clubs where rich people went. And at this point the character of the music changed. The bouzouki went electric, everything went electric, and the players began to perform for the upper bourgeoisie. Rebetika became a fashion. You only have to see the photos of Giorgos Zambetas playing for the Kennedy family and Aristotle Onassis to understand how far it had come from its humble beginnings. The music became heavily commercialized over-orchestrated, with insipid lyrics especially with the mass production of long-playing records in Greece after 1955. The songs lost their edge, lost their pain and depth of feeling. And the places where rebetiko music was played were among the most expensive night clubs in Greece.

Smyrna

At this point we should go back a couple of hundred years to look at what had been happening musically in Smyrna. For Greeks the city was a little Greece, experienced emotionally as part of the motherland. A rich trading port, it had an active harbour and a fertile hinterland. And it had a flourishing musical life that was noted by travellers even 300 years ago. The Frenchman Joseph Tournefort commented in 1702: The taverns [in Smyrna] are open at all hours of day and night. They play music, they eat good food, they dance in the European, Greek and Turkish style... . Another Frenchman, Bartholdy, observed:

For a Greek to dance, any time of the day is suitable. The taverns in Smyrna and the other ports are continuously filled with men drinking, dancing and singing. Even on the decks of their boats they manage to find a bit of space where they can dance...

And in 1878 the folk-musicologist Bourgault-Ducoudray wrote: Smyrna is a very musical city. Nowhere have I seen so many barrel-organs.12

In the smart salons they sang romantses (a Spanish song-form) with piano accompaniment. The ordinary folk had the cafe-amans, or musical cafes, which is where the dais13 would hang out, as described by a Smyrniot poet whose name has not come down to us:

I am a dais, and when I dance the khasapiko, the ballo, the karsilamas and the tsifteteli, with the sweet violin of Giovanaki, all of Smyrna is proud of me.

Im a dais, and ouzo is my god [... ] I have a good time, I dance, I drink and I get drunk, with santouris, and violins, and drums.


What is important in all this is that the musical life of Smyrna was both highbrow and lowbrow, both Italophile and Turcophile, both East and West, and when the Greeks were driven out of that city, they took their musical culture with them wholesale and transplanted it onto the Greek mainland.

The musicians who came as refugees were not just semi-skilled amateurs or street musicians:


The musicians, like most of the other refugees, were, in comparison to the Greeks of the host country, extremely sophisticated; many were highly educated, could read and compose music, and had even been unionized in the towns of Asia Minor. It must have been galling for them to live on the periphery of the new society in poverty and degradation; most had lost all they had in the hasty evacuation, and many, from inland Anatolia, could speak only Turkish. In their misery they sought relief in another Ottoman institution, the tekés or hashish den.14

Performers and composers of rebetika


The original rebetiko music, as we have said, derived from Asia Minor and was strongly Turkish in character. Here we are talking about a distinct first generation of rebetika composers and performers, most of whom derived from Asia Minor Panayiotis Tountas, Kostas Skarvelis, Evangelis Papazoglou, Yannis Dragatsis, Kostas Karipis and Spyros Peristeris, all of whom were born between 1880 and 1895. By the 1920s there were two distinct schools of rebetika. The first was the Smyrna school songs with distinctly oriental melodies, which were often sung by women, such as Rosa Askenazi (d. 1981) and Rita Abatzi (d. 1969). They were accompanied by a small Turkish-style band, playing violin, santouri and ud (lute). The songs were often mournful laments, known as amané, from the characteristic ritual refrain of amanaman (roughly, mercy, mercy) which came between the verses, often as a way of giving the singer time to improvise the next verse. This style is still to be found in the rai music of Algeria. The level of pathos reached in some of this Smyrniot song is truly heart-rending.


In the period 190030 these women singers performed in Smyrna itself, in the port town of Volos, and in the ex-Ottoman and strongly Jewish city of Thessaloniki, a cultural crossroads and a major trading port serving the Balkan hinterland. It would be performed in the cafe-aman, with the singer and band occupying a small platform, where the rebetes would come up and dance.


The Piraeus school, on the other hand, based in the sprawling urban port area serving Athens, was very different. Here the instruments were the bouzouki and the baglamas. This was more a dance music based on the khasapiko and the zeibekiko, rather than the oriental tsifteteli. And the voices were rougher, deeper and more generally male.

The distinctive change here was the introduction of the Western tonal system into the music. Now the Western major and minor scales entered rebetika alongside the oriental dhromi.15 The key figure in this change was the great bouzoukist Markos Vamvakaris, born in Siros (an island port, and the most Westernized of Greek communities at that time).

Vamvakaris, the composer of the well-known rebetiko song Frangosyriani, set up his famous Piraeus Quartet in the 1930s, which influenced a whole subsequent generation of rebetika performers and composers. His main counterpart in this period was Yannis Papayioannou, the composer of Leave me, leave me... [Ase me, ase me... ].

In chronological terms, the second generation (who came from various parts of the extended Greek community and were all born between 1920 and 1925) included Vamvakaris himself, Dimitris Gongos, Apostolos Kaldaras, Kostas Kaplanis, Giorgos Mitsotakis, Yannis Papayioannou, Stavros Tzouanakos, Vassilis Tsitsanis, Apostolos Hajichristos, Manolis Chiotis, Stelios Chrysinis and Giorgos Zambetas. Some of these had a solid musical training and had no desire to be identified with the older low-life traditions of rebetika the prisons, the drugs, etc.


In the 1940s there was something of a rebetika revival, under the auspices of Manolis Chiotis and Vassilis Tsitsanis. Chiotis added a couple of strings to the bouzouki, thereby extending its potential for musical virtuosity. Tsitsanis moved the lyrics away from the traditional motifs of drugs and prison and introduced sentimental and social themes. His ambit saw the involvement of women singers in the Piraeus school notably the great voices of Sotiria Bellou and Marika Ninou.


The Second World War, the German occupation and Greeces subsequent Civil War (194649) were important in the popularity of rebetika, since the songs were seen as embodying something of the national Greek identity through the times of hardship, repression and censorship. It is no accident that classical composers such as Theodorakis used this music as a fundamental part of their creative output. As Theodorakis himself explains:


During the years of internal exile, first at Icaria and then in Makronissos, during the evening hours we sang rebetika, and the Piraeus people taught us how to dance the khasapiko and zeibekiko in the tents of the concentration camp. It was in a tent on Makronissos that my first symphony had its debut performance, with an orchestra of violins and mandolins in the generals tent, where the generals of ELAS (the Resistance Army of National Liberation) were housed. I remember someone protesting because General Serafis, instead of singing our revolutionary songs, was crazy about rebetika! On Icaria I asked my comrades to sing me rebetika songs and I wrote down the notes. I wrote, I sang and I danced. That way I collected about eighty songs. And then, when the Colonels sent me into internal exile in Oropos in 1967, I attempted to harmonize rebetiko song and interpret it in a tonal mode. [... ]


In those very difficult years of 194749, the terrible years of the Civil War, so full of hatred and death, I believe that the urban songs discovered by the people, sung at the front by both government soldiers and communist partisans, and sung in the prisons and the internal exile camps had a fundamental importance for peoples stability of mind. It was the element that united us.16


Recordings

No account of rebetika would be complete without a note on the recordings that are available. Here excellent work has been done on the Internet, and I would refer the reader to my Institute of Rebetology website for further references. Here, though, is a brief but useful summary, again by Lysandros Pitharas:

The richness of rebetiko history prevents any comprehensive list here. Artists to look out for in each of the various periods are as follows:


* For the oriental-style rebetika of the 30s listen to Rosa Askenazi and Rita Abatzi, the twin stars of the period. Their exquisite voices are especially known for their rendering of the Middle Eastern lament, the amané.


* For the music of the Piraeus school, look for the innumerable Vamvakaris collections now available. These driving, rasping blues songs are considered the finest of the period and are a good introduction to the now plentiful compilations that include the music of the most famous Piraeus-school musicians.


* For the 40s and 50s, look out for the music of Sotiria Bellou and of Marika Ninou, around whose life a famous film, called Rebetiko, was based. In Bellou and Ninou, the name Vassilis Tsitsanis often appears. He is considered one of the greatest composers and singers in the Twilight era, along with Papayioannou, a gangly, grinning composer famous for his lyrical melodies of great charm.


* For the revival period, buy the Giorgos Dalaras records of rebetika. Listen also to Eleftheria Arvanitaki, the best female singer among the rebetika revivalists.17

Elias Petropoulos

Elias Petropoulos was born in Athens in 1928. For many years he lived in Thessaloniki, a city he knows intimately (not least as regards the history of its Jewish community). During the Second World War and the ensuing Civil War he was a member of illegal left-wing organizations. From 1965 to 1975 he lived in Athens, where he earned his living as a journalist and writer. He then moved to Paris, where among other things he pursued Turkish studies at the École Pratique. He still lives in that city. During a lifetime of work he has published upwards of 80 books and 1,000 articles and essays. Many of the books were self-publishing ventures, sometimes in small-run art editions designed by himself. Twenty-seven of them have now been published in Greek in the Collected Works by Nefeli publishers, Athens (these are listed in my Bibliography).

Petropoulos is a terrific man of Greek letters. There is a boldness of conception in the way that he combines sociological research with biting satire, guaranteed to get up the noses of Greeces academic establishment. His avowedly anarchist temperament has led to repeated brushes with the Greek state prosecutor. In 1968, at the age of 40 and in the second year of the Fascist junta, he published his Rebetika Songs [Rebetika Traghoudhia], a very personal combination of anthology, sociological dissertation and photography, on a subject which at that time was taboo the sub-culture of rebetiko music. This led to his first prison sentence.


The second prison term came three years later, with the publication of his Kaliarda (1971), a unique dictionary of Greek homosexual slang. The next moment of notoriety came with his publication of The Manual of the Good Thief (1979), a shocking description of conditions in Greek prisons, which Petropoulos had experienced at first hand. Apart from its factual content, the book has a biting edge of satire that appalled some and delighted many, and it remains a favourite among free-thinkers to this day.18 It was immediately banned (by this time Greece had emerged from Fascism, but the old laws still applied) and both Petropoulos, by then resident in Paris, and his publisher were sentenced to eighteen months in prison. Today it can be freely bought in any bookstore.


The range and diversity of Petropoulos writings over the years can be judged from the Bibliography: Turkish Coffee in Greece (1979); The Brothel (1980), a study of historical and present-day brothels in Greece; Graves of Greece (1982), a remarkable illustrated essay on Greek graveyards; Holy Hashish (1987), a detailed sociology and practical handbook of hashish; Corpses, Corpses, Corpses... (1988), the authors macabre memories of the occupation of Greece and the ensuing Civil War; and The Moustache (1989), a study of the moustache in the culture of Balkan manhood.

The year 1999 has seen the publication of his illustrated History of the Condom, and a republication of his Cemeteries of Greece is in the pipeline. And rest assured, there is more to come. At the age of 72, Petropoulos is not stopping yet!

Aqua Dolce, Levanto

8.7.1999

Notes

1. Lysandros Pitharas, Music of the Outsiders, leaflet, 1988. This accompanied the documentary made for British television (Channel Four).

2. Ole L. Smith, New Evidence on Greek Music in the USA: [Richard] Spottswoods Ethnic Music on Record, Journal of the Hellenic Diaspora, vol. 18, no. 2, 1992, pp. 97109. For a scathing and penetrating critique of the state of rebetology studies, see Ole Smiths other major article, Research on Rebetika: Some Methodological Problems and Issues, Journal of Modern Hellenism, no. 6, 1989 (part reprinted in Appendix A below).

3. In NovemberDecember 1993 the Athens-based music magazine Defi published a special issue (no. 18) on the Greek diaspora in Asia Minor. It contains important research articles on the musical culture of that community. I have translated some of these articles and placed them on my Institute of Rebetology website (for details, see Appendix B below).

4. See Petropoulos preface (pp. 1314) to: Katharine Butterworth and Sara Schneider (eds), Rembetika, Songs from the Old Greek Underworld, with essays by Markos Dragoumis, Ted Petrides and Elias Petropoulos, Komboloi, Athens, 1975.

5. Pitharas, Music of the Outsiders, op. cit.

6. By way of a side note, the complex interplay of Greek song and dance with the indigenous traditions of Asia Minor is exemplified in an extraordinary account from Xenophons Anabasis, which I have included as Appendix C.


7. As the price for Greek participation on the side of the Entente in the First World War, the Allied Supreme Council in Paris authorized the landing of Greek troops in Smyrna. The occupation of Smyrna developed into a catastrophic war with Turkey, now under the new regime of Kemal Atatürk. The Greeks, ill-advised or imperfectly restrained by West European politicians, launched a general offensive in Anatolia in January 1921, which was defeated, and then, in July, obstinately renewed. By September they were in full retreat. In August 1922 the Turks launched a final offensive that drove the Greeks out of Anatolia in September. For Greeks this was the Catastrophe.

8. Vassilis Vassilikos, Interview with Mikis Theodorakis, Euros, no. 56, Sept.Dec. 1993; similar ground is covered in the George Giannaris biography, Mikis Theodorakis: Music and Social Change, Allen & Unwin, London, 1973.

9. Costas Ferris, CD-Rom Encyclopaedia of Rebetika, in preparation.

10. Suzanne Aulin and Peter Vejleskov, Chasikilidhika Traghoudhia, Museum Tusculanum Press, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, 1991; Grèce: La tradition du Rébétiko. Chansons des fumeries et des prisons, performed by the Rebetiko Tsardi group, Ocora 558648 (1985/9).


11. Giorgos Dalaras has produced a wonderful record of rebetika songs of the Occupation period, with sleeve notes containing illustrated source materials. Giorgos Dalaras, ÑåìðÝôéêá ôçò ÊáôïÞò [Rebetika of the Occupation], Minos DALMSM 391 (1980).


12. Cited in the special issue of Defi magazine, vol. 18, Nov.Dec. 1993, devoted to an overview of the music of Asia Minor.


13. The dais (pl. daides) was the tough guy, usually armed and a sort of hero of the underworld. There were three classes, or categories: 1. The real, wise dais: usually a quiet, not-so-young man who had done time in prison (the crime would have been a serious offence, but one respected by all the outlaws as a crime of honour). This man had now been accepted back into society and would have some independent job such as working as a bodyguard, keeping a coffee-shop, managing workers in the port, etc. He was very fair in his dealings with his clients, whether friends or strangers, and would not harm anybody unless he was morally offended or insulted, in which case he could kill. He was also very loyal and ready to protect the people he loved and admired (i.e. singers or musicians). He had a very strong sense of justice. 2. The second-class dais: usually a common criminal who was constantly in and out of prison. He liked to act as a tough guy, trying to provoke someone into giving him a reason to kill. 3. The pseudo-dais, or koutsavakis: a young outsider who imitated the real daides by walking lamely (koutsos means lame), dressing like a mangas and wearing only one sleeve of his jacket. He was incapable of handling a real fight and played the tough guy only in his dealings with the weak and the very young. [I am indebted to Costas Ferris for this information.]


14. S. Broughton et al. (eds), The Rough Guide to World Music (London, 1994), which has an excellent section on Greek music.

15. For further information on dhromi, see my Institute of Rebetology website.


16. Vassilikos, Interview with Theodorakis, op. cit.


17. The biggest stockist of rebetika, and indeed all Greek music, in the UK is the Trehantiri record shop, which has a website and does mail-order worldwide. Address: Trehantiri, 365367 Green Lanes, London N4 1DY. Tel/fax: 0208802.6530. E-mail: trehantiri@greekmus.demon.co.uk.


Zenos Greek bookshop has a stock of books on rebetika and orders titles from Greece. It also has a website. Address: Zeno Booksellers, 6 Denmark Street, London WC2H.8LP. Tel: 0207240.1968. Fax: 0207836.2522. E-mail: zenobooksellers@aol.com.


18. The Manual of the Good Thief [Åãåéñßäéïí ôïõ Êáëïý ÊëÝöôç], Digamma, Athens, 1979; reprinted Nefeli, Athens, 1979. Here Petropoulos endearingly describes Greece (thinly disguised as Antiqua) in terms guaranteed to offend: the national drink of its inhabitants is Turkish coffee... ; the national food is a Turkish dish, imam-bayildi... ; and all queers who are not priests are regarded as criminals. As he says elsewhere, I have been amnestied for this and that, but not for my crimes against the Church. I am under sentence from the law that protects the Church. For blasphemy. I write that all bishops are poustis [queers]. I use terrible insults against the Church... .


* This article is reprinted from Rebetika: Songs of the Greek Underworld, ed. and trans. Ed Emery, Saqi Books, 26 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 5RH. Tel: 0207 221 9347. Price 12.95 pb.

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Misirlou
Misirlou (Greek: Μισιρλού, "Egyptian Girl"; from Turkish Mısırlı, "Egyptian"; from Arabic مصر, Miṣr, "Egypt"), is a popular Greek song with a cult-like popularity in five very diverse styles of music: Greek rebetiko, Middle-Eastern belly dancing, Jewish wedding music (Klezmer), American surf rock and international orchestral easy listening (Exotica).
The song was first performed by the Michalis Patrinos rebetiko band in Athens, Greece in 1927. As with almost all early rebetika songs (a style that originated with the Greek refugees from Turkey), the song's actual composer has never been identified, and its ownership rested with the band leader. The melody was most likely composed collaboratively by the group, as was often the case at the time; the initial lyrics were almost certainly written by Patrinos himself. Patrinos, being originally a Smyrniot, pronounced the song's title [musurlu], similar to the Turkish pronunciation, [mɯsɯrlɯ].

The Greek word Misirlou refers specifically to a Muslim Egyptian woman (as opposed to a Christian Egyptiotissa); thus this song refers to a cross-faith, cross-race, relationship, a risqué subject at its time.

Initially, the song was composed as a Greek zeibekiko dance, in the rebetiko style of music, at a slower tempo and a different key than the orientalized performances that most are familiar with today. This was the style of the first known recording by Michalis Patrinos in Greece, circa 1930 (which was circulated in the United States by Titos Dimitriadis' Orthophonic label); a second recording was made by Patrinos in New York, in 1931.


In 1944 maestro Clovis el-Hajj, an Arabic Lebanese musician, performed this song and called it "amal." This is the only Arabic version of this song.



The song's oriental melody has been so popular for so long that many people, from Morocco to Iran, claim it to be a folk song from their own country. In fact, in the realm of Middle Eastern music, the song is a very simplistic one, since it is little more than going up and down the scale of Makam Hijaz Kar (E-F-G#-A-B-C-D#).



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW6qGy3RtwY&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Qd2Nb-oh4I...player_embedded
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvvvT36fRR4....php?p=35738268
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrtsM0ZQLj0&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJHQHlpUJrU&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdR77I9ngEM&feature=related




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The BIOGRAPHICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA of REBETIKA MUSICIANS
Acitve in the Period Before WWII


Abadzi, Rita
Batis, Yiorgos
Bayienderas, Dmitris Gongos
Bellou, Sotiria
Bezos, Konstandinos
Chrisinis, Stelios
Dhelias, Anestis
Dousas, Konst.
Dragatsis, Yianis (or Ogdontakis)
Eskenazi, Roza
Franceskopoulou, Marika
Halikias, Iaonnis (Jack Gregory)
Haskil, Stella
Hatzichristos Apostolos
Kaldaras, Apostolos
Kaplanis, Kostas
Karamounas
Karapiperis, Manolis
Karipis, Kostas
Karivali, Sofia
Karras, G
Katsrous, Jiorgos
Kasimatis, Zacharias
Kavouras
Keromitis, Stelios
Kostis, A
Manetas, Yirogos
Mitaki, Yorgia
Mitsakis, Giorgos
Nouros, Kostas
Papagika, Marika
Papazglou, Evangelis
Pagioumitzis, Stratos
Papiannou, Ioannis
Peristeres, Spyros
Perpiniades, Stellakis
Roukounas, Kosta
Semsis, Dimitris
Skarvelis, Kostas
Stavropoulou, Dazy
Toumboulis, Agapios
Toundas , Panayiotis
Tsaous, Jiovan
Tsitsanis, Vassils
Tzouras, Stavros
Vamvakaris, Markos
Yennitsaris, Michalis
Yeorgakopoulou, Ioanna
Zouridhakis Frangiskos


Abadzi, Rita- singer
Born in Smyrna in 1914, she, along with Rosa Eskenazi, was one of the most famous female singers of her generation. Her career began in the thirties, and she sang everything from Smyrneika, to dimotika, to rebetika. The hight of her popularity was from the thirties to about 1940. She worked with all of the leading composers and singers of the era including - Panayotis Toundas, Vangelis Papazoglou, Kostas Skarvelis, Spiros Peristeris, Dimitrios Semsis ('Salonikios'), Markos Vamvakaris, Vasilis Tsitsanis and others. (She also recorded on 78 rpms with Rosa Eskenazi, and it was said that their relationship, both personal and professional was mixed. They were rivals, and it was commen for people to argue over who was the better singer. She made no further recordings after World War II, but there is no doubt that she changed the history of Greek music, and opened the door for future female artists.) Rita Abatsi died in January 1969 in Aigaleo, a suburb of Athens.

Batis, Yiorgos-baglama
Born in 1890 in Methana. He moved to Piraeus at an early age an died there in 1967. The archetypical mangas, Batis ran a café and dancing school and encouraged young musicians. His music is completely uncompromising and it is surprising that 16 sides were issued between 32-36, although most of them appear to have sold ffew copies. Among other ways of earning a living, Batis used to go around the countryside sellingmedicines and extracting teeth. It seems that on at least one occasion suckers realized the had been conned.Frankiskos Zouridhakis claims to have wriiten Sou chi Lachi and that Batis stoleit from him. (from My Only Consolation, Rounder 1136)

Bayienderas, Dmitris Gongos-bouzouki
Bagianteras was born in Piraeus in 1903 and died in Athens in 1985.
He is one of the greatest composers of the pre-war rebetiko.
His friendship with Batis, Markos and Stratos and the fact that he was a talented artist, gave him the opportunity to record many songs during the pre-war era.
He had a unique style that makes his songs easily recognizable.
Unfortunately he became blind in 1941. He continued to play music professionally for several years, but the last years of his life were difficult, because he was not able to work anymore and almost everybody forgot him.
His songs are among the best Rebetiko songs ever written and will be with us forever.
(from DioDinos.com)

Bellou, Sotiria-singer
One of the most famous rebetisas of all, mentioned in many music guides, and contributer to the 1984 British Documentary entitled Music of the Outsiders, Sotiria Bellou was born in Halkida in 1921. She learned to play the gitar at an early age. After a brief (and abusive marriage at age nineteen, which ended when she took revenge by throwing vytriol, a corrosive acid, in her husband's face), she wound up in Athens in October of 1940, as Greece was becoming involved in World War II. In the years of Italian and German occupation, Sotiria earned her living by using her skills as a gitarist and singer to survive while others perrished of starvation. In 1947, she came to the attention of Vassilis Tsitsanis (another legend, who began his own recording career ten years earlier), and with him recorded the first of her many 78 rpms. As the times changed, and rebetika was no longer sought after, Sotiria, like many other artists of her generation, found very little work in night clubs. The mid 1960s brought with them a sense of cultural awakening, and a new-found interest in rebetika among young people which peaked in the 1980s. Suddenly, people couldn't get enough of the surviving rebetes, and Sotiria, with her deep voice, full of emotion and pride, was heard on many recordings, and helped usher in a new era for rebetika. That, combined with her honesty, her love for gambling, her participation in the struggle for civil rights (for which she was beaten several times), and the fact that she was openly a lesbian in a time when this was practically unheard of, ensures her a place not only on the rebetic charts, but in the hearts and minds of those whom she touched during her lifetime, and in those whom she continues to inspire. Like her or not, she was an outspoken woman of her generation. Sotiria Bellou died in Athens in 1997. She was buried per request in First Cemetery next to Vassilis Tsitsanis.

Bezos, Konstandinos-guitar
(1905-1943) was a composer and guitarist who for several years was leader of the highly successful Aspra Poulia (White Birds) Hawaiian Orchestra.

Chrisinis, Stelios-bouzouki
A blind singer, guitar and bouzouki player, as well as compeser. He died in 1970.

Dhelias, Anestis bouzouki
Or Artemis, the son of a guitar player, was born in Smyrna in1912. An extremely talented musician, Dhelias was the only major rebetica figure to succumbto to hard drugs. He was found dead in the street of an overdose in 1944. (from My Only Consolation,Rounder 1136)


Dousas- guitar
Dousas recorded many guitar pieces. Here are the unverified tunings:

-To kalogeraki, dropped D
-H tsakpina, open G
-O paraponiarhs, open G
-Mis ellas, dropped D
-To moro mou, dropped D
-Manolakhs o xasiklhs, open G
-H emorfh attaleia, dropped D
-Kouklitsa mou, dropped D (or regular tuning in D; unsure)
-To gelekaki, dropped D
-Ergaths timhmenos, normal tuning
-H mhlia, dropped D
-Xupna megale basilha, open G
-Politiko chasapiko, normal
-O ippoths, normal
-To plustario, dropped D
-H basilissa, cgcf??
-H trata, dropped D

All of these are relative; for instance To moro mou is dropped D tuning, but transposed to A.
Some tunes could be with capo or lowered strings.
Most tunes noted as dropped D could be open tuning; hard to tell how the 2 topstrings are tuned.
(tuning information graciously provided by Mr. Leo Wijnkamp Jr)

Dragatsis, Yianis (or Ogdontakis)-violin
Yianis was born in Smyrna in 1886 into a musical family who were well known in Smyrna as "The Ogdontakides" (hence his nickname). The group consisted of many relatives including Yianis's father George, uncles, cousins and his two brothers.
Little is known of Yianis's early life but he became involved seriously in music in the early part of the century and became well known in Smyrna as a virtuoso violinist. It is believed that he wrote many of the first tranche of Smyrnaic songs that were sang and recorded in Smyrna in the early part of the 20th century.
Yianis was captured during the catastrophe in Asia Minor in 1922. The Turkish soldiers admiration for his playing saved his life, and he was released in 1923 and went to Greece.
Yianis started work in tavernas along with his compatriots Spiro Peristeri, Antonis Dalgas, Kostas Karipis and others. He swiftly became in demand both as a composer and a violinist (indeed, Semsis and Dragatsis were the greatest Greek violinists of the day and have retained that status to date).
Due to his musical expertise, Yianis became a recording director at COLUMBIA, a position he kept throughout the 1930s. He worked with the greatest musicians and singers of the era. He made 100s of recordings many in which he played violin and are now classics -particularly in the Smyrnaic repertiore (e.g. "Manolis Hasiklis"; "Mera Nihta Methismenos" and "Elenitsa").
Yianis was a member of the Musicians Guild "Alilovoithia" and took an active part in the struggle for artist's rights. He was elected as president of the Athens-Pireaus branch several times.
Yianis stopped performing and recording during the war, as did many of the musicians from Asia Minor (in part due to the blanket banning of Amanedhes and other eastern influences in music in 1937 which many artists found intolerable).
After the war Yianis did not return to recording or composing, but played violin at weddings and other social gatherings, and taught violin to students. He lived with his wife Athena thus until his death in 1958.
When interviewed in 1972, Roza remembered Yianis warmly and said that he was a good person, composer and violinist
(from the Roza Eskenazi home page).

Eskenazi, Roza- singer
Born in Constantinople (Istanbul) at some time in the 1890's. The family was Jewish and emigrated to Greece when Roza was a child. In her teens she found work with an Armenian dance troupe, dancing and singing in Armenian, Turkish and Greek. She made her first record in 1929, and thereafter her poignant was heard on hundreds of sides through the 1960's. Roza died on December 2, 1980 and lies in an unmarked grave at the village of Stomio on the Gulf of Corinth.
(from Women of Rembetica, Rounder 1121)

Franceskopoulou, Marika -singer'
She was born in Constantinople, probably around the turn of the 20th century. Like Marika Papagika, she was one of the first recorded-women singers of the Smyrnaiko style of rebetiko tragoudi. The earliest records of her are available in the E.M.I. archives in Hayes, Middlesex,
England. They show that she made a recording of 'Yi'afto foumaro cocaini', a well-known song in Athens, in October of 1932. (I could not find any other information on this artist, and do not know whether or not she is still living, though I doubt it highly.)

Halikias, Yiannis (Jack Gregory)-bouzouki
A Greek/American bouzouki virtuoso. His 1932 Minore tou Deke was the first popular bouzouki recording. Not much is known about Halikias. Rumour has it that he learned to play bouzouki against his fathers wishes, tutored in the ways of the mangas by his uncle. When he moved to America he made a few recordings but became disillusioned by the record company and refused to record anymore. There's talk of Hakikias running an underground hashish joint in the 30's and being involved in other shady activities, living the life of a manga in America.Many famous musicians would visit Halikias when they were in New York, and there are rumors of home recordings of Halikias with the likes of Papaioannoiu and Roza Eskanazi.

Haskil, Stella-singer
Stella Haskil was born in Thesaloniki in 1918, and began her recording career after World War II. She sang with artists such as Markos Vamvakaris, Apostolos Hatzichristos, and Stellakis Perpiniadis, though she is best known for her work with younger artists such as Vasilis Tsitsanis and Apostolos Kaldaras. Her most famous recording is her 1947 version of the song Nichtose horis fengari (Night Fell Moonless), written by Kaldaras during the Greek civil war which lasted until the end of the decade. The original title of this song was 'Nichtose sto Gendi' (('Night fell in Gendi'-the prison in Thesaloniki where political prisoners were held.) This song was such a success, that even though certain verses were changed to meet the demands of the sensors (who were always looking out for any suspect political references), after a few days, it was withdrawn from circulation, and it's performance was banned. Tragically, Stella Haskil died on 27 February, 1954, in Athens. (She was only 36 years old. In my research, I found no reference to why she died.)

Hatzichristos Apostolos-vocal, bouzouki
(Smyrna 1901-Athens 1959) was also a gifted singer, musician, composer. (from Rembetica; Historic Urban Folksongs from Greece, Rounder 1079)

Kaldaras, Apostolos-Bouzouki, guitar, singer.
(born in Trikala, 1922-Athens, 1991)
One of the most successful and prolific of post-war Greek popular composers.

Kaplanis, Kostas-bouzouki
Born pn thhe island of Hios in 1921, settled in Athens durin WWII and eventually moved the the United States.

Karamounas-?

Karapiperis, Manolis-bouzouki


Karipis, Kostas-guitar
Kostas was born circa 1880 in Constantinople. Little is known of his life there. He came to Greece after the catastrophe in Smyrna in 1922. He started working in tavernas along with other Greek refugees, and swiftly developed a reputation as an accomplished composer and guitarist.
From 1923 to the early 1930s Kostas played in a company which included Kostas Tsavenou, Mitso Arapaki, Spiro Peristeri and Dalgas at the best taverns of that era. He recorded songs from 1925, mainly amanedhes and rembetic songs. From 1930 Kostas concentrated on composing, writing lyrics and playing guitar on recordings. He had massive hits throughout the decade with the greatest singers of the day and played guitar on hundreds of sides.
Kostas spent most of the war years in the company of the Piraeus rembetes - Markos Vamvakaris, Stratos Payiomtsis etc. After the war, he continued performing and played guitar in recordings for Tsitsanis, Mitsaki and Papaioannou.

Little is known about Kostas's last years or how or when he died. It is known that he had no family and he disappeared from the music scene in 1951. It is believed that he died in 1952.
In 1972, Roza recalled that Kostas was a good guitarist with a fine voice. She expressed gratitude for songs he wrote that he gave to her to record, singling out his classic smyrnaic song "Fora Ta mavra, Fora Ta" ("Wear the black clothes"). (from Eskenazi homepage)


Karivali, Sofia - singer
Born in Smyrna in 1918, Sofia Karivali and her family landed on the shores of mainland Greece, like millions of other refugees during the 1923 crisis. In 1936, Sofia, now married, began her singing career. Both she and her husband took a trip to Crete, where both worked together, she singing, and he waiting on tables. By this time, her sister, Rita Abatzi (who retained the family name), had already begun to make recordings. Sofia made few, but spent a number of years singing with bouzoukia in Pireaus and performing dimotika. More importantly, she claims the distinct honour of being the first female ever to be seen in public playing the bouzouki anywhere in Greece, and in all of the Greek provinces. Her recording career ended in she stopped her public singing career in the 1940's, Sofia added a truly authentic touch to a 1988 TV documentary with a lively performance of Me planepses boemissa, accompanied by Yorgos Dalaras ['Music of the Outsiders: Rembetiko' made by Compass Film Productions for Channel 4 Ltd. (Her voice can be heard on several recordings by Markos Vamvakaris, including the song just mentioned (though Markos went under a pseudinum for this particular song, most likely so as to not steal the limelight from Sofia). Several of these other recordings can be found on Bouzouki Pioneer, a collection of songs rereleased by the Rounder label and recorded by Markos Vamvakaris. Sofia Karivali died in 1995.)

Karras, G.-guitar

Katsouros, Jiorgos-guitar


Kasimatis, Zacharias-vocal & guitar
(Smyrna 1900-Athens 1966) recorded several sides under his own name in the early 30s. Thereafter he worked steadily as a side man until shortly before his death. He also composed a handful of songs which have been part of the rebetica canon. (from Mourmourika, Rounder 1120)


Kavouras, Yiorgos-Singer
Born on the island of Kastelorizo in 1909. He cut many sides as a vocalist in the late 1903's, and also played violin, santouri and guitar. He died on March 17, 1943, one of the hundreds of thousands of victims of the Axis occupation of Greece. (My Only Consolation, Rounder 1136)

Keromitis, Stelios-bouzouki, vocals
(1908-1979)Keromitis first performed in Piraeus in 1934. He was a classic manga, well dressed, hashish smoker, bouzouki player. Later, he worked with Markos Vamvakaris and with Vasilis Tsitsanis from 1947-50.He wrote about 25 songs and was known for his low growly voice which Tsitsanis compared to the "growl of a lion."

In his own words:

"I first heard bouzouki in 1916, when I was eight years old, because my father played as an amateur. When I was 12 I made my first clumsy attempts to play it. At that time my father happened to be the owner of a taverna, and this taverna was the venue for a whole host of bouzouki players; the first I met was called Zymaritis, the second Manetas, then Reginas, Mimikos the house painter, Harilaos and Scrivanos. Those were the bouzouki players of the time who played fairly regularly. There were some other people who played but had no talent. We came after them, there was a fifteen years' difference in our ages; we had started to play more systematically somehow and the bouzouki brought us by degrees together, it made us become friends and meet often and learn from each other and help one another and day by day we progressed; there were Markos Vamvakaris, Keromitis, Anestos, Stratos, Karydakias, Bayandaras, Stefanakos: we were the first to present the bouzouki, the popular song, on record, with songs, lyrics and music of our own inspiration. In 1933 we started our campaign, by means of our songs, to make people love the bouzouki. At first we added a guitar and a little baglama to the bouzouki, in the first joint where we sang and played as professionals, and from the very first people loved us and followed us in droves. But let's not forget that there were many people with misconceptions about the bouzouki, but with time, the songs were made so harmonious, with a treble and a second voice and then with the terzo added, like a "cantada" of the ionian islands, that we taught the ones who didn't love this music to love it too.
Our first appearance was at the "Keratzakis", the first joint in Anapafseos street, in Piraeus. Right after that there were many other offers; first from Antonis Vlachos, at the "Dasos" in Votanikos, Athens. From then on we had a following among all kinds of people, of all classes, from the highest to the lowest. Every night the place was packed. We worked there steadily for two years. At that time many artists appeared there: Tsitsanis, Papaioannou, Chiotis, Kaplanis, Tzouanakos, Hatzichristos, Stefanakos-all of them were younger than us." (from Stelios Keromytis cd by Grigoris Phalireas)


Kostis, A-guitar


Manetas, Yirogos-bouzouki
According to Markos Vamvakaris, Manetas was the first to tune his bouzouki in the European style DAD, instead of the traditional tunings favored by the Old Guard.(from Mourmourika, Rounder 1120)

Mitaki, Yorgia-singer
Born in 1911 in Avlona, she enjoyed a singing career that lasted for thirty years. She came to Athens at age 18, and married in 1930. She is remembered mostly as a singer of dimotika tragoudia, but she was just as accomplished with Smyrnaeika, singing compositions and arrangements
of Panayiotis Toundas, Spiros Peristeris and others . Her voice can be heard on '
S'ena teke boukarane', the first recording of Vassilis Tsitsanis in 1937.
She made two highly successful North American tours, one in the late 1950s, and one in the early 1960s. Due to ill health, she made her last visits to the recording studo in 1965. Yorgia Mitaki died back in her 'horio', Avlona, on 28 February, 1977.

Mitsakis, Giorgos-bouzouki, singer.
Composer, author, singer and bouzouki player. Born in Istanbu; in 1924, setteled in Volos in 9135, in Thessaloniki in 1937 and in Piraeus in 1939.


Nouros, Kostas-vocal
B. 1892 Smyrna

Papagika, Marika
She was born on the island of Kos on 1 September , 1890. A true pioneer, she was one of the first generation of Greek female singers to be heard on sound recordings. Her family moved to Egypt most likely Alexandria, when she was young. It is here that she began her career, working in nightspots that catered to the large resident Greek community. She emigrated to the USA in 1915, where she continued performing and recording. By the mid-1920's she and her husband Kostas ['Gus'], a cembalo player, owned their own club in New York. She regularly worked with the fine violinist Athanasios Makedonas, and her repertory included folksongs, and 'light', European-style songs. She became a noted exponent of the Smyrnaic style of the rebetiko tragoudi, and is most often associated with it. She and her husband apparently lost the nightclub in the financial crisis in 1929, and her recording career ended in the late 1930s. Marika Papagika died in New York in 1943. Some say she died of disappointment.

Papazglou, Evangelis-(Smyrna 1895-Piraeus 1943) was one of Rembeticas great composers and played several instruments. He was a man of strong principles and refused to submit any songs for publication after censorship was imposed by the Metaxas dictatorship in 1937. Gave up music after the Axis occupation of Greece in 1943, and became a junk collector. He died of TB in 43, one of several leading rebetika figures who failed to survive WWII. (from Mourmourika, Rounder 1120)



Papiannou, Ioannis-bouzouki
(Turkey 1914-Athens 1972) was a fine musician and a prolific composer with scores of songs to his name. He was killed in an automobile accident. (My Only Consolation, Rounder 1136)


Pagioumitzis, Stratos-vocal
Pagioumitzis possessed one of the great voices of rebetica. He made hundreds of recordings beginning in 1933, many with Tsitsanis. His later years were hard, when he died during a working visit to the USA in 1971. A collection was made to ship his body home. (from Rembetica; Historic Urban Folksongs from Greece, Rounder 1079)


Peristeris, Spyros (S. Georgiadis)-bouzouki
(Smyrna 1900-Athens 1966) a gifted multi-instrumentalist who for many years was recording director at Odeon/Parlophone and often participated on records he supervised. (from Rembetica; Historic Urban Folksongs from Greece, Rounder 1079)


Perpiniades, Stellakis-vocal, guitar
Stellakis was born on the island of Tinos in 1899. He was the 11th (and final) child born to the family! Stellakis father was from Tinos and his mother from the island Hios.

In 1900 the family moved to Alexandria, and thence on to Constantinople in 1906.

Stellakis early years were difficult, and the family were poor. His father worked as a baker in Galata. Stellakis received only a little formal schooling before joining his father in the baking trade to help the family make ends meet.

Whilst living in Galata, Stellakis joined psalters in St John's church and he learned ecclesiastical music.

In 1919 he embarked for army service for the Greek army first in Athens and subsequently in Smyrna.

In 1922 he left Smyrna as a refugee and went to the island of Hios and then to Piraeus where he worked in a paint shop. In 1925, he met Manoli Margaroni at a wedding and Manoli helped Stellakis by buying him his first guitar and teaching him how to play it as well as encouraging him to become a singer. Stellakis became a performer at fetes and at tavernas in Pireaus.

In 1929 Stellakis met Panayiotis Toundas and recorded some sides which became hits. Stellakis met and worked with the greatest artists and composers of that era, and also composed many classic songs himself which became classics. He recorded in many musical styles, including Rembetika, Smyrneika, Nisiotika (island songs), Demotika and Laika. He also recorded many popular duets with artists such as Stratos Payiomtsis, Roza, Rita Ambatsi and Anna Politissa.

Stellakis opened his own taverna towards the end of the 1930s. Apart from the period from 1942 - 1945 (when the recording companies in Greece were closed) Stellakis made recordings right up to the 1960s.

In the 1970's Stellakis made many appearances in his taverna, concerts and on TV.

He died at his home in Haidari in September 1977. Stellakis son, Vangellis, went on to became a very successful composer/recording artist in his own right - primarily in the laika field. (Eskenazi Homepage)


Roukounas, Kosta-vocal (Karlovasi, Samos 1903-Athens 3-11-84)One of rembeticas leading voices, cut hundreds of sides from 30s to 5os, also a composer. (from Mourmourika, Rounder 1120).
Kostas Roukounas was born in Neo Karlovasi on the island of Samos (hence his nickname "Samiotaki") in 1904. His father Apostoli left for USA when Kostas was 2 years old, and subsequently divorced his mother Eftihia (she remarried and went on to have three further children).
As the family was very poor, Kostas started work at the age of 8 for a cigarette manufacturer, and worked there for 7 years. Around 1920 Kostas began working as a carpenter/joiner and became known throughout Samos as an expert craftsman. Around 1927 Kostas started singing (primarily Smyrnaic songs) at the best taverna in Nea Karlovasi - PANSAMIAKON. Within a few months of starting his singing career, his stunning vocals had enchanted most of the islanders. In 1928 he left Samos seeking to further his career by moving to mainland Greece and singing in and around Athens at weddings, baptisms and fetes.
By 1929/1930 news of his exceptional talent reached Panayiotis Tountas who sought Kostas out and arranged for him to make 78RPM recordings. Kostas swiftly recorded many songs excelling at each style - including Rembetika, Dimotika, Kleftika, Amanedes, songs from Smyrna and Constantinople, and Nisiotika (island songs). He worked with many of the founding artists of Rembetika and Smyrnaic schools of music. Roukounas could tackle the most technically difficult songs (particularly Amanedhes) with ease. Additionally, he composed many classic songs himself.
Kostas married Anna Politissa (also a talented singer) in 1934. He also started working at Mitsou tou Mourosis, and stayed there until the Nazis entered Athens in 1941.
Tragically, his wife Anna died of a heart attack in March 1943.
Kostas continued working after the War and through the 1950s/1960s including stints at TSITSIFIES and FAT JIMMY'S.
In 1948 he married the lyricist Alexandra Kiriasi.
In 1958 he toured USA for a year to great success.
With the rebetic revival in the 1970s, Kostas returned to concerts and appearances at tavernas and recorded a number of LPs of traditional, Smyrniac and Rembetic songs.
Kostas lived with his wife Alexandra at their home in Pallini until his death in March 1984 aged 80.

Roza worked with Roukounas in the 1930s and again at concerts in the 1970s. When interviewed in 1972 she said that Kostas had a good voice and that he was still singing beautifully. Roza and Kostas recorded one duet together "O Omorfos Tsopanos" ("The Handsome Shepherd") composed by Roza and recorded in 1933 (available on the PANDORA CD "Roza Eskenazi - Kostas Roukounas" CD-PAN-214). (from Roza Eskenazi Homepage)

Semsis, Dimitris
born to Greek parents around 1883 in Stromnitsa. His family moved to Thessaloniki while he was still a child (which directly led to his nickname in later years - 'Salonikios'). Dimitris began to learn violin when he was about 10, and became a virtuoso violinist.

At the turn of the century, he joined the band of a circus which travelled extensively over the balkans. He later joined other touring orchestras and played in Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Soudan and elsewhere. Around 1920, he went to Smyrna and met musicians and composers of the Smyrnaic school.

In September 1922, Dimitris was among the million Greeks expelled from Smyrna and arrived in Greece a refugee. In 1923 he married Dimitra Kanoula, and they had 4 children.

By the end of the 1920s, Dimitris was recording director at HMV and Columbia, a role of great influence that he retained throughout the 1930s - 1940s.

In the 1930s, Dimitris recorded extensively with Roza to great acclaim, and often accompanied her in tavernas along with Tomboulis, Lambros Savaidhis and Lambros Leonaridhis. His compositions were also recorded by the greatest artists of the day including Rita Ambatsi, Dalgas, Stellakis Perpiniadis, and Stratos Payiomtsis. He wrote Rembetic and Demotic songs, as well as Smyrnaika and Amanedes.

As is clear from recordings, Dimitris was, without doubt, the greatest violinist who recorded in the Rembetic/Smyrnaic style. He recorded many hundreds of sides, and we are fortunate that many of them have been re-released in recent years. When interviewed in 1972, Roza said that Dimitris played "the best violin in the World!".

After a short illness, Dimitris Semsi died of cancer in Athens on 13 January 1950. He has surviving descendants in Greece today. (Eskenazi homepage)



Skarvelis, Kostas-guitar

Stavropoulou, Dazy- singer
She only made a few recordings, but her deep voice is very distinctive. She began her recording career before World War II, and returned to the studeo when it re-opened, but her career ended soon afterword. It was often said that she sounded like Stratos, and from what I know, they fought about it. A song of her can be found on the last track of Vassilis Tsitsanis 1936-46. I do not know if dazy stavropoulou is still living, but my guess is no. If anyone has any info, please pass it on.



Toumboulis, Agapios-oud
There is very little documented information on this outstanding exponent of the Oud.
Tomboulis was born to Armenian parents in Constantinople, circa 1891. Like many of Roza's associates, he came to Greece as a refugee in September 1922 after being expelled from Asia Minor.
Tomboulis was Greece's leading Oud player and he can be heard performing magic on hundreds of sides. He became a close associate of Roza's and she believed him to be the best Oud player and a very good singer too. Apart from performing alongside her throughout the 1930s at TAIYETOS taverna, he travelled extensively with Roza in the Balkans and Near East before World War II; and again to Constantinople in the 1950s where they cut approximately 40 sides.
He died in Athens circa 1965.(Eskenazi homepage)


Toundas , Panayiotis- Toundas was born in Smyrna in 1885/1886. His family were fairly wealthy. From an early age he learned to play the Mandolin, as well as other instruments. Around the turn of the century he joined "The Politakia" - a Smyrna ensemble run by Sideras. He worked alongside the greatest musicians in Asia Minor including Ogdhondakis, Papasoglu and Spiros Peristeris.
Toundas started to compose songs from 1910 approx. Many of his songs were recorded and became hits prior to 1922, and he was instrumental in defining the Smyrnaic sound. He also toured extensively in Egypt, Africa and Europe. He came to Athens in 1923 and lived in the Nea Smyrni area.
At first Toundas worked as a Mandolin player in Taverns but in 1924 he became a director of ODEON record company. His first composition to appear on 78RPM in Greece was "Smyrnia" in 1924 sung by the tenor Misailidi. Toundas' compositions became very popular and were leased to all the foreign record labels.
In 1929 Toundas discovered Roza Eskenazi singing in TSITSIFIES and he arranged for Roza to record some sides, kick starting her recording career. They continued to work together successfully throughout the 1930s.
In 1931, Toundas became director of the Columbia label. His songs continued to be amongst the most popular and he worked with the greatest musicians and singers of the day. From 1934, Toundas began to use bouzouki and baglama in recordings of songs. He continued his illustrious career through to 1941 when the Germans entered Athens.
Toundas died on 23 May 1942 in his house in Nea Smyrni. He was survived by his wife and one daughter, but I don't know if he has surviving descendants today.
Toundas ongoing popularity is shown not only in the ongoing re-releases of his original recordings, but also in the esteem in which he is held by Greek musicians today. His songs have been re-recorded by Alexiou, Glykeria, Ntalaras etc.
When interviewed in 1972, Roza said that Toundas was the greatest composer of them all and she acknowledged his part in her story "If it weren't for Tountas, there would be no 'legendary Roza'".(Eskenazi homepage)



Tsitsanis, Vassilis- bouzouki
Vassilis Tsitsanis was born on January 18, 1915 in Trikala, Greece, the son of an Eipirot shoemaker. His father played the mandola and at age twelve Tsistanis began to teach himself the instrument. While at the local high school he also learned violin and received lessons from Mr. Giosa, the Italian music teacher. In 1935 came down to Athens intending to study law. Word went around town that "a hick's in town who plays pretty fair bouzouki," and through the good offices of the singer Dhimitris Perdhikopoulos he was introduced to Spiros Peristeris, recording director at Odeon, and cut his first record (ca. Jan. 1936). Over the next two years he made a few more sides, but his recording career really took off in late 1937 when he returned to the Odeon studios with Perdhikopoulos to wax "Olo Ta Echo Varethi." From then until late 1940, when the second World War put an end to recording in Greece for over five years, he waxed 80 sides; traveling down to Athens to record during 1938 and early 1939, on brief leaves from doing his military service in Thessaloniki. After the war he re-located to Athens, and when recording finally recommenced in June 1946 he was one of the first to return to the studio. Many years of success and a stream of memorable songs were to follow. He continued working virtually non-stop until December 22, 1983. A few days later he traveled to London and entered the Brompton hospital for tests. After an operation which seemed to have gone well his condition suddenly deteriorated and he died there on January 18, 1984 - his birthday.
(from Vassilis Tsitsanis cd, Rounder 1124)

Tsaous, Jiovan- saz
Taous was born near Konya Turkey in 1896. His reputation was established by the time he was 18; he is said to have performed with singing star Hafis Burhan Sesiylmaz for Sultan Hamit. In 1922 or 23 he migrated to Piraeus and worked as a tailor, refusing to become a full time musician because he didnt want to play for whores. Tsaous made a few records of his own tunes set to lyrics by his wife Aikaterini.(from Rembetica; Historic Urban Folksongs from Greece, Rounder 1079)


Tzouras, Stavros-bouzouki on Junkies Melody

Vamvakaris, Markos-bouzouki, vocals
(Syros 1905-1972)
Born into a Catholic family on the isle of Syros in 1905. He ran away to Piraeus in1917, where he worked in a series of grueling, poorly paid jobs. He frequented the tekedes and by hid early twenties had taught himself bouzouki and begun to write songs. Even after he began recording around 1932 and he gained a measure of fame, he continued to work at the Athens slaughter house. His early songs dealt with drugs and underworld themes. He broadened both his lyric base and his appeal when censorship was imposed on the music industry in 1937, though his music always remained within the rebetic idiom. (from Rembetica; Historic Urban Folksongs from Greece, Rounder 1079)
More...


Yennitsaris, Michalis-bouzouki
(Piraeus 1917-) learned playing bouzouki at an early age, but gave up playing professionally and became a fruit merchant. He resumed his professional playing again in the late 1970s and, as of the fall of 1997 still appears on the stand. He has written several rebetica classics, but cut only one side pre-WWII. (My Only Consolation, Rounder 1136)

Yeorgakopoulou, Ioanna- singer
Born in Pirgo, Ilia, Greece, she came as a young girl with her family to Athens. She began her singing career before World War II, making her the first of the second-generation of rebetisas (the first being that of Roza Eskenazi, Rita Abatzi) etc).) She was prepared as a singer of European-style 'light' popular songs by her musical mentor, the composer Yannis Vellas, but she quickly came to
excel in her interpretations of other genres including Smyrnaika, dimotika,and especially, rebetika. She began recording at Columbia's
Athenian recording studio on 78 r.p.m. around 1938, and made many more records after the studio, shut down and looted by German occupation forces in 1941,was re-established in 1946. She has probably recorded more classic tracks for more composers than any other rebetissa - Panayotis Toundas, Dimitrios Semsis,Stelios Keromitis, Bayanderas, Yannis Papaioannou, Yorgos Mitsakis,Yorgos Lafkas, Vasilis Tsitsanis, Manolis Hiotis and many others. Despite all of this, and her long career, she never attained the status or popularity of other singers of her generation such as Sotiria Bellou. A relatively private person, she has two daughters, several grandchildren and continues to perform from time to time in Greece.


Zouridhakis, Frangiskos-bouzouki
(Athens 1907-1994) Learned bouzouki in the 20s and spent years going from tavern to tavern playing for handouts. A few of his sings were recorded by others, but he appears to have made only one or two records. (from Mourmourika, Rounder 1120)

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eng. trans.

Mother Greece - Mana Mou Hellas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq7fSxjQPiE...layer_embedded#!


Nikos Dimitratos - ''MANA MOU ELLAS''
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YXaf7aafcY&feature=related

MANA MOU ELLAS'', Vasilis Lekkas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSGMs3vyA0E&feature=related

Μάνα μου Ελλάς Γιώργος Νταλάρας
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JCVucx5HzI&feature=related

Μάνα μου Ελλάς - Μανώλης Μητσιάς
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HWlaRjOgXQ&feature=related

Γλυκερία - Μάνα μου Ελλάς
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNND01UHoSU&feature=related


Μάνα μου Ελλάς

Στίχοι: Νίκος Γκάτσος
Μουσική: Σταύρος Ξαρχάκος


Δεν έχω σπίτι πίσω για να ρθω
ούτε κρεβάτι για να κοιμηθώ
δεν έχω δρόμο ούτε γειτονιά
να περπατήσω μια Πρωτομαγιά

Τα ψεύτικα τα λόγια τα μεγάλα
μου τα πες με το πρώτο σου το γάλα

Μα τώρα που ξυπνήσανε τα φίδια
εσύ φοράς τα αρχαία σου στολίδια
και δε δακρύζεις ποτέ σου μάνα μου Ελλάς
που τα παιδιά σου σκλάβους ξεπουλάς

Τα ψεύτικα τα λόγια τα μεγάλα
μου τα πες με το πρώτο σου το γάλα

Μα τότε που στη μοίρα μου μιλούσα
είχες ντυθεί τα αρχαία σου τα λούσα
και στο παζάρι με πήρες γύφτισα μαϊμού
Ελλάδα Ελλάδα μάνα του καημού

Τα ψεύτικα τα λόγια τα μεγάλα
μου τα πες με το πρώτο σου το γάλα

Μα τώρα που η φωτιά φουντώνει πάλι
εσύ κοιτάς τα αρχαία σου τα κάλλη
και στις αρενες του κόσμου μάνα μου Ελλάς
το ίδιο ψέμα πάντα κουβαλάς

*********************************************************************
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: Oct 3 2010, 05:12 PM



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Posted by ARION July 18 2009 03:46:31
Artistic nicknames of folk creativity & INTERPRETS

. 47777 [ ]

N / A Real Name Nickname

01. ADRIAS VANGELIS : Sailor
02. ALEMSERIAN MARKOS : Mark Melk
03. JOHN ALEXIOU : Yangos Giovanikas , Yiangos Vlahos
04. AMIRALIS Antonis Antonis Papatzis
05. ANTRAIDIS Dimitris Dimitris Atraidis
06. ANTONOPOULOU ; ; SUNDAY Vlachos : Ms. Kula
07. Dimitris Apostolou : Jim Apostolou
08. ATAMIAN ; ; NIKOLAIDOU Gospels: Marika Ninos
09. Valavanis Sugary : Lily (the archontorempetissa )
10. VAMVAKARIS Markos A. Rokos, Anthony Vamvakaris D. Karanopoulos N. Levels or stops
11. VASILEIADIS Babis ( CHARALAMBOS ) : V. Tamvakis
12. GAVALAS : Memet
13. GABRIEL MARINO : Marinakis Gabriel
14. GIAKOUMIS JAMES : James Montanaris
15. GIANNAKOS PETER : Kokovios , Petron
16. GOGOS DIMITRIS : Bagianteras
17. GOUNARIS NICK : N. Kournazos
18. DELIOS ANESTIS : Air Delios
19. DEREMPEIS GEORGE : Chauffeur
20. DIMITRAKOPOULOS MARIA : Mary Linda
21. Dimitriadis TETOS Takis Nikolaou, Curly Nondas
22. DIAMANTIDIS Antonis Antonis Dalgas
23. DRAGATSIS JOHN : John Ogdontakis
24. DRAGATSIS GEORGE : George Ogdontakis
25. ELVIRA DE INTALGKO (ELVIRA DE HIDALGO): Elvira Kakkos
26. ETSEIRIDIS or EITZIRIDIS JOHN : Jovan Tsaous
27. ZOUNARAKIS PETER : Peter Zounaras
28. ZOURIDAKIS FRAGISKOS Stavros Tzouras
29. THEOLOGITIS GEORGE : George Katsaros
30. IGECHASKEL ; ; GAEGOU STELLA : Stella HASKIL , Salonikiou
31. IOANNIDIS SOSOS S. Psyriotis
32. Kalaitzis Catherine ( Kiki ): Katy Gray
33. KALLELI Back : Mytilene
34. Kalligeros DESPINA ( PIPINA ): Pizza Negri
35. KALLINIKOS DIMITRIOS : Mitsos Arapaki
36. KALLINIKOS Evangelos Vangelis Papazoglou
37. KALOGRANIS MICHAEL : Michael Menidiatis
38. KANAROPOULOU MARIKA : Tourkalitsa
39. KARDARAS Apostolis Apostolos Kaldaras
40. KARIPOPOULOS COSTAS Costas Karipis
41. KARYDAKIS DIMITRIS : socket
42. KAPSALIS Vasilis Vasilis Karapatakis
43. Denise KIZI : luxuriance
44. KIOUPROULIS STEFANOS : Nakos , Chontronakos
45. Chris KOLOKOTRONIS : Thessaly
46. KOLOPANOU valuable: Poly Panou
47. KOULOURIOTIS GEORGE : George Papasideris
48. KOSTOGLOU Marios Marios
49. LADOPOULOS GEORGE : George Manisalis
50. LADOPOULOS Mitsos Dimitris Manisalis
51. LALAPANOU HELEN : Laura
52. Lambiri HELEN : Elsa Lamp, Eleni Margaritis
53. Kostas Makris : Luke Round
54. MAKRIGIANNIS GEORGE : Nisyrios
55. MANTARAKI PANAGIOTA : Giota Lydia
56. MARKOPOULOU MARIO : Salonikiou
57. Maronite ANGELA : Angelitsa Papazoglou
58. MASSELOS COSTAS Costas Nouri
59. MATSAS MINOS : Tsamis, P. ( Pipitsa ) Economou, Salachoras , M. Margaritis,
60. Mavridis CHARALAMBOS : Russian
61. MOURIKIS JOHN : John Samiotis
62. MOUTAFOGLOU MOUTAFIDIS or PT .: Baptist Tsaousakis
63. BAINTERLIS Panagiotis Panagiotis Vaindirlis
64. BAKALIS BABIS : Babis Trikalinos
65. BAROUS or BAROUSIS Dimitris Dimitris Lorentzos
66. Athanasios BASTAS Thanassis Peiraiotes
67. BEZOS KOSTAS A. Kostis
68. BEBA EFI : Sophia Vembo
69. BERNIDAKIS JOHN : John Baxevanis or garden
70. BOFILIOS B.: Tabakidis
71. Dimitris Nikolaou : Epaminondas Giannakos
72. PETER NICHOLAS : Nikos Petras
73. NOTARAKIS ZACHARIAS : Thanos Zachos
74. NTARALAS GEORGE : George Dalaras
75. PAGANI Roukounas ANNA : Anna Politissa
76. PANAGIS CHARALAMBOS : Petropoulos
77. PANOU DIMITRIS Athanasios : Akis Panou
78. Papadopoulos Sunday ( KITSOS ) Marinella
79. PAPADOPOULOS respected: veneration Khanum
80. PAPAKOSTA FREEDOM : Rena Dalla
81. PAPASTAMATIOU Pythagoras : Pythagoras
82. PERISTERIS Spyros : E. Moraitis , S. Georgiades
83. PETROPOULEAS GEORGE : Polianitis
84. PIPERAKIS HARILAOS : Harilaos Kritikos
85. MULTILATERAL FOTIS : P. Fotis
86. ROUKOUNAS COSTAS : Samiotaki
87. SAVVIDES EMILIOS : N. Deltas
88. SAISANAS ARISTEIDIS or KYRIAKIDIS Aris San
89. SEMSIS DIMITRIOS : Salonikios
90. SKINAZI ZARTINIDI Rosie : Eskenazy Rosa , D. Georgiadis
91. SKYFTAS LAKIS : Lakis Karnezis
92. SMYRNAIOS LEONIDAS : Smyrna
93. Sougioultzoglou or SOUGIOULTZIS MICH. : Michael Sougioul
94. STERGIOU DIMITRIS : Bebi
95. Chris SYRPOS : Christakis
96. Chris TSAGARAKIS : Intzeveis
97. Tsirigoti MELPOMENE : Maya Melayia
98. TSOROS or AMPATIS GEORGE : George Batis
99. FRANTZESKOPOULOU MARIKA : Marika Politissa
100. FRATTIS DIMITRIS : Mitsaras
101. FOTIDAS GEORGE A. Pagkalakis , K. bard
102. CHAZAN VICTORIA : Victoria Mitra
103. CHALIKIAS JOHN : Jack Gregory (Jack Gregory)
104. CHAMAMTZIS MIMIS : Salonikios
105. HARMANI ZERVOU LITSA : Litsa Harma
106. CHARMANTAS APOSTLE : Tolis Harman
107. HATZIHRISTOS COSTAS Costas Tsanakas
108. CHRYSAFAKI ANNA : Anna Chrysafi
109. CHRYSAFAKIS DIMITRIS : Fystixis
110. CHOMATOPOULOU KATINA : Katina Chomatianos
111. PSAMATIANOS GIAGKOS : Psamatialis
112. PSOMAS Stavros Stavros Cambanis


N / A Real Name Nickname

01. ADRIAS VANGELIS : Sailor
02. ALEMSERIAN MARKOS : Mark Melk
03. JOHN ALEXIOU : Yangos Giovanikas , Yiangos Vlahos
04. AMIRALIS Antonis Antonis Papatzis
05. ANTRAIDIS Dimitris Dimitris Atraidis
06. ANTONOPOULOU ; ; SUNDAY Vlachos : Ms. Kula
07. Dimitris Apostolou : Jim Apostolou
08. ATAMIAN ; ; NIKOLAIDOU Gospels: Marika Ninos
09. Valavanis Sugary : Lily (the archontorempetissa )
10. VAMVAKARIS Markos A. Rokos, Anthony Vamvakaris D. Karanopoulos N. Levels or stops
11. VASILEIADIS Babis ( CHARALAMBOS ) : V. Tamvakis
12. GAVALAS : Memet
13. GABRIEL MARINO : Marinakis Gabriel
14. GIAKOUMIS JAMES : James Montanaris
15. GIANNAKOS PETER : Kokovios , Petron
16. GOGOS DIMITRIS : Bagianteras
17. GOUNARIS NICK : N. Kournazos
18. DELIOS ANESTIS : Air Delios
19. DEREMPEIS GEORGE : Chauffeur
20. DIMITRAKOPOULOS MARIA : Mary Linda
21. Dimitriadis TETOS Takis Nikolaou, Curly Nondas
22. DIAMANTIDIS Antonis Antonis Dalgas
23. DRAGATSIS JOHN : John Ogdontakis
24. DRAGATSIS GEORGE : George Ogdontakis
25. ELVIRA DE INTALGKO (ELVIRA DE HIDALGO): Elvira Kakkos
26. ETSEIRIDIS or EITZIRIDIS JOHN : Jovan Tsaous
27. ZOUNARAKIS PETER : Peter Zounaras
28. ZOURIDAKIS FRAGISKOS Stavros Tzouras
29. THEOLOGITIS GEORGE : George Katsaros
30. IGECHASKEL GAEGOU STELLA : Stella HASKIL , Salonikiou
31. IOANNIDIS SOSOS S. Psyriotis
32. Kalaitzis Catherine ( Kiki ): Katy Gray
33. KALLELI Back : Mytilene
34. Kalligeros DESPINA ( PIPINA ): Pizza Negri
35. KALLINIKOS DIMITRIOS : Mitsos Arapaki
36. KALLINIKOS Evangelos Vangelis Papazoglou
37. KALOGRANIS MICHAEL : Michael Menidiatis
38. KANAROPOULOU MARIKA : Tourkalitsa
39. KARDARAS Apostolis Apostolos Kaldaras
40. KARIPOPOULOS COSTAS Costas Karipis
41. KARYDAKIS DIMITRIS : socket
42. KAPSALIS Vasilis Vasilis Karapatakis
43. Denise KIZI : luxuriance
44. KIOUPROULIS STEFANOS : Nakos , Chontronakos
45. Chris KOLOKOTRONIS : Thessaly
46. KOLOPANOU valuable: Poly Panou
47. KOULOURIOTIS GEORGE : George Papasideris
48. KOSTOGLOU Marios Marios
49. LADOPOULOS GEORGE : George Manisalis
50. LADOPOULOS Mitsos Dimitris Manisalis
51. LALAPANOU HELEN : Laura
52. Lambiri HELEN : Elsa Lamp, Eleni Margaritis
53. Kostas Makris : Luke Round
54. MAKRIGIANNIS GEORGE : Nisyrios
55. MANTARAKI PANAGIOTA : Giota Lydia
56. MARKOPOULOU MARIO : Salonikiou
57. Maronite ANGELA : Angelitsa Papazoglou
58. MASSELOS COSTAS Costas Nouri
59. MATSAS MINOS : Tsamis, P. ( Pipitsa ) Economou, Salachoras , M. Margaritis,
60. Mavridis CHARALAMBOS : Russian
61. MOURIKIS JOHN : John Samiotis
62. MOUTAFOGLOU MOUTAFIDIS or PT .: Baptist Tsaousakis
63. BAINTERLIS Panagiotis Panagiotis Vaindirlis
64. BAKALIS BABIS : Babis Trikalinos
65. BAROUS or BAROUSIS Dimitris Dimitris Lorentzos
66. Athanasios BASTAS Thanassis Peiraiotes
67. BEZOS KOSTAS A. Kostis
68. BEBA EFI : Sophia Vembo
69. BERNIDAKIS JOHN : John Baxevanis or garden
70. BOFILIOS B.: Tabakidis
71. Dimitris Nikolaou : Epaminondas Giannakos
72. PETER NICHOLAS : Nikos Petras
73. NOTARAKIS ZACHARIAS : Thanos Zachos
74. NTARALAS GEORGE : George Dalaras
75. PAGANI Roukounas ANNA : Anna Politissa
76. PANAGIS CHARALAMBOS : Petropoulos
77. PANOU DIMITRIS Athanasios : Akis Panou
78. Papadopoulos Sunday ( KITSOS ) Marinella
79. PAPADOPOULOS respected: veneration Khanum
80. PAPAKOSTA FREEDOM : Rena Dalla
81. PAPASTAMATIOU Pythagoras : Pythagoras
82. PERISTERIS Spyros : E. Moraitis , S. Georgiades
83. PETROPOULEAS GEORGE : Polianitis
84. PIPERAKIS HARILAOS : Harilaos Kritikos
85. MULTILATERAL FOTIS : P. Fotis
86. ROUKOUNAS COSTAS : Samiotaki
87. SAVVIDES EMILIOS : N. Deltas
88. SAISANAS ARISTEIDIS or KYRIAKIDIS Aris San
89. SEMSIS DIMITRIOS : Salonikios
90. SKINAZI ZARTINIDI Rosie : Eskenazy Rosa , D. Georgiadis
91. SKYFTAS LAKIS : Lakis Karnezis
92. SMYRNAIOS LEONIDAS : Smyrna
93. Sougioultzoglou or SOUGIOULTZIS MICH. : Michael Sougioul
94. STERGIOU DIMITRIS : Bebi
95. Chris SYRPOS : Christakis
96. Chris TSAGARAKIS : Intzeveis
97. Tsirigoti MELPOMENE : Maya Melayia
98. TSOROS or AMPATIS GEORGE : George Batis
99. FRANTZESKOPOULOU MARIKA : Marika Politissa
100. FRATTIS DIMITRIS : Mitsaras
101. FOTIDAS GEORGE A. Pagkalakis , K. bard
102. CHAZAN VICTORIA : Victoria Mitra
103. CHALIKIAS JOHN : Jack Gregory (Jack Gregory)
104. CHAMAMTZIS MIMIS : Salonikios
105. HARMANI ZERVOU LITSA : Litsa Harma
106. CHARMANTAS APOSTLE : Tolis Harman
107. HATZIHRISTOS COSTAS Costas Tsanakas
108. CHRYSAFAKI ANNA : Anna Chrysafi
109. CHRYSAFAKIS DIMITRIS : Fystixis
110. CHOMATOPOULOU KATINA : Katina Chomatianos
111. PSAMATIANOS GIAGKOS : Psamatialis
112. PSOMAS Stavros Stavros Cambanis


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47777
: Oct 3 2010, 06:05 PM



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rebetika, rembetika, rembetiko, rempetika
http://iliosradio.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=10550
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: Oct 4 2010, 01:58 AM



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: Oct 30 2010, 12:50 PM



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]user posted image



My Webpage




Greek-Oriental Rebetica-Songs & Dances in the Asia Minor Style-The Golden Years 1911-1

* 01 Marika Papagika Zmirnéikos.mp3 (1.9 MB)
* 02 Yórghos Papasidhéris.mp3 (1.5 MB)
* 03 Dhimítrios Sémsis.mp3 (1.6 MB)
* 04 Strátos Payumdzis.mp3 (1.6 MB)
* 05 Rita Abadzí.mp3 (1.5 MB)
* 06 Andónis Dalgás.mp3 (1.5 MB)
* 07 Andónis Dalgás.mp3 (1.5 MB)
* 08 Marika Kanaropulu.mp3 (1.5 MB)
* 09 Róza Eskenázi.mp3 (1.5 MB)
* 10 Róza Eskenázi.mp3 (1.5 MB)
* 11 Dhimitrios Sémasis.mp3 (1.5 MB)
* 12 Marika Papagika.mp3 (1.7 MB)
* 13 Rita Abadzi.mp3 (1.5 MB)
* 14 Róza Eskenázi.mp3 (1.5 MB)
* 15 Harálambos Panayis.mp3 (1.4 MB)
* 16 Andonis Dalgas.mp3 (1.5 MB)
* 17 Yánis Oghdhondákis.mp3 (1.9 MB)
* 18 Yórghos Papasidhéris.mp3 (1.4 MB)
* 19 Rita Abadzí.mp3 (1.5 MB)
* 20 Yángos Psamátyalis.mp3 (1.5 MB)
* 21 Yángos Psamátyalis.mp3 (1.5 MB)
* greek-oriental rebetica.jpg (18.1 KB)



http://www.megaupload.com/?d=501D7MJ0


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: Oct 30 2010, 12:56 PM



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: Oct 30 2010, 06:28 PM



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To Minore Tis Avgis TV-series In 27 Episodes


"To minore tis avgis" (1983-84) was a popular TV series about an early rebetiko band. Most of the songs were actually performed by the group "Athinaiki Kompania".


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[ ]


http://www.youtube.com/user/jureilers#p/c/...A/0/iH6yaFNn2YI
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