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Greece Travel: Traveler's Reviews
Rembetika Music
www.greecetravel.com/music/rembetika

Hi

Just dropping a quick line to congratulate you on a very informative Rembetika webpage. I recently got curious on Zembekiko, and a search on Google.com revealed your website and it taught me a great deal. Well done!

Regards,

G. Tselentis


Dear Matt,

 

I visited your wonderful and informative site " Rembetika and Greek Popular Music".  I listened to many of the representative songs that so skillfully you have added to the page.

 

I want to thank you for this wonderful contribution .As a Greek Cypriot, with many years in the US (and now Papous!), I find contributions like yours essential to keeping alive the Hellenic roots, not only for the Greek generations before us, but also as a wider contribution on how music from the soul can sustain us in difficult times and unite us as we go forward in one global family (though we have a long way to go for that).

Thanks again/euxaristo/obrigado/gracias/merci,

 

Stahis Solomon Panagides


Hi Matt, My name is Steve Reynolds.  I have been involved in greek music and dance since the 60's.  In 1974 I spent a year in Greece doing dance research, danced with the Lykeion in Athens, worked with Mimis Plessas and directed his Carnegie Hall show with Yiannis Poulopoulos in N.Y.  Stratos Dionysious was my teacher for the Aptaliko.  My fondest memory is when Mimis took me and some friends to Tsitsanis house to meet him.  When he heard of my interest in his music he offered to play S. K . for me as it is my favorite.  He took out his 4 string, but I asked him to play it on his 3 string which delighted and amazed him that an american would know the music let alone the instrument.  Later he invited us to come to the club where he was playing and announced to the audience that there was an American who would now dance to his music.  Well, with him playing and Sotiria Bellou singing, I don't think it can get any better.  There was a greek ship owner who threw three tables, the record, not just plates.  Anyhow, I really enjoyed your article, it is really excellent and right on in every aspect.  Thanks for caring about something that is somehow important.  Steve Reynolds


Dear Matt,

I am an English traveller to Greece, currently sitting on a balcony overlooking the harbour at Loggos on the island of Paxos in the Ionion.  I have come here many times - twice a year in the past two or three years - and before that I had been to other places too.  I am not from a Greek family, and I speak only a very few words of Greek.  

As a very amateur musician, I have always been interested to find music from the places I go to, and so over the years I have collected many tapes and CDs from various islands.  I understand very few of the words, let alone any of the hidden meanings, but in the case of a lot of music, it is enough for me to revel in the playing and the cadence of the singing.  I once drove a Greek ex girlfriend mad, constantly trying to find a song on a tape, then asking her to tell me what the singer is singing about, and where the pain came from.

About three years ago, wanting something I hadn't heard before, I was idly whiling away an hour or two on YouTube, when I found an excerpt from the film Rembetiko (a film I have still not seen).  It was the scene in which Stin Amfiali is played, and luckily, it had subtitles.  I immediately bought the soundtrack, and have since bought other albums blind, as it were.  I looked a bit deeper, and found out little bits about the destruction of Smyrna, the bloody migration, and the ghettos of Pireus, Athens and Thessaloniki that were the cradle to the music that to my untrained ear, simply screams 'We are alive'.

Why I am writing to you?  Simply to express my very great thanks that you have gone to the trouble of writing about rembetiko the way that you have, and in the depth that you have.  I understand that to write comprehensively about rembetiko would take an encyclopaedia rather than a web page, but you have brilliantly managed to build on the tiny foundation of a novice and to provide very valuable suggestions.  I just wanted to let you know how grateful I am for what you have done.

I am a tourist, literally and musically.  It is not the music of my culture, but as a musician, I believe that all music is universal.  I have musician friends here - an accordion player and a bouzouki (3 and 4) player who are both masters - however they do not play rembetiko as they consider it museum music.  I have tried to talk to them about rembetiko, but it is clear that I may as well be trying to talk to a classical musician about hip hop.  This is why it has been so wonderful to read your page.

My best wishes to you,

Sam.


  Thank you for such an informative salute to Greek music history...I got a lot out of all your tasteful reccomendations...I am an American,,...I am from New Orleans,Louisiana..,,I am a singer ,,started out in Rock'n Roll ,,first heard Miserilou by the punk band Agent Orange...Always loved the Ventures....I sang in a Rock band Called "Shot Down In Equador Jr." for about 10 years...I Played with many renowned alternative rock groups....but Bad Brains Was the Most memorible one...I was the only Black singer that fronted a rock band and was lucky to have no competition during my experience...By the Time Hootie and the Blow fish happened I had moved on to more passioned sounds...I got into Brazillian music and Flamenco...My band did do a show with a group called "Les Negress' Vert" They were part Mano Negra-Mano Ciao ,,This got me into a new sound,,a fusion ,,something like home..I found the music of Andalucia,,,,and classical arabic song..I then found the Sephardi...I learned they went to Turkey..I kept looking..and met so many nice Greeks who showed me a very special sound...you have brought this feeling of excitment when I first heard my  most important Muses..I now live in Lowell, Mass and am a member of the Harvard Middle Eastern studies Ensemble....I am still learning and that why I looked up your sight...I play violin and want to find lyrics....anywhere I can...I have a very strong Greek population here in Lowell ,,Home of Jack Keroac and Betty Davis,,Ed Mc Man ...I have violin lessons every two weeks with a cool woman named Beth Cohen ,,she is pretty sought after to study with since she and I play like lyra style..Kemenca..You know.. what I mean..I know this is all long winded but you were so detailed in your note and I am truely reinspired to select some nice sad Rembetika songs,,,I love the song "The Marbelized King"on the Asia Minor cd Dalaras the lyrics really help..I even flew from New Orleans about 5 years ago and met Alexiou after seeing her in Clear Water Fla....Thank You for your time and I believe any record companies will be flattered by your efforts to share a beautiful art form  that may die if the exchanges like this one couldnt happen...Eferistos Yassiou...sincerly Joseph (Ioseef) Darensbourg


Just wanted to say this is a great web page, I just got back from Greece and wished I had seen it before I went, since nobody seemed to think rembetika was being performed live anymore.  I'm a big fan of Bellou, gave a paper on rembetika at the University of Thessaloniki.  You don't know of any rembetika clubs in the U.S., do you (I'm in LA)?  Thanks for all the info.  Best, Janet


Hi Matt,

Thank you for publishing such a wonderful article about the Rembetika music of the Greek yesteryear. I especially enjoyed listing to the embedded music which accompanies the article. My father and I used to listen to many old rembetika while he was alive, and even today I scour the internet for this type of music.

Thanks again for an entertaining informative artcicle.

Thanasis Roumanis


I am a Greek Canadian born, now livinig in the states. I am also a self taught bouzouki player and I really enjoyed your website.  Great songs, I even learned a couple of them that I didn't know how to play on the bouzouki.  I am glad there are people still out there that appreciate the unique and beautiful sounds of the rembetiko.  Keep up the good work,

Tim Peristeridis


Dear Matt Barrett,

Thank you - a wonderful page about a music genre I adore. Downloaded all
the great MP3s, etc. The version of Synefiasmeni Kyriaki is the one I first
heard almost 45 years ago!

Michael Paterson.


Reading this page and listening to the great music offered was simply an adventure. I've already sent it to my friends. Please tell me a little bit about Matt Barrett - he did a great job and deserve a medal or something like that from the government of Greece.

Thank you
-

Ohev-Ami Eylon 


 Thanks so much for putting up those fantastic recordings.  It brought my heart back to me and made me love Greece again (at least for the rempetiko music - my relatives will take more time).  I had an ex-housemate who played everything on your site for me back in the early 80's, and took me to some shows when we were in Greece together; this was one of the things that helped me to finally move out of New York City and back to the land of my parents, grandparents, etc., etc.  I was repatriated there for many years, and with the passage of time and too much world travel, forgot those fantastic days of hanging out in dark, tiny nightclubs, smoking  and drinking tsipouro and listening to wonderful rempetiko until the sun came up!  SAS EUCARISTW PARA POLU!!

Nikh Lamprou


The Rembetika page was very informative, songs nice (some wonderful, some less, but they gave a great introduction to something I had just the foggiest idea of...

What is the vernacular for the currently popular (ballad style modern - not rock, but not Rembetika) one often hears along the quay?

Kendall


Dear Matt,
while researching on rembetika on the net I finally stumbled on your pages.
They are a great read, pictures and sound contribute to a strong emotional
content, and you account of the music is direct and heartfelt, first-hand. I
knew rebetika through other roads so I was surprised not to find mention of
Roza Eskenazi and Marika Papagika among others, but then you're just giving
out your personal favorites. I'm happy I used the exactly same shop you
suggest to buy records during my last visit to Athens. I hope I'll be there
again in October 2004, insallah, and get to listen and know more.
I think your excellent idea of putting all those mp3 to be downloaded will
not be appreciated by the music merchants, but I had a ball. I also noticed
that there were a few not linked from the pages, but I downloaded them
all... :-))))
I also hope I'll publish a collection of rembetiko texts in Italy with an
introdution to the music, and of course will reference your site.
The quotation about electric amplification and audiences ("Ah, but they were
listening then") applies to all music today, and unfortunately I am not very
much into many of the msuicians whose shows you appreciated, partly due to
excessive loudness in sound and other aspects...
Finally, the link to the violin player on the home page doesn't seem to
work.
Thank you again - fantastic pages, informative and a great tribute to the
music.
Francesco Martinelli
Lungarno Mediceo 10
56127 PISA ITALY
http://space.tin.it/musica/upsma/ 


Hey Matt,

First off, I just want to thank you for providing people with this great site.  It was very enjoyable and very informative.  I stumbled on it while looking up greek music.  Your piece on Rebetika was right on the money.  My great grandmother came from "Poli" and my grand father and his brothers gave me my education on the rebetikia life.  It was good to see that people feel the same way.  (although I must admit, I'm not to familiar with the "new" stuff)

My wife  was impressed with the Married in Greece article.  We got married in greece in 1999 at Rafina.  We could of used your insight then.

We dont want to take up any more of your time, just wanted to say thanks and that your doing a great job.  And if you are in nyc, you are always welcome to our house for some ouzo and mezedes.

Nick and Maria Garyfallos


Matt,

I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your page on Rebetika music.  As a Christmas gift to my father, I converted all his old 8-track tapes to CD. While doing this I came across many songs I remember hearing as a child, songs I very much enjoyed; most of them rebetika. My personal favorite from his collection is Mikra Asia sung by Dalaras. I didnt really know much about this style of music, but I knew I liked it. I wanted to thank you for informing me on the history of rebetika tragoudia. I really enjoyed the history and the songs you included. It definitely put me in the right direction as to what (and who) I should be looking for next time I go to a Greek CD shop.

Thanks again,

Christos


Matt,

I just had to send you my my heartfelt thanks for your Rembetiko site, which
is fantastic!  Some real gems on there...

Hope you're able to keep the site up to spread awareness of this
underappreciated music.

Bravo!

Charlie


what a great site! you strike at the heart of greek music lovers.Being isolated from greek culture my only companion is greek music 'especialy rembetika.Thank you for the information,yia sou!


Dear Mr Barrett,

I'm writing from Italy, not far from Greece.  I love rembetika, and I have to say "thank you" because my first meeting whit this kind of music was on your site. 

I play guitar and mandolin in a popular and ethic band. I've a bouzouki, so I want to learn to play it. I think it has big potentiality, and its sound is fantastic! Unfortunately I'm not familiar with greek music, but finally I've found your site and I've learned something about it.

But I have two questions for you:

  • What can I do to improve my knowledge about rembetika?
  • Can you recommend a good greek bouzouki's method, if possible in English, to me?

Sorry for the trouble and for my bad Ehglish... thanks for your attention and compliments for your very interesting site!

Alberto


Thank you,

An incredibly informative and well written page, I always thought I knew a bit about the subject matter but you really have opened my eyes even wider to some of the amazing sounds of the genre.

May I wish you and yours all the very best and if you are to publish some further work or indeed some mp3s please let me know.

Best regards and thank you once again

Pericles Demetriou (Pez)UK


Good on yer, Matt Barrett!

I was already in love with Greece - language, people, country AND ouzo - but
recently started listening to some rembetika properly and got the bug. But
it's hard to know where to go to find out more - well I found it! Your web
page is the IDEAL resource on rembetiko and a great hommage to Greece.

I downloaded a whole load and will now lollop around town with that telltale
4/4 5/4 lilt as I listen to them on my iPod to get a better idea about the
genre.

Next time I'm in Athens I'll stop off at Ihogram and say Matt Barrett sent
me.

Hey, how does one learn to *dance* to rembetiko ?

Re your ouzo page: I HATE liqourice but LOVE ouzo. Put that in your loulas!

Thanks again,

Nick Carter


I LOVED your web page! Thank you so much for helping me to understand so much. I am passing this site on to many friends who also enjoy the old music of Greece. The music was easy to play...although I can't figure out how to save it...but I will order a couple of the CD's just to play in my car/home etc.

I have a stack of old 78's that were my father's and were brought from Greece/Asia Minor in the l920's - have been searching for a record player to uncover what they hold. - THey have been in the cellar for as long as I can remember and I am sorry to say that many have been broken or lost over the years. Is there somewhere/someone that would take these and make them into CD's? ANy help you can give would be appreciated.

Thanks.
Joann Sueltenfuss
joannsueltenfuss@hotmail.com


Dear Matt,

First, thanks for a nice, deep, and pro site of Greek music. I am a
professional bouzouki player and a scientist of Greek music. The unordinary
fact is that I am doing my thing in Finland, far away from Greece. I have been
playing in Greece and I will be there in Crete again with my bouzouki next
april. Well, I just wanted to say hello to you, because I noticed that all the
selected pieces of Greek music on your site were so touching and beautiful. You
really do know what it is all about. Please find one picture of my rare and
beautiful bouzouki here attached in this message. You'll found also the
abstract of my study here below. I would be very pleased if you could send me
any comment of that abstract of my doctoral dissertion.

All the best,

Kimmo


I am of Greek descent and 69 years old. I have learned far more from your web page on rembetiko music than I ever knew previously. I always have felt an affinity for  the music and loved listening to it and of course, dancing. You have enlightened me and broadened my horizons far more in one day than I ever have been in my whole life. Thank you so much!   Steve Kirman    (Stavros Kirmanides)


Hi Matt:

Just to say thanks, I know rembetika for some years, I learned about it from a friend that Greece was their exile country; he came back into Chile and show mw rembetika. I was found of Greek music since I was student at Romania , and there I had many Greek friends.

Thank for the music I hope Greek music companies will not be angry because you made a  love labour , free and from the heart for Rembetika!

Saludos cordiales,

Sebastian teillier


Matt,
Just wanted to say thanks for taking time to answer some of my questions.  One
of our assignments for this project was to interview someone about the genre of
music that they chose.  My music professor was not familar with music,
therefore did not know anyone I could interview.  I got your name off of your
website, which is very useful by they way.  So thank you again.

-Jon


What a revelation! I'm so excited to read and hear this music!! Hope I can find some in Astoria when we go to NY next week (no greek music in this part of Fl)...thanks for a great website!!!

Marietta and George Ballis

Atlantic Beach, Fl


GREAT WEB-SITE! You've done an outstanding job. I'm a Greek-Bulgarian and have always been interested in Rembetika. Your website offers a very thorough review of this style of music and was of tremendous help. I grew up with this music (my father's of Greek origin) and now I'm trying to make my own Greek song collection.

Once again, thanks. I'll recommend this site to all my Greek friends in Greece, Bulgaria and the United States where my family resides.

Theodoros Stamos


Dear Sir:

I just finished reading your webpage about Rembetika and wanted to thank you so much for your love of the music and your extensive information that you made available.  I am Greek (but a non-speaker),  born in Detroit, Michigan, 1943.  My grandfather,  John Pappamarkou, was a santouri player who made some recordings here in Detroit.  I never met him, unfortunately, but am trying to find information about where he might have come from in Greece (he came from Athens on the RedCross boats, not sure what year..I am pretty sure he played rembetika)..Besides all that, I started discovering my roots on my own, and remember Greektown here in Detroit in the late 40's...then travelled with my mother (a showgirl named "Melanie Marko, the Golden Greek").  I saw "Rembetiko"  in California with my sister and we both sobbed uncontrollably and could not speak of it for days.  Then I bought the movie and it is one of my prize possessions - it's so well done. Now I thank you again, because I knew it was based on someone's real life.  I just recently acqured a computer and am going crazy finding out all the rembetiko (rembetika, rebetiko, rebetika) lovers in the world.  I had to babble to someone, and it might as well be you, since you said to e-mail you!!   I am giddily thanking you for the third time (!)  for all your hard work and in helping people discover and rediscover this wonderful music.

 Sincerely,  Elayne Sikelianos
                   Detroit, Michigan


Dear Matt

 

Just thought that I would drop you a quick line having just read you piece on Rembetika on the Greece travel site. I am a fairly new person to the music and so have been scouring the Internet for information and places I can buy/download music. The selections on the site are fantastic and very useful in conjunction with your favourite cd selections.

 

I am a forty something who likes to think that he loves all music. My wife and I have been going to Crete for years on holiday and have recently bought property there. Getting to grips with the local music is tricky especially when you are in the early throws of understanding the language! It was great to find out what the type of music I was enjoying over there was! At least now when I am in record stores in Greece I know what to ask for.

 

Thanks again for the information and your obvious enthusiasm.

 

Kind regards

Phil Bebbington


I have not been to your website for at least a year or two and all I can say is:   it just keeps getting better!
Bravo! 
I have especially enjoyed your Rembetika/Laika/top CD picks pages !!!
Constantine Kokenes


I love greek rembetika. I have been in love with Greece for many years and loved dancing to the usual tourist music, such as Nicoli Nicoli etc. Through this I developed a liking for rembetika. Doesn't it all have the same rythm?

Your website is excellent. One can't access this music anyplace else.

Have you ever heard of a tourusty instrumental recording called Celemenden or Gelmenden or similar? I've been trying to find it for 30 years.

Thanks again for a great site.

Eddie Bryce.


Dear Matt,

Thanks for the web site-its GREAT!  As a third generation Greek-American, I recognized many of the songs and album covers from being at my grandparents house in the mid-60s but never knew what they were nor the significance of them.  As they have all passed away and their old albums have been lost, hearing these old songs brings back many pleasant memories.  Without your website, I would have NEVER been able to recall these songs and artists.  Thanks to your passion, Ill now be able to go out and recapture some of my youth and heritage.

Thanks again,

Tom A. Bundros


Dear Matt,

I printed out your excellent info on Rembetika several months ago and had
been meaning to investigate further since then.  My husband and I are
Americans living in Switzerland and both music nuts.  His business and
family (he is Greek American) mean we go to Athens regularly and finally
this time we had a free night to go hear some music. 

Sat. night (two days ago we were staying in Syndagma so we tried calling to
reserve at Miscicleos but phone lines were down due to a huge rainstorm (or
so we thought).  So we walked up there on our way to dinner in Plaka and
guess what?  The place was in flames and there were firemen everywhere!  The
Miscleos is no longer!  Luckily nobody was hurt.  According to the firemen
it started in the afternoon, but by the time we got there around 10:00 or
10:30 it was just a black shell. 

Just thought you would like to know.  We'll go to another one of your other
recommendations for next time and in the meantime we bought a bunch of the
CDs you wrote about.

I just googled you to get your email address and see that you have loads of
info on Greece.  That's great!  You have a great writing style and clearly
the insider's view - can't wait to get started!

Thanks very much and keep up the excellent work.

Best regards,

Maria Soldatos


Hi,

I wonderful site, brought back a lot of memories of a childhood in Cyprus, dreaming of enosis with the motherland and listening to this magical music from an era never to return
best wishes
Mario
Nottingham
England


Dear Matt,

I am Muammer Ketencoglu. There is no possibility for you not to know me:) Because you wrote a wonderful article about me on your site. It is very kind of you. Thank you very much. When I read that writing I felt like we have been friends for a long time. Even the journalists in my country can not understand and reflect me and my works like you did. I think that I have q quite good memory but I wonder; have we met before? If so, please excuse me.

It is so very clear that you have a good knowlegde of Rebetiko and you like it very much. The most important thing is that your aproach to these matters is not alike any typical Greek aproach.

I do not know what to say more.. Thank you again and again.

Maybe we can meet oneday in Tukrey or Greece,

Hoping to hear from you,

Best wishes,

Muammer
http://www.muammerketencoglu.com  


Giasou!

Allow me to introduce myself.   I am Father Joachim, a Hieromonk....and long time friend of Vasili (Will) Econopoly, your cousin.  He sent me your web site link today...and I am absolutely delighted with your most informative site.

     As a child, born here in the USA, I have always loved listening to Greek music, and especially the Rembetika tragouthia and zeimbeikika.  My parents are from Lesvos Greece......so, I believe it is in my very blood and heart.

      I am 64 yrs old, and to this very day...when I need a good dose of "kefi" I listen to "rembetika tragouthia and zeimbekika!!"  

     Thankyou for this wonderful and informative website....

      Na mou zisis! 

Blessings and..."kalo kefi"

Father Joachim


i stumbled onto your website and just wanted to send you a thank you note...

ive been a huge fan of old-school american delta blues for a while. my
father had a few tsamika albums, and i tried to listen to them, but
they never really did it for me, and the pop/club greek music my
cousins all listen to, for me, is less greek music, and more music in
greek than anything, and displeasing to me no matter what language
they sing in.
my uncle had just read a book on rembetika and put together a mix from
some free download site and burned me a copy. from the moment i first
pressed play, i fell in love, and felt a true connection to this cd. i
bought bouzouki pioneer (vamvakaris) from itunes, and that is the
extent of my collection...2 cds that are in permanent rotation in my
cd player. i never bough any others, first, because i dont know where
ot go, and second, i didnt know what to get.
i moved from ny to montreal and dont know of any greek music stores
here (if you know any let me know). next time i go back to ny for a
visit, im going to hit this greek music shoppe in astoria (over by
titan, im sure you know it!), and pick up as many of your
recommendations as they have.  i appreciate the time and effort it
took you to set up the website, and wanted you to know it helped me.
im sure with all the info it will bring many hours of musical joy to
me, and i just wanted to say thank you.
thanks again...


Much thanks  for your intro to  Greek music and rembetika.

I just visited  Greece for the second time - Crete first - and  without knowing anything at all  I was just crazy about the music and listened to it on the radio all the time not understanding a word.

It's a shame I didn't find your site until i came back or I would have known what to look for. I spent a day in Saloniki wandering around in 36C  heat and loved it all. I bought some cheap pirated CDs from a black guy from Nigeria who was peddling them on the streets for $5 apiece - Alexiou-Arbanitaki , and others. They are  expensive in the stores - $15  on the average.

Much thanks.

Michael P.


How can I count the ways to say thanks for your great
comments on rembetika music and your recommendations
for what to buy and why.  I am crazy about this music
and it is great to have a sort of systematic list of
what to get. I love Sotiria Bellou and play her in the
car.  Almost hit a school bus the first time I heard
her rendition of Synafiasmeni Kyriaki - not to worry,
Montreal drivers are a bit erratic anyway.  Ciao - Isobel


Dear Matt

THANK YOU so much for what I think is probably the best webpage I have ever come across! All I did was to search on rembetika with a faint hope of finding some more information on Soteria Bellou, and I discovered this complete gem!

You put the very little I already knew about rembetika/laika and 20th century Greek/Ottoman history into a real, felt, understandable context, together with so much more that I really needed and wanted to know. And your own passion for the music you offer us the chance to hear is compelling.

My next move is to visit my local Greek music shops (we have a number in north London, and a large Greek/Greek Cypriot community, so some lovely food too!) armed with a long list and I will certainly do as you suggest and say that Matt Barrett sent me! And I will be in Athens in the summer, so I will also seek out some of the live venues you mentioned.

Thank you again

Jeannie


I came acroos your 'rembetika' section on a search for Savvopoulos, and I ended up reading the whole text and listening to some of the songs- some of my favourite too are in there.

this is an amazing site, with so much compact and substancial information on the history of greek music. i think it's great that people can listen live to the songs you have selected and it's an amazing effort to give an analytical understanding of contemporary quality greek music-and very effective!

I absolutely loved it and will be forwarding it to friends.
Thank you!

Best regards,
Ino


I came across your paper quite by chance; it brought back many memories
that you may find relevant.

My father was born in Constantinople in '03 and came to Greece as a
teenager during the "exchange of populations" (when the Greeks were booted
out of Turkey). His father, also Greek, whom I remember well, was a
jeweler for the Sultan in Turkey.

I won't burden you with my family's history but here are some relevant
tidbits.
The song "agapi pougines dikopo maheri" (love that became a double-edged
knife) was very popular while I was growing up. It was borderline
"rembetiko" and "laiko" and was therefore accepted in polite company as
long as one did not promote it.

Markos Vamvakaris, from Syros island, the author or Frangosyriani, was a
close relative of my mother, who, sadly, passed away at my house in the US
at the age of 92 as a result of an accident three years ago.

Theodorakis, the respected composer and music director, was very much
pro-communist until about a couple of decades ago. He then had a change of
heart and put politics on the back burner.

I could fill you in on a ton of ancillary facts about the culture of the
bouzouki, the rembetika, and social life in Greece from '44 when I was
born till now. Indeed, it is impossible to dissociate the music from
politics, history, culture, language, and what-not. They all intertwined.
Katohi (the German occupation), the subsequent civil war, the years that
followed, have all imprinted their influence on Greek music.

Sophia Vembo's grave at the "proto necrotfeio" (first cemetary) in Athens
is about a minute's walk from that of my late father.

Your article doesn't say much about Hadjidaki. Although he did not
ccompose rembetika per se, he is still a music giant in terms of the new
style and melody of his songs.

Take care,

Michael


Dear Matt,

Thank you very much for creating the greek travel and  rembetika site....I especially fell nostalgic towards Socrates and did not know they were still doing gigs...until you posted it.  It will definitely be  on my itinerary next time I go.

I live in Tokyo now, but lived in Greece on and off over the years  being my father's homeland.   I graduated from ACS in 1983, and  served the Greek Navy five years ago for 3months (it was more of a adventure holiday)  and I go to greece once a year,  

After reading thru your site I want to go there 3 times a year.

All the best,

Chris Papandreou

PS:  Your pictures especially the 1960s greece is a treasure!


Dear Matt, I came upon your site while searching for live "Greek music in NYC
WOW! I was so happy to see such a nice collection of biographies and the music that goes with it.
When I listen to these old songs I get goose bumps because they come from the deepest part of the soul that feels the Greek spirit.I absolutely love these old songs and I feel that  perhaps in a past life maybe I was a rebetisa? lol

I emailed your site to my friends and who share this love with this type of music. Thank you again for your great site and your other useful information.My friends and I are always eager to find places where live Greek music is played in NYC.       
THNAKS AGAIN !       Giasou!            Areti  


Dear Mat.
Thank you for posting all this information on the web.
I having lived my first 19 years in Patra I was not exposed to this kind of music. My parents (upper middle class) were not appreciative of it and viewed  it a a low class one.
In my 50 years in Australia I have at times experienced it at Greek dances and witnessed the enjoyment of those dancing on the floor. Your article and examples has been very informative.  I will now get some of the CDs and study the lyrics as I can see contain  a lot of  history.  In my career as an educator I have lectured in  Ancient Greek  and Australian History.
Thank you again, and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Best regards
Con Demopoulos


Yiasou Matt,

An old friend of mine just mailed me a printout of your Rembetika webpage. I read it and went to your website to listen to your song selection. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio as a teenager in the late fifties and early sixties listening and dancing to Rembetika. We were and still are big fans of this music. Many of us still have the old 33.3LP's of "GREEKTOWN U.S.A." and "BOUZOUKI BLVD." as well as some 78 & 45RPM's.  Listening to your selection brought back a lot of memories of dances, conventions, onomasia parties, GOYA affairs and of course our parents, thios and thias who are mostly gone now. Thanks for the memories. KAI SE ANOTERA!

Bill Konstantine Pontikos  

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