all photos by Peter Rakossy
The Other Side of the Ocean
In the early 1900's during World War 1 and its aftermath, Turkey carried out a systematic purging of the Christian Ottoman Greek population. The ones that survived fled to Greece, which in turn increased the then Greek population by one third. Economically things went from bad to worse in Greece and many started leaving their country to make the journey to the United States. The assimilation was not always easy, but the Greek people were determined to become Americans and eventually became part of American society.
Rebetiko, the music of the lower class from the bars of the ports where people of these mixed nationalities mingled, took a turn when some of these musicians went to America. The recordings they made found their way back to Greece, and changed the Rebetiko style forever.