Skopelos is one of the very few places in Greece where
authentic "rembetica" songs are deeply rooted since their arrival from
Asia Minor in the early 1900's. Greece is and has always
been a great attraction to the world, not only because of its beautiful
islands and tourist facilities but also because of its ancient history,
its culture and its contribution to civilization thousands of years ago.
The land chosen by the gods has witnessed the first
musical instruments and scores.
Many consider rembetica
songs the heirs of Greek folk songs, and in fact functioned as such until
the Asia Minor catastrophe in 1922. From then on however, things changed
rapidly. The districts in Greece where Asia Minor refugees settled soon
began to fill up with night clubs, where rembetica songs reached their
peak of popularity during the pre-war period.
"I can never forget how poor I
was during those years, when I was unemployed and no one took the slightest pity for
me", said Yiannis Lelakis in an interview. "I was very poor, the poorest person
in Drapetsona. I had no bread to eat, no clothes to wear. Then I wrote my first song, a
song that I had really lived, putting into it everything I had experienced at that