Rita Abatzi

1903 - 1969

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Rita Abatzi along with Roza Eskenazy and Marika Papagika was another one of the Great Rebetisis from the first generation of female vocalists, and like Roza Eskenazy the date of her Birth (1903) is also uncertain.  In fact many things about Rita Abatzi are quite mysterious, which is interesting considering the fact that she was one of the most well known and much loved Rebetissis of all time. That there should be so little verifiable information concerning her life is somewhat ironic. However it is generally agreed that she was born in Smyrna and entered the Greek mainland as one of the thousands of refugees during the conflagration that transpired in 1922. Her father was one of the thousands of individuals who were reported missing and assumed killed at that time. We are certain that she began her recording career in the early thirties and was very active in the pursuit of her profession before the War.  But it would seem that the Post war period heard very little from her and her career seems to have practically been nonexistent despite occasional reports to the contrary. Her vocal style was somewhat similar to that of Roza Eskenazy, who was her primary competitor until the advent of WW II. After the war she seems to have disappeared from the recording scene. Very strange indeed for an artist so well known and respected. While her actual whereabouts were common knowledge (she had been married twice , had children and lived just outside of Athens), she for reasons that have not been publicly disclosed, seemed to have stop her recording activity.   

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