Rebetiko is like a benign bacillus. Once you get it - in a right way - you never get rid of it. It angles in your mind and heart and it breeds... The critical point is to avoid to get wedged in a certain group of songs and a narrow point of view. Unfortunately, most people do it. I had a friend who was playing on his guitar exactly the same songs, during a period of 20 years!
"There has been a tendency (and is still actual...) to concentrate on the so-called "Piraeus rebetika", which are perceived by many to be the genuine performances, the "rebetika high" of Gail Holst and others. For them, the music of the Anatolian refugees was merely a pubescent version of what was to follow, rather than a musical and cultural tradition in its own right" (Concepts of Greekness: The recorded Music of Anatolian Greeks after 1922, by Nicholas G. Pappas) http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9405EED7123BF933A05751C1A962958260
Nobody knows the exact number of the recorded rebetika but it is for sure that it is bigger than 20.000 songs.
(to be continued)