Friday, May 09, 2014


“George Katsaros . . . performed in a wide variety of styles, from Italianate ballads to down-and-dirty urban Greek ballads like this one. The title is translated on the original label as ‘What A Hobo Am I,’ where the Greek slang word mangas is given as ‘hobo.’ But a modern American vernacular equivalency makes it more like ‘badass’ or ‘outsider.’ . . . . [T]he rhythm is that of a zembekiko, a slow solo men’s dance named for the independent Turkish militias from the mountains of Anatolia.” — Ian Nagoski, from the notes to To What Strange Place.*

George Katsaros • Vre Ti Mangas Pou’Mai Go 
(What a Hobo Am I) • 1930

*To What Strange Place: The Music of the Ottoman-American Diaspora 1916–1929 (Tompkins Square 2608, currently available only as a download).

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