Born in Smyrna in 1914, she began her singing career during the early 1930's. Rita sang Smyrneika, dimotika, and rebetika.Along with Roza Eskenazi, she was the number one female star on Greek 78 r.p.m. recordings during the decade until 1940. She worked with all the leading composers of the era - Panayotis Toundas, Vangelis Papazoglou, Kostas Skarvelis, Spiros Peristeris, Dimitrios Semsis ('Salonikios'), Markos Vamvakaris, Vasilis Tsitsanis and others. After WW2 she made no further recordings. Rita Abatsi died in January 1969 in Aigaleo, a suburb of Athens.
Her sister, Sofia
Karivali, enjoyed a brief career as a singer but, unlike her sister,
she made only a couple of recordings. Sofia appeared in a Channel 4 (GB)
Tv documentary made in 1984, 'Music of the Outsiders', singing a duet with
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