I found this fabulous 3-CD set about 8-10 years ago on what was my first-ever trip to Astoria, Queens. I had no idea then that I'd wind up living in this neighborhood, which I had thought at the time was cold and indifferent, based solely on my trying to ask two passersby where a particular address was that I was looking for and having them completely ignore me.
Before I finally found my destination, I stumbled into a Greek music store, where I found this incredible boxed set along with another boxed set of early rebetiko music (which, yes, someday I will upload as well). My memory is very hazy but I am almost certain the store was on or near 31st Street and that it was on the corner. If that was really the case, then it must have gone out of business years ago.
The first CD includes music from Albania and the Central Balkans, 1920-40. CD number two concentrates on Bulgaria and Turkey, 1930-45. And the last focuses entirely on Greece, 1922-50.
"Girl of the Wave" (Albania, first CD)
"Mother Said to Ziatonka" (Bulgaria, second CD)
"Heavy As Iron" (Greece, third CD)
Get the whole box set here.