Accordions

Bonnie G. Rowe did not seem to mind much when people thought he was a woman because his given name was Bonnie. For 87 years he corrected people and never gave much thought to using his middle name of Gordon. “Mother and father wanted me to be known as Bonnie, so that is it” he once said. “All I...
Tony Santorella opened his own music publishing company just north of Boston after learning the trade from the iconic publisher Charles Hansen. Tony was an All State trumpet player who studied music at the University of Miami in Florida. His incredible abilities as a player translated nicely to...
Palmi Snorrasen grew up in Iceland and was formally trained on the trombone, vibraphones, and accordion as a teenager. By his eighteenth birthday, Palmi was playing professionally and he later moved to Australia in 1961 and by the end of the decade was working in music retail. He purchased and...
Victor Tibaldeo Sr. loved to talk about the accordion boom of the 1950s, an element that helped establish his music store. The Miami-based store also was one of the country’s most successful organ retailers when that instrument hit its boom in the 1970s. Victor always said it helps to be in...
Jim Trimper, Sr. is the president of Denton, Cottier & Daniels, a chain of piano and organ stores in the upstate New York area.  The company was formed in 1827 and thus has a long history in each of the communities of their store locations and a dedication to service that Jim has continued...
Art Van Damme became one of the biggest stars of the 1950s with a 15-minute radio and TV program, a noted role in the NBC orchestra, and many miscellaneous recordings, all-centering on his talents as an accordionist. The accordion seemed an unlikely instrument for producing a star, however during...
Kees van Willigen opened a music shop in Holland in 1968. As an accordion player he specialized in the instrument and soon gained a world-wide reputation for his product line and customer service. Kees (pronounced Case) witnessed the boom of the accordion in the 1950s and 60s, its decline in the...
Weird Al Yankovic built his career upon creating parodies of hit songs, with a special focus on incorporating his beloved accordion.  Al began recording his silly songs on tape and mailing them into the Dr. Demento radio program.  Once his songs were gaining popularity, Al expanded his band and...
Lane Zastrow was playing professionally and even teaching music as a teenager.  His main instrument, the accordion!  After years on the road, Lane made his way into the print world.  In 1967, Lane joined Sight & Sound, which was owned by Zeb Billings.  He later worked for the famed Chicago...
Buckwheat Zydeco redefined and popularized the Cajun Zydeco movement in America and around the World. In doing so, he brought positive attention to the accordion. The instrument’s reputation had suffered greatly beginning in the late 1960s; however, pockets of creative and innovative musicians...

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