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Accordion

1885 Aug 9
Pietro Frosini (d.1951), renowned as much for his compositions as for his accordion playing, was born Pietro Giuffrida to a farming family on in the Mascalucia province of Catania, Sicily.
Links: Sicily, Accordion, Classical Music     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1946
Accordionist Joe Smiell (b.1925), born in Pittsburgh, Pa., put together a brass band in the SF Bay Area to play traditional music of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His son Joseph joined the band in 1972.
Links: USA, SF Bay Area, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1971 Sep 4
"The Lawrence Welk Show" was seen for the last time on ABC-TV. A week later it opened on the Lawrence Welk Network.
Links: TV, Pop&Rock, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1974
John Whelan, button accordionist, recorded his first solo album in England: "Pride of Wexford."
Links: Britain, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1975
Ida Guillory was crowned “Queen of Zydeco Accordion” during a Mardi Gras celebration.
Links: USA, Pop&Rock, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1980
Stanley Foster Reed (1917-2007), self-taught inventor, accordionist and publisher, began publishing the magazine “Campaigns & Elections.” He sold it in the mid 1980s. This followed an earlier magazine called “Mergers & Acquisitions.” During WW II Mr. Reed founded the Reed Research Co. in Washington, DC, whose engineers took on a variety of problems.
Links: USA, Accordion, Magazine, Inventor     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1985
“Rockin” Sidney Simien (d.1998 at 59) had a Zydeco hit with his song “My Toot Toot.”
Links: USA, Louisiana, Pop&Rock, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1986
Astor Piazzolla (d.1992), bandoneon player, recorded his album "Tango Zero Hour."
Links: Argentina, Dance, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1986
Billy McComiskey of Baltimore, Maryland, won the all-Ireland, senior category, championship of the button accordion. He soon teamed with Liz Carroll, the 1991 All-Ireland senior fiddle champion and singer-guitarist Daithi Sproule to produce the self-titled album “Trian” in 1992 and “Trian II” in 1995. In 1985 McComiskey and his Baltimore band, Irish Tradition, recorded the album “The Times We’ve Had.”
Links: Ireland, Maryland, Pop&Rock, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1987 Dec 12
Clifton Chenier, Zydeco accordionist, died. In 1998 Michael Tisserand published "The Kingdom of Zydeco" and Rick Olivier and Ben Sandmel published the photo documentary "Zydeco!"
Links: USA, Pop&Rock, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1987
John Whelan, button accordionist, recorded "Fresh Takes" with violinist Eileen Ivers.
Links: Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1989
Astor Piazzolla (d.1992), bandoneon player, recorded his album "Five Tango Sensations."
Links: Argentina, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1989
The Texas Tornados were formed with Doug Sahm (d.1999 at 58) on steel guitar, Augie Meyers (vocalist), Freddie Fender (guitar) and Flaco Jimenez (accordion).
Links: USA, Pop&Rock, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1989
In San Francisco the music group “Those Darn Accordions” formed and played their first gig at the Paradise Lounge. The group included Clyde Forsman (1915-2009), who quickly gained notoriety for his full body tattoos.
Links: USA, SF, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1991
Ivo Papasov, Balkan accordionist, recorded "Balkanology," a collection of Balkan folk music.
Links: USA, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1991
Jim Boggio (d.1996) and Clifton Buck-Kaufman co-founded the Cotati Accordion Festival in northern California.
Links: USA, California, Pop&Rock, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1992 May 17
Lawrence Welk (89), conductor and accordionist, died in Santa Monica, Calif.
Links: USA, California, Pop&Rock, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1992
Astor Piazzolla, Argentine Bandoneon player and composer, died. His albums included : “El Desbande” (1947), “The Vienna Concert” (1981), “Tango Zero Hour” (1986), “The Lausanne Concert” and “Five Tango Sensations” (1989), and “The Rough Dancer and the Cyclical Night.”
Links: Argentina, Composer, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1992
Dr. Willard A. Palmer plays “One Fine Day” on a Titano Emperor accordion.
Links: Accordion, Classical Music     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1993
Francisco Ulloa, Dominican merengue accordionist, recorded his album "UltraMerengue."
Links: Dominican Rep., Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1996 Jun 1
1996 Jun 30
The 7th annual National Accordion Awareness month.
Links: Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1996 Nov 6
Jim Boggio (56), co-founder with Clifton Buck-Kaufman of the Cotati Accordion Festival, died. Boggio and his band, The Sonoma Swampdogs, were becoming the hottest Zydeco and swamp boogie band in the North San Francisco Bay Area.
Links: USA, California, Pop&Rock, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 Oct 14
Frankie Yankovic (83), the Polka King from Cleveland, died in Tampa, Fla. He played a Slovenian-style polka on the accordion with clarinet and saxophone as opposed to the Polish style which uses the accordion with trumpets and has a faster beat. His hits included "In Heaven There Is No Beer."
Links: Slovenia, Ohio, Pop&Rock, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2001 May 5
Boozoo Chavis (70), Zydeco accordionist, died in Lake Charles, La. He recorded one of the 1st Zydeco hits "Paper In My Shoe in 1954."
Links: Pop&Rock, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2005 Jul 23
Myron Florin (85), accordionist with Lawrence Welk, died in California.
Links: Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2005 Aug 27
2005 Aug 28
The 15th annual Cotati Accordion Festival was held in Cotati, Ca.
Links: California, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2007 Aug 26
In northern California the 17th annual Cotati Accordion Festival ended with some 5,000 people and 30 bands attending the 2-day event. Day tickets rose to $17.50.
Links: USA, California, Pop&Rock, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2009 Jun 5
In San Francisco Clyde Forsman (b.1915), singer and accordion enthusiast, died. He was an initial member of San Francisco-based “Those Darn Accordions” and gained notoriety for his full body tattoos.
Links: USA, SF, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2009 Aug 9
In San Francisco Bruce Sherman (66), accordionist and singer of sea chanteys, committed suicide.
Links: USA, Suicide, SF, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2010 Feb 15
Art Van Damme (b.1920), jazz accordionist, died. From 1945 to 1960 he worked for NBC, performing on The Dinah Shore Show, Tonight, The Dave Garroway Show and other radio and TV shows with Garroway. He recorded 130 episodes of the 15-minute The Art Van Damme Show for NBC Radio.
Links: USA, TV, Radio, Jazz, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2011 Feb 14
George Shearing (1919), England-born jazz accordionist and pianist, died in NYC. The first 'George Shearing Quintet', a band with Margie Hyams (vibraphone), Chuck Wayne (guitar), later replaced by Toots Thielemans (billed as John Tillman), John Levy (bass) and Denzil Best (drums) recorded the immensely popular single "September in the Rain" (MGM), which sold over 900,000 copies.
Links: USA, Jazz, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2012 Sep 29
Vincent Joseph Cirelli (b.1920), revered accordion craftsman, passed away peacefully in his sleep in SSF. Vincent, the son of Italian immigrants, grew up in the North Beach area of San Francisco. There he began learning the art of accordion building, developing skills as a young boy that he perfected throughout his lifetime.
Links: USA, SF Bay Area, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2016 Sep 24
Louisiana accordionist Stanley Dural Jr. (b.1947), head of the Buckwheat Zydeco band, died in Lafayette of lung cancer.
Links: USA, Louisiana, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2016 Nov 25
Pauline Oliveros (b.1932), accordionist, composer and experimentalist, died in New York. She influenced several generations of musicians with her call for a process she dubbed “deep listening.”
Links: USA, New York, Accordion     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 



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