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TUBA NOIR Fundraiser Special, (Preview Announcement), Wed April 16, 9-11 PM

April 13, 2014

Yes, for this year’s Co-op Radio Spring Membership Drive we continue our tradition of throwing over the accordion in favour of some other neglected or slighted instrument.  Let’s see, we’ve done kazoo, ukulele, bagpipes, musical saw (and theremin and glass harmonica all in one episode!), baritone sax….

Here is the audio promotional spot we did announcing the Tuba Noir show.

Which I made into a video, how fun is that?


Remember to tune in and listen:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 9-11 PM in Vancouver, BC, Canada
or on

And do consider clicking on the Co-op Radio link on top of this page to make a donation and support our station.

This episode is helping raise money to build a wheelchair (and tuba) accessible washroom for our new radio station!

It’s a good feeling to be a donor to support such awesome things!  So please do.

Music used in there:

*Band – Song – Album (year) – Where they’re from if we know. – contact  etc.

* Zulya – Insomnia / yoqosizliq – Elusive (2002) – Tatarstan, Russia, Australia –

* Ahilea – Come on Bejbe – Cafe Svetlana (2009) – Ohrid, Macedonia / Sarajevo / Vienna, Austria – sounds like the Monkees

* Los Dareyes De La Sierra – Los Sembradores [Banda Version] – Corridazos “Con Tuba Y Acordeón” (2008) – Navojoa, Sonora, Mexico –

A diagram of a tuba with parts indicated.

Accordion Noir Radio, 2014-04-09, Pop Goes the Accordion, Fund-Raiser – playlist and download

April 12, 2014

Natalia Tena of MOLOTOV JUKEBOX at the Shambala Festival, 2013. Photographer credit: Danny North

Here’s a set of best-selling songs through the accordion ages, or something like that.  Next week we’re doing all Tuba Tunes!!!  That’s hand-made radio we make for you here on Vancouver’s Co-op Radio.  With love from Accordion Noir, Bruce and Rowan

And you can stream and download the show from Co-op Radio’s site here:

or direct download by clicking here once.


* Alberto Pacheco – Cumbia Cienaguera (1930s) – The Rough Guide to Cumbia—Colombia’s hip-swinging dance rhythms (2012).  This song was swiped for “Heater” by Samim.  A history of this song in Spanish:

* SAMIM – Heater – Heater (2007) – UK? Colombia –
* Molotov Jukebox – No Lady – Carnival Flower (2014) – UK –
* The Arcade Fire – Neighborhood #2 (Laika) – Funeral (2004) – Canada – Régine Chassagne, acc.
* Grace Jones – I’ve Seen that Face Before (libertango) – Nightclubbing (She does not appear to be playing the accordion in the video… Did they just sample Astor Piazzolla in this?
* Glahe Musette Orchestra – Beer Barrel Polka – Victor 78 rpm Record (1939) – Germany –
History mentioned in Elijah Wald’s book, “How the Beatles Destroyed Rock and Roll.”
* Jennifer Lopez – Te Voy A Querer – Como Ama Una Mujer (2007) – USA – Julio C. Reyes, acc.
* Madonna & Gogol Bordello – La Isla Bonita / Lela Pala Tute – Live @ Live Earth 07.07.07 (2007) – Romany / USA, etc. –
* Jenny Conlee, Co-op Radio 100.5 stinger (2012) –
* The Decemberists – Down By The Water – The King Is Dead (2011) – Portland, Oregon, USA –
* Cat Stevens – Kitty – The City (box set) (1967)
* The Beach Boys – Wouldn’t It Be Nice – Pet Sounds (1966) – California, USA – Carl Fortina and Frank Marocco were both in the studio on accordion – Great video of the making of this song:
* Beirut – Cliquot – The Flying Club Cup (2007) – Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA –
* Mia Martina & Edward Maya – Stereo Love – (2010) – Saint-Ignace, New Brunswick, Canada; Romania – Wikipedia details how this melody is from an Azerbaijani song “Bayatılar” from 1989. We should invite Co-op Radio’s Azeri show to join us for a special about this controversy. Listen to Odlar Yurdu Saturdays in Vancouver from 4-5 PM, or at (in Azeri)
* Daniel Handler Co-op Radio Stinger 100.5 (2012)
* The Magnetic Fields – Drive On, Driver – Distortion (2008) – Boston, Massachusetts, USA – “Take me to the airport, I need to be extremely far away.”
* Molotov Jukebox – Trying – Carnival Flower (2014) – UK –
* Lawrence Welk – Calcutta – (1960) – California, USA –
* Kongos – Come With Me Now – Lunatic (2014) – South Africa –

The Accordion Novelty Company: the Chautauqua archives of the University of Iowa

March 29, 2014

Four women with accordions in a vintage brochure


The Accordion Novelty Company is not just a funny t-shirt somebody is selling online (They don’t cite their source, so why should we link to them?)

The University of Iowa’s digital archive on “Travelling Culture – Circuit Chautaqua in the Twentieth Century” includes not just this cover image, but a splendid little three-fold booklet promoting an actual historical (ca. 1920s-30s) group of accordion-playin’ women: The Accordion Novelty Company!  How cool is that?The Accordion Novelty Company, pg 2

Thanks University of Iowa!

The collection has a ton of accordion content if you search for it. Looking around, I’m not sure if the Harp Novelty Company from the 1920s is the same woman, but I’d go see them too.

The Chautaqua circuit was kind of like vaudeville, with entertainers traveling from town around the country, but had more of an educational uplift and social change element.  This is an amazing collection of pamphlets and fliers and I’m so happy it’s available – the Library of Congress agrees.

Accordion Novelty Company, pg 3

 THE irresistible spirit of youth rules the entertainment of The Accordion Novelty Company. Such infectious gayety, such “zip” and “pep” abound that audiences are quickly tuned in on an evening of genuine merriment. “A Street Scene in Naples” is the title of one of the popular numbers presented. “Miss Naples” and her three picturesque comrades are vividly portrayed. In their bright, charming costumes they present a delightful bit of old-world color. With a touch of the gamin in their inimitable performance, the young entertainers go rollicking through this unique musical sketch. Four girls make up The Accordion Novelty Company—popular entertainers who have made an outstanding “hit” in the musical-entertainment field. The most interesting feature, from a musical standpoint, is the use of four accordions. Truly beautiful and novel music is attained with this combination. Cello, violin and piano are also used, and harmony singing adds attractive variety.

The Ghost Accordion of Daniel Dunglas Home

March 19, 2014

Wikipedia turned this up as I was looking for something else (quickly forgotten when I read about this guy):  I really should save this for Halloween, but what the heck.

Daniel Dunglas Home

Back in the 1870s in whatever you call Victorian America (no queen, hmm?) this guy Daniel Home was a famous clairvoyant member of the spiritualist movement, knocking on tables to speak with the dead and all that.  Arthur Conan Doyle supported him, Houdini singled him out as a fraud.

Home was perhaps unique because part of his supernatural schtick was that he played a ghost accordion!  (Unless it was ghosts that played it, you know, magically by having him play it for them, magically.)

Home's accordion.

Apparently he would hold the accordion with one hand in a basket under the table and it would play tunes, with the help of ghosts.  I do not know what he would do if the ghosts he was paid to contact did not play accordion.  Sort of limited his clientele I expect.

Home playing the under-the-table accordion

Not only could he play the accordion under the table with one hand, but I suspect he could also play it behind his head, and with his teeth, and light it on fire, but I have not confirmed those.  The best bet seems to be that he had a very small harmonica in his mouth that he might help the ghosts out with.   Somebody should totally revive his act and bring it to our Accordion Noir Festival.  That’d be awesome.

Daniel Dunglas Home, Spiritualist Accordionist.

A little March treat from us and Wikipedia to you.


[Updated Mar 27, 2014 because I spelled his middle name wrong.]

Festival du Bois Ticket give away! Accordion Noir Radio playlist Feb 26, 2014

February 27, 2014

256h Annual Festival du Bois, 2014 Depuis 1989, Toute une expérience!  Experience it all!

We’ve got two sets of tickets for the Festival du Bois this weekend.  Sat-Sun, March 1-2.

Email me at accordion dot noir at gmail dot com

or go to the Accordion Noir Fans Facebook group and tell us why you want to go to the Festival this year (Hint, there are four killer accordion acts!)

Read more…

Pee Wee King’s 100th Birthday! on Accordion Noir Radio, 2014-20-19 (his birthday was the 18th)

February 20, 2014

The Patron secular-saint of Country Music accordion, Pee Wee King (1914-2000) would have turned 100 years old on Tuesday, and I almost missed it!  Whew.  We did a little set in yesterday’s Accordion Noir radio show for him, it was fine.

Pee Wee King's Read more…

Accordion Noir Radio (last) Wednesday Jan 29, Squeeze Your Grammy

February 5, 2014

In preparation for tonight’s episode, here’s last week’s Accordion Noir playlist.  Thanks so much for listening!

Go to Co-op Radio’s download site:

Or click once to download directly.


Accordion Trophy! from the DinnTrophy websiteAlso, go read Let’s Polka’s nice coverage of this year’s Grammy winners.  (I honestly don’t know anything about such things, except what I read in the accordion media.)

Clifton Chenier was granted a lifetime achievement award, which is nice.

Hohner accordion’s artists won awards.


* Del Barber – Tell Me Where To Start – Prairieography (2014) – Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada –   Ken Pinchin, acc.

* Barzin – In The Dark You Can Love This Place – To Live Alone In That Long Summer (2014) – Ontario, Canada –

* Foy Willing & The Riders Of The Purple Sage – Sweet Georgia Brown – Foy Willing & The Riders Of The Purple Sage (episode 62) (0) –  –  Bud Sievert, acc.

* Ray Meyers – I Don’t Know a Thing About Love (The Moon Song) – Classic Country Songs (2013) – Paradise Hill, Saskatchewan, Canada –

* Frank Berendy & The Polka All Stars – Miss Your Polka – American Polka (Old Tunes & New Sounds) –

* Philemon Arthur & The Dung – Mor anka – Musikens historia del 1 och 2 (1972) – Sweden –

* La Santa Cecilia – Santa Cecilia, Trenta Dias – NPR Tiny Desk Concert (2013) – Los Angeles, California, USA –

* Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience – Les Barres de la Prison – Tribute Sessions (2001) –  Mallet, Louisiana, USA –

* Clifton Chenier – Clifton’s Squeeze-Box Boogie – Bayou Blues (1955) – Louisiana, USA

* Li’l Wally and the Venturas – We Love You Beatles – Drum Boy 108  (45 rpm) (1964)

* Michael Hearst – March Of The Unusual Creatures – Songs For Unusual Creatures (2012) – Brooklyn, New York, USA –

* Brown Ale – The Songs of Newfoundland (Omar Blondahl) – Eponymous (2010) – Brampton, Ontario, Canada –

* Jason Webley With Sxip Shirey – March Of The Hoohahs – Days With You Bonus CD (2009) –


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