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Accordion Noir radio playlist 2009-06-26: Rowan on Vinyl, diggin’ in the crates

July 8, 2019

happy accordion.jpg

As part of our crash course in accordion literacy we felt we needed in order to credibly host the Accordion Noir radio program, in the early years Bruce and I availed ourselves of every indulgence in squeezebox culture that strayed across our paths. That doesn’t mean that I combed the concert listings for accordion performances, but it does mean that every time I saw a book of accordion sheet music, porcelain squeezebox bear tchotchke or accordion record on vinyl at a garage sale or thrift shop, I’d be obligated to dig deep into my pockets and get out the bus fare needed to bring this critical artifact home for a deeper analysis. In time we got to the bottom of what we felt we had to learn from the sheet music and figurines, but every new accordion record was another gateway into a world where the expansion of the accordion hadn’t yet halted and collapsed. Furthermore, records are a fascinating sampling of a moment in the culture of music recordings that likely did not successfully make the leap to successive technologies — few accordion albums on 8-track, not many on audiocassette, darned few on CD, not a huge selection on iTunes, fewer than you might expect on Spotify. I mean, sure, there’s plenty, and you have the advantage today of having the offerings being vetted for quality and mass appeal. But for many of the songs appearing on records, vinyl was assuredly the only way those recordings could ever be heard — and consequently, putting one of the discs on your turntable made it very likely that you were the only human being who had ever heard that performance for decades.

But what use is all this history if we selfishly keep it to ourselves? Ten years ago Rowan listened to … many of his dozens of thrifted (plus a few liberated from the dirt-floor deep archives in the CFRO basement!) accordion records (many delightfully local, eg. this Manitoba Ukrainian chorus probably did not have their album circulated that widely) in order to skim off some winning (and amazingly-oddball) tracks to help to demonstrate to you home listeners what the territory looked like to home listeners of accordion recordings back in 1955, 65 and even 75, resulting in this playlist of songs, in Accordion Noir radio episode number 134, that likely would not and could not ever be heard anywhere else — except through this broadcast by loving historical specialists. (The rest of the collection was laboriously converted to MP3, then the dozens and dozens of records themselves, billed as “what is most certainly western Canada’s largest library of accordion recordings on vinyl”, were offloaded on music writer Alexander Varty.)

At its original online home, this episode was enjoyed some 16569  times.  At its new forever home at the Internet Archive we hope it leaves that number in the dust!  In the meantime, here’s its playlist:

AccNoir-2009-06-26, Rowan on Vinyl, diggin’ in the crates

Artist – Song – Album – Web Resources
* Jon Bartlett & Rika Ruebsaat – the Green Fields of Canada – The Green Fields of Canada –
* the Mom and Dads – Wabash Cannonball – the Best Of the Mom & Dads
* Lawrence Welk (and Myron Floren) – 12th Street Rag the Best of Lawrence Welk
* Walter Ostanek – Walter Ostanek – Accordion and Saxophone Polka –
* Clifton Chenier – Zydeco Disco – I’m Here! (1982) –
* Fred Hector and his Accordion Band – Aquarius – Accordion Encores
* Francis Ray Accordeons – Swinging Flowers – Swinging Accordeon
* Messengers of Praise Quartet – It Is Well – I Walk With God
* Charles Camilleri – Cool Customer – Charles Camilleri –
* Trimble Tones – In The Mood – 20 Old Time Hits –
* Paco Rapallo y su Orquestra Tango-Tipico (after Ludwig van Beethoven) – Para Elisa
* Carneval Brasil – Das grosse Akkordeon Schlager-Potpourri Folge 3
* Gigi Stok – Caminito – Superballoliscio –
* Addy Kleyngeld – Serenade Andalucia – Wonder Akkordeon
* Harry Hibbs – I’se the B’y – at the Caribou Club –
* Jim Gregrash – Ukrainian Anniversary Song – Jim Gregrash Plays at a Ukrainian Wedding
* Peter Gritchen – Moscow Nights – Popular Russian Songs –
* Wesoła Czwórka – Zabłąkany kujawiaczek – Zen sie Jasiu
* The Team – Polka from Lvov, Maltese Melody – Party Music
* Jon Bartlett & Rika Ruebsaat (after Wads Hemsworth) – Wild Goose – the Green Fields of Canada


This episode’s cover is: the “Happy Accordion a go-go” album from,

Thanks for reading us here (and hopefully listening to us, there), but if you find you want more, you can always keep up with us on Twitter (@AccordionNoir and @AccordionBruce), Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle. Cheers & squeeze on!

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