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Accordion Noir radio playlist 2023-05-10: Chris Strachwitz, Accordion Man

May 11, 2023

From Bandcamp’s “A Guide to Arhoolie Records’ Sixty Years of Down-home Sounds

For last night’s episode of CFRO Co-Op Radio’s weekly hour-long Accordion Noir broadcast, Bruce returned our focus back to the Arhoolie Records label, singular among American folk music collectors and curators for their interest in accordionic music styles of, eg., zydeco and tejano music. It’s a tribute to the founder of Arholie, Chris Strachwitz, who just died at the age of 91. Thanks for all the good times, Chris! If your Apple or Android (or plain old RSS) podcast subscriptions (strongly recommended!) haven’t alerted you to the episode’s availability yet, you can enjoy listening to it as digital audio courtesy of the Internet Archive. Here’s its playlist:

AccNoir–2023-05-10, Chris Strachwitz Accordion Man

This week brought the news that Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records has died at age 91. I got to interview him in 2014 while working on my Accordion Revolution book and am extremely grateful for the chance to share some of that with you tonight. A lot of places they called him a “record man” because he was always collecting and producing records. But I was interested in talking with him because uniquely among some of the blues and folk-revivalists I was reading about, he was recording and paying attention to the accordion so many other folkies seemed bent on ignoring. So, thanks Chris. This one’s for you.

*  Support the Vancouver Tenants Union – <>
        (Because the Vancouver City Council just voted to revoke the Empty Homes tax and return $3 Million to the wealthy property-owners who paid to get them elected.)
* ‟The Many Voices of Accordion Noir, PRA 100.5 FM” – tune “Boyd’s Cove Singles” – The Dardanelles (2009) – Newfoundland, Canada –
* Clifton Chenier – ‟Louisiana Two-Step” – Louisiana Blues And Zydeco (1965) – Bogalusa, Louisiana, USA – Chenier’s first album –
* Pedro Ybarra (He’s the great Eva Ybarra’s brother.) – ‟Vida Fatal” – San Antonio’s Conjuntos In The 1950s (1957) – San Antonio, Texas, USA –
* Santiago Jiménez, Jr. – ‟Amor A Lo Lijero” – El Corrido De Esequiel Hernendez (2002) – San Antonio, Texas, USA –
* Hermanas Cantú (Ninfa & Nori, with Conjunto Bernal) – ‟La Que Sea” – Tejano Roots – The Women (1955) – Falfurrias, Texas, USA –
* Clifton Chenier – ‟Louisiana Blues” – Arhoolie Records 40th Anniversary Collection: 1960 – 2000 (1965) – Bogalusa, Louisiana, USA – (also on that first album) –
* Herbert Sam – ‟They Call Me Good Rockin’” – Zydeco, The Early Years (1961) – Opelousas, Louisiana, USA –
* Armando Almendarez & Conjunto México – ‟Boppin’ The Rock” – San Antonio’s Conjuntos In The 1950s (1955) – San Antonio, Texas, USA –
* Clifton Chenier – ‟Boppin’ The Rock” – Zodico Blues & Boogie [Remastered] (1955) – Bogalusa, Louisiana, USA –
* Conjunto Bernal – ‟Si Acaso Vuelves” – Mi Unico Camino (1992) – Texas, usa –  with Oscar Hernandez, lead accordion? –
* Lydia Mendoza – ‟Amor Bonito” – Tejano Roots – The Women (1964) – Houston, Texas, USA –
* Hermann Hartel & Group – ‟Gstanzln: War A Wia Ra War/Gott Sei Dank, Es Dauert Nimmer Lang” – Uncensored Folk Music Of Austria (2009) – Recorded at a Gasthous in  Graz, Austria – Similar to Attwenger’s “H.E. Zaum”
* Marie-Josee Houle – ‟Farewell To The Lady Of Broken Souls” – Our Lady Of Broken Souls (2006) – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – (classic name, but lost link)ée-Houle-32293814324/ <>
        Our friend Marie-Josée Houle, Federal Housing Advocate, wrote this Open Letter to the Mayor of the City of Vancouver about the City’s obligations to the human rights of residents without permanent homes. (See comment above about the City Council giving $3 million dollars of collected tax funds back to the council’s donors.)
Finally a song for the other musical passing of the week. Which led me to seek out Gordon Lightfoot’s accordion repertoire. Which is relatively steady over the years, based on his association with producer/arranger/accordionist Nick De Caro, who slipped accordion into a surprising number of soft-country/folk projects of the 1970s. I should do a show on him. It’s rather hard to hear his accordion on some of the tunes, but this one by a different artist is more obvious. Followed by a silly bit of Canadian humor to close us out.
* Gordon Lightfoot – ‟Harmony” – Harmony (2004) – Canada – Bob Doidge, acc. –
* SCTV (Rick Moranis as Gordon Lightfoot) – ‟Gordon Lightfoot Sings Every Song Every Written (K-Tel Parody)”

Parody of K-Tel’s “Fantastic Gordon Lightfoot” cash-in double-album:

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 … well, we’re putting our Twitter on the back burner indefinitely in pursuit of sunnier pastures, such as Mastodon at and, Instagram (@AccordionNoirFest), and Facebook at Accordion Noir fansthe Accordion Noir Festival, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle.  Cheers & squeeze on!

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