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Who’s Bruce?

In 1955, Toni Charuhas’ book The Accordion predicted a bright road ahead for her favourite instrument.  It never came.  Instead the accordion became the Most Uncool Instrument In North America.  It lost any connection to past legitimacy or glory, and “Stomach Steinways” slept in thrift shops or in dusty grandparents’ closets for the next fifty years.

True story: I'm co-parenting with my best friend, but we're not a couple. This shirt is supposed to clarify that so I might still get dates. I made it to wear while walking on stilts in a Pride parade in Seattle. I had numerous offers from those interested in my "services."

I’m not sure what this has to do with the accordion, but the kids are something else I spend quite a bit of time on.  They’re studying accordion, so that’s related.

I’m a Youngster (only 42!), and I got into accordions after growing up with rock and roll and other strange music.  Inspired by that background I co-host the weekly Accordion Noir show on Co-op Radio in Vancouver, BC, Canada.  I’m now working on a book-project about accordion history and the current squeezebox resurgence in North America.  It’s at a carefully organized 60,000 words so far – I’m telling people to expect it in 2013.

As I’m pulling things together, this site will let me share bits and pieces I come upon as I sift through the lost accordions of history.  It’s an improvement from sending “finds” to just the few friends I used to inundate with accordion trivia.  Now you can share in the take too.

Much of this will be re-postings and links to others’ stuff, hopefully it’ll be nice to gather it all together.  I want to thank Chris at Let’s Polka, and Ivan at Squeezyboy for inspiration.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2012 8:53 pm


    It’s Bill … I showed up this month with the Roland FR-3X. I had a great time. Hope to see you all again soon!!

    I like this site, too, and will look forward to sharing posts via my own website for accordions,

    Bill Fulbright

  2. September 22, 2013 10:05 pm

    Hello! Love the witty humor and factoids. So far everything feels spot-on with what I’ve been feeling, and with what I’ve heard and/or read elsewhere. In full disclosure, I grew up playing piano and guitar and only recently inherited a La Tosca Biviano 98. I managed to find an old catalog advertising its dimensions and features on eBay, otherwise not much to go on. Seems even worse with other less-common brands. The good news is that mine plays just fine. Sure it could use a slight tuning on the bass buttons, but the keys are perfectly level and have good spring action. Barely a scratch on her. I truly hope the “resurgence in North America” takes flight because I’m itching to play her in public … I did break it out for a wedding (bride requested Lois Armstrong’s “La Vie en Rose”) but that hardly counts; I played guitar on every other tune of the 4-hr reception!

  3. October 16, 2016 4:31 pm

    Hey there, this is Megan Sliger, accordionist and retired gondoliera/owner & proprietor of the Boston Gondolas, you mentioned in the article.

    I’m sorry it never worked out, but I love your efforts- just know it wasn’t personal- I was juggling so many things at once, at the time.

    you can check out some of the stories at:

    as well as:

    For some reason my albums aren’t currently on iTunes, and I’m investigating that, but will post music links shortly. 🙂

    Thank you for your article, and stay amazing!


  4. jakking permalink
    January 23, 2018 3:02 am

    Hi Bruce: I guess you aware of the long history of accordion stores and an accordion school on Commercial Drive? If not, drop me a line at and I’ll get you the info.

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