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Accordion Revolution: A People's History

Accordion Revolution book cover: light brown skinned woman with long brown hair and a red accordion, modeled after the "Rosie the Riveter" propaganda poster
Cover by Vancouver artist Michelle Clement


A People’s History of the Accordion
From the Industrial Revolution to Rock and Roll

by Bruce Triggs

About the Book:

Accordion Revolution is the squeezebox remix of music history. Discover how the “Beer Barrel Polka” saved the record industry during the Great Depression; the highest paid instrumentalist in show-biz was an accordionist who secretly married sex-symbol Mae West. And a psychedelic accordion band almost played Woodstock.

Fiat Blue Tiger Combo 'Cordion from 1966, with its original Tiger-Print Case!
Among the dozens of illustrations featured in the book (book images are b/w): The fabled Tiger Combo ‘Cordion (1966) with its original tiger-print case! See chapter 17 “The Accordion Exodus” which covers the rise of rock & roll and explores who accordions and their story have been unheard for so long. (Courtesy of Tempo Trend Accordions, Victoria, BC, Canada.

With an eye for colorful characters and a sharp sense of humor, accordion historian Bruce Triggs explores pop music with the squeezebox as tour guide. Musicians by the millions played accordions before the rise of rock and roll. Arriving in the arms of immigrants, they were heard in Mexican border cantinas and Inuit square dances above the Arctic Circle. Black Americans called them “wind jammers” before the rise of blues guitar, and the Accordiana Dance Band was there at the birth of jazz. Later, squeezeboxes saddled-up in hundreds of hit-making country and western bands. 

Always more than foolish stereotypes of bubbles and lederhosen. New generations have picked up the instrument, but with few connections to its back-story. For readers today Accordion Revolution is a living, breathing restoration of the squeezebox to its rightful place at the roots of popular music in North America. 

List Price: $20 US, $25 CAN

Paperback, 6 x 9 in, 430 pgs. 

58 historical illustrations / In English

Publication Date: June 2019

Demian & Sons Publications
Vancouver, BC, Canada

ISBN: 978-1-9990677-0-0
eBook ISBN: 978-1-9990677-1-7

Buy the Book

"Thank You For Joining the Accordion Revolution" text below photo of sisters with accordions
Josephine & Lena Bergamasco of the vaudeville group the Three Vagrants (1920s)

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