“Mama’s Got a Squeezebox…”

It wasn’t until I was working at B-95 that I discovered National Accordion Awareness Month. My buddy Tim and I would get together quite often and think of bits we could write and produce to play during our radio shows. We came up with some really funny stuff.

It was mid-May and we were writing stuff for June. I am pretty sure that it was Tim who told me about it. I don’t recall who came up with the idea, but we produced this little sweeper to play in between songs. It was the silliest thing, but it always made me laugh. It basically went like this:

The song playing on the air ends. Then the announcer says, “B-95 reminds you that June is National Accordion Awareness Month! Here’s an Accordion Awareness Month Update!” Then we’d insert 10-15 seconds of some ridiculous accordion clip which was followed again by the announcer. “Keep it here all month long for more Accordion Awareness Month Updates – on B-95!” Then the next song would play. It was so out of place and so funny to me. I used this bit for years even taking it to other stations.

According to the National Day Calendar Website:

Through a complex construction of bellows and reeds, the accordion (also known as a concertina) produces its mournful timbre when air is forced over the reeds. While the accordion accompanies traditional polka music, the instrument has found its way into many classical and modern works of music.

For generations the accordion complimented many genres in American music. From jazz and zydeco to folk and Gospel and Blues, musicians found the accordion a fit a variety of musical styles.

The instrument changed, too. Manufactured in several different sizes, the smaller squeeze boxes became popular. The accordion fit well into country music, and when Rock and Roll made the scene, the accordion followed. Today, the instrument is no stranger to the recording studio.

Musicians such as Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, and Mumford and Sons all have recorded hit songs with the accordion playing a supporting role.

In honor of the occasion, here are some of my favorite accordion players:

Weird Al Yankovic
The other accordion playing Yankovic – Frankie
Lawrence Welk – orchestra leader and accordion player
The fantastic Linda Lee, who can be seen at the Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth, MI!

Happy National Accordion Awareness Month! Squeeze This!!