Squeeze in a celebration of the accordion

Ah-one, ah-two, and break out the bubbles: In June, the national spotlight shines on the accordion.

Blame National Accordion Month on Tom Torriglia, a San Francisco accordionist

Creative Commons/public domain

Creative Commons/public domain

who established it in 1989, then got San Francisco to make the accordion the city’s official musical instrument the next year, though not without a protest by kazoo players.

It’s fitting that the observance originated in The City, because Guerrini Accordion Co. produced the first U.S.-made piano accordion there in 1907. That’s the type that looks like it has piano keys on one end. People loved it. An accordion virtuoso, Guido Deiro, even developed a style called “Frisco Sound,” playing dates all over the West – and playing the real-life husband of actress Mae West.

The accordion in all its forms was not only a San Francisco treat. You’ll hear it in music from almost every part of the globe. China has lately made more accordions than any other country. Lucy Liu, Billy Joel and Shakira all play. Weird Al Yankovic wouldn’t be half as weird without one. Torriglia once told More

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