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What's the difference between a Russian bayan accordion and the conventional piano accordion that Lawrence Welk popularized? The bayan , which has five rows of buttons where the American accordion has piano-style keys, is "like a small pipe organ," explained professional American bayan player Jon Persson.
May 18, 2003
For people whose only association with the word "accordion" consists of "Lady of Spain," "Pancordia: the two-fisted accordion weblog" ( is a glimpse of broader musical horizons. Recent entries on the intermittently updated journal of "accordion resources, information, ideas and enthusiasm," suggest a world of possibilities: March 27: " ... the Raymond Scott Orchestrette's first album, Pushbutton Parfait, has been available for a while now.
January 15, 1996 | MIKE BOEHM
Imagine what might befall the art of Mexican cookery if some blight suddenly eradicated the world supply of hot peppers. Nearly that much spice went out of the Tejano music of Little Joe & La Familia after a button accordion was lost or stolen Thursday during a bus ride through Texas, leaving Lalo Torres without an instrument for the opening set of the band's show Friday at the Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana.
July 24, 2005 | Dennis McLellan, Times Staff Writer
Myron Floren, the accordion virtuoso who came to fame in the mid-1950s as a regular on "The Lawrence Welk Show," the long-running weekly musical program that brought "champagne music" into millions of American homes, has died. He was 85. Floren, who continued performing until the last few months, died of cancer Saturday at his home in Rolling Hills Estates, according to Margaret Heron, syndication manager for the Welk show.
June 17, 2005 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Verne Meisner, 66, whose accordion-propelled polka tunes kept the upper Midwest dancing for 57 years and who won an international following for his musical skill, died June 10 of cancer at St. Luke's Hospital in Milwaukee. Meisner was considered one of the giants of polka, and his Slovenian -- or Cleveland-style -- polka featured infectious melodies that were widely popular in taverns, dance halls and festivals where the music was a standard celebration of the week's end.
August 1, 1988 | KENNETH HERMAN
"Use an accordion, go to jail--it's the law!" While this bumper-sticker slogan reflects the modest esteem in which the accordion is generally held, composer Gina Leishman has sufficient self-confidence to embrace it as her favorite among the many instruments she plays. "Well, it is a much-maligned instrument," Leishman said in her clipped British accent. "But it's one I adore.
November 8, 2004 | Myrna Oliver, Times Staff Writer
Pete Jolly, a jazz pianist and accordion player known for his disciplined work as a studio musician as well as his improvisational keyboarding in live performances, has died. He was 72. Jolly, whose composition "Little Bird" was nominated for a Grammy in 1963, died Saturday at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena of complications of bone marrow cancer and an irregular heartbeat.
Near the start of his 90-minute concert on Friday at the Universal Amphitheatre, Mexican singer-songwriter Joan Sebastian saluted a guest in the front row--his private physician. "This is for you, doc," said the 50-year-old pop music veteran in good English. "Great job!" Sebastian shared that aside with a house full of affectionate fans who have followed his recent fight against bone cancer, which at one point brought him to Los Angeles' City of Hope for treatment.
April 2, 2006 | Debra J. Miller, Debra J. Miller teaches English at a private high school in Los Angeles.
On Thursday, Oct. 8, 1964, the day the police decided my mother killed my father, I woke up late, the kind of late that snaps you out of your favorite dream, the one where you're wrapped in the arms of your favorite TV hunk--mine was Dr. Kildare--and he's just about to . . . when bang your unconscious tells you the sun is out, the lights are on all over the house and you're going to be late for school because nobody got you out of bed. We were a family of five. I was 14 and the oldest.
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