By Maestro Anthony Galla-Rini, Internationally Known
Concert Accordionist, Composer, and Lecturer

"This book is must for every accordionist, accordion student, and accordion enthusiast across the United States. The historical approach used by the authors present an interesting and definitive coverage of the growth and development of the accordion in the United States.

"Heavily illustrated with interesting photographs of early accordionists and accordion memorabilia, this book is extremely valuable for the illustrations alone. The historical account of the accordion in early San Francisco is a key story in the book, as San Francisco was the accordion capital of America for many years. Organized by area of the country, the book introduces the key pioneers from the 'Golden Age of the Accordion' and tells their interesting life stories through a collection of biographic and autobiographic articles.

"So thorough is the book that the authors even covered accordion manufacturing, sales, and repair service in the United States. These firms were given an opportunity to tell their history and discuss their accordion lines or service specialties. Their addresses are included for those who may wish to request brochures or other information.

"Significantly, this book documents the fact that after the accordion came into the limelight (circa 1908), the accordion has never really disappeared since then. The spotlight merely moved away from Vaudeville, after its decline (circa 1932), and began to focus in other directions.

"I believe every accordionist in America, after reading this book, will applaud the efforts of Ron Flynn, Edwin Davison, and Eddie Chavez, who teamed up to write it. Their love for the accordion is apparent. They have done a great service through their determined effort to publish this comprehensive, well-documented history of the accordion in America."

-- Maestro Anthony Galla-Rini


By Marcel Pasquier, Editor,

Association Romande Des Musiciens Accordeonistes.

(A translation from original Swiss publication, "L'accordeon," Issue No. 1 (January 1993)

"The Golden Age of the Accordion is in many ways 'The Bible' of the accordion, including accordionists and all the history from the United States. First published in 1984, then again in 1990, and now this important work has gone to press for the Third Edition (in 1992). Divided into five parts, with an appendix and an index, The Golden Age of the Accordion consists of about 400 double-column pages (203-273 mm). The photographs are very plentiful as we have counted more than 350, with biographies of over 100 accordionists and an index of 1,700 names. We have found many familiar and unfamiliar persons whose styles go from the classics to the most modern arrangements of Jazz on the accordion. The musicians who read English will be overwhelmed and will learn a multitude of things previously unknown about the conquest in the U.S. by an instrument invented in Vienna 164 years ago!"

-- Marcel Pasquier


(This review was conducted December 18, 1998 on behalf of Accordions Worldwide.)

By Lionel Reekie

(Internationally Known Professional Accordionist, Vocalist, and Teacher)

"The accordion, patented in the mid 1800’s is a relatively young instrument, and yet in the last 160 years or so, its popularity has spread worldwide and become an integral part of the culture in many countries. Outside of Europe, it is the United States and the accordionists of that country that have possibly made one of the greatest contributions to the advancement of the instrument.

"The Golden Age of the Accordion" published by Flynn Publications is promoted on this week’s site, and although the site simply acts to advertise this book, it is probably well worth a look at if you are considering ordering it.  The book covers the early days of U.S. accordion history from the 1900's through to the 1950's, which is a period that has come to be known as the "Golden Age" of the accordion. Included in the book are biographies and autobiographies of key accordion pioneers which portray their lives and times during this era of U.S. and accordion history.

"Certainly the book comes with some high recommendations, as included in the site is a review from internationally famous accordionist Anthony Galla-Rini. On a light hearted note, a couple of cartoons featured in the current edition have been put up on the site, along with the pricing and ordering information.  Now in its third edition, the new inclusions in the book have been listed, however, I feel perhaps a little more of the books’ content "on-line" would make this site of even more interest. Hopefully many people will still take the opportunity to look at whether this book should be part of their accordion literature collection."

-- Lionel Reekie 


By Jackie Mashore

(Accordionist and President of the Oklahoma Accordion Club)

Can you conceive an accordion picnic with over 10,000 people in attendance?  Accordionists and lovers of its music gathered in the morning, and many ate breakfast lunch and dinner, before leaving the picnic at sunset.  The year was 1933.  The city was San Francisco. Or imagine an all-accordion concert where the printed program filled five pages.  Or try to imagine regional competitions with as many as 3,000 – 5,000 accordionists.  Events such as this were not uncommon during the Golden Age of the Accordion, the mid-1930’s through the early 1960’s.

Ronald Flynn, Edwin Davison, and Eddie Chavez document these glimpses of past grandeur of the accordion in a most fascinating book, “The Golden Age of the Accordion.”  (Published by Flynn Associates Publishing Company, 1992.)  This is an unusual publication, a mixture of encyclopedia, documentary, autobiography, biography, scrapbook, and tribute encompassing the history of the people, events, and manufacturers who established the accordion as a popular instrument in America.  The text is divided into five major sections, each covering a region of the United States; with Part 1 dedicated specifically to San Francisco where the Golden Age took hold.

The purpose of the book is singular and is expressed by Willard A. (Bill) Palmer in the foreword, “ is important for the sake of musical history, to record some of those artists whose accomplishments contributed so much to the development of the accordion and to its almost incredible popularity during its “golden era.” and “the fascinating stories of their struggles, triumphs, and accomplishments should not be lost to the people of future times.”

In my few years as an accordionist I have become familiar with many important names and realized that people such as Magnante, Diero, Frosini, Palmer, Hughes, Galla-Rini, and many others, are revered for their lasting influence.  Through exploring this book, I discovered what set these and others apart in the accordion world.  I have also been enlightened to the importance of those masters mentioned in the text who are still with us, and the significance of those who continue to carry the torch.

This book is an indispensable treasure for anyone interested in the history of the heroes of the accordion during the fascinating “Golden Age.”

  -- Jackie Mashore

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