Cowboy Accordion
#1
Just returned from playing piano at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. I took my Bugari, but only performed with it once for a grade school assembly.
Geno Delafoose was there with his band and was great, as always. There’s been a tradition of Louisiana accordion players raising horses and taking accordion and Zydeco dance fans on trail rides.
The other notable accordion presence was Sourdough Slim with his Elka accordion and cowboy vaudeville show, so corny it was great. He had an interesting amplification system that really made his bass notes sound like an upright bass, but I couldn’t track him down to ask the right nerdy questions about it. They kept us busy and our schedules often overlapped.
Riders in the Sky are there often with Joey Miskulin, an absolute monster.
Just wondering if there are any cowboy accordion stories floating around with forum members.
   

Here’s Slim hisself:
https://youtu.be/pyIL4zpK2Co
Bugari “Blue 72”, Tiger Combo ‘Cordion
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#2
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[quote pid='63784' dateline='1549299260']
Just wondering if there are any cowboy accordion stories floating around with forum members.

[/quote]

Hi Eddy,

This side of the Atlantic I don't think many people would associate accordions with cowboys at all, although the two can sometimes meet up. 

In the UK, the term "cowboy" unfortunately tends to relate to a person who is untrustworthy, and yes I could relate one or two stories about "cowboy" accordion dealers. 

In South America there are various accordion styles which are popularised by players wearing gaucho type gear. Chamame from Argentina and Brazil is one of them and I posted a few clips of such music a year or so back. However, other than some South American members who followed them up with posts of their own, and some very helpful explanations of the styles involved, the music never seemed to generate much interest or comment. 

I think most of us have seen Cajuns stomping away, but I'd never heard accordion music like that in your clip. The player is quite a character, and I particularly enjoyed the humour. Are we to presume that accordion playing cowboys are pretty unusual?

Thanks for making us aware that there are decent cowboys with accordion connections.
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#3
must have a nice trip

one of the better festivalexperiences I ever had was here: http://www.zydecozity.nl/en

that is just great atmosphere
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#4
Thanks for that link to Slim, Eddie - I loved it !

I did many years of western riding and competitions here in France but never once did I hear an accordion.  Endless country music, yes, but I'd much rather have heard Slim round the campfire.
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#5
I've a lot of time for this cowgirl
https://youtu.be/dG-a8fIIch0
Right or wrong make it strong...when in doubt miss it out...
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#6
Terry,

Listened to quite a bit of western swing in the guitar days, and I remember seeing Ginny when I was trying to find some of Red Volkaert's music.

Here's Buddy Greene just picked up a mouthful of reeds with Jeff Taylor backing him on the "corjun."

They've left the cowboy hats in the van (sorry truck!) I know it's not western swing, but it 's from well west of here!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nQt4Ek45yk
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#7
Bob Wills is still the king.  Wink
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#8
I've got a chapter about country and western accordion in my upcoming Accordion Revolution book (due out this summer). There were at least 150 accordionists who played in country bands, mostly from about 1920-1950. Many of them were there during the cowboy movie days and in western swing bands.

The collector Kevin Coffey was a huge help when he sent me a collection from his own 78 rpm records—a total of about 400 songs, 19 hours of country western accordion! That was a good day to open the mailbox.

Among the most interesting groups was the Swift Jewel Cowboys, who not only wore western outfits, but played the rodeo circuit where they'd play on horseback, ride bulls, and play dances after (if they hadn't been injured.) Their sound was really unusual. They weren't like any other western group I've heard. Funny since they were so "cowboy" in presentation, they sounded more like a hot jazz band, with lead clarinet and horns. Their "Bug Shuffle" is a fine example:
https://youtu.be/fTN3OcAN_l0

And here's "Beer and Skittles" by Larry Wellington, who played with Louise Massey and the Westerners. They were perhaps the first "pop-country" band, opening up markets for later hillbilly acts to play cities like Chicago and New York. Oddest thing I discovered about Wellington was that years later he did soundtracks and acted in such classic trashy films as "Two Thousand Maniacs."
https://youtu.be/hf-hm3PZYiM

Most other cowboy/western groups sounded more like what we'd think of as "country" or "hillbilly." Some of the western swing players to look for (if you can find the small print that includes backing musicians) are Billy Liebert, Paul Sells, George Bamby, and Vince Caruso.

Some of the groups those guys played for were led by Hank Penny, Tex Williams, Spade Cooley and Foy Willing.
Here's accordionist Pedro DePaul with Spade Cooley doing "Oklahoma Stomp." Depaul wrote the remarkably tight arrangements, so he was one of the most important guys in the band. Note the concert harp (!) and Juaquin Murphy's hot steel guitar (he didn't read music so the arrangement there was just "Juaquin plays here."
https://youtu.be/wNs_QDGMXiA

Here's George Bamby playing with Andy Parker and the Plainsmen. It's a radio show transcription, so not what you'd expect in a country dance-hall. They start with some tango and go on from there. A lot of these "cowboys" didn't have a whole lot to do with actual cows.
https://youtu.be/qhirTph_fLI

Most famous of all is Pee Wee King of course. His accordion is in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Late in his career his "Ten Gallon Boogie" edged right up with rock and roll.
https://youtu.be/WRvTFIQAsHo

Plug  Rolleyes : If you want to hear more about the book, you can sign up for announcements. Hope it's alright to put that in here:
www.AccordionRevolution.com
Bruce Triggs
Accordion Noir Radio
Vancouver, BC, Canada
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#9
Accordion uprising,
Thanks for the clips, particularly the “ Swift Jewel Cowboys “! They seemed, to me, to have a Jewish musical influence : very nice!
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#10
Bruce...can’t wait for your book! When we sign up, is there some acknowledgement that we did, or do we just wait to be notified?
Bugari “Blue 72”, Tiger Combo ‘Cordion
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#11
(04-02-2019, 10:19 PM)losthobos Wrote: I've a lot of time for this cowgirl
https://youtu.be/dG-a8fIIch0

Here’s some more of Ginny Mac, Losthobos! Smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1ETkwEh25Q
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#12
Please excuse the off-topic post (no accordions mentioned) but this modern-day cowboy caught my eye:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/dsq_jZiB1_U>

Alan Sharkis
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#13
(06-02-2019, 07:35 AM)Eddy Yates Wrote: Bruce...can’t wait for your book! When we sign up, is there some acknowledgement that we did, or do we just wait to be notified?

You should get a confirmation email, which you have to confirm to make sure nobody is signing you up for accordion lists you don't want to be on. (I'm sure it happens.) 

That www.AccordionUprising.com list hasn't been used yet because I haven't had anything to announce about the book. As I get a better idea of a release date I will let folks know.

Oh, I should share about my important work to create an Accordion Emoji! That'd be an entertaining way to crank up that list.  Wink  I'll pitch for donations to raise about $250 to pay a pro designer to create a squeezebox image that will be available on every cell-phone in the world. A worthwhile cause. 

Thanks so much for your enthusiasm!
Bruce Triggs
Accordion Noir Radio
Vancouver, BC, Canada
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#14
(08-02-2019, 12:47 AM)AccordionUprising Wrote:
(06-02-2019, 07:35 AM)Eddy Yates Wrote: Bruce...can’t wait for your book! When we sign up, is there some acknowledgement that we did, or do we just wait to be notified?

You should get a confirmation email, which you have to confirm to make sure nobody is signing you up for accordion lists you don't want to be on. (I'm sure it happens.) 

That www.AccordionUprising.com list hasn't been used yet because I haven't had anything to announce about the book. As I get a better idea of a release date I will let folks know.

Oh, I should share about my important work to create an Accordion Emoji! That'd be an entertaining way to crank up that list.  Wink  I'll pitch for donations to raise about $250 to pay a pro designer to create a squeezebox image that will be available on every cell-phone in the world. A worthwhile cause. 

Thanks so much for your enthusiasm!

Thanks, Bruce. I signed up a while ago and didn’t get a notice, so just was wondering.
Bugari “Blue 72”, Tiger Combo ‘Cordion
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#15
Hi Eddy, I just checked, and don't see "Eddy" or "Yates" on the mailing list from www.AccordionRevolution.com

You could try again, or dm me and we'll make sure you hear about the book.

Had a really good meeting today with my design-squad and I think it's going to look cool!  Cool

bruce
Bruce Triggs
Accordion Noir Radio
Vancouver, BC, Canada
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