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Did you ever meet your "Elvis"?

JerryPH

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Here are 3 people that are easily the "Elvis" level of fame in the accordion community!

I was back in Ontario again this time for familial reasons (All Saints Day) and stopped in to see a few friends:

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Each one of these people (besides me... haha) is very special and basically an icon in some way in the accordion community both locally and on the world scene!

Front left... none other than the "Polka King"... Walter Ostanek
Front right... The man that wrote some of the most used educational literature for Free Bass accordions in North America and even today who's materials likely compromise 50% or more of the current curriculum at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto... Boris Borgstrom
Back row left... the man, the legend, the best accordion repair man that *I* know of (and a fine accordionist too!), Keith Anderson
Back row right... little ole me. :)

I cannot say enough good things about each of these men in that room!

... and in case someone has some eagle eyes... yes, that is a Hohner Gola MIII in button key format a few inches to the left side of the picture near Walter's elbow. :) :)
 

96Bass

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My brother ( who played fiddle ) and I were at the Dulcimer and Folk Music Festival that was held at Greystone Mansion, Beverly Hills sometime in the mid 1980s. We were informally playing together when John and Phil Cunningham heard us and came over to listen. We promptly handed our instruments over to them and they played a few sets of tunes. Having Phil Cunningham play your accordion is the equivalent of having Robin Trower playing your electric guitar.

 

Pipemajor

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Greystone Mansion. Isn't that where Tarzan used to live? :unsure:
Never had the chance to meet Johnny Cunningham but, some time ago, the London Highland Society had Ally Bain and Phil Cunningham play at an east London pub. Probably only about 40 people there but what a wonderful evening!!
Phil had everyone rolling about laughing with his anecdotes (long!) in between the musical feast.
Afterwards, they both stayed behind to chat with everyone.
A truly memorable evening. I still have the signed CDs.
 

Tom

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I once met Dick Contino in the "meet and greet" after a show at Festa in Milwaukee. Probably posted a picture here. The signed cd is around here somewhere I think. He was very gracious. Besides which, you're my hero Jerry and I hope to meet you some day when they ever open the border.
 
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Dingo40

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Greystone Mansion. Isn't that where Tarzan used to live? 🤔
It's actually "Greystoke" for Tarzan 🙂
 

Siegmund

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The musician I really wanted to meet, but never got the chance, was Alan Hovhaness (1911-1999). He was still alive when I was in college, but I never had a reason to go down to Seattle for any event he was at, nor reason to try to entice him to come to Alaska.

On the other hand -- Robert Bonfliglio played a harmonica concerto with my orchestra in the mid 90s... my then-wife and every other woman in the audience drooled over him and bought his CDs. It had, among other things, his version of Bacchianas Brasileiras No. 5 on it, which was 'our song' when we met in high school. (Yes, was sort of a strange kid.)

That disc was the only one from our CD collection that she took with her when she moved out.
 

JerryPH

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... you're my hero Jerry and I hope to meet you some day when they ever open the border.
Oh goodness, I just don't see myself as anyone's hero, BUT, I do know that I am hoping to make another pilgrimage to Caanan CT in early December to perform a little and to make a nice little promo video for my friend Paul Rammuni at the New England Accordion Museum... I don't know if you are anywhere close or not, but if you are in the area, I'd love to shake your hand!
 

Tom

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Oh goodness, I just don't see myself as anyone's hero, BUT, I do know that I am hoping to make another pilgrimage to Caanan CT in early December to perform a little and to make a nice little promo video for my friend Paul Rammuni at the New England Accordion Museum... I don't know if you are anywhere close or not, but if you are in the area, I'd love to shake your hand!
Thanks Jerry! I'll be in Rhode Island until the 4th, about 3 hours away. When and where will you be playing?
 

Ffingers

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For many years I admired Stéphane Grappelli for his incredible playing and for the way in which he supported Django Rheinhart at the Hot Club of France and then continued to play and encourage others to play the 'Gipsy Jazz'(Manouche) style.
Then he came to Perth in Western Australia in about 1996, playing from a wheelchair with his own band of younger musicians. By chance, he came out from the stage entrance and mingled with the hangers-on, of whom I was one :)
Sadly, he died soon after but has left us a musical legacy of immense proportions.
 

JerryPH

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Thanks Jerry! I'll be in Rhode Island until the 4th, about 3 hours away. When and where will you be playing?
Likely at the New England Accordion Connection and Museum in Caanan CT. Right now it looks like it will be the first weekend in December (4th-5th). I'll also be making some kind of promotional video for Paul at that time too, so I will likely be there a few days.

We're still finalizing and hoping that the Canadian govt stops being jerks about not letting us back in to Canada without a US-side covid test taken within 72 hours of returning to Canada (around $200 and I know, totally illogical, as covid has a gestation period of around 2 weeks and that test would not show anything if I had it standing on my shoulder waving a Canadian flag!).

Very excited about it!
 

Tom

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Likely at the New England Accordion Connection and Museum in Caanan CT. Right now it looks like it will be the first weekend in December (4th-5th). I'll also be making some kind of promotional video for Paul at that time too, so I will likely be there a few days.

We're still finalizing and hoping that the Canadian govt stops being jerks about not letting us back in to Canada without a US-side covid test taken within 72 hours of returning to Canada (around $200 and I know, totally illogical, as covid has a gestation period of around 2 weeks and that test would not show anything if I had it standing on my shoulder waving a Canadian flag!).

Very excited about it!
That will be super fun Jerry! Unfortunately I will miss you in Caanan but I wish you success and look forward to your video.
 

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