• If you haven't done so already, please add a location to your profile. This helps when people are trying to assist you, suggest resources, etc. Thanks

If Jimi Hendrix had played accordion

M

maugein96

Guest
Heres a short clip of Andre Verchurens son, Harry Williams, copycatting his fathers showmanship. OK, youre going to ask me why somebody as famous as Andre Verchuren had a son called Harry Williams. Verchurens family were caught giving assistance to a British paratrooper in WW2 and Verchu was transported to work as a member of a Sonderkommando unit in a Nazi extermination camp, disposing of corpses. When they discovered he was a musette accordion player (a musical style banned by the Germans) they broke his fingers.

When he was liberated Verchu spent years getting his damaged fingers to work properly again, and he went on to be the most successful recording accordionist in France, bar none. In later years he suffered a debilitating stroke, but yet again he taught himself to overcome his disability.

When his first son was born, he named him Harry Williams, after the British paratrooper whose life he had saved. Harry is a fairly popular player, much in the same vein as his late father, although he chose to play C system, whilst his father played B system with Belgian basses consistent with his parents being Belgian. Regrettably, Harry has not had the same success as his father had, probably on account of the decline in popularity of the instrument in recent years.

I know the music in the clip is not exactly brilliant, but thought Id post it purely for the entertainment value.

 

Soulsaver

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
4,334
Reaction score
1
Interesting and inspirational story - as usual from your good self, much appreciated.
Edit: The link now finds M. Williams
 

Matt Butcher

Prolific poster
Site Supporter
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
1,185
Reaction score
0
Crazy guy! That must be harder than doing the same thing on guitar. I hope he doesn't play it with his teeth as well, that would be painful.
 
M

maugein96

Guest
Verchu was doing exactly the same thing well into his 70s, always a talking point by anybody who had seen him. Only time I saw him was on videos, but was struggling to believe what I saw. He was also an accomplished pianist, but I never saw him do that trick with a piano! He was a world champion accordionist by the time he was 14 years old, well before WW2. At that time he was still using his Flemish birth surname of Verschueren.

Not many accordionists can boast of appearing in front of an audience of 125,000, which he did in 1968 in Paris. He sold no fewer than 70 million albums, and was making two of them a week for a time. Although many of the tracks on those albums consisted of "pop" material which held no real appeal for accordionists, they sold like hotcakes in France to an audience who adored Verchu and all of his stage antics. He was also variously billed as a "comedian", although I'm not sure in what context.

His father, Raymond Verschueren, was also a professional accordionist, although I don't know much about him, other than the fact he was Belgian.

Although he made several albums, Harry Williams' playing isn't really in the same league as his father. He has a younger brother, Andre Verchuren Junior, who also plays accordion C system, but I don't know if he has ever played professionally.

The other famous musette player named Verschueren, usually known as "V. Marceau", and occasionally "Marceau Verschueren", was no relation. He was also Flemish, but came from the French side of the border.

I'm rambling again! It seems I'm as fascinated by the biographies of the players as the actual music itself.
 

losthobos

Prolific poster
Site Supporter
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
1,169
Reaction score
100
Location
Essex UK
Gutted.... i got all excited...thought he was gonna set light to it!!!!
 

JerryPH

Been here for ages!
Site Supporter
Joined
Feb 16, 2016
Messages
2,949
Reaction score
39
Location
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
:lol: :lol:

http://syner-g.asuscomm.com/mymusic/files/hendrix.jpg>


:lol: :lol:
 

Similar threads

Top