Friday, September 18, 2009

A one, and a two...

You can blame this post, if you like, on Jeannelle of Iowa, a woman who inserted a video of Myron Floren playing “The Happy Wanderer” on the accordion in the middle of a post of beautiful close-up photographs of wildflowers. I have nothing against Myron Floren personally. He was the accordionist in Lawrence Welk’s orchestra for many years.

Ah, the accordion. Not my favorite musical instrument. One of my favorite drawings by Gary Larson (remember The Far Side?) has two panels, one above the other, depicting Heaven and Hell. Above, angels sitting on clouds are presenting a gift to Heaven’s newest resident, saying “Welcome to Heaven! Here’s your harp.” At the same time, down below, demons holding pitchforks and surrounded by flames of fire are presenting a gift to Hell’s newest resident, saying “Welcome to Hell! Here’s your accordion.” That pretty much sums it up for me.

For more accordion music, here is an earlier clip of Myron Floren
and Lawrence Welk in black and white, from 1958

And if you still haven’t had your accordion needs fulfilled,
here’s another one from 1955.

Are you beginning to get the picture? It starts out innocently enough, but a little of that goes a long way. It can grate on your nerves after a while. All that champagne music. All that smiling. All that incessant bouncing. The only thing missing are polka dancers. In costume. To think of it going on and on and never stopping makes me want to throw an accordion, or at least a chair, through the nearest window.

I guess it could have been worse. They could have been playing “Lady of Spain.”

Actually, I have been playing the part of a curmudgeon and pulling your leg. This post is a tribute to some of the popular musicians of yesteryear.

I miss them.


  1. I never think of the Happy Wanderer without hearing, in my head, me singing
    'Mein Vater war ein Wandersmann,
    Und mir steckt's auch im Blut' etc, etc ... :)

  2. RWP,
    I can live without the way, stop back at eamus, some one left you a geat compliment!

  3. Synchronicity-For you to speak of accordions since I just latched onto your blog. Just a month ago, brother gave me his accordion find. A jewel it is. Do you know of a woman accordion player on the Welk show"? I enjoyed the videos - I really did. That guy can really do his stuff.

  4. i miss all those old men...40's or at least 5o's dancing and singing and holding hands with all those young girls, 18 or 19 or 20

  5. have you noticed this is an old person's blog

  6. First, a rejoinder to Putz: This blog, my dear Putz, is NOT for the OLD, but for the young in spirit!

    "If wrinkles must be written on the brow, let them not be written on the heart. The spirit should never grow old." - James A. Garfield (20th President of the United States of America)

    Now... to the subject at hand. I think it was obligatory in my school days (1940's) to have one or two students who wagged around their accordions. They were called upon to perform at student assembly on a regular basis. Lawrence Welk and Company had not yet appeared upon the scene.

    We once had a baby sitter, "Little Carmen" (as to differentiate between her and "Big Carmen") who brought her accordion to our home with her every day. She played what is now called 'Latino' music, and as I recall, I enjoyed it very much. Fortunately for the world in general, Mama decided that a piano was the appropriate musical instrument to have in the house.

  7. I remember Myron well. Here's the Wickipedia link about him:

  8. As one of your younger readers I must protest against calling this an old people's blog!

    Now, the Happy Wanderer in Dutch:

    Een frisse ochtendwandeling,
    Dat is mijn liefste wens,
    En als ik dan mijn liedje(s) zing,
    Ben ik de rijkste mens.

    Falderie, faldera

  9. You may be old Putz, we are not...yet

  10. jinksy, danke schoen!

    Reamus, is it really a great compliment that Ann from Montana says I made her spew coffee out of her nose?

    Sissy, perhaps JoAnn Castle (the piano player) played an accordion once or twice???

    Putz, see Pat - An Arkansas Stamper and James A Garfield, 20th President of the United States of America.

    Pat - an Arkansas Stamper, here in Atlanta we used to have a radio personality named Ludlow Porch who insisted for years that he had a Brazilian cousin named Carmen Veranda.

    Snowbrush, thanks for the link about Myron Floren. I see that he died in 2005 at the age of 85, and that he had been a member of the International Polka Music Hall of Fame since 1990. There are far worse things to be remembered for.

    Carolina, dank u!

    Reamus (again), I think Putz and I are both providing ample evidence that not only are we in our dotage, we are well into our second childhoods!

  11. Well, I can't say much, since my Mom played the accordion. I take the fifth. But I can say unequivocally that I LOVE Gary Larson's Far Side cartoons.

  12. RWP
    Yes, if Ann said it, it was a compliment.

    You and Putz must be in a different league then.

    Last, where did all these accordion players come from that follow your blog!

  13. Not a big accordion fan here. But I do like some of the music of yesteryear.

  14. Hi, rhymsie....thanks for the mention. Sorry it took me awhile to get here. Your blogging is clever and interesting as always!

  15. Once I was on night shift and the lady next door played and LP alllll day. Loudly. It was, I'm sure, entitled "10000 Accordion Greats".