Play the Piano Accordion!

And why would you want to do that?  For pleasure and popularity!

However, if you tend towards the morose and popularity is not for you, you can always get a button box in some hopelessly mournful minor key.   The possibilities are endless.

The inspiration for tonight’s show is the story of Chris Strachwitz and Arhoolie Records as portrayed in a recently released documentary film and accompanying 2 CD set, This Ain’t No Mouse Music.   The filmmakers and their subject made two trips through musical America–one to the deep south, Texas and Louisiana, and the other through Appalachia.    It is the first of these that concerns us tonight on In Heaven There Is No Beer.   Because in Texas and Louisiana, accordions abound.  And people play them for pleasure and popularity.

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Join us as, unworthy though we may be, we travel in their footsteps.    In Heaven There Is No Beer, a weekly accordion show heard only on WIOX, community radio 91.3 FM, Roxbury, NY.  We come to you every Thursday evening at 8:00 PM and the show streams live at  wioxradio.org.  Our broadcasts are also available on the iPhone.  Just go to the Apple App Store and search WIOX.  And on Margaretville Cable Channel 20.

A tribute to Walter Kuhr

Tonight we honor one of our own, Walter Kuhr.  Walter was Mr. New York Accordion.  No room for argument there.  Walter passed away on January 2.  His obituary in the New York Times  began thus:”A gentleman,” a widely repeated anonymous quotation has it, “is a man who can play the accordion but doesn’t.

By those lights, Walter Kuhr was unequivocally no gentleman.

OK, the Times is what it is (incorrigible cheeky) but Walter was one of the good guys.  Tireless promoter of the accordion, a performer and a  bandleader, Walter was the proprietor of The Main Squeeze on East Broadway in NYC, where he promised to meet “all your accordion needs.”  Some of us, obviously, have more accordion needs than others.

Join us in paying our respects to Walter and his Main Squeeze Orchestra this evening on In Heaven There Is No Beer, a weekly accordion show heard only on WIOX, community radio 91.3 FM, Roxbury, NY.  We come to you every Thursday evening at 8:00 PM and the show streams live at  wioxradio.org.  Our broadcasts are also available on the iPhone. Just go to the Apple App Store and search WIOX.  And on Margaretville Cable Channel 20.

Your host,

Joe Markulin

Read Walter’s complete obituary.

And for more information.

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Italian wedding music from the ’50s and ’60s

Southern Italian that is, from Calitri, in the province of Avellino.  What better way to look forward to Spring?  Mandolins, violins and accordions.

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Plus Christmas leftovers, a visit from the three kings and all the records I got for my birthday.

Join us tonight for our big post Christmas show.  In Heaven There Is No Beer is heard on WIOX, community radio 91.3 FM, Roxbury, NY.  We come to you every Thursday evening at 8:00 PM and the show streams live at  wioxradio.org.  Our broadcasts are also available on the iPhone.  Just go to the Apple App Store and search WIOX.  And on Margaretville Cable Channel 20.

Your obstreperous but highly qualified host,

Joe Markulin

The legend continues–on the radio

A Christmas Miracle.

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The Legend So Far:

What ever happened to that little spurned Accordion Boy? He was driven out into the night by a host of ingrates–toffs, swells, NFL team owners and other plutocratic Republican types– when he came upon a ragged beggar in an alley surrounded.  This disheveled entity was surrounded by other similarly ragged souls.  “Shall I play for you,” the little accordion boy asked politely, because he wanted to share the joy of the season, even if it was only with beggars. “By all means” said the King of the Beggars–and so he played, the Little Accordion Boy. And right before his eyes, as he coaxed strain after beautiful, uplifting strain from his box, a miracle occurred. For the Beggar was transformed into Christ the King and his fellow weary souls were the twelve apostles!  And some shepherds!
And as the music soared that Christmas night, Christ and his glorious company were assumed body and soul into heaven!
When they had left him, the little accordion boy was all alone but filled with joy.  He lifted hie eyes towards the heavens, and he saw a star in the east.  It was  brighter than anything he had ever seen before in the night sky (and in years past, he had worked for some time as a shepherd, so he knew the night sky).

I’ll follow that star, he thought.  Swinging his accordion up on his back like a knapsack, he did just that.   He worked his way over hill and dale, down through the Apennines and came to the city of Napoli.  He wound through those tortured streets and alleys until he came upon a vast, open square.  And there, directly across from the San Carlo Opera House stood the Galleria Umberto I.    Overhead, as if beckoning him to enter, the guiding star shone even more fiercely.  With great trepidation,  he tried the door–and it swung open.

In the gloomy interior, there was only one tiny sound that pierced that immense silence.

The little accordion girl.

You know the rest.

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Join us tonight for our big Christmas show.  We’ll be playing all kinds of Christmas music, sacred and profane.  In Heaven There Is No Beer is heard on WIOX, community radio 91.3 FM, Roxbury, NY.  We come to you every Thursday evening at 8:00 PM and the show streams live at  wioxradio.org.  Our broadcasts are also available on the iPhone.  Just go to the Apple App Store and search WIOX.  And on Margaretville Cable Channel 20.

Your host,

Joe Markulin