Album sleeve text:
Jeno’s Pizza Presents: Music to Eat Pizza By
Featuring the Duluth Accordionaires
Directed by John Copiskey
Welcome another new sound — the sound of, “would you believe,” 23 accordions? No, not just the sound of 23 accordions–the sound of The Duluth Accordionaires. And there is a distinct difference.
When the Accordionaires marched into RCA Victor’s Studio A in Chicago to record this LP, the RCA staff welcomed the group warmly, but their faces revealed a hint of skepticism at the sight of the 23 accordions.
But, during their first selection, that look changed to amazement and the first comment was “Hey, that’s an orchestra!”
All through the recording session, the music of the Accordionaires filtered through the studio doors and drew passing RCA personnel into the engineer’s booth where their appreciation of the sound was evident in tapping feet.
But, when the Accordionaires had completed the last take of the final selection, Recording Engineer Brian Christian paid them the highest compliment in suggesting that their sound could do for the accordion what the sound of the Tijuana Brass has done for the trumpet.
Yes, the Accordionaires are an orchestra. But — with the exception of sidemen Ralph Anderson (double bass) — the Accordionaires are 14-to-19-year-old music students of Director John Copiskey.
And, yes, the sound of The Duluth Accordionaires is new — but new only in the sense that until recently so few had been exposed to it.
John Copiskey began creating this sound with his first ensemble of accordion students in 1949. The following year the ensemble started competing in Minnesota, regional and national music contests. And, over the years, as the number of ensembles under his direction increased from one to seven, he continued to develop and refine the sound.
The ensembles have competed every year since 1950. And their sound has captured awards in every competition entered — the highest being the highest national honor awarded accordion ensembles, the American Accordion Association’s First Place Trophy for Virtuoso Ensemble Competition.
After capturing this coveted award, The Duluth Accordionaires were invited to tour Italy with America’s leading accordion artists and to appear on NBC-TV’s “Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson.
And, now this — their first record.
The sound of The Duluth Accordionaires is as new as a sound can be to one first hearing it — and as rich as a sound can be that has been almost two decades in the making.
So, welcome now another new sound — the surprising sound of The Duluth Accordionaires.
Recorded June 23, 1967, at RCA Studios, Chicago
Recording Engineer: Brian Christian
Cover & Liner Supervision: Deane Williams
Producer: Gene Gruba
There’s also an “I was a Duluth Accordionaire” Facebook page, with excellent photos like these:
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