I started playing the accordion at the age of eight years. My father played a 3 row button box and would play for our family. He played for barn dances during the depression. I played his accordion for a while but was always intrigued by a (piano) accordion. My parents purchased a 48 bass accordion from our neighbor for $100 and I started taking lessons from a local music store owner by name of Roy Olsen. He was a former band director who had a lot of respect for the accordion and started an accordion studio. I was so excited to learn from him I became his star pupil! He was a great man and a very committed Christian who has affected my life greatly. He went to be with the Lord in Feb. 2004. I will miss him very much. He taught me good basics. I also studied the Sedlon Accordion Method.
My family and I would listen to Dick Contino on Sunday evening and I was awe struck by his talents. I took lessons for about 8 years off and on from Roy Olsen. At age 19 I played with Marlin Bendickson, a local dance band for about 2 years and at age 21 I began to become bored with the accordion. I quit playing and sold it. I became a co-owner of Roy Olson's music store, there I began playing the Conn organs. I learned just enough to demonstrate the organs and selling them plus pianos as well as any other instruments we had in the store, for 20 years.
I never touched the Accordion for 30 years, the yearning to play again. made me buy a used Titano accordion. I started to play it a little. My wife and I started to come to Arizona were by chance I met Al Monti. I went to his house and he played for me. I was awe struck by the sounds he could get out of his instrument. I had never heard the Accordion played so wonderful with the big cords he was using. I was spellbound. I ask him to teach me how to do some of what he was doing. He graciously accepted my request and gave me some tips and many of his arrangement.
When the Arizona Accordion Club was formed , I was one of the first to join and to this day I love the club, learning something new every time I go to the meetings. It is wonderful to see the members encourages each other. At age 66 I'm not to old to learn and improve something new at each practice session. I like to also give credit to Gary Dahl who gives lessons via Tape. I mostly play songs from the big band era as well as patriotic songs and spiritual Christmas music. I, have played for weddings, funerals, church services. I also perform with Tennessee Ernie Fjord and Co, with shows in AZ. in the winter and in the Midwest in the summer.
My wife of 47 years Ruby and I have a home in Mesa AZ and a home in Fergus Falls, MN.