He may not have the name recognition of Myron Floren or Dick Contino, but few accordionists (past or present) could match the talents of Johnny Pecon. Pecon joined fellow Cleveland native Frankie Yankovic’s band in 1947; Yankovic played melodies on his piano accordion while Pecon harmonized on his chromatic. Pecon even introduced Yankovic to the song that would become his biggest hit: “Just Because”.
After a couple years of recording and touring with Yankovic, Pecon left and began a successful partnership with another excellent Cleveland accordionist, Lou Trebar. To this day, the Pecon-Trebar Orchestra is considered one of the greatest Cleveland-style polka bands of all-time.
Here’s a rare TV clip from 1958 of the Johnny Pecon Orchestra playing “Marybelle Polka”: