eBay Find: Win Twins Polka

The MLB playoffs start today and, since our beloved Red Sox will be watching from home this year, I’ve decided to pull for the Minnesota Twins this postseason. The choice was obvious after an eBay search uncovered this vinyl record of the “Win Twins Polka”, written by accordionist Marv Masterman. Masterman, who was inducted into the Ironworld Polka Hall of Fame in 2005, recorded the song during the Twins’ World Series run in 1987 (the salad days of Puckett and Viola) and considered it his greatest achievement in music. If anyone has a digital recording of this tune, let us know and we’ll listen to it while waving our Homer Hankies.

eBay Find: Accordion Times Magazine

Ever wondered if Queen Elizabeth II is an accordion lover? After seeing her portrait on the cover of the June 1953 issue of Accordion Times and Modern Musician, how couldn’t she be? A copy of this special “Coronation Issue” of the magazine is currently up for sale on eBay and looks like a fascinating glimpse at the British accordion community of the 1950s. According to the listing, the issue includes features on the NAO (National Accordion Organization of the UK) and the BCA (British College of Accordionists), as well as advertisements, reader letters, and, of course, a tribute to the new queen. Sounds like the Rolling Stone of its day.

eBay Find: R. Crumb Accordion Cards

I’ve heard that Saturday morning is the most active time of the week on eBay, so it’s the perfect time for another roundup of unique, accordion-related items. This time around, we’re focusing on printed materials we’ve uncovered:

  • R. Crumb Accordion Trading Cards
    Artist/illustrator R. Crumb has always been a music lover, collecting thousands of records and even playing banjo in his own band. Over the years, he’s drawn portraits of numerous musicians, including his “Heroes of the Blues” and “Pioneers of Country Music” trading card sets. This set, though, is a collection of 36 cards depicting French accordion players (including Gus Viseur, Charley Bazin, and more) titled “Les As Du Musette.” Replace your son’s baseball cards with these and watch his appreciation for musette music grow… “I’ll trade you a Joss Baselli for your Jo Privat!”
  • 1936 Hohner Piano Accordion Catalog
    Take a trip down memory lane with Hohner’s 1936 collection, including a top-of-the-line, custom-built accordion (“The Monarch of All Piano Accordions”) with 196 bass buttons and curved buttons for the low, low price of $1000 (or approximately $14,000 in today’s money).
  • The Mastery of the Bellows Shake
    Written in 1952 by Bill Palmer (of Palmer-Hughes fame), this book promises to help you master “brilliant and exciting bellows shake.” It even comes “approved and recommended by the creator of the bellows shake, Pietro Frosini.” Shake that, Contino!

That’s all for now — happy bidding!

eBay Find: “21 K Gold” Accordion

Sometimes I run across an eBay auction so ridiculous, it makes me laugh out loud. Check out this auction for an old Florino accordion. The description is priceless (as is the accordion, according to the seller):

“I think the gold parts are actual 21 K gold. A man once offered me $32,000.00 for this but I refused his pathetic attempt at a business transaction. Listen, I know this accordion is worth well over $560,000.00, but I am willing to take what I can get. No reserve and a $.99 minimum guarantees that this thing is going to sell. THIS IS THE CADILLAC OF ALL ACCORDIONS! YOU MUST DEMAND THE BEST!

Even after laying it on so thick, the current high bid is just $6.49 (about 1/6 the price of shipping). Can you believe it? For the “Cadillac of all accordions”!

Self-Playing Button Accordion for the Lazy

Want to sound like an honest-to-goodness accordion player, but without all that pesky practice and hard work? Well, check out this accordion built by Hessmuller — it looks like a real button accordion but, in fact, it uses a small mini disc player and speakers to play over 100 Bavarian-German songs (including “Beer Barrel Polka”). Here’s the pitch:

“Have your own Octoberfest! You can convince them all that you are a musical wizard. This is a real button accordion built by Hessmuller of Morgenroethe Saxony (Germany), but instead of the usual reed sets it uses mini discs playing professionally sampled accordion solos of traditional polkas, marches, waltzes, tangos etc. played by real German accordion players… All the player has to do is move the bellows and play the buttons (keys are all functional) convincingly and people will marvel at your skills.”

Of course, becoming a “musical wizard” overnight has its price — typically $1,595 when it pops up on eBay. My advice: save your money and put it towards some accordion lessons. [Found via Squeezytunes]

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eBay Find: Magnante Comic Book (and More)

Charles Magnante Comic BookOnce again, we’ve been cruising the world’s greatest garage sale for unique accordion-related goodies. Here are some highlights:

  • Charles Magnante Comic Book
    Part of the “Famous Men of Music Series”, this comic book (circa 1953) depicts the life and times of accordionist Charles Magnante. Watch the mighty Magnante as he fights for truth, justice, and the accordion way. Pow! Biff! Squeeze!
  • German Accordion Coin Bank
    A cute little accordion-shaped coin bank from Germany (probably 1930s/40s), emblazoned with the words “Gruss Aus Dem Aschberggebiet”. I’d like to think this was given away with bank accounts or home loans (more practical than a toaster, if you ask me), but I’m sure I’m wrong.
  • Lawrence Welk Letter Opener/Nail File
    Finally, for those of you who couldn’t get enough of the Lawrence Welk collectibles from last time, there’s this little gem: one side is smooth and the other side is a cross-marked nail file. The handle is brass and depicts Lawrence playing his accordion while standing in a champagne glass.

That’s it for this week — happy bidding!

eBay Find: Lawrence Welk Collectibles

Lawrence Welk VaseLooking for a unique gift for that Lawrence Welk fan in your life? A quick search on eBay this morning uncovered a few items that you definitely won’t find at your local Wal-Mart:

  • Lawrence Welk Accordion Ashtray
    A black and white ceramic, accordion-shaped ashtray complete with champagne, bubble and musical notes motif. Stub out your cigarettes in style!
  • Lawrence Welk Accordion Vase
    Okay, so maybe you don’t want to promote smoking in your house. Instead, you could opt for this green accordion-shaped vase with Lawrence’s signature on the side. Classy!
  • Salute to Winter Sports (16mm Kinescope)
    Fire up your old 16mm projector and enjoy this film of Lawrence and the band, recorded in January 1965. Includes performances by Myron Floren and JoAnn Castle. “Wunnerful, wunnerful!”

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any pink Lawrence Welk lamps currently up for sale, but there’s always next week.

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