Welcome to the Nostalgic Ramber

Hans Jeff Borger is heard on WRGE 97.9 FM in Ocala, FL featuring Christian programming.

"The Nostalgic Rambler" radio show previously heard on Gene Martin & Friends has been suspended due to my commitments at WRGE.

Why a blog? I wrote a book "The Little Grownup: a nostalgic Michigan boyhood" which should appeal to most baby boomers. A mass market book? Well, not yet...but the potential is there! (Be sure to buy it at "finer on line bookstores" everywhere!)

The comments presented in "The Nostalgic Rambler" probably won't be of interest to the masses...anymore. If grandma and grandpa and their friends were still alive, then it would be a different story.

I live in the past. My time warp is a comfortable cocoon even if it sometimes drives my wife crazy. The music of the 1940s and 50s, the stars of those days were big stuff in their day, but are now almost forgotten. Oddly enough, I was born in '64 so those iconic years were for the most part over by that time.

Through "The Nostalgic Rambler" I maybe can help share my love and knowledge for those times and things...all at one time important pieces of Americana but now a bit faded in memory.

The woman who did the blog about cooking all of Julia Childs' French Cuisine Cookbook in a year got a sweet movie deal out of her blog experience. I wouldn't mind that but would be happy to know that you are reading this....and maybe enjoying my time warp, too.

Hans Jeff Borger

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Accordion Mania!

My wife and I recently got back from a trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The area is simply beautiful. Lake Superior is magical and the serenity of visiting the Porcupine Mountains and the Copper Country will stay with us for years to come.

An unexpected surprise was running into Marilyn Monsivais who along with her husband runs the Centennial Cabins in Calumet. She had her accordion set up in the resort office. When we arrived and checked in, we heard her extolling the wonders of accordion music.

To fill you in, I took accordion lessons in the 1970s and for years played songs like "Beer Barrel Polka" and who can forget the classic "Too Fat For Me" Polka?! What do you expect with parents who came from Germany? I still remember my repertoire by heart, even though I rarely get to play anymore. The poor accordion and accordion players just don't get any respect in the United States. In Europe they are still seen/heard quite often, even in pop music.

The 40s and 50s had lots of accordion music here to calm the masses (Dick Contino anyone?) ....or get them up to dance the polka! Of course, my idols Lawrence Welk and Myron Floren (pictured above with early Champagne Lady Alice Lon) kept the accordion sounds alive on tv into the 1980s.

Anyhow, once Marilyn found out I played, she hauled out her spare squeezebox and we had an impromptu jam session. Nice to see that this music is still alive in the Midwest and that folks like Marilyn are keeping the happy sounds alive. That was fun!

Click on this link to see a great clip of Myron Floren as he plays his accordion in Frankenmuth, Michigan during a German TV special of the "Lustige Musikanten" several years back. We also have some video of my playing with Marilyn that I would love to show you but I don't know how to post it here! I must find out how to upload some old videotapes to Youtube as I even got to interview Myron for a tv show years ago.

(pic above of Marilyn and me in the Centennial Cabins office!)

No comments:

Post a Comment