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Step Aside Electronic Music, There's A New Accordion In Town

DETROIT (WWJ) - Today Detroit is known for its electronic music but it wasn't long ago that the accordion was king in the metro area and some say the instrument is making a come back!

It's a glamorous instrument," says Chet Wise. "I think it's got a lot of glamor."

The 78-year-old Wise has been playing the instrument his whole life. "I plan to play until I drop."

Michigan Accordion Society President Joe Recchia tells WWJ's Marie Osborne that he's noticing a trend in the metro area:

"We have players that are four, six, seven years old that are taking lessons at some local studios in the area that are affiliated with our organization," said Recchia. "We are seeing a demand and actually we are seeing an increase."

Recchia says the draw is the instruments' versatility and affordability.

"In my opinion it's one of the best instruments to learn because you do have a piano style keyboard on one side and you have bass and cords on the other," he said.

Recchia says that his uncle used to teach nearly a thousand students a week. He blamed the British Invasion on the loss of interest in the instrument in the 60s.

But the accordion has been a part of rock and roll music for decades;  from The Who - penning a song dedicated to the 'Squeeze Box' to the Talking Heads - the unique sound of the accordion has made its mark in all genres of music.

The Michigan Accordion Society has grown from just a few dozen members to over 200 statewide.

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