A couple of days ago, I saw Grammy-winning conjunto band Los Aztex perform at San Marcos’ free “Summer In The Park” concert series, which has been a popular local fixture for 32 years. So, what does that have to do with country music at all ?
Well, it turns out that accordionist Joel Guzman has recorded every type of music, including country. There are several videos of him accompanying Joe Ely.
The accordion probably enjoys more popularity in Texas and Louisiana than in some other parts of the country, though the instrument shows up a lot of places (even early bluegrass). Here’s an old NPR article: Texas Gets The Accordion Bug And Never Looks Back.
CMHOF member Pee Wee King helped popularize the accordion in country music in the 1940s-50s. Here is a great Accordion America article about this fascinating character.
CMHOF member Jimmy Dean also played the accordion, and there are several videos on YouTube.
History Of The Accordion In Americana Music- Accordion America article details the early use of the instrument. There’s a 1920s picture of a family band with banjo and two accordions, and a 1940s picture of Anita Carter playing accordion for Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters.