Squeeze This!

Squeeze This! : A Cultural History of the Accordion in America

3.31 (29 ratings by Goodreads)
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The piano accordion experienced a roller coaster ride of popularity--rise to fame on the airwaves, stage and silver screen, then a deathly decline, followed by a pop culture resurgence. Squeeze This! rolls out a history of the squeezebox with the first book-length study of its fascinating role in twentieth-century American music and culture. Focusing on key moments of transition, ethnomusicologist and accordion enthusiast Marion Jacobson shows how the instrument came to be celebrated by ethnic musical communities and mainstream fans alike. She also explores the accordion's rebirth in contemporary music, from the parodies of "Weird Al" Yankovic to geek rock legends They Might Be Giants to accordion-wielding superstars like Bruce Springsteen and Sheryl Crow. Loaded with images of gorgeous instruments, virtuoso performers, and rabid fans, Squeeze This! presents the untold story of America's rich accordion culture.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 154.94 x 233.68 x 20.32mm | 430.91g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0252080955
  • 9780252080951
  • 2,017,707

Review quote

"Solid. . . . This book holds plenty of interest for those who love accordion music."--Kirkus Review "An excellent book about the piano accordion's evolution, a number of major accordionists, and the many musical genres where it has been used, from polka and zydeco to rock 'n' roll and classical music. Fascinating reading not only for accordionists, ethnomusicologists, and folklorists, but especially also general readers interested in ethnic music and cultural history."--Deborah Anders Silverman, author of Polish-American Folklore"An academic resource, a detailed history, and a quirky travelogue. . . . [Time] to roll out the barrel and uncork the champagne: with this book, the lowly squeezebox has begun to get its cultural due."--Maclean's "An illuminating and occasionally whimsical account, in keeping with the instrument itself."--Library Journal"Ethnographically rich, compellingly written, and resting on a solid theoretical and methodological foundation, Marion Jacobson's cultural history of the accordion is a welcome addition to the extant literature on popular music, free-reed instruments, and cultural and diaspora studies."--Italian American Review "A fascinating cultural history of the most underestimated of instruments."--Booklist "Wunnerful, wunnerful. . . . A delightful and illuminating surprise."--The Wall Street Journal "A serious work of musical and cultural history."--Shelf Awareness "Using meticulous research, Jacobson not only touches on how topics as diverse as immigration, movies, war, and feminism have influenced the accordion's popularity, but she also finds time to drop in countless little known pop culture nuggets about great accordionists."--Publishers Weeklyshow more

About Marion S. Jacobson

Marion Jacobson holds a Ph.D. in music and ethnomusicology from New York University. An accordionist herself, she has performed with klezmer bands and accordion bands, and in old-timey jam sessions, but her favorite spot for gigs is the New York City subway.show more

Rating details

29 ratings
3.31 out of 5 stars
5 17% (5)
4 24% (7)
3 41% (12)
2 7% (2)
1 10% (3)
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