Cory Recommends: “Bumble Boogie” by Jo Ann Castle

I have read that as much as 30% of a medium is lost in a format shift. My interest in vinyl records has much less to do with any audiophile illusions than it does with being unhindered by format. There is some interesting stuff out there that never made the digital jump and I want to hear it.

I’ve also got a soft spot for junk shops. Not antiques- junk. Garage sales. Charity shops. Goodwill. If it reminds you of a basement that a relative needs to clean out, that’s for me. If I happen across an album with a cover that tickles me in such retail situations AND the find is less than a fiver, the chance that my own basement will become more dense vastly increases. Anything “in Hi-Fi” especially has my attention. Given enough time and not enough supervision this mix of proclivities leads to a “collection” and is precisely how I came to be in possession of a record that continues to bring a smile to my face each time I look at it; “Accordion in Hi-Fi” by JoAnn Castle.

When I told my folks about this particular treasure they matter-of-factly said “Oh, yeah, she was on Lawrence Welk all the time…” and dear reader, they were right. Turns out she had quite a notable career not only on the squeezebox, but as a pianist too. This album is from roughly 1960 as she was hitting her stride.

As you may have guessed by the song title, this is a take off (Ha! My Dad-ness is showing) on the classic “Flight of the Bumblebee” but jazzed up and on accordion. This is one of those pieces of virtuosity where all you can do is whistle and shake your head while marveling at the technical prowess on display.

There is something wonderfully unironic and catchy about this track. Her incredible ability is undeniable. Even if this doesn’t make into your regular rotation, it’s worth a listen so that you can doff your cap to a forgotten master of the craft.

(Song recommendation by Cory Funk)

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