Le Squeezebox

Episodes

First
Broadcast
Comments
20030923

The accordion is the quintessential sound of Paris, but until recently not even the most dedicated collector of 78 records could name more than one female act during the instrument's heyday in the 1930s. When the legendary American counter-culture illustrator Robert Crumb, an expert on the period, drew a set of playing cards featuring the 'Aces Of The Accordion', all but one of the star turns were men. Intrigued by the absence of women from the ranks of the great French squeezebox players, Crumb and fellow enthusiast Dominic Cravic turned detective, searching for recordings of the forgotten women stars through piles of ancient shellac 78s, like Egyptologists looking for lost Pharaohs. Their search took a decade, and in Le Squeezebox music writer and accordion enthusiast Philip Sweeney tells the stories and plays the music of the women squeezed out of history.