Piece image

StoryCorps: Joyce Kahkonen

From: StoryCorps
Series: StoryCorps
Length: 01:45

Embed_button
Joyce Kahkonen remembers her father, a professional accordionist. Read the full description.

Kahkonen_small Family histories are often linked to things and places, whether it's a favorite chair or a vacation spot. Joyce Kahkonen says her family was linked to a musical instrument: the accordion. As Kahkonen tells her daughter, Gay, her father played the accordion professionally, and his enthusiasm was contagious. From polkas to waltzes and standards, Kahkonen taught all his children to play the accordion. And they enjoyed it, Joyce recalls -- so much so that they would all don accordions for a group photo. Other than the lessons, and the sense of duty in sharing music and playing for an audience, Joyce says one piece of advice from her father has often served her well: "Honey, remember one thing: If you can't play good, play loud."

Also in the StoryCorps series

Piece image

StoryCorps: Dean Smith (01:51)
From: StoryCorps

Dean Smith, who spent 40 years as a stunt double for Hollywood Westerns, talks with his wife, Debby, and son, Finis.
Caption: Jeff Lasater (L) and Drew Cartwright

StoryCorps: Jeff Lasater and Drew Cartright (02:29)
From: StoryCorps

Jeff Lasater tells his friend Drew Cartwright about his son Jeremiah who, after being bullied at school, committed suicide at 14 years old.
Piece image

StoryCorps: Debra and Lionel D'Luna and Adrienne D'Luna Directo (02:37)
From: StoryCorps

Adrienne D'Luna Directo interviews her parents, Debra and Lionel D'Luna, about her sister Alexis who died from complications of CHARGE syndrome in 2012.
Piece image

StoryCorps Griot: Clayton Sherrod (02:13)
From: StoryCorps

Clayton Sherrod looks back to 1964, when at 19 years old he became executive chef at an all--white country club in Birmingham, Alabama.
Piece image

StoryCorps: Yelitza Castro and Willie Davis (02:24)
From: StoryCorps

Yelitza Castro talks with her friend Willie Davis about serving meals to the homeless community in Charlotte, North Carolina for the past three years.
Piece image

StoryCorps: Maria Vasquez-Rojas and Francisco Vasquez (02:28)
From: StoryCorps

Maria Vasquez-Rojas talks with her brother, Francisco Vasquez, about being diagnosed with ovarian cancer shortly after finding out she was pregnant.
Piece image

StoryCorps: Dennis and Barbara Hale (02:37)
From: StoryCorps

Dennis Hale tells his wife, Barbara, about being the sole survivor of the Daniel J. Morrell shipwreck on Lake Huron in 1966.
Piece image

StoryCorps: Rogelio Martinez and Lisa Moya King (02:08)
From: StoryCorps

Rogelio Martinez talks to his former dance teacher, Lisa Moya King, about how she helped him through abuse at home.
Piece image

StoryCorps: Glenda and Larry Rike (02:55)
From: StoryCorps

Glenda Rike tells her son, Larry, how his father, Aubrey Rike, came to be one of the few present when President John F. Kennedy received his last rites on November 22, 1963.
Caption: Paquita Williams (L) and Laura Lane (R)

StoryCorps: Paquita Williams and Laura Lane (01:51)
From: StoryCorps

New York City Subway Conductor Paquita Williams talks to one of her passengers, Laura Lane, about her job.

Piece Description

Family histories are often linked to things and places, whether it's a favorite chair or a vacation spot. Joyce Kahkonen says her family was linked to a musical instrument: the accordion. As Kahkonen tells her daughter, Gay, her father played the accordion professionally, and his enthusiasm was contagious. From polkas to waltzes and standards, Kahkonen taught all his children to play the accordion. And they enjoyed it, Joyce recalls -- so much so that they would all don accordions for a group photo. Other than the lessons, and the sense of duty in sharing music and playing for an audience, Joyce says one piece of advice from her father has often served her well: "Honey, remember one thing: If you can't play good, play loud."

1 Comment Atom Feed

Caption: PRX default User image

South Hills Accordian Studios

I knew Mike and Edie,JoAnn, Joyce and Tom. I still remember the fancy accordians with their names on them. Good job, Joyce and Gay.

PINKY RAWSTHORNE

Broadcast History

NPR's Morning Edition 9/15/06

Transcript

JK: He loved music. He loved performing. He played, you know, always with tux, always looking nice, shiny shoes.

GK: What kind of music would he play?

JK: Lots of polkas, upbeat waltzes, and the old standards that everyone knew.

GK: You and your sister, and your brother all learned to play the accordion.

JK: Yes. We certainly did. We had no choice.

(Laughter)

JK: We have family pictures where we're all sporting an accordion: my sister, who was so good, my brother, and my mother who didn't play but would put an accordion on for the family portrait.

In the 50's my father started his own accordion studio in this old, rickety, wooden frame house. It was a great location because my father drew students from all Pittsburgh areas. They could all get their by trolley and drag their accordion up to our studio.

He would book anything. If you had a church and you had a calendar party an...
Read the full transcript

Intro and Outro

INTRO:

Today, a daughter recalls her family's history with the accordion.

Joyce Kahkonen [Kah-koe-Nenn]'s father played professionally, and his enthusiasm was contagious.

Here with her daughter Gay, Joyce Kahkonen talks about her father, and his passion.
[Tape]

OUTRO:

Joyce Kahkonen with her daughter Gay at StoryCorps in Pittsburgh.

These interviews are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library Of Congress.

Related Website

http://www.storycorps.net/listen