Copyright © 1999-2014 Gary Brueggen
MUSICIANS FAMILIAR TO MOST OF US|
The following series of photos were taken at various places and times. They show people of various ages playing their squeeze boxes or during their breaks from doing so. Enjoy!
Above is Bob Kaldunski practicing at home on his squeezebox.
And here is Ron Pronschinske and his wife, Kim.
And Butch Hermann with his concertina.
A fine young squeezebox player is Cory Miller, from Rochester, MN.
An even younger squeezebox player, Trenton Bemis, playing his button box.
Squeezebox players don't come much younger than Philip Brian Brueggen, who entered this world on Sep 19, 2002 at 7 lb, 9.4 oz and 20" long. Here he is with his mom, Jodi. Congrats to Jodi and Brian Brueggen.
And, Bert Gasch playing his button box for West Salem's Firemen's Dance, Saturday, May 4th.
And, believe it or not, Bert Gasch playing his accordion at Krome's Tavern in West Salem on Sept of 1964. Those other guys in the trio are Gerhard (Shorty) Stalsberg on guitar and Bob Selbrede on brass bass. 46 years ago!
Here is Nekolai (Nick) Wekseth at his party on Saturday May 11th, the day before his 100th birthday. Nick played accordion in several groups over the years, including his own group, The Nighthawks. He also toured with Thorstein Skarning, the Norwegian accordion virtuoso, for at least two years. Nick and I were in a 4-piece strolling band back in 1970 that played for La Crosse's Oktoberfest that year. The rather unflattering picture of that group is shown below - when we were all 40 years younger, and could fit into lederhosen. Late information: Nick passed away on January 26, 2003 at the Onalaska Care Center, in Onalaska, WI. Condolences to his family.
Marv Quinn, Mike Schnur, Nick Wekseth, Bob Selbrede in 1970, on the top of the parking ramp in La Crosse.
This is Brian Erickson, who was playing at the Essen Haus, a German restaurant in Madison, WI on Sunday, June 30. An excellent jazz concertinist.
This picture is of Ralph Proksch and his Coulee Region Orchestra, taken at the VFW in La Crosse, WI on May 31, 1951. Front row from the right is Ralph on Accordion, Ed Goldbeck at 1st Trumpet, Doug Heyer at 2nd Trumpet, Del Conklin and Dick Johnson on Sax's. In back is Bill Oelke on drums and Wayne Jerome on Tuba.
For those who do not know or remember, Ralph Proksch played for quite a while with the Whoopee John Orchestra. This picture was taken Jan 26, 1958 at Marty Zivco's Ballroom in Hartford, WI. Besides Ralph on Accordion is Joe "the Gink" Doodeward on tuba. The standsides show "Decca Records - Whoopee John - America's #1 Polka Band - WCCO Radio & TV.
In about 1955 the Jerry Gilbertson Orchestra went on WKBT-TV and played a show on Thursday evenings at 8:30 PM. The 10-piece band (plus a singer) was given the name of the Midland Musicmakers - being sponsored by the Midland Company. Here is Jerry Gilbertson playing an accordion solo..
Here we find Stan Christopherson and Vonnie (West) Meyer singing a duet. The band is in the background. Notice that TV was in black and white in those days.
The band is shown with the Midland Products backdrop. Note the single WKBT camera in the foreground.
Band members are (l-r) Don Carr, Everett Goli, Bill Shogren, Stan Christopherson, Doug Heyer, Don Matson, Elaine Wieczorek and Clarence Wieczorek. Hidden behind the bass horn is Alert Betz.
Clarence Wieczorek and sister, Elaine, on piano, and finally Alert Betz on bass horn.
Jerry Gilbertson's 7-piece band at the Log Cabin Ballroom in Bangor, WI on Oct 08, 1989. (l-r) Ellis Erickson on Sax, Bob Selbrede on Sousaphone, Darren Osley on Sax, Jim Gilbertson on Drums, Arlan Wekseth on Trumpet, Ralph Proksch on Keyboard and Jerry Gilbertson on Accordion.
Jerry Gilbertson's 7-piece band at Matter's Ballroom in Decorah, IA on Jul 15, 1990. (l-r) Jerry Johnson on Sax, Darren Osley on Sax, Bob Selbrede on Brass Bass, Arlan Wekseth on Trumpet, Jim Gilbertson on Drums, Jerry Gilbertson on Accordion and Ralph Proksch on Piano.
One band featured in this year's La Crosse, WI Oktoberfest was that of the Rainbow Valley Dutchmen. From the left is Ray Dorchner on Sax, John Ball on Sax, Jens Jensen on Trumpet, Mike Cielecki on Trumpet, Ray Wells on Drums, Keith Zwack on Concertina and Jim Dorschner on Bass.
How about this squeezebox player? His name, Joel P. Wanha. Lives in Phoenix, Arizona now. Photo shows him playing in Tempe, Arizona Octoberfest in 2003, with Joel's Polka Band. He played in Polka Playboys Band in Minneapolis as well as Art Fenske and The Jolly Coppersmiths.
Scene: Romy's Nitingale Ballroom, Black Creek, WI - Sun Mar 04 2007 - WRJQ Radio celebrates its 1st Anniversary - Ray Dorschner's Rainbow Valley Dutchmen with Gary Brueggen on concertina. Above, Gary congratulates Aaron Schuelke, owner/ manager/announcer/disk jockey. Aaron uses Gary's voice on some of his WRJQ jingles. That's Jim Dorschner (bass horn player) snickering in the background.
For information, additions or corrections, send message to Bob Selbrede