Toni Charuhas writes in her book, published in 1955 as a dissertation for a graduate course of study, the following, from page 15.
"The accordion today is one of the largest selling instruments in the musical world. According to statistics, more than 125,000 accordions were imported into the U.S. from Italy alone in 1953 and with the demand constantly growing it would not be too presumptious to predict that in the near future there will be an accordion in practically every home. A census conducted by the American Music Conference discloses that in 1955 there are an estimated 1,500,000 persons playing accordion in the US."
Wow. Who would have thought that the accordion had once been so popular in the US? But it is making a resurgence. Artists like Cheryl Crow, Billy Joel, and Barry Manilow play the accordion. For more interesting facts, check out http://www.ladyofspain.com/naam.html.
There are also some awesome accordion performances you can check out on You Tube. Frank Marocco is of course my favorite. But I checked one out the other day at this location, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwFr--TG_KY It is Joel Guzman doing a jam session and it rocks!
I had never looked at the inside of an accordion until about 4 years ago when I took the bellows pins out of my Sano with great fear and trembling, and gingerly separated the bass and treble side from the bellows and peeked inside. I'm not recommending that everyone do it, but it was very informative.
If you are an enthusiast, and you have any interesting stories about your accordion experiences, we'd love to hear them. Hope you are spending a little bit of time each day working those fingers and squeezing the bellows. Spread the happiness!