No other instrument has witnessed such a dramatic rise to popularity - and precipitous decline - as the accordion. This is the first history of the piano accordion as a uniquely American musical and cultural phenomenon. Focusing on key moments of transition, from the introduction of elaborately decorated European models imported onto the vaudeville stage and its celebration by ethnic musical communities and mainstream audiences alike, to its later denigration and novelty performances by the likes of "Weird Al" Yankovic as as well as a recent revival within contemporary cabaret acts and pop groups such as They Might Be Giants. Lots of photos, and enthusiastic performers and fans. Hardcover, 304 pp.