Forbes Accordion Band

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The Forbes Accordion Band, c. 1939

The Forbes Accordion Band was a nationally-known all-accordion musical ensemble founded by Johnnie Catalina and Larry Yester in 1937. The group was sponsored by the Forbes Piano Company, which provided rehearsal space and subsidized tours. The band represented the company at National Association of Music Merchants conventions and other events.

The band consisted of 25 accordion players, selected from a larger number of applicants through a series of elimination contests. Miss Dicky Bell, a musical prodigy, joined the group before age 11. Yester and Catalina also compiled two books of accordion arrangements which where published by the Amsoo Music Publishing Company of New York, New York.


  • "Accordion Band Doing a Good Job" (February 1939) Presto Music Times, No. 2285, p. 18 - republished online by the International Arcade Museum Library, accessed February 7, 2013