Myron Floren, Roslyn-Born Accordion
Player, Dies at 85
"Myron Floren, Roslyn-Born Accordion Player, Dies at 85." ASSOCIATED PRESS, 24 July 2005.
ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, Calif. - Myron Floren, a
maestro accordion player who entertained generations of TV viewers
on ''The Lawrence Welk Show,'' died Saturday at the age of 85.
Floren died of cancer at his Rolling Hills Estates
home in Los Angeles County, his daughter Randee Floren said.
A consummate musician versed in everything from
polka to Bach, he joined Lawrence Welk's band in 1950 and stayed
on until the television show ended in 1982.
Born on a farm outside Roslyn in 1919, Floren took
up the instrument after hearing an accordionist at a fair as a
child. He married his former student Berdyne Koerner in 1945 and
first played with Welk when the couple saw the band leader play
at a ballroom in St. Louis.
The two musicians had met previously, and this time
Welk invited Floren to perform a number with his band.
Myron chose ''Lady of Spain'' and the crowd was
so enthusiastic Welk asked him to play the rest of the evening
and quickly hired him, according to Margaret Heron, syndication
manager for the show.
The orchestra, which also included saxophonist Dick
Dale and singer Jim Roberts, was famous for bouncing, effervescent
dance music that Welk began playing as a young man.
More recently, Floren performed at music festivals
around the country and frequently appeared at the Lawrence Welk
Resort and Champagne Theater in Branson, Mo.
Parody singer ''Weird Al'' Yankovic, who also plays
the accordion, has called Floren an inspiration in his youth.
Singer Bill Lennon, whose older sisters were regulars
and who occasionally performed on Welk's show, described Floren
as a gentlemen and a dedicated musician.
''A lot of folks in the orchestra said he conducted
better with his elbows than many conductors do with the baton,''
Lennon said, referring to Floren's ability to play the accordion
and keep the band on tempo.
Randee Floren recalled going out in public with
her father as a young girl.
''People would recognize him and go crazy. It was
like going out with a rock star in those days,'' she said.
He and his wife Berdyne had five daughters, none
of whom were musically talented, Randee Floren said.
She remembered one Father's Day when band members
taught her and two of her sisters to sing a three-part harmony.
''We were terrible, but he was proud even though
we stunk,'' she said.
Floren is survived by his wife, five daughters and
A memorial service was pending. In lieu of flowers,
the family requested that donations be made to the USO.