The Classical Free-Reed, Inc.
Online Gift Store

The Magnante Story, Book & CD

The Charles Magnante Story: The Autobiography of America's Great Accordionist

edited and compiled by Helmi Strahl Harrington, Ph.D.

Includes 21-track CD

The Magnante Story (Front Cover)

162 Pages, Plastic Spiral Binding, Soft Cover. 
Book organized into Four Parts:

The Charles Magnante Story
Magnante Remembered
The Musical Estate Cataloged
Later Editions' Additions

Book measures 11  tall x 9 wide x 0.5 inches thick. 
17 historic photographs.
Includes excerpts from sheet music.

CD includes 21 favorite Magnante recordings

    Accordion Boogie
    Dizzy Fingers
    Flying Saucers
    Green Light
    Minuet in June
    Dance of the Comedians
    Flight of the Bumble Bee
    Holiday for Chords
    Holiday for Bass
    Hora Staccato
    Perpetual Motion
    Magnante Boogie
    Rhapsody in Blue
    Espana Capri
    Carnival of Venice

Collector's item. Truly a treasured addition in the library of the discriminating accordion aficionado.

How to Order

Item is $60.00

US orders: Send $65.00 by check or money order (includes $5.00 shipping & handling charge) to:

Overseas customers: Click here for shipping rates.


Charles Magnante (1905-1986) was an American piano-accordionist, arranger, composer, author and educator. His artistry helped raise the image of the accordion from an instrument considered suitable only for folk music to an instrument accepted in many music genres.

Magnante's father was a well-known amateur musician, and performed at Italian wedding receptions and other dance venues. Charles sang along with his father beginning at the age of five years, and at the age of seven, he secretly learned to play his father's accordion. At the age of sixteen his reputation as an accordionist had grown so much he was receiving many offers to join tours with stage bands, which he declined due to his continuing musical studies.

Charles Magnante started his professional career playing in Italian restaurants and on the Staten Island Ferry. However, he wanted to break free from the O Sole Mio image of the stereotypical Italian-American accordionist which his audiences expected to hear. In the 1940s, he was the leader of a successful trio with guitarist Tony Mottola and organist George Wright, and played regularly on NBC radio broadcasts. He worked also as a sought-after studio musician. At the peak of his career, he played 30 live radio broadcasts and eight studio sessions each week. He performed also as a solo concert musician, and once performed a solo concert at the Civic Stadium of Buffalo, New York for an audience of 40,000.

Magnante was one of the twelve founding members of the American Accordionists' Association (founded in 1938), and also served as this organization's president for three terms. He wrote method books for accordion players and numerous arrangements of contemporary popular standards, schlagers and classical pieces. Many of his arrangements can still be found in the standard repertoire of accordionists throughout the world. His most famous original composition is probably the novelty Accordiana. His arrangements and compositions stretch across a number of musical genres, including easy listening, jazz and boogie-woogie, and light classical pieces.

Magnante was featured as accordion soloist on more than two dozen albums (many with studio orchestras), released by Columbia, Grand Award, Command Records, Decca Records, and other record labels.

Back to Online Gift Store

Back to The Homepage of Henry Doktorski