Thursday, December 16, 2010

Powerhouse by Charles Nunzio (1941)

We offered free sheet music for a vintage accordion arrangement of Scott's "Powerhouse" by Charles Nunzio in January 2009, and in October we noted the death of the famed accordionist at the age of 97. Following the latter post, accordionist Zevy Zions of contacted us about an unreleased recording of Mr. Nunzio (who taught Zions) performing "Powerhouse" in concert in 1941. With the permission of Mr. Zions, we've posted an mp3 for free download. It's quite an astonishing virtuoso rendition. Wilder than a polka! We asked about the derivation of the recording. Tape was not widely known or available in 1941, yet the recording does not reflect the surface noise and crackle characteristic of 78s. Zions explained:
It was captured on some sort of disc recorder. Yes, the quality is relatively good. The performance is off-the-cuff; he's not following the written music. He didn’t remember it when I played it for him a few years ago.
Mr. Nunzio was conferred a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Accordionists Association in November 2004.


  1. Thank you for the audio and the opportunity to get the sheet.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to remember my old accordion teacher. Only today, I discovered the passing of Mr. Nunzio.

    For many years he came to my parents home in Bloomfield, N.J. and instructed me in the proper way to not only play the accordion but to approach music. His openness to various types of music was incredible and knowing that I was also involved with Irish music, he would sometimes ask me to play what I was currently learning. He would amaze me by taking my accordion and sight-read the tune before handing back the accordion to hear how I was doing with it.

    As it has been many years since I "seriously" studied and have just recently began to practice, I would appreciate if you could send a copy of "Powerhouse" as a remembrance of Mr. Nunzio, and of the music that inspired me not only watching Looney Tunes as a child but as a teenager listening to the band Rush. I can put it next to his Hanon for the Accordion book as I begin to practice.

    Thank you.

    John Morgan