For years after
the rock and roll revolution took over American music, the accordion carried
a reputation as a musical instrument reserved only for wedding polkas and
Lawrence Welk fans. "That music trend put a bullet hole through the accordion,"
Ivo Baldoni, vice president and managing director of A. Baldoni Music Service
Inc., said. "The U.S. shelved the accordion for a new generation of instruments."
Accordions do rock 'n' roll as well as
Lawrence Welk music
Written by Rebecca R. Turco the Staff Writer of
the Menomonee Falls News... February 1996
Recruited to represent an Italian accordion importer in the United
States, Ivo's father, Alfonso, relocated his family from Castelfidardo,
a small town near Florence known as the country's accordion Mecca, to the
Milwaukee area during the early 1960s. Ivo is the fourth generation of
Baldoni's involved in the accordion business.
After eight years in the United States, Alfonso broke away from his
Italian employer to begin his own accordion business. Originally located
on Brady Street in downtown Milwaukee, A. Baldoni Music Service moved its
headquarters to Timber Creek Plaza, W16432 Appleton Avenue, nearly two
"We live out here and the commute began taking a toll on us," Ivo said
of the family business's decision to move. Besides the long commute, Ivo
added that their former downtown location attracted a lot of walk-in traffic
curious about Baldoni's unusual product.
Although most merchants welcome interest from passersby, the constant
attention only harmed Baldoni's business. "We practically had to hire someone
to entertain these people," Ivo explained. "It was time consuming, almost
like we were conducting educational seminars."
Over the last 20 years, the Baldoni family has built a prosperous small
business empire from Alfonso's grass roots accordion operation. Baldoni
accordions still are manufactured in Castelfidardo by Ivo's brother-in-law,
then imported and distributed in the U.S.
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