Album Share: Concerthon ’85 – Ed Kearney

Howdy friends! Long time no see! The lights are on at the Orphanage again!

Up in the bull pen for your listening pleasure is this gem of a recording of a recital performed by the members of Allegro Music Studios under the direction of accordion teacher Ed Kearney.

Recorded in 1985, the recital also served as a vehicle to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy and starts off with a personalized greeting and thank you from Mr. Jerry Lewis himself. Mr. Lewis also recognizes Mr. Kearney’s 20th anniversary as a music teacher, and judging from the enthusiastic performances this recording provides, a very effective music teacher he must have been.

Not to be missed are the James Bond Medley and Rock and Roll Heaven performed by the Master’s Ensemble and Senior Club. Both are immensely enjoyable and offer the opportunity to hear the rarely heard but satisfying sound a large accordion ensemble can provide. The album also includes several tracks from the younger set, two strong efforts by soloists Robert Trucious and Mike Greenshields, and some cute duets between Mr. Kearney and juvenile vocalist Renee Scott.

I’ve not been able to turn up much information about Allegro Music Studios or Mr. Kearney other than a few dead end references in some online accordion forums. Mr. Kearney, if you are out there, thank you and here’s hoping you are still going strong and celebrating your 47th anniversary.

Thanks for reading and as always, Enjoy!

Download individual tracks:

Side One:
1. Introduction by Jerry Lewis
2. The Star Spangled Banner
3. James Bond Medley
4. Jazz Magic
5. Georgia On My Mind
6. Big Top March
7. Cotton Candy
8. Las Classes De Cha Cha Cha
9. Swanee River
10. Two Guitars

Side Two:
1. Whistle While You Work
2. Accordion Boogie
3. Moon River
4. Waltz Allegro
5. The Grass Is Always Greener (I)
6. The Grass Is Always Greener (II)
7. Rock & Roll Heaven
8. God Bless America

Album Art:
Kearney Front

Download all tracks and album art in one 77MB .zip file:

8 Responses to “Album Share: Concerthon ’85 – Ed Kearney”

  1. Joseph Says:

    Hello all. I stumbled onto this website through a Google search for Ed Kearney, Allegro Music Studios, in order to show my 6 year old son a picture of Mr. Kearney. I was delighted to see that this album and a picture of a young Mr. Kearney were available. I was part of the accordion group that performed in this concert at the Whittier High School auditorium. A little history that might help: In 1979-80, a door to door salesman from the Milton Mann music studio in Buena Park, CA came to our house also in Buena Park, CA, and my parents signed up to give me lessons. The Milton Mann studio was located on the south side of Manchester Blvd between Western Ave (little hamburger joint that is still there and Fantasy Muffler) and Beach Blvd (Jax Market and Johnny’s Speed and Chrome( in Buena Park. The building and the 1950s mini mall that it was a tenant of was torn down somewhere in the 1990s to make room for the expanding 5 freeway and car dealerships. Mr. Kearney was a very demanding and intimidating music teacher. We would have small class (4-6 kids) lessons one night a week and then one band session on a different night where all the smaller classes at the same level would get together (about 30 kids) and play songs and perform solos at the direction of Mr. Santisteven, at the time I was taking lessons (from 1979-1985), for me, ages 6-12. Sometime around 1981-82, Mr. Kearney bought the studio and renamed it Allegro Music Studios. I became pretty good, but never practiced as much as Mr. Kearney would have liked or expected. Mr. Kearney always liked me and thought I had so much more potential, but with baseball, schoolwork, other sports, and budding puberty, practicing accordion was last on my list of todos every day. That being said, I did ok at my lessons. Fond fond memories of my mom driving me to the studio, lugging my very expensive DaVinci accordion through the back parking lot door, past the bathroom, and into the studio to begin a lesson or band, and my mom taking me to the Weinerschnitzel drive thru on Western and Orangethorpe (still there). Mr. Kearney defined the word Old School- professional, demanding, and dedicated. I don’t know exactly when Mr. Kearney started teaching at Milton Mann, but I do know that he stopped teaching at Allegro shortly after I stopped taking lessons (late 1985-early 1986). He then went to the New Orleans area to act and then I kindof lost track of him- if anyone has more info about him, either pre 1979 or post 1986 especially I would much appreciate it. I still have my accordion with all my music books with the written stars that Mr. Kearney would give us for good playing and also my first trophy from Milton Mann Studios. Those 6 years of lessons with Mr. Kearney taught me awesome life lessons that I still have with me- discipline, hard work, public speaking and performance, dedication, and of course, the music- which in the end was the least important of all the things Mr. Kearney taught me. I have many more fond stories of Mr. Kearney, especially the day I told him I was quitting. If anyone else has stories, pictures, or stories, please share. My email address is jncporras@aol if anyone wants to contact me with comments, questions, or to share stories, please do. Thank you all for reading. JR

  2. yoobfriv Says:

    I was delighted to see that this album and a picture of a young Mr. Kearney were available. I was part of the accordion group that performed in this concert at the Whittier High School auditorium.

  3. Mike Greenshields Says:

    I played on this album as well. So did my now-wife, L Wright (Lisa)

    Mr. Kearney passed away a few years ago. I do not have the exact date. He is missed. I can tell you that I too have FOND memories of Allegro. It is, afterall, where I met the girl of my dreams :)

    I still have my Da Vinci and my Petosa. And, I have this album at home too. :)

    Thank you all so much for posting it on line. I may have been a crazy kid in the 80’s but today it is a treasured memory and an experience that I am positive made me a better person.


  4. Karmen Grondin Says:

    Oh my gosh!!!! Joseph you have hit the nail on the head about Mr. Kearney! I took lessons at that very same studio from 4th – 9th grade. I also lived in Buena Park. My years were ’72 – ’77. I was just about ready to advance to the professional size when my parents decided to move out of state. No lessons offered anywhere in Nebraska! I no longer have my accordion. My mom was storing it for my and there was a flood. It was ruined, boy did she cry. I remember that it was $1200 in 1972 and lessons were $3.00 per week, band was free. At that time it was Milton Mann Studios. I have some pictures somewhere of a band concert that looks to be 1976. My neighborhood probably was glad when I moved, they didn’t have to listen to me practice anymore!!!!

  5. Erika Says:

    I also performed in that concert playing the accordion dressed as a clown

  6. Corey Mattaliano Says:

    What a cool article to find! Thank you! I was also a participant in this concert as a member of the Masters Club. I took private lessons from Mr. Kearney from 1975-1986. He has affected a much larger part of my life than I had realized until I finally went and got old. I still play the old squeezebox at Christmas time only anymore. The cheers to Mr. K! Yes… And to my old friend Mike Greenshields for getting the mention… Way to go buddy!!

  7. d Says:

    Mr Kearny was my accordion teacher 1976, he was mean as hell.. we were all afraid of him. he yelled constantly and hit our bellows with his stick. I was only 10 yrs old I feared him. He was a jerk.

  8. Mike Quirk Says:

    I took lessons for several years. My mom would take me there from La Mirada weekly. He was tough and at times cruel to kids. He had an ego like you wouldn’t believe and even as a kid, I thought he was teaching accordion because he had to, not because he wanted to. I guess that happens to a lot of people. He was always well dressed and expected you to show up groomed. I remember seeing him on the Jerry Lewis telethon. All in all, a decent guy.

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