South Dakota Legends: Myron Floren
Perhaps the accordion doesn't get the musical respect it deserves. But that certainly isn't because of a man named Myron Floren.
Born in 1919 and raised on a farm near the South Dakota town of Roslyn, Floren became among the most well known and accomplished accordionist's of the 20th century.
From the time he got his first mail-order $10 squeeze-box at the age of 6, Myron fell in love with the instrument. And, I guess, the instrument fell in love with him! They became inseparable.
It was in 1950 that Myron first met Lawrence Welk in St. Louis and, as the saying goes, the rest became musical (and television) history. Over the next 32 years Myron was a part of the Lawrence Welk Orchestra and, of course, the immensely popular Lawrence Welk Show. Labeled 'The Happy Norwegian' by Welk, millions watched weekly for the magic of Myron Floren, not to mention the TV dancers who loved his polka's!
Myron passed away in 2005 at the age of 85, but what a career and life this 'Happy Norwegian' had. To say you brought a smile (and a dance step or two!) to millions of people? That's not a bad legacy to have.
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