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Central Florida Accordion Club
Featured Member for November 2004

Jim Perkins
 
Jim is the chairperson of CFAC's Merchandise
Committee.  He's responsible for club
publications including  CFAC Membership
cards, club fliers, and the resource guide that
was distributed at our annual meeting.  He
also enjoys photography and you can catch
him at our meetings sometimes with one or
both of his daughters, CFAC members Cheri
and Dawn.

Through the '60s and early '70s, Jim played
in the Mallion Orchestra.  They toured the
New England area, the Catskill Mountain
resorts and Alexadrea Bay playing many
social functions including weddings, garden
parties, fraternal organization events, hotels
and dance halls.  The orchestra was a
mainstay of the Hotel Torranine in Boston
for many years appearing weekends in the
Grand Ballroom.
 
Jim in the band years
 
In Jim's words . . .
"I started piano lessons at about 10 but hated it.  One day an accordion instructor came to the door
and talked to my parents.  He had a 12 bass red accordion with a 'diamond' in the middle of one of
the black buttons.  I was hooked!  No more piano lessons.  The Paul Eramo Accordion School for the
next few years saw me graduate to a 64 bass, then a 120 bass student size, and finally a full size.  
I studied hard and practiced a lot and did side-man jobs as a young teen.  At 18 I became a member
of a 20 piece band in the rhythm section and did solos.  I went to work at the North Shore School of
Music as an instructor of accordion and organized their recitals for many years."
 
Jim began a professional performing career at the age of 16
when he appeared at local social events and organization
functions.  At 18 he became the youngest member of the Ted
Mallion Society Orchestra in the rhythm section and as a
featured performer.  As a popular soloist, he specializes in the
"Big Band" selections from his favorite composers Gus Kahn,
Harry Ruby and Cole Porter.  Just don't ask him to play
Lady of Spain!

Many of us know that Jim is in the movie business.   Jim says
"I started in the motion picture business as an usher in 1965
at a theatre in Boston that was playing
Lawrence of Arabia.  I
eventually became a manager, at the same time attending
college, teaching accordion and playing in a band.  I met my
wife at a theatre I took over to manage.  We dated, I fired
her, and we got married.  Doesn't everybody do it that way"?
 
16 years old
 
Jim stayed in the Boston area until 1973, then off to Florida.  He managed a theatre in
Jacksonville for 10 years.  From '85 to '95 he was the District Manager for Cineplex Odeon
covering all the theatres from Jacksonville to Miami, Sarasota, Pensacola, and Daytona to
Clearwater.  In '95 Jim was transferred to the Houston / Galveston area of Texas.  He returned
to Florida in 2001 to manage the Cinemark Festival Bay 20 theatre.  

Jim says "Being on the road so long my accordion life suffered until I was sent to Texas.  There, I
was home every night and had time to play.  I joined the Houston Accordion Club, a smaller
organization with fewer members and no real mission, just a bunch of folks getting together playing
the accordion once a month.  Our current directory was an idea I did for them and it just grew into
what you've seen this year."
Jim lives in Kissimmee with his wife Marie.  They have two daughters, Cheri and Dawn, both CFAC
members.  Jim spends his leisure time as a model train hobbyist or motor boating.

 

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