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Central Florida Accordion Club
Featured Member for October, 2004
 Martin Fontana
"My dad started me on the accordion when I was about ten years old.  He owned and
operated a night club back in the ‘50s and he had a band of his own called
"Fontana’s Polka Kings”.   
 
Martin made his CFAC debut at our September meeting.
Also known as “Fonce”, he was born and raised in the
small town of Tiltonsville, Ohio.  
Martin and his wife Blanche now reside in Winter Haven,
Fl.  
Martin joined the CFAC last year and since then, his
wife and son also joined the club.  His son John
sometimes plays the drums at our meetings.  
 
“I owned and operated a mobile shoe repair shop for two years and traveled throughout the US before
settling in Winter Haven.  I operated a shop here for six years before retiring.  It was here that I
got back into playing the accordion.  My dad started me on the accordion when I was about ten years
old.  He owned and operated a night club back in the ‘50s and he had a band of his own called “Fontana’
s Polka Kings”.   They played every weekend on a local TV station called WTRF-7.  It was televised
from his night club and that’s where I became interested in playing the accordion.  My dad hired one
of the men from the band to give me lessons for about three months.  At that time, practice was not
a priority (bad mistake).  I had an eighty bass Hohner which I still own today.  Now at age 65, it is
harder to learn, especially since I don’t read music.  However, I have more time and the inclination to
practice.  As years passed, the Hohner sat in the closet.  Then I met a friend at the shoe shop who
played the accordion.  We started to meet on Saturdays to learn and play.  My friend doesn’t read
music either, so as he played, I would mark the notes until I learned the songs.  At times, my timing
was off, but I play the way I feel.  I am still learning and I love to listen to others play.  I have
only played in public once, at the park where I live.  

I joined the CFAC last year and want to thank Vern Corbin for introducing me to the club.  Since
then, my wife and one of my sons has joined the club also.  I have three sons and a daughter, and
they all l play some type of instrument.  One of my sons even plays the accordion.   Unfortunately, he
lives in North Carolina.  Many of you know my son John who joined the club as a drummer.  He lives in
Casselberry.  My goal is to play and just have fun”.
 

 

 

 

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