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General Information
Larry Miller | The Cajun Accordion Story | Contact Information | Other Cajun Products | E-Mail Me








Larry Miller of Bon Tee Cajun Accordions


Larry MillerLarry was born of predominately Acadian ancestry (Leger, LeJeune, Cormier and etc.) and reared in Acadia Parish near Iota in the heart of the Prairie Cajun region. He grew up speaking only Cajun French, like most of his age group in the late 30's and 40's, and had to learn English upon entering school. His father Abraham played accordion well while his older brother James Calvin played guitar and later accordion with Larry on the triangle and spoons. Later, after spending 22 years in the Acadia Parish School system as a science & math teacher and eventually principal, retired to enter business, then retired from business to devote full time to preservation of Cajun Culture. Among his endeavors in this area as a charter member of the Cajun French Music Association he worked for 10 years as various officers to become the National Gov. Body President for 1989-91.

In addition he plays in a Cajun Band and has helped to organize several ongoing jam sessions where new comers are helped along.

Before Larry retired from the school system he began to build accordions as a hobby just because the thought of his people producing these machines by hand was intriguing. Later he learned to build triangles because his father built them, then added the Cajun style spoons in a handle and the vest type scrubboard (frattoir) to his line of instruments. With some part-time help he also has a complete line of accordion parts to service other builders.

The Cajun Accordion Story
The Melodeon -The Cajun Accordion - La Accordion Cadien

Although the Chinese invited basic reed instruments, it is generally accepted that the Germans, in about the 1830's successfully developed accordions with brass reeds. The diatonic accordion with a single row of reeds and buttons was the very first accordion developed, then later this built up to a single row of buttons with four rows of reeds, in three octaves. These then are particular type of diatonic accordions called melodeons which are keyed like harmonicas.

The melodeons began to arrive in Louisiana via German immigrants during the mid 1870's and were slow to become utilized by Acadians (Cajuns) because they were in keys in which fiddlers had difficulty returning or finding the notes. But when the C and D keyed melodeons came along and because they could be heard across the dance floor (with no electricity then, fiddlers could not always be heard across a noisy dance floor) by 1910 to 1920, a happy marriage with fiddlers occurred.

Then after WW II Cajuns could not obtain these melodeons because all (except one) accordion factories in Germany ended up within the East German state behind the Communist wall.

So Cajuns, because of a love of music and a sharp dance beat which these melodeons can produce, began to make copies of the German models themselves. We now have scores of builders in South Louisiana who build the very best melodeons in the world.

Because Cajun musicians have saved this type of Accordion from extinction in USA and have also sparked a renewed interest of an almost forgotten accordion type in Europe with Cajun Music, many people in Louisiana have named it the Cajun Accordion.

Bon Tee Cajun Accordions are custom made with the best handmade reeds that Italian factories can offer (nobody manufactures reeds and bellows in USA to speak of) as well as premium Italian bellows. For 18 years Larry has worked on his building skills and the design of the fingerboard and bass boxes to develop optimum comfort and response.

All accordions are sanded very smoothly, two coats of vinyl sealer, resanded very fine and then four coats of catalyzed semi-satin lacquer. All screws are stainless steel and all other materials are of the best quality. Leather straps are made of top grain cowhide in the Bon Tee Cajun shop. These instruments are keyed like harmonicas and can come in any key desired. The most popular keys in order of preference to date are, Keys of C, D, Bb, A, F, & G.

For a new Bon Tee Cajun Accordion, Larry offers a free tuning after about 100 hours of playing when the breaking-in period of the new reeds has occurred. Like most accordion builders he also repairs and tunes other accordions.

Other Cajun Products

For a full list of other Cajun products including Triangles, Spoons, Frattoirs, Jewelry, Masks, Hats, Books, Music and recordings, please contact Larry Miller or visit the following:


Contact Information

Larry G. Miller
886 McMillian
Iota, Louisiana, 70543

Phone: +1 (337) 779-2456
Fax: +1 (337) 779-3080


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