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Tony Fiore
Born:  January 22, 1924
Died:  June 15, 2006
KLZ Denver, CO


About The Artist

August 18, 2023 — In progress...

August 21-22, 2023 — Updated.

August 25, 2023 — Updated.

September 4, 2023 — Updated.

September 14, 2023 — Updated.

Joseph Anthony (Tony) Fiore was born to parents Joseph and Rosie Fiore in Denver, CO in January 1924. Calvin Coolidge was the president of the United States at the time. His father was born in Italy on November 8, 1892. He moved with his family to Colorado in 1902. His first job in his new country was laying of cobblestones on Market Street and other downtown Denver streets. He then became a fruit peddler until 1927 when he took up fruit farming on the outskirts of the city.

His father recognized that Tony was mimicking playing the accordion. Tony's Sister Jenny, (Genevive Fiore Soma) was the one who took Tony around Denver for auditions. His parents felt he would be better off and accomplish more if he was with a group, even if it meant being away from home. Tony's dad said when Tony was three or four, he would walk around the farm opening and closing a book. The parents observed this and said to themselves, "We need to get that kid an accordion!". So they did. Lost in his history was who taught him or gave him lessons on that first accordion. But his talent on the accordion was apparent early on and he was known as kind of a child prodigy.

Tony started entertaining while kids of that young age were playing sandlot baseball or other child's play. But in 1930, he appeared on a show over KLZ in Denver called "Just Kids." The premise was that the kids were to relate to the radio audience what happened when they were in the Haunted House. Some of the kids that were on the show were Anita Claxton. A clever duet by Benny Sullivan and Leroy Matheson. Tony Fiore, was said to be "a new member who is very small..." (well, he was only six years old). Other kids in the caSt were Mary Nelson, Geraldine Shoup, Kermit Nelson, Vera Vasquez and others. The show was to air on a Sunday afternoon at 4:00pm on KLZ.

Tony always told his kids later in life that he local Italian 'Don' in Denver would call the family home and request that Tony come and play the accordion for him on Sundays.

Promo Ad - Rex Theatre - Rapid City, SD - Walt Shrum and his Colorado Hillbillies - Tony Fiore - Lil Abner Wilder - Calvin Shrum - July 1938
Promo Ad - Egyptian Theatre - Sioux Falls, SD - Walt Shrum and his Colorado Hillbillies - Lil Abner Wilder - Jughead (Spade) Cooley - Rusty Cline - Tony Fiore - Pappy Hoag - Cal Shrum - October 1938

Promo Ad - Babcock Theatre - Billings, MT - Walt Shrum and his Colorado Hillbillies - Lil Abner Wilder - Tony Fiore - Pappy Hoag - Old Man Droopy Pants - August 1939
Promo Ad - Valencia Theatre - Macon, MO - Walt Shrum and his Colorado Hillbillies - Lil Abner Wilder - Pappy Hoag - Tony Fiore - Geb Dehne - Rufe Cline - Nenny Schaeffer - December 1939

Promo Ad - Ritz Theatre - St. Charles, MO - Colorado Hill Billies - Lil Abner Wilder - Tony Fiore - Pappy Hoag - Jenny Schaeffer - Fanny Potts - November 1939
Promo Ad - Valencia Theatre - Walt Shrum and his Colorado Hill Billies - Lil Abner Wilder - Pappy Hoag - Old Man Droopy Pants - Tony Fiore - Wizard of the Accordion - Geb Dehen - Rufe Cline - Jenny Shaeffer - Fanny Potts - November 1939

An autographed early picture of Tony with his accordion was signed "Sleepy!" - Colo. Hill Billies. Thus, another clue provided in reviewing old articles that would mention the performers in the Shrum band. In fact, a 1937 article in the Denver Post mentions that Walt Shrum and his Colorado Hillbillies were appearing in Denver and one of the members was "Sleepy and his squeezebox." They were going to appear at the Center theater in Denver for a week in early February. Tony would be all of 13 years old then.

In that era, band members were often given nicknames but their real names may not have been revealed. This may be a remnant of the early Beverly Hillbillies group that was popular in early radio.

News Item - Colorado Hill Billies - Tony Fiore - Sleepy - February 1937
Promo Ad - Accordion Lessons - Fresno, CA - Tony Fiore - Sherman Clay & Co. - Nov 1949

Walt Shrum
and his Colorado Hillbillies — 1939

Promo Ad - Denver Theater - Walt Shrum and the Colorado Hillbillies - Tony Fiore - Pappy Hoag - Cal Shrum - Walt Shrum - Ace Dehne - Rusty Cline - Hillbilly Girls - Little Jimmy - December 1938
A picture of Walt Shrum's group showed up in an Idaho Falls newspaper in August 1939. The caption identified some of the members in the group. Kevin Coffey helped identify the others.
Standing (L — R): Tony Fiore, Walt Shrum, Abner Wilder, Cal Shrum and Spade Cooley on ladder, Rusty Cline
Kneeling (L — R): Ace Dehne, Pappy Hoag

The Old Barn Dance (1938)

The Old Barn Dance (1938) — Tony appears playing the accordion as part of the Walt Shrum and His Colorado Hillbillies band. The movie starred Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette and Joan Valerie. A young Leonard Slye (Roy Rogers) was cast in the movie as Dick Weston. Walt Shrum and his Colorado Hillbillies provide the musical entertainment in the movie. Members of the group were listed as: Walt Shrum, Rusty Cline, Tony Fiore, Robert Hoag, Rudy Sooter, Vic Spatafore, Toby Stewart, and, Abner Wilder.

Tony Fiore found himself in California in the late 1930's. He was an entertainer with groups that were making movies such as Gene Autry, Tex Ritter and Walt Shrum. The IMDb provides some details as to the movies he appeared in. The reader might note that his first movie began filming in the late fall of 1937, which would be when he was 13 years old.

CLICK to watch "The Ole Barn Dance" on Tubi.

Scene from The Old Barn Dance - 1938 - Tony Fiore - Walt Shrum - Cal Shrum - Rusty Cline - Abner Wilder - Vic Spatafore - Pappy Hoag - Toby Stewart

Promo Ad - Denver Theater - Walt Shrum and the Colorado Hillbillies - Tony Fiore - Pappy Hoag - Cal Shrum - Walt Shrum - Ace Dehne - Rusty Cline - Hillbilly Girls - Little Jimmy - December 1938

Scene From The Old Barn Dance - 1937 - Pappy Hoag - Cal Shrum - Vic Spatafore - Gene Autry - Abner Wilder - Tony Fiore - Rusty Cline

Movie Screen Shot - The Old Barn Dance - Tony Fiore and Accordion - 1938

Movie Screen Shot - The Old Barn Dance - Tony Fiore and Accordion - Gene Autry singing - 1938

Colorado Hillbillies - The Old Barn Dance Movie Set - Fall 1937 - Rusty Cline - Tony Fiore - Abner Wilder - Vic Spatafore

Land Of Fighting Men (1938)

Land Of Fighting Men (1938) — Tony appears again as part of Walt Shrum and His Colorado Hillbillies in this movie. The stars were Jack Randall, Bruce Bennett, Louise Stanley and Dickie Jones. The IMDb site indicates Spade Cooley was also in the movie as part of the band. Members of Shrum's band were listed as: Walt Shrum, Tony Fiore, Cal Shrum, Spade Cooley, and, Don Weston.

Movie Scene - Land of Fighting Men - 1938 - Spade Cooley - Deuce Spriggins - Chuck Woods - Cal Shrum - Abner Wilder - Tony Fiore - Rusty Cline - Walt Shrum - Pappy Hoag

Blue Montana Skies (1939)

Blue Montana Skies (1939) — Movie starred Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette and June Storey. Tony once again plays accordion in the movie with Walt Shrum and his Colorado Hillbillies. He is seen in one segment where the band is playing during the masquerade party. Members of Shrum's group were listed as: Walt Shrum, Rusty Cline, Ace Dehne, Tony Fiore, Robert Hoag, Rudy Sooter, and, Frank Wilder.

CLICK to watch "Blue Montana Skies" on Tubi.

Movie Screen Shot - Blue Montana Skies - Walt Shrum - Frankie Marvin - Carl Cotner - Cal Shrum - Tony Fiore - Abner Wilder - Pappy Hoag - Ace Dehne - Rusty Cline - Gene Autry - 1939

Rollin' Home To Texas (1940)

Rollin' Home To Texas (1940) — The movie starred Tex Ritter with his horse, White Flash. Also in the cast were Cal Shrum and his Rhythm Rangers, Eddie Dean, Slim Andrews, Walt Shrum and others. He can be seen on one of the lobby cards for the movie with his accordion. Members of the musical group Cal Shrum and His Rhythm Rangers were listed as: Rusty Cline, Gene Haas, Jack Williams, Tony Fiore, Robert Hoag and Hal Blair.

Kevin Coffey notes in the scene from "Rollin' Home to Texas" that Hal Blair would become known for his songwriting. Jack Williams would become better known to fans as Tex Williams. The band is noted as Cal Shrum's Rhythm Rangers, but is a mix of Cal's band and Walt's (Shrum) band. Cene Haas was killed in action in Germany during World War II on March 1, 1945 (born November 22, 1916 in Hastings, NE)

Movie Scene - Rollin' Home To Texas - 1940 - Tex Ritter - Pappy Hoag - Hal Blair - Jack (Tex) Williams - Cene Haas - Cal Shrum - Rusty Cline - Tony Fiore

Lobby Card - Rollin' Home To Texas - 1940 - Tex Ritter - Pappy Hoag - Hal Blair - Jack (Tex) Williams - Cene Haas - Cal Shrum - Rusty Cline - Tony Fiore

The Texas Marshal (1941)

The Texas Marshal (1941) — The movie starred Tim McCoy, Art Davis, Kay Leslie, Karl Hacket and others. Tony was part of the band - Art Davis Rhythm Riders. His picture is seen in a poor quality image of a movie lobby card. Other members of the Art Davis Rhythm Riders were cited as Gene Haas, Ace Dehne, Rusty Cline and Tony Fiore.

Movie Lobby Card - The Texas Marshal - Tony Fiore in band picture - 1941

Promo Ad - Denver Theater - Walt Shrum and the Colorado Hillbillies - Tony Fiore - Pappy Hoag - Cal Shrum - Walt Shrum - Ace Dehne - Rusty Cline - Hillbilly Girls - Little Jimmy - December 1938

Tony Fiore - Rusty Cline - Walt Shrum - Pappy Hoag - On Stage 1940

Tony was touring with the Roy Rogers show in 1941. While they were in Philadelphia, they took part in an experimental television broadcast over Philco's W3XE. The Federal Communications Commission granted a special authorization to the Philco Radio and Television Corporation to operate its experimental station in Philadelphia for 60 days on August 19, 1941. The authorization would allow Philco to have a scheduled broadcast as soon as possible. The FCC was to continue to study the application for a full-fledged commercial television station. On June 30, 1941, the FCC had announced the end of their ban on sponsored television broadcasts. This would enable the existing experimental television stations in Philadelphia and New York to transition to commercial programming.

Philco Experimental TV Station Broadcast - W3XE - Philadelphia - Summer 1941 - Spade Cooley - Cene Haas - Tony Fiore - Roy Rogers

Cal Shrum married Mary Frances Wise of Williamsville, IL. She would be known as Alta Lee to music fans. They were married in St. Louis on November 26, 1941. She had previous radio experience over WCBS at the age of 14 and was at that station until just before their marriage.

Promo Ad - Hotel El Rancho - Fresno, CA - Tony Fiore Trio - Eddie LaRue Trio - Quinn Millar - September 1949
Promo Ad - Tropicana New Year's Eve Party - Fresno, CA - Tony Fiore - December 1961

Around this time, it appears Tony had left the Colorado Hillbillies. Tony's career then connected to Victor Vincent in Las Vegas in the latter part of 1941. Vincent was appearing at the Apache Cocktail Lounge in October 1941. Mr. Vincent has been playing the violin since he was 16 years old. He was said to have studied just that most people preferred in the way of dance music. He appeared for a time with the Minneapolis symphony orchestra.

Vincent appears to have perhaps done transcription recordings with the Keystone Broadcasting System. However, there is no indication that Tony was on these recordings. Research has indicated this 'label' began in 1942 and transcriptions were sent to a network of around 50 radio stations..

He also organized string groups that played in various well known venues. He worked with and recorded with dance bands led by Art Castle, Hal Kemp and Clyde Lucas. In October 1941, he had a four piece orchestra that he had worked together for nearly a year. It was reported he auditioned ten accordion players before finally selecting Tony Fiore, a 17-year old at the time. Tony was even promoted in one of Vincent's personal appearance ads in Las Vegas newspapers.

In the summer and fall of 1942, Victor Vincent and his orchestra were appearing in Fresno, CA at the Hotel Californian in the Bamboo Room on Friday and Saturday nights starting Friday July 10, 1942. He and his band were also at the Hotel El Rancho "on the patio under the stars" on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. He also had a daily broadcast over radio station KMJ in Fresno. The ads and articles do not mention Tony but it is not hard to imagine that Tony found time to work with Vincent's band while in Fresno. He did not enlist in the U. S. Army until November 1942.

Billboard magazine provided more details about Victor's engagement in Fresno. His group was managed by the William Morris Agency. By September 26, 1942, they had completed 17 weeks of playing at the Hotel Californian in Fresno. They were reported to be heard over NBC nightly. He was known as an accomplished violinist but also was adept with the electric steel guitar, which Billboard said it gave "..the quartet a roundness that places this aggregation in the top brackets of the cocktail unit field."

Promo Ad - Music Box Cocktail Lounge - Santa Rosa, CA - Tony Fiore Trio - August 1968 World War II would become a factor in Tony's life in 1942. He enlisted in the U. S. Army Signal Corps on November 16, 1942 at Hammer Field in Fresno, CA. When he registered On June 30, 1942, he listed his employer as the Musicians Union Local 47 in Los Angeles, CA.

Fire Chief E. W. Lewis and his wife held a barbecue to honor Tony and another draftee, Bob Wright who had enlisted with the Merchant Marines. It was in fact a farewell party and attended by several friends.

The Fresno Bee reported the intent of Joseph Anthony Fiore, Jr. (then 19) and at Camp Pinedale to marry Hannah L. Cleek (then 18) of Fresno on February 9, 1943.

It would appear due to his musical talents, he was serving in an entertainment capacity. He was one of five professional musicians that appeared with the Camp Pinedale dance orchestra for the Annual Charity Ball of the Tulare Elks Lodge on Saturday evening, November 27, 1943.

The musicians included Sgt. Murray Arnold, who was staff pianist for the Mutual Broadcasting Company in Hollywood and had played with Alvino Rey and Skinny Ennis radio orchestra. Pvt 1/c Wally Webb was a banjo and guitar specialist who toured the country with his own band for several years. "Another performer par excellence" was Sgt. Tony Fiore an accordionist who was formerly with Raymond Page. Cpl. Fran Fallow was formerly a vocalist with Tommy Tucker's radio band. And finally, Cpl. Bill Edwards, a contract player with Universal Pictures who would serve as master of ceremonies for the Charity Ball.

In January 1944, a group of "talented professionals" who were serving as U. S. Army soldiers at Camp Pinedale were to debut their performance of the Bond Wagon Show. The professionals were entertainers and musicians who had worked with name bands and orchestras but were now at Camp Pinedale. All told, there were 35 men and 88 women. Some of them even took part in Reedley at the Bond Breakfast that was held on Admission Day, September 9, 1944 at the opening of the Third Ward Loan. The show was to be held at 8:00pm on Tuesday, January 18, 1944. The admission price reflected the event's premise - the purchase of one bond purchased between January 1 and 18, 1944. The show tickets were to be given out where the bonds were purchased.

Here are some of the performers an article in the Reedley Exponent published.

  • Sgt. Murray Arnold, singer and pianist formerly with Alvino Rey
  • Sgt. Tony Fiore, accordionist, formerly with Roy Rogers and Raymond Page
  • Cpl. Bill Edwards, formerly under contract with Universal Pictures
  • Cpl. Tom Fallon, singer, formerly with Sammy Kaye's orchestra
  • Pfc. Melvin Badin, veteran of Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Cpl. Edward Kennedy and Cpl. Thomas Mahoney, two Irishmen from New York who did comedy with NBC
  • Sgt. Steve Brown, who worked at KFRC in San Francisco and KFI in Los Angeles; he was also part of the "Blue Monday Jamboree" on the east coast
  • Cpl. Les Thompson, harmonica player on Baron Minivich's show
  • Pfc. Patricia Gross, ballad singer
  • Pfc. Melba Jones, acrobatic dancer

The day after the show, news reports indicated that Reedley had reached its goal of $510,108 on the first day of the Fourth War Bond Campaign. Prior to the big event, $417,096 in bonds had been sold and another $18,000 had been sold at the Post Office. A check from D. K. Arakelian for $75,012 helped Reedley make its goal. Mr. Arakelian and his father were owner of vineyards in Fresno and Madera counties and the Madera Winery. Research indicates that his father, K. (Krikor) Arakelian founded the Mission Bell Winery.

At the supper for the fund raising event, Tony Fiore and his accordion provided music along with Melvin Baddin on violin and Murray Arnold sang a couple of tunes.

The shows were to be given in smaller communities within a 100 miles of Fresno. In January 1944, they already had bookings for 16 towns.

The Fox Theatre in Fresno had a near capacity crowd for a concert. It was Camp Pinedale's way of thanking the community for buying bonds. The theatre donated the use of their facilities. Someone named only as "The Reviewer" wrote a review of the concert, though the person was weary of reviewing a show that was free of charge. But since the show was to be seen and heard in some 21 valley cities, it was felt some 'constructive criticism' might help the cause.

The reviewer felt that the biggest issue with the program was that it seemed to want to be a revue and other times a vaudeville show. "Despite the best of intentions, it drags." The reviewer thought that regrettable as the show had a lot of talent to offer. "The Reviewer" wrote: "There's Sgt. Tony Fiore, who functions both in accordion solos and is one of the melody mainstays of the seven piece orchestra."

The review went on, "But all in all, the "Bond Wagon" doesn't quite jell. With faster pacing, with some slashing here and there — please dispense with that auction business — it is more of a liability than an asset — it can be whipped into a more effective show." But the reviewer made pains to note that the show was far from mediocre. "Our only point is that it has swell talent that could be better be displayed if the show's tempo were to be speeded up by judicious cutting."

Camp Pinedale Bond Wagon

Camp Pinedale Bond Wagon Sketch - February 1944
Artists depicted in the cartoon (L-R): Sgt. W. J. McLaughlin (advance and publicity man); Lt. Paul Lipson (director); Cpl. Bill Edwards (pantomime artist); Pfc. Wally Webb (ace banjoist); Sgt. Steve Brown (narrator and actor); Sgt. Tony Fiore (accordionist); Cpl. Fran Fallon (vocalist); Sgt. Murray Arnold (music director of the show); Cpl. Tom Mahoney (sober faced mimic); Cpl. Les Thompson (harmonica artist); Cpl. Edward Kennedy (comedian); Pvt. Patricia Gross (vocalist); Sgt. Elizabeth McKinley.

In 1953, Tony had his own television show on Channel 47 (KJEO-TV).

Tony was often a part of local events or gatherings, whether celebrations or even political in nature. For example in June of 1960 a gypsy garden party was held as a fund raiser for the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Israel. Guests were to dress in gypsy costumes. Food was to include Hungarian dishes. Table decorations included candles and red and white checked cloths. Tony Fiore was to dress in a gypsy costume and be a strolling accordionist playing gypsy tunes. Another feature was one lady telling fortunes.

In 1964, Fresno's famous Christmas Tree Lane opened its 1961 edition in mid-December. A school choir was to provide music throughout the lane for an hour. From 8:00pm to 9:00pm, Tony Fiore's accordion band was to play traditional Christmas music and would be piped throughout the lane over a loudspeaker system. Lights would be turned on each night from 6:00pm to 10:00pm on weekday evenings and until 11:00pm on weekend nights. The lane would be on display through December 27.

In October 1965, he was part of the entertainment at a dinner put on by the Sonoma County Farm Bureau. Guest speaker was an actor who was a candidate for governor of California, Ronald Reagan who of course went on to become president. Along with Tony and his accordion, other entertainers included a magician and a father-son duo of bagpipe performers.

TV Log - KJEO-TV Ch 47 - Tony Fiore - October 1953

Promo Ad - Accordion Instruction - Fresno, CA - Tony Fiore - Sep 1949
Promo Ad - Accordion Lessons - Fresno, CA - Tony Fiore - Sherman Clay & Co. - Nov 1949

Promo Ad - Accordion Lessons - Tony Fiore - Fresno, CA - April 1949
Promo Ad - Accordion Lessons - Tony Fiore Music Co. - Fresno, CA - Sep 1961

Promo Ad - Accordion Lessons - Tony Fiore Accordion Studios - Fresno, CA - Decmeber 1955
Promo Ad - Children's Accordion Lessons - Tony Fiore Accordion Studios - Fresno, CA - January 1958

Promo Ad - Sequoia - Brazilian Room - Fresno, CA - Tony Fiore and his Sequoia Trio - March 1951
Promo Ad - Hotel El Rancho - Tony Fiore and his Orchestra - Fresno, CA - September 1952
Promo Ad - Sherman Clay - Accordion Lessons - Tony Fiore - Fresno, CA - September 1951

Promo Ad - The Californian (Polynesian Room) - Fresno, CA - Tony Fiore and the Californians - July 1950
Promo Ad - Grand Opening - Ranch House - Fresno, CA - Tony Fiore - May 1952

Promo Ad - Accepting Engagements - Tony Fiore and his Orchestra - Fresno, CA - January 1953
Promo Ad - Desert Inn - Tony Fiore and his Band - April 1953

Promo Ad - Plantation Club - Fresno, CA - Forrest Tucker - Tony Romano - Billy Manzo - Tony Fiore Quartet - July 1953
Promo Ad - Tony Fiore Accordion Studios - Grand Opening - Fresno, CA - Tony Fiore - November 1955

Promo Ad - Tony Fiore Music Company - Fresno, CA - Tony Fiore - Tony Fiore - September 1959
Promo Ad - Tony Fiore's Music Company - Fresno, CA - Tony Fiore - September 1959

Promo Ad - Hotel El Rancho - Fresno, CA - Tony Fiore Trio - Eddie LaRue Trio - Quinn Millar - September 1949
Promo Ad - Tropicana New Year's Eve Party - Fresno, CA - Tony Fiore - December 1961

Promo Ad - Marico's - Mother's Day - Santa Rosa, CA - Tony Fiore Trio - May 1965
Promo Ad - Marico's - Santa Rosa, CA - Tony Fiore Trio - July 1965

Promo Ad - Trophy Room - Jazz - Tony Fiore - Santa Rosa, CA - November 1967
Promo Ad - La Fontana Italian Restaurant - Tony Fiore - Tony Napon - September 1978

Promo Ad - Sherman Clay - Fresno, CA - Crucianelli accordion instructions - Tony Fiore - March 1950
Promo Ad - Stanroy Music Center - Santa Rosa, CA - Accordion Lessons - Tony Fiore - May 1979
Promo Ad - Accordion Lessons - Tony Fiore - Studios at Sherman Clay &. Co. - October 1950
Classified Ad - Accordion Lessons - Tony Fiore - Stanroy Music Center - Santa Rosa, CA - March 1979

Promo Ad - The Trails Roundup - Fresno, CA - Tony Fiore Quartet - March 1957
Promo Ad - El Rancho - Fresno, CA - Tony Fiore and his Dance group - January 1964

Promo Ad - Saddle N' Sirloin - Santa Rosa, CA - Coddingtown, CA - Tony Fiore Trio - April 1964
Promo Ad - Music Box Cocktail Lounge - Santa Rosa, CA - Tony Fiore Trio - August 1968

Tony Fiore (Tony's son) told us in an email in August 2023 that their father rarely played his accordion at home when he was growing up. It was a treat for us kids. He did begin to play an electric keyboard at home quite a lot after his retirement. Tony said he would hear his dad playing when he had grown to be of adult age. He thought that after getting home form a long day of teaching, his dad little interst in playing at home.

Tony recalls his father tried to get all of the kids in the family to take up music. He tried with accordion, guitar and trumpet with Tony but he said, none of it ever took; he just didn't have the interest and perhaps his sisters did not either.

Tony said that later in life, when his dad was playing the keyboard, he happened to notice an old folder with sheet music and a lot of his hand written notes. He mused, "I have no idea what became of that folder. That would be interesting to know (see).

His son went on to state that he could not recall going to a "gig" or "personal appearance" with his dad. He kept his music and his family separated. Their mother would have liked to have gotten involved in some way but he really didn't want her to.

What little Tony saw of his dad's performances, he recalled, "He was always quiet and just put himself in the background. He was polite, but didn't seem to get too close to the audience." But he then mentions since he rarely saw his dad perform, he could be wrong about that impression. He said his dad would wear a suit or casual clothing; he was not aware of any costume wardrobe such as some performers wore back then.

When my mother died, a member of the Grass Roots rock band called our house. My father must have had his name in his phone book. Apparently this member of the group had had my father as a teacher at some point in time. He said to me, "Your father was f***ing Mozart! He could just hear a piece of music, and start writing it out."

Leafa wrote in an email that when Tony's wife Louree died, she made phone calls for her dad from his address took to let people know. She thinks the keyboard player was Virgil Weber. Online research indicates he was with the Grass Roots from 1972 - 1974.

Camp Pinedale Bond Wagon Sketch - February 1944 Tony moved the family to Santa Rosa, CA. His daughter Jill indicated he felt the accordion 'had run its course.' But it was also to be closer to Louree's family as well. He still played the accordion at local venues. Jill said he probably missed his popularity in Fresno - he was always being approached by someone when they met him on the streets - he was a popular person in the community.

Tony's father, Guiseppe ("Joseph") Fiore, passed away on June 18, 1954 in Denver. He was born on November 8, 1892 in Potenza, Italy. He was survived by his wife, Rosie (Rose Giosa Fiore) and five children: John, Roxie, Jennie and Somma, all of Denver at the time, and, Tony, in Fresno, CA. "Joseph" married the former Rose Giosa on November 23, 1913 in Denver. Rose was born on June 24, 1894 per an "Application to take Oath of Allegiance to the United States Under the Act of June 25, 1936, as Amended and Form Of Such Oath." The form stated she was born in Denver, CO.

Tony Fiore passed away on June 15, 2006 in Santa Rosa, CA. He was preceded in death by his wife, Louree C. Fiore who passed away on May 5, 2006 (she was born on January 7, 1925 in Tacoma, WA). Survivors included daughter, Susan (Jim) Magness; daughter Jill (Randy) Hack; son, Tony (Leafa) Fiore; and, Kim Miknis (Don).

Tony Fiore - At Home - on keyboard - retired

Credits & Sources

  • Hillbilly-Music.com wishes to express its appreciation to Leafa Fiore (daughter-in-law of Tony Fiore) for providing photo and information.
  • Hillbilly-Music.com wishes to express its appreciation to Jill Fiore (daughter of Tony Fiore) for providing photo and information.
  • Hillbilly-Music.com wishes to express its appreciation to Kim Fiore (Miknis) Broughton (daughter of Tony Fiore) for providing photo and information.
  • Hillbilly-Music.com wishes to express its appreciation to Tony Fiore (Tony's son) for answsering questions via email and relating other memories of his father.
  • Hillbilly-Music.com wishes to express its appreciation to Kevin Coffey for providing copies of photos and help in identifying band members in the photos.
  • Just Kids To Relate Halloween Thrills; October 24, 1930; The Denver Post; Denver, CO
  • English Class Gives Interesting Assembly Program At Skinner; February 17, 1935; The Denver Post; Denver, CO
  • Television Stars Here This Week; June 30, 1941; The Philadelphia Inquirer; Philadelphia, PA
  • Television For Phila. District; August 19, 1941; Delaware County Daily Times; Chester, PA
  • Victor Vincent Has High Class Band; October 4, 1941; Las Vegas Evening Review-Journal; Las Vegas, NV
  • Radio Artist Weds Hollywood Man; December 1, 1941; Clinton Daily Journal and Public; Clinton, IL
  • Friends Honor Boys Entering Active Service; July 31, 1942; Lynwood Press; Lynwood, CA
  • Victor Vincent; September 26, 1942; The Billboard; New York, NY
  • Five Featured Soloists To Appear With Camp Pinedale Band At Elks Charity Ball; November 19, 1943; Tulare Advance Register; Tulare, CA
  • Vital Statistics - Intents To Wed; February 9, 1943; The Fresno Bee; Fresno, CA
  • Premiere of Camp Pinedale 'Bond Wagon' Show Will Be Given In Reedley Tuesday Night; January 13, 1944; The Reedley Exponent; Reedley, CA
  • $510,108 On First Day Of The Fourth War Bond Campaign; January 20, 1944; The Reedley Exponent; Reedley, CA
  • Reedley Reaches Her Quota of $10,108 on First Day Of The Fourth War Bond Campaign; January 20, 1944; The Reedley Exponent; Reedley, CA
  • 'Bond Wagon' Show - Talent Is Good; But Pace, Slow; January 24, 1944; The Hanford Sentinel; Hanford, CA
  • Business Women Will Hear Soldiers; March 19, 1944; The Fresno Bee; Fresno, CA
  • Few Seats Remain For Women's Club Dinner; March 22, 1944; The Fresno Bee; Fresno, CA
  • Legion Post No. $ Will Name Officers; June 6, 1944; The Fresno Bee; Fresno, CA
  • Perry Family Entertains For Walter Shrum; October 25, 1940; West Los Angeles Independent; West Los Angeles, CA
  • Obituary: Joseph Fiore; June 20, 1954; The Denver Post; Denver, CO
  • New Accordion Studio Opens; November 13, 1955; The Fresno Bee; Fresno, CA
  • Hadassah Plans Gypsy Party; June 26, 1960; The Fresno Bee; Fresno, CA
  • Fresno's Christmas Tree Lane To Be Opened Wednesday Evening; December 12, 1964; The Fresno Bee
  • Farmers To Hear Reagan; October 15, 1965; The Press Democrat; Santa Rosa, CA
  • Obituary: Joseph Anthony (Tony) Fiore; June 18, 2006; The Press Democrat; Santa Rosa, CA

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