History Hero: Clarence “Junior” Martin


When you hear those sweet sounds of Cajun or Zydeco music, or your musician talks with a wonderful accent born of the Acadiana swampland, and you somehow can’t stop dancing — well it’s a safe bet you are listening to one of “Junior” Martin’s accordions. 

Clarence — who everyone knows as “Junior” — started out building cabinets. Then he took a dramatic detour. For half a century now he builds hand made, single row, diatonic accordions — a mainstay for Cajun and Zydeco musicians from his shop in Scott, Louisiana.  Visitors from all over the world travel to Martin AccordionsAs he grows older, he is teaching others the art of this tradition. Using exotic woods from all over the world — and taking weeks to finish each instrument — he insists “not a one sounds the same.”  Imagine that — in a world of assembly lines where everything looks and sounds like all the others rolling off the assembly line, each Martin accordion — graced with the crawdad artwork on the bellows — brings a whole new set of possible sounds. Junior is Saving Americana by constantly reinventing the ancient music. Meet him and the family in a short video called “Louisiana Magic.”



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“History Heroes” are profiles of people young and old we meet along the way sharing their love of the past.

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