J
oe "Buck"and Rita Buchicchio

   Joe was born in Chicago in 1923. He attended school in the Chicago area. In 1943 he went into service and was with the 15th Air Corp Division serving in the European Theater.
   Rita Gagnon Buchicchio was also born in Chicago, in 1927. After her father died, Rita's moved to Three lakes and lived there until her death.
   Joe and Rita were married in Chicago in 1946. They had three children; Kathleen, Dennis and Joe. They were students of the Three Lakes school district, and all three graduated from there. Rita died in November 1984, and is buried in Three Lakes.
   Joe and Rita's musical career spanned many years. Joe started to play the accordion professionally in 1938. They moved to Three lakes in 1949, and lived on Deer Lake. In 1949 Joe and two others had a co-op trio and played as the "Three Tones" when they were hired by Carl Marty at the Northernaire and Showboat. Mr. Marty desired that they change the name to the "Northernaires" and played under that name until one of the trio left and then changed their name to the Northernaire Serenaders.


Buck and Rita Buchicchio

   Joe and Rita formed their duo in 1959 as the "Joe and Rita Duo." Rita played the stand up bass fiddle and sang, and Joe played the accordion. They also played under the name of the "Serenaders." Joe entertained at the Showboat and Northernaire for some 30 years during the summer and Rita for a shorter time as she joined at a later date for her musical career.
   The Bucks played extensively in the midwest. Joe was considered in the top 10 of the nation's best accordionists. The Northernaire Serenaders were featured on the record "My Reverie," and Joe and Rita and all the Showboat cast made a record called the "Northernaire Stars." For one year Joe and Rita worked at TV 12, NBC, in Rhinelander, WI., on the noon show while Alvin O'Konski was the owner. A record made in 1951 called "Wonderful Wisconsin" and the "Hey, Hey Polka" featured Joe and his accordion.
   Rita Buck was an exceptionally talented and creative individual. Besides her musical talent, she was an expert seamstress and made matching outfits for herself and Joe. Their home was enriched by her handiwork and her talents were endless. She was always ready to give a helping hand and in spite of her serious illness she played with Joe at the Chalet Gasthaus in Three Lakes and the public never realized how ill she was, as she never complained. She was a real trouper and as she said, "This is show biz and business is business." The Bucks will always be associated with the Showboat history and everyone will agree they were great performers as they put their hearts in their work. And as Joe always says, "That is what I get paid for, and that is my profession.
   Joe's mind is a computer when it comes to music and songs, as he never uses a song list and there is hardly a request he doesn't know how to play from his era of music. Joe winters out-of-state, but still performs in Three Lakes, Wisconsin during the summer.

Quoted from "The Pine, The Plow and the Pioneer" by Walt Goldsworthy.
Last updated 10-16-01

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