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