Music: Sheik of the Accordion

Dick Contino is one of the few men in musical history who have ever squeezed big money out of an accordion. When he steps out into a spotlight and flashes a smile almost as wide and white as the keyboard of his stomach Steinway, his lady fans go limp, men smile wanly, and the management gets ready to peel off up to $4,000 a week.

At 21, Contino is not the world's greatest accordion player; others have the same flying-finger technique. But none has ever surpassed his showmanship. "When he digs into a tune," one admirer puts it, "he becomes as passionate...

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