Albert G. (NICKY) Nechanicky was born February 22, 1909 at Odessa, Washington on a wheat and cattle ranch. Nicky was number 10 of 15 children. His father played a 3-row Hlavacek button accordion and a 76 Key Concertina. Five brothers played violin and two of them also played the concertina and piano accordion. Two sisters played piano. All learned to play music by studing books since the nearest music teacher lived 75 miles away. Everyone had trouble pronouncing the name Nechanicky therefore the family became known as the 'Nicky' family, using the last half of the name. Nicky learned to play the 76 Key Concertina when he was 9 years old with the aid of Henry Silberhorn's instruction book. Later he learned to read notes while learning to play the piano, also from a mail-order book.
Later he learned to play guitar, banjo, clarinet, piano accordion, and trombone. Books have been his only instructors although he agrees that a student can learn 10 times faster with a teacher. Nicky and his brothers played for dances and parties at farm houses, schools and country dance halls all over the central Washington. After finishing high school Nicky played on the air at Spokane on radio stations KFPY, KGA, and KHO. Played and sang pop, jazz, country western, and hillbilly songs. Nicky bought a 124 Key Pearl Queen Concertina in 1934 because the 102 Key Concertinas were impossible to use while playing with a band. Within a month he was convinced that the 124 Key Concertina was the answer. Nicky quit playing in 1934 and did not play again until 1970 when he learned by chance that playing the concertina stopped tension headaches. Since then the 130 (124) Key Concertina has been his great love affair. More convinced then ever that now the 130 Concertina will get the Concertina accepted into the family of musical instruments along side of the piano and chromatic accordions because of it's versatility.
The 130 Key Concertina is to the 104 Key Concertina what the 104 Key Concertina was to the 76 Key Concertina. It required many years of careful thoughts, trials and errors to bring forth the completion of the 124 Key Concertina by the famous Concertina developers and manufactors of Chemnitz, Germany. We Americans only added 3 more Keys (the last 6 high notes) just to give the Treble a complete 3 octaves from A to A, therefore the 130 Key Concertina. If you already play a 104 Key Concertina you will find it easy to play the 130 because the Treble and Bass are basically the same keyboards as the 104. The few changes made were necessary in order to reposition a few keys so that all fingering can be done easily and smoothly. Since the 130 Bellows have 20% more air capacity you will find it less necessary to use the Air Valve and you can play 3 Treble keys at a time continously if desired without pumping for air. Since the 130 has a complete Bass, press or draw, you are not compelled to jerk the bellows in and out to obtain the proper Contra-Bass notes or Chords. You will also find making Bass runs, modulations, and "turnarounds" easy and delightfull. Playing tunes in the Keys of B, Bb, Eb, Ab, C#, or F# is just a matter of a little practice. It will seem impossible on the first try but will become easier after a few sincere tries.
Albert G. (NICKY) Nechanicky passed on several years ago but his spirit lives on in his work and dedication to the Concertina.