Harry Hussey started playing the piano at the age of 4 (by ear) and then took up the piano accordion when he was 13 (also by ear) being self taught and never having a lesson. Within 3 months of picking up the accordion Harry began entertaining the regulars in his local pub “The Bird in Hand” in Kilburn London and from the age of just 14yrs he became a semi-professional musician.
At weekends from 1944 onwards (at 15yrs) he joined other accordionists as they waited outside Wheatlands Piano Shop in Kilburn High Road at 8am hoping to be invited to join one of the many scheduled charabanc buses as “The Accordionist for the Day” on their daytrips to Southend, 8-10 buses would normally be departing. Harry would stand for most of the journey at the front of the bus alongside the driver with “one step in the stairwell” facing his captured audience playing requests, party pieces and sing-alongs, anything to help create a wonderful party atmosphere , he would then pass his “accordion shaped collection box” around so those aboard could show their appreciation. The same at the half way stop on the Southend Road and again at the seaside destination which was the famous “Kursaal”, he would then move speedily towards “The Ship Inn” attempting to be amongst the first to entertain the day-trippers,sometimes there was as many as 50 buses arriving at Southend and most had an accordionist so he had to be quick . If he was lucky he also got invited aboard one of the many boat trips, where his trusty accordion collection box would be passed around once more, a hastily grabbed fish and chips and cup of tea if he was lucky before it was back to Kilburn repeating the same hectic routine for the return journey home arriving at approximately 11.30pm.
An extremely tired and exhausted Harry could, as a teenager , earn as much as £9.00 on one of these busy weekend trips which was excellent and amounted to approximately 3 times his fathers weekly wage in those days. He continued with his love of music and accordion by playing throughout his National Service which included radio broadcasts on the British Forces Network from Hamburg in Germany including the time around 1948 when Cliff Michelmore was a presenter. Harry then trained as a surveyor & builders estimator and achieved his qualifications to become a chartered builder & surveyor also becoming a Fellow of the Institute of Architects & Surveyors. He then turned his interests to Arbitration and Law and performed all sorts of jobs including director of a building company, an area surveyor for a housing association and many many more. The impressive array of letters that officially follow Harry’s name read like a dictionary as follows :- MRICS. FCIOB. ACIArb. FASI FRSPH.
During all of this extremely busy time in his life Harry still managed to continue his gigging as a semi professional accordionist. His hugely successful musical career has seen Harry playing for and alongside some of the biggest names in show business including:- George Chisholm, Matt Monroe, Alan Littlejohn(who once introduced Harry by saying ” here is a man on the squeezebox &wireless set” referring to his amplifier), Norman Wisdom, Jack Emblow, Frank Marocco, Rolf Harris, Harry Dawson, Jimmy Skidmore, Johnny Van Derrick, Anthony Newley and Rory Blackwell, britains first rocker (who introduced Harry as “a refugee from the salvation army”). Harry is probably one of the busiest and best loved accordionists in this country at present and can be seen playing on the UK Accordion Club & Festival Scene as a Soloist and often with his popular trio. He is also as a member of the hugely successful Café Noir jazz group based at Hove in East Sussex who frequently perform at prestigious jazz events including the Ealing Jazz Festival. Harry has performed more recently at the Glasgow Jazz Festival, Southport ‘Jazz on a Winters Weekend’, and the Gatehouse Of Fleet Midsummer Music Festival.