Music is something I would hear every night. It was my father playing the accordion in the kitchen, in the stairwell of the hallway where the acoustics were always good...in high school, I’d get phone calls from friends or whatever, “What’s that noise in the background?” “Oh, that’s my dad, he plays the accordion.” “The accordion, what’s that?” “It’s my dad, he plays the accordion every night. You know, we’re French Canadian, you know, that’s what we do.”
Francis Gagnon was born in Rumford in 1973. His father, Normand, was a lumberjack in Quebec before moving to the United States to work as a furniture-maker. He began playing the spoons with his father at age 8 and continued to play with him as part of the Normand Gagnon Ensemble and Groupe de Joie. In this in interview, Francis talks about his parent's decision to come to Maine, his family's musical background, and the importance of music to his heritage. The Gagnon family also maintains a pumpkin farm in Rumford.
This interview was recorded with the assistance of Storybank Maine.
Read the transcript (PDF)