Hall of Fame – 1977
James J. Herda (1916-1973) was born on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois on February 17, 1916. He started learning the violin in grammar school and also started playing his father’s concertina.
His father gave Jim a few lessons and he was on his way to becoming one of the world’s finest concertina players. In high school, Jim started to play the circuits with his brother Tom, a drummer, and Roman Komorowski on sax.
In 1954, Jim opened a lounge on South Ashland Avenue called the Concertina Lounge.
Concertina players started to come and listen to, play and take lessons from Jim. Jim started the Concertina Club and had over 4,000 songs that he arranged. Jim and his wife Ethel ran the Concertina Lounge until 1969.
Jim passed away on June 29, 1973.