Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

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Possedi, Roman

For six decades, Roman Possedi was Mr. Chicago in Cleveland-Style polka music. Nowadays he's known as Las Vegas Roman, hosting the top polka bands west of the Rockies. His sound combines the best of bands of the Cleveland-Style's golden age with a hint of the many polka influences from the Windy City.

His Slovenian-born parents welcomed him on the 4th of July. He learned the button box and piano accordion as a child and organized his first band in 1946. While stationed in Alaska, he played in a polka band seven nights a week. Roman achieved notice in the Chicago polka clubs of his bandleader uncles Eddie and John Korosa. Roman performed on Frank Yankovic's weekly TV shows from Chicago. His premiere album in 1963 introduced 12-year-old Chicago accordionist Joey Miskulin. Roman released eight albums on the Balkan and Marjon labels. He is best known for his 1971 version of "Drinking Champagne." He performed on one of Walter Ostanek's Grammy-winning albums.

Roman began hosting a weekly Slovenian polka radio show in 1955. Button box mania inspired him to escort many polka tours to Hawaii and Slovenia, where he shared the stage with Lojze Slak. He retired to Las Vegas in 1991. Among his honors are Grand Master of the SNPJ Slovenefest, the Polka News Music Award in 1995, and induction into Minnesota Ironworld's Polka Hall of Fame in 2001.

Inducted in 2003

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