Celebrate Walter Ostanek's Birthday: Canada's Polka King Turns 80
Wish Canada's Polka King a happy birthday as the Polka Hall of Fame salutes the legendary
Walter Ostanek, Sunday, May 3. Top Cleveland-Style Polka stars pay tribute to his
80th year with eight hours of music. You won't want to miss this momentous polka
occasion at the Slovenian Society Home in Euclid, Ohio. Delight to the finest dance
bands, Old World cooking and Slovenian hospitality - all in honor of the three-time
Grammy Award winner. Cleveland-Style and Slovenian-Style orchestras and entertainers
from across the continent appear live on stage for your dancing and listening. Thrill
to a special performance by Walter on his big day. Treat yourself to nationality
specialties, such as smoked Slovenian sausage, savory roast beef and strudel. Choose
a polka CD or tee-shirt at the Polka Hall of Fame pop-up shop.
33rd Super Button Box Bash
Join the squeezebox celebration at the annual Super Button Box Bash on Sunday, April
12, 2015. You'll dance and clap along to the sounds of more than sixty accordions
on two stages, plus jam sessions throughout the day. The Slovenian Society Home,
Euclid, OH. from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Have you composed a new waltz or polka?
Does your polka band have a new recording? Let the Polka Hall of Fame know. Your
CD or song might get nominated and win! Your Cleveland-Style Polka albums released
after June 1, 2014, needs to be delivered to the Polka Hall of Fame by Saturday,
May 30, 2015, for concideration. Orginal songs must be submitted with a lead sheet
and arrive at the Polka Hall of Fame by Friday, October 2, 2015.
As a member of the Polka Hall of Fame, you are cordially invited to attend the semi-annual
meeting of the American Slovenian Polka Foundation, Thursday, March 12, 2015, at
7:00 p.m. In the Euclid City HALL Council Chambers, 585 East 222nd Street, in Euclid,
Ohio. You'll learn about the activities and buisiness of the National Cleveland-Style
Polka Hall of Fame and museum during the previous year and get advanced notice of
upcoming events. Bring your ideas and opinions on the continued succes of the Polka
Hall of Fame. The results of the Trustee election are also announced. An informal
reception takes place after the meeting.
Board of Trustees
Bandleader and accordionist Bob Kravos has stepped down from the Board of Trustees.
Bob was a long time Trustee who played at many Hall of Fame events and in the Awards
Order your Polka Awards Show 27 DVD
Thrill to this polka spectacular with two hours of favorites, including Walter Ostanek,
Alex Meixner, Jeff Pecon, Don Wojtila, Chardon Polka Band, Fritz Scherz, Hank Thunander,
Fred Ziwich and more. Members $15. Non Members $20. Add $3 for postage. You can also
order a 2014 Awards Show Program Book for $4 including postage. Call or email the
Board of Trustees
After 15 years on the Board of Trustees, Joe Novak is retiring at the end of his
term. He performed for many events on the accordion and with his orchestra, Joe Novak
The populair Polka Hall of Fame raffle. Get a chance to win $200 weekly. Order raffle
tickets at the Polka Hall of Fame or call (216) 261-3263.
John Hasper has produced a CD from the Joey Tomsick Orchestra called Polkatively
Button Box. Mark Habat has relased a two DVD set of Tony Petkovsek's 25th Thanksgiving
Polka Weekend in 1988. Proceeds from both sales benefit the Polka Hall of Fame.
New polka CDs now on sale in the Gift Shop
Alex Meixner - Happines Is A Choice
Jack Tady - Live On The Molly B Polka Party
Joey Tomsick - Polkatively Button Box
Bud Hyrczyk - Livin' The Dream
Tont Blazoncyk - Breakdowns
Musicworks - It's Showtime
Bob Kravos & Walter Ostanek - We Are Back
Zupanchick Brothers - Button Box Spectacular
Frank Svet - Don't Svet It -
Logan Watson - Polkas From The Woodshed
Frank Keil & Hank Haller - Polkas With Frank & Hank
Fred Ziwich - 60th Birthday Recording
Ron Pivovar - Hey Hi Hee Ho!
Glasbena Matica Singers - Golden Voices, 1 & 2
Brent Hartley, visited the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame
The U. S. Ambassador-Designate to Slovenia, Brent Hartley, visited the National Cleveland-Style
Polka Hall of Fame and Museum on December 19 and learned about Slovenian music in
America, Slovenian-American history and contributions, and the many Slovenian communities
across the U. S. and Canada. He will begin his duties in Ljubljana in March. He was
accompanied by Tim Piergalski, Desk Office for Austria and Slovenia in the U.S. Department
of State. Trustee Joe Novak and Joe Tomsick entertained on the accordion while all
in attendance enjoyed potica rolls from Wojtila's Bakery. Guests included Joe Valencic,
President; Tony Petkovsek, Chairman Emeritus; and August Pust.
The members and friends of the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum
remember Bishop A. Edward Pevec, Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland. Bishop Pevec celebrated
the Polka Mass at many Thanksgiving Polka Weekends, often with Fr. Frank Perkovich.
He last celebrated the Polka Mass on November 29, accompanied by Kathy Hlad and Joey
Tomsick. Bishop Pevec is in our thoughts and prayers. Naj pociva v miru.
Music Stars Shine at Polka Hall of Fame Awards
CLEVELAND, OH - The Frank Stanger Orchestra repeated as Band of the Year at the 27th
annual polka music awards ceremony presented by the National Cleveland-Style Polka
Hall of Fame and Museum on Saturday, November 29, 2014. Accordionist Brian O'Boyle
was voted Musician of the year by the Polka Hall of Fame membership. Cleveland musician
and radio host Denny Bucar and the late Kansas City bandleader and accordion champion
Don Lipovac were inducted for their lifetime achievements in polka music. The musical
stage show was the high point of the 51st Thanksgiving Polka Party Weekend, held
at the Downtown Cleveland Marriott Hotel. This was the first time the Awards Show
was staged in the hotel's Grand Ballroom.
The Awards Show theme, "Down at the Friendly Tavern," paid tribute to the clubs,
halls and lounges that hosted polka dances. Large-scale murals of vintage tavern
photos were displayed on the ballroom walls. Several Polka Hall of Fame honorees
appeared, including Canada's Polka King, Walter Ostanek; Minnesota accordionist Hank
Thunander; accordionist Fred Ziwich; and banjo musician Ron Sluga. Featured performers
included accordionists Alex Meixner (FL), Brian McCarty (KS), and Fritz Scherz (NY);
TV's Chardon Polka Band; the Button Box Divas; the Don Wojtila Orchestra; the Jeff
Pecon Orchestra; and banjo musician Bob Yankovic. The Awards Show orchestra was led
by Tom Mroczka. The master of ceremonies was Ray Somich of WINT. The show was directed
by Ray Somich II and produced by Joe Valencic. Each guest received a 64-page souvenir
The Thanksgiving Polka Party Weekend brought polka entertainers from around the country
for the three-day polka event. Nearly 700 room nights were booked at the Marriott.
Performers included accordionist Joey Miskulin of Nashville's cowboy combo Riders
in the Sky, and orchestras led by Frank Moravcik (OH), Ed Klancnik (MI), Linda Lee
Brown (MI), Mike Schneider (WI), Fritz Scherz (NY), Rob DeBlander (MI), Frank Stanger
(PA), Mike Luteran (OH), and the Skovenski Family (PA). The youngest musicians were
Cleveland accordionist Joshua Kay, 15, and bass player Logan Watson, 16, of Greenville,
Forty-three musicians appeared on the main stage in the traditional jam session on
Friday evening. A high point was the Polka Mass, celebrated by Cleveland Bishop A.
Edward Pevec and Fr. Frank Perkovich of Minnesota.
Other 2014 polka music award winners were Kathy Hlad for Button Accordionist; Patty
C and the Guys for Button Accordion Ensemble; Kim Skovenski for Vocalist; and the
SNPJ Heritage Center for Culture and Heritage. Three side musicians received awards:
Mark Habat (Fred Ziwich and the International Sound Machine), Jim Penko (Joey Tomsick
Orchestra), and Brian Zupancic (Joe Novak and Friends). The Recording of the Year
was presented to Bob Kravos and Walter Ostanek for "We Are Back." The Support and
Promotion category was won by Mark Habat, Vice President of the Polka Hall of Fame
and Chairman of the Thanksgiving Polka Weekend.
Polka Hall of Fame members also voted in two all-time hits songs, "Iron Mike," a
polka standard adapted in 1971 by the late Cleveland bandleader Johnny Pecon from
on an old Slovenian folk melody, and "El Rio Drive," a polka with a Tex-Mex flair
written in 1985 by the late bandleader Verne Meisner of Wisconsin.
Six entertainers were added to the Polka Hall of Fame Trustees Honor Roll: saxophonists
Tommy Grahek, Jerry Jasinski and Ted Lysiak; bandleader and accordionist Tony Trontel;
the late accordionist and music teacher William Sneller; and the late Sheila Salvato,
a musician with Down Syndrome.
Musicians and leaders of Slovenian and nationality organizations founded the National
Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame was founded in 1987. Museum exhibits trace the
story of Cleveland's home-grown dance music from its roots in the city's Slovenian
neighborhoods to nationwide popularity. Historic instruments include an accordion
belonging to Frank Yankovic, America's Polka King. The archive preserves 6,500 vintage
recordings, some dating back a century. Each year, the organization's 1,300 members
vote for best album and top musicians by category. The Polka Hall of Fame's annual
Awards Show celebrates this style of American popular music. The Thanksgiving Polka
Weekend was established in 1963 by radio host Tony Petkovsek, who serves as Chairman
Emeritus of the Hall of Fame.
Polka and Slovenian T-Shirts
Show your spirit with a T-Shirt or sweatshort featuring a polka or Slovenian theme.
Choose from different colors, designs and slogans. Available in the Gift Shop.