Eddie Vallus led one of the best-known Cleveland-Style polka bands in the Youngstown,
Ohio, area and was a long-time promoter of the music through his activities with
the Penn-Ohio Polka Pals. He played the accordion in bands since his early teens.
Eddie's polka music career began in 1953 with the Johnny Butchko Orchestra, alongside
famed accordionist Joe Fedorchak. Eddie, Joe and the band were regulars on the Youngstown
television show, "Polka Party," from 1958 to 1961. He led his own band for 18 years,
before forming the Eddie Vallus Band II in 1992. Two generations of students learned
the accordion from him. He was a prolific recording artist and published five accordion
songbooks. Eddie composed 48 polkas and waltzes for friends and family. In 1985 he
wrote "Y-Town Youngstown," a song used to promote the city. Together with Fr. George
Balasko, originator of the Polka Mass, the Eddie Vallus Band II appeared at countless
Polka Masses and was, until recently, still in demand for festivals and special events.
Eddie was a founding member of the Penn-Ohio Polka Pals and was honored by the polka
organization in 1993. He had been a member of the Musicians Union for more than 60
Accordion Champ Denis Novato Stars on Polka Music Awards Show Broadcast on 247PolkaHeaven.com
and WINT AM-1330, Sunday, December 27, at 2:00 p.m.
Enjoy the top names in Cleveland-Style Polka on a special Polka Hall of Fame Music
Awards broadcast this Sunday. Tune into www.247PolkaHeaven.com or WINT AM-1330 on
Sunday, December 27, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. for a special two-hour broadcast of the star-studded
Polka Awards Show spectacular from the recent Thanksgiving Polka Weekend at the Downtown
Cleveland Marriott Hotel Ballroom. Featured entertainer is Denis Novato, World Diatonic
Accordion Champion, who arrived from Europe for the occasion. Several Polka Hall
of Fame honorees appear, including Canada's Polka King, Walter Ostanek and Joey Miskulin
of TV’s Riders in the Sky. Featured performers included Jeff Winard (WI), Denny Anderson
(WI), the Veseli Godci (Merry Music-Makers), Patty C and the Guys, and the Alpine
Sextet (OH). The Awards Show orchestra is led by Tom Mroczka. The show theme, “A
Century of Cleveland-Style Polka,” salutes the Slovenian and American influences
on the music, especially Slovenia’s late polka powerhouse Slavko Avsenik and Cleveland
bandleaders Johnny Pecon and Frank Yankovic, America’s Polka King, who both would
have been 100 this year. Pecon’s sons John and Jeff and Yankovic’s son Bob perform
in honor of their fathers.
Order a 2015 Polka Music Awards Program Book for $4, including postage. Call (216)
Presenting Walter Ostanek's 100th album playing Eddie Habat
Canada's Polka King, Walter Ostanek, released his first album in 1964. Over the years
Walter has released many recordings sharing his love and passion for Cleveland-Style
Polkas and Waltzes, many of which were / are Slovenian - a tribute to his heritage.
Walter is not only loved in Canada and the USA but many of his 45s, LPs and CDs were
released in several countries, including Europe. Walter has the honor of one of the
few polka musicians who has won 3 Grammy Awards as well as being honoured by the
recording company who released his first albums with a gold record. Achieving 100
albums is a great accomplishment and momentous in the polka music world. Walter's
100th album would be Walter Ostanek playing Eddie Habat. This CD has Walter Ostanek
and his Band playing 23 songs that Eddie Habat played during his career. A nostalgic
tribute CD that would benefit the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame. CD
Premiere, Thanksgiving Polka Party, Marriott Hotel, Downtown Cleveland, November
Nominations will be open for members for five Polka Hall of Fame trustee positions,
three at-large, one representing musicians and one for cultural heritage. Each three-year
term is from April, 2016 to March, 2019.
Be a volunteer
Becoma a Polka Hall of Fame volunteer. It's fun to participate in behind-the-scenes
activities with a great group of polka folks. Tell us how you'd like to help. Call
(216) 261-3263 or send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org
Polka Hall of Fame Honors Eddie Bucar and Dave Wolnik at Music Awards Show Gala,
World Accordion Champion Denis Novato headlines the 28th annual Polka Hall of Fame
Awards Show with Cleveland musicians Eddie Bucar and Dave Wolnik to be inducted,
Saturday, November 28, 2015. The Awards Show gala is the high point of the three-day
Thanksgiving Polka Party Weekend hosted by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall
of Fame, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 26, 27 and 28, in the Grand Ballroom
of the Marriott Hotel in downtown Cleveland, Ohio.
New Polka CDs now in stock: Call (216) 261-FAME Toll Free 1-866-66POLKA
Aaron Dussing - Just Be Happy
Eddie Habat - Remembering Eddie Habat Volume III
Johnny Pecon - The Dana Colletion
Mikey Dee - In Your Dreams
Frank Stanger - A Polka Love Affair
Walter Ostanek - Today And Forever
Steve Meisner - Thank You Music Lovers
Slovenian Sausage Titles Go to Rudy’s and Raddell’s at Polka Hall of Fame Festival
Polka music and smoked sausages brought a crowd of 1,100 to SNPJ Farm in Kirtland,
Ohio, for the 12th Annual Slovenian Sausage Festival hosted by the National Cleveland-Style
Polka Hall of Fame and Museum on a warm and sunny Wednesday, September 16, 2015.
The People’s Choice Award for top sausage went to Raddell’s Sausage Shop of Cleveland,
Ohio, while the festival judges selected Rudy’s Quality Meats of Eastlake, Ohio,
for their prize.
The Polka Hall of Fame notes the passing of honoree Slavko Avsenik, one of Slovenia's
most influential musicians and composers in recent history. In 1953, Slavko Avsenik
and his brother Vilko formed the Avsenik Quintett, a band that would have a profound
influence on the music of Slovenia and Germany for decades to come. The band's style
was nicknamed Oberkrainer. ("Krain" is the German name for the Carniola region of
Slovenia and "Oberkrain" refers to the highland Gorenjsko area.) His Oberkrainer
sound became the primary vehicle of ethnic musical expression for Slovenia, Germany,
Austria, Switzerland, and more Benelux countries, spawning hundreds of Alpine orchestras
in the process. Landing a recording contract with Telefunken-Decca in 1960, the Ensemble
rose to meteoric heights throughout Europe. The Avsenik Quintett performed before
millions, including heads of state, on radio and television, and in thousands of
concerts. It appeared regularly on network television, toured relentlessly (logging
400,000 miles in 1967 alone), and recorded prolifically. Milestones include a 1961
performance before 80,000 in Berlin Stadium, tours of the U.S. and Canada in 1970
and 1985, and a one-hour German television network special in 1980.Selling more than
30 million records, Slavko Avsenik earned thirty-one Gold, two Diamond, and one Platinum
record. Slavko collaborated with his brother, Vilko, to produce nearly 1000 original
compositions and an integral part of Slovenia's musical heritage. In time, the Avseniks'
original compositions also became popular in Slovenian-American polka repertoires
in English translation. The Avseniks' influence over Cleveland-Style music began
in 1958 when Johnny Pecon's English lyrics transformed Slavko's "Tam Kjer Murke Cveto"
into "Little Fella," an all-time Cleveland-Style hit as sung by Paul Yanchar. Since
then, Cleveland-Style orchestras and performers recorded well over 200 Avsenik songs,
including Hank Haller, Fred Ziwich, Fred Kuhar, the Fairport Ensemble, Al Markic,
Roger Bright, Al Tercek, and Cilka Dolgan. Avsenik tribute bands formed throughout
Slovenia and Austria, as well as across the United States and Canada, first with
Duke Marsic and His Happy Slovenians, followed by the Alpine Sextet, Stan Mejac,
Tony Klepec, Andre Blumauer, Iskre and many others. His waltzes are instantly recognizable
for their romantic elegance, such as Veter Nosi Pesem Mojo (The Wind Song), Cakala
Bom (I'll Wait for You), and Na Mostu (On the Bridge). One waltz, Slovenija, which
extols the beauty of his homeland, is for many a pop anthem for the country. The
most popular song by Slavko Avsenik is the polka "Na Golici" (Trompeten Echo) which
is one of the most played instrumental polkas in Europe. He was inducted for lifetime
achievement by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame in 1996.
Reception for Consul Jure Žmauc
The National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum invites members and friends
to bid a fond farewell to the Honorable Jure Žmauc, Consul General of the Republic
of Slovenia, and his wife Janja. A special reception takes place at the Polka Hall
of Fame on Wednesday, July 8, at 6:00 p.m. In his six years at his Cleveland post,
Mr. Žmauc cultivated many business, cultural and professional contacts for Slovenia.
He also made friendships throughout his ten-state jurisdiction. As the face of Slovenia,
he did much to create interest and positive impressions of the country. Please reply
if you are attending. The Polka Hall of Fame is located at 605 East 222nd Street
in Euclid, Ohio, in the historic former City Hall building. To RSVP or for more information,
call (216) 261-FAME or email@example.com.
Play to win! Support the Polka Hall of Fame and you could be a winner! Enter the
raffle and get a chance at weekly price of $200.m Order raffle tickets at the Polka
Hall of Fame or call (216) 261-3263. You can't win if you don't play!
John Muhvic joins the board. Accordionist John Muhvic joins the Boards of Trustees.
He was appointed to fil the unexpired term in the Musician catagory. Fans of the
Fairport Jammers known John as one of the ensemble's longtime accordionists.
Walter Ostanek Celebrates with Fans
Seven hundred fans wished Canada's Polka King a happy birthday as the National Cleveland-Style
Polka Hall of Fame and Museum saluted the legendary Walter Ostanek, Sunday, May 3.
Eighteen Cleveland-Style Polka stars paid tribute to his 80th year with eight hours
of music in two halls at the Slovenian Society Home in Euclid, Ohio - all in honor
of the three-time Grammy Award winner. Surprise guests included Fritz Scherz and
Gabe Vaccaro of Fritz's Polka Band from Verona, New York; Murray McFadgen, Walter's
long-time vocalist; and Joey Miskulin from the cowboy combo Riders in the Sky, who
flew in from Nashville. "Walter is not just a fine musician, but a warm and wonderful
human being," said Miskulin. "He knows how to share the joy he feels in his playing."
The accordionist is featured on a 80th birthday CD release of a vintage Walter Ostanek
album of polkas and waltzes, produced by John Hasper of Polkas.nl. Walter was honored
with speeches and presentations by several musicians and community leader, including
Frank Svet of Dayton, Ohio, and radio personality Tony Petkovsek and proclamations
from Euclid Mayor Bill Cervenik and Ohio Governor John Kasich. Joe Valencic, president
of the Polka Hall of Fame, presented Walter with a crystal bowl filled with packages
of Slovenian smoked sausages. Bandleader Fred Kuhar, past president, treated Walter
to a Slovenian potica nut roll. "It means so much to me to see all of you here today
because I owe it all to the people," said Walter during the presentation. "Without
them I am just another accordion player." He was accompanied by daughter Cheryl and
son Rick. His wife Irene could not attend due to health issues. Walter was the first
of a charismatic new generation of polka performers to appear in the 1960s. He born
into a Slovenian family in Duparquet, Quebec, Canada, in 1n 1935. Frank Yankovic,
America's Polka King, inspired him to start his own band at age 16 in St. Catherines,
Ontario. Walter's showmanship was perfect for television and he hosted his own program
for nearly 40 years. His flawless interpretation of the Cleveland-Style Polka earned
him Grammy Awards in 1993, 1994 and 1995. He will be releasing his 100th album in
the fall. Walter strapped on his accordion and performed with several musicians,
including Miskulin, Scherz, Kuhar, Fred Ziwich, Don Wojtila, Ron Sluga, Brian O'Boyle
and Mark Habat, who coordinated the celebration. Proceeds from the event benefited
the Polka Hall of Fame. The 80th birthday CD, "Walter Ostanek: Today and Forever,"
is available at the Polka Hall of Fame at a special price through June, 2015. Call
(216) 261-3263 to order.
Walter Ostenek, Canada's Polka King marks his 80th birthday with a special collection
of classic Cleveland-Style polkas and waltzes. Now available at the Polka Hall of
Fame. Walter's 80th birthday CD, "Today and Forever," is a digital re-mastering of
one of his top-selling recordings from the 1980s along with a selection of bonus
tracks. Two of Walter's signature tunes, "Jo Ann Polka" and "Lee and Ann's Polka,"
highlight this special edition. His good buddy Joey Miskulin, best known as Joey,
the Cow-Polka King, from the cowboy combo Riders in the Sky, makes an appearance
on several songs. A portion of the proceeds from this CD benefit the Polka Hall of
Fame, courtesy of John Hasper of Polkas.nl, the producer of this souvenir edition.
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.