The National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum

605 East 222nd Street   Euclid, Ohio 44123

(216) 261-FAME


Polka Hall of Fame to Induct Accordionists

Eddie Adamic, Jim Kozel and Frankie Zeitz

at Gala Awards Show, November 30

   Three accordionists who led popular orchestras are to be inducted into the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum at the annual Awards Show on Saturday, November 30, 2013. Eddie Adamic, of Warren, Michigan, the late Jim Kozel and the late Frankie Zeitz were voted in by Hall of Fame members and trustees for their lifetime achievements in polka music. The announcement was made at a Polka Hall of Fame reception on October 10 in Euclid City Hall in Euclid, Ohio, next door to the Museum.


   The 26th annual National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame Awards Show takes place at 2:00 p.m., Saturday afternoon, November 30, 2013, at Euclid Auditorium, 711 East 222nd Street, in Euclid, Ohio. This year's program, “A Polka for Every Season,” features entertainers, such as Canada’s Polka King Walter Ostanek, and guest presenters, including the Hon. Dr. Božo Cerar, Slovenia’s new Ambassador to the United States. Awards will be given for Musician of the Year, Band of the Year and Album of the Year, among other polka music categories. The stage orchestra is under the direction of Tom Mroczka with WELW’s Ray Somich as master of ceremonies. The 2013 Polka Hall of Fame Awards Show is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.


Tickets for the Awards Show and the evening dances are $15 each. For purchase information, call (216) 261-FAME, toll-free (866) 66-POLKA, contact, or order on the Polka Hall of Fame website,  


   Eddie Adamic has led one of Detroit’s best-known Cleveland-Style polka bands since 1952 and appeared on television and radio in the Midwest and Canada. He has released five albums. Jim Kozel began his music career during the polka heyday of the 1940s and played with greats such as America’s Polka King Frank Yankovic and Georgie Cook. He was a founder of the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and led the Awards Show stage band for eleven years. Frankie Zeitz and his orchestra were the leading Cleveland-Style polka performers in California. He first recorded with Cleveland’s Ernie Benedict in the early 1950s for the RCA and Continental labels. Frankie co-wrote his hit, “Red Lips and Red Wine,” based on a Slovenian folk song.


   “It is an honor for me to recognized,” said Adamic, 82, at the reception. “Polka music and Slovenian music have meant so much to me. It’s all happy music, whether you dance to it or play it.

                         Eddie Adamic 2013 Lifetime Inductee

                   Jim(James) Kozel 2013 Lifetime Inductee


             Frank(Frankie)Zeitz 2013 Lifetime Inductee


  The Best New Song for 2013 was announced as “The Punxsutawney Phil Polka,” written by Pittsburgh bandleader Frank Stanger. He and his orchestra will perform his original composition at the Polka Hall of Fame Awards Show. Voters also chose two Cleveland-Style polka standards as All-Time Hits. "The Kamnik Polka," was written by harmonica artist Andre Blumauer about his hometown in Slovenia. “The Hambone Habat Polka” was written and recorded by Cleveland bandleader Eddie Habat in 1953 and  became his theme song.

   The Board of Trustees added five individuals, a cultural center and an accordion club to the Polka Hall of Fame Honor Roll for their achievements:                                                                                                                     Joe Gabrosek and Gene Kovack longtime Polka TV hosts 

  • The Mahoning Valley Button Box Club, the first amateur accordion ensemble from the Youngstown, Ohio, area;        
  • Bob McGuire, banjo musician and instructor, known for his song, “Moon over Parma,” the first theme for TV’s ”Drew Carey Show;”
  • Joe Miklavic, a polka pioneer who performed on banjo and guitar on recordings with the Joe Kusar Trio in the 1930s and Frank Yankovic in the 1940s;
  • The Slovenian National Home on East 80th Street, founded in 1919 in Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood;  and
  • John Zipay, a Cleveland saxophonist, music director and arranger.


The Awards Show is the high point of the Polka Hall of Fame’s 50th annual Thanksgiving polka music marathon weekend with three days of dancing, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 28, 29 and 30, 2013, at the Marriott Hotel on Public Square in Cleveland, Ohio.  A Polka Mass will be celebrated with Cleveland Auxiliary Bishop A. Edward Pevec and Fr. Frank Perkovich of Minnesota in the Marriott Ballroom on Saturday, November 30, at 6:00 p.m.









Band of the Year

Chardon Polka Band

Klancnik and Friends

Frank Moravcik Orchestra

Joe Novak and Friends

Frank Stanger Orchestra


Recording of the Year

“All Keyed Up,” Frank Stanger Orchestra

“A Fistful of Polka,” Chardon Polka Band

“Journey to Remember,” Anthony Culkar

Meisner Time,” Steve Meisner

“Sweet,” Logan Watson


New Original Song

“Bring Me More Beer” (Michael Franklin)

“A Fistful of Polka” (Jake Kouwe)

“Hogan’s Waltz” (Virgil Baker)

***“Punxsutawney Phil Polka”

(Frank Stanger and Bob Debevits)

“Schrader’s Polka” (Ron Pivovar)

“Waltz with Charlie” (Mary Lou Downs) 

***denotes winner announced at preview meeting

Greatest All-Time Hit Song (2 Elected)

El Rio Drive Polka

Hambone Polka

 Kamnik Polka

Pony Tail Polka

Squeezers Polka


Support & Promotion

Joe Gabrosek & Gene Kovack

Mark Habat

Steve and Dana Novosel

Val Pawlowski

Pam & Jerry Zagar


Cultural & Heritage

Fantje Na Vasi

Slovenian National Home, East 80th,

Cleveland, OH

SNPJ Farm, Kirtland, OH

SNPJ Heritage Center, Enon Valley, PA

 Joe Valencic




Joe Novak

Brian O’Boyle

Frank Stanger

Frank Svet

Wayne Tomsic


Side Musician (3 elected)

Bob Ferritto

Mark Habat

Andy Hudak

Jim Penko

Jim Slatinski

Jack Tankovich

Brian Zupancic


Button Box: Individual

Patty Candela

Matt Frank

Joe Grkman Jr.

Kathy Hlad

Ron Pivovar


Button Box Group

Fairport Jammers

Magic Buttons

Mahoning Valley Button Box Club

Polka Pirates

Western Pennsylvania SNPJ Button Box Club



Dale Bucar

Bob Ferritto

Jim Lapinski

Murray McFadgen

John Ross










The annual National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame Awards Show takes place at 2:00 p.m., Saturday afternoon, November 30, 2013, at Euclid Auditorium, 711 East 222nd Street, in Euclid, Ohio. This year's musical acts include Canada’s Polka King Walter Ostanek. The Awards Show is the featured event of the 50th annual Thanksgiving Polka Party Weekend with three days of dancing, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 28, 29 and 30, 2013, at the Marriott Hotel on Public Square in Cleveland, Ohio. 


The Polka Hall of Fame and Museum was founded in 1987 by musicians and leaders of Slovenian and ethnic organizations. The Cleveland style of polka has roots in Slovenian folk music with influences from country and western, jazz, show tunes, and other nationality sounds. The lively music was especially popular in the decade following World War II when artists like America's Polka King Frank Yankovic scored million-selling hits. More than 200 bands perform this style of American dance music today. 


Musicians Join Polka Hall of Fame Board

    Two polka musicians are joining the Board of Trustees of the American Slovenian Polka Foundation, the parent organization of the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum. Three incumbent trustees were also reelected by the membership. Voting results were announced at the Foundation’s annual meeting on March 14 at the Euclid City Hall Council Chambers.Accordionist Patty Candela comes to the Board in the Musicians category for Button Box. Martin Marsic is now the trustee representing Cultural Groups. Three At-Large trustees remain on the Board: Ray Somich, Mark Habat and Joe Burya.

 Patty Candela performs with the Polka Pirates button box band and serves on the board of the Slovenian Society Home in Euclid, Ohio and the SNPJ Heritage Center committee. She has played for thePolka Hall of Fame Slovenian Sausage Festival and Thanksgiving Polka Weekend. She is a member of the Zarja Slovenian Singing Society and is active with SNPJ Lodge 576.


Marty Marsic plays clarinet and saxophone with the Alpine Sextet and the Stan Mejac Orchestra. He has entertained for Polka Hall of Fame Awards Shows and the Slovenian Sausage Festival. He serves on the Parish Council of St. Mary’s Church in Cleveland and as Treasurer of the KSKJ Lodge 169 Foundation and lodge recording secretary. He founded the St. Mary’s Cycling Club and is active with Slovenska Pristava, St. Mary Holy Name Society, and Slovenian American Heritage Foundation.


Joe Burya serves as the Treasurer of the American Slovenian Polka Foundation and manages the finances of Polka Hall of Fame events and the CD Gift Shop. Mark Habat is Chairman of the Polka Hall of Fame Thanksgiving Polka Weekend and the Slovenian Sausage Festival. He has been a drummer for 40 years. Ray Somich has emceed the Polka Hall of Fame Awards Show for 23 years. He is the owner and General Manager of WELW, the radio station that features polka music, and, the internet polka channel.


At the meeting, members learned about upcoming activities with the Polka Hall of Fame including Dyngus Day (Monday, April 1), Polkas on the Green in Hudson, Ohio (Sunday, August 18), the Slovenian Sausage Festival at SNPJ Farm (Wednesday, September 11), the annual Awards Show (Saturday, November 30), and the 50th Anniversary Thanksgiving Polka Weekend at the Downtown Marriott (November 28, 29 and 30). Reservations are being taken for the big polka music weekend in November.


After many years of service, Cecilia “Cilka” Dolgan and Fran Churney retired as trustees. Fran was a hospitality coordinator at many Polka Hall of Fame events. She was also in charge of sunshine activities. Cilka stepped down as President in April after twelve years of leadership. She engineered the Polka Hall of Fame’s move to the historic former Euclid City Hall and raised $100,000 to install the Museum and CD Gift Shop

. For the past thirteen annual CrystalAwards Shows, she served as   producer and entertainment coordinator. The Slovenian Sausage Festival, High Note Society and Just Because Club memberships, and current weekly raffle were  established under her guidance. The Board thanked Fran and Cilka for their invaluable contributions to the success of the Polka Hall of Fame!

Bill Azman Takes Top Sausage Title at 10th annual Polka Hall of Fame Slovenian Sausage Festival


Whether you call it chorizo, klobasa or charcuterie, most folks have never met 

a sausage they didn't like. About one thousand visitors proved it at the 

10th Annual Slovenian Sausage Festival hosted by the National Cleveland-Style 

Polka Hall of Fame and Museum. It was the distinctive savory-smoke recipe from Slovenia that drew them to the SNPJ Farm in Kirtland, Ohio, on a sultry autumn day.


They sampled the products of several vendors, as did a jury of festival judges. 

Both cam to the same conclusion: Azman Quality Meats of Euclid, Ohio, took titles

as People's Choice and the Best of Fest judges' award ad top Slovenian sausage-

for the second year in a row.

Raddells' Sausage Shop of Cleveland was voted runner-up for the People's Choice

and Maple Heights Catering, of Maple Heights, Ohio, received runner-up honors from the jury. The festival was held on Wednesday, September 11. As winner of the even, Bill Azman's champion product will be the official sausage sold at the 50th

Thanksgiving Polka Party weekend, presented by the Polka Hall of Fame at the

Marriott Ballroom in downtown Cleveland, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November

28, 29, and 30.


Eight polka music ensembles volunteered to perform for the Polka Hall of Fame fund-rasier. 

Dancers worked off the calories from noon to nice in the evening. Many visitors brought accordions for impromptu jam sessions. About sixty musicians performed, including  Walter Ostanek, Canada's Polka King.


"You can't beat the good food and polka music," said Lynn Scarberry, who drove 300 miles from Plymouth, Indiana, for the event. "I buy uncooked sausages to take home. You can't get them where I come from."


"We love polka music and we were so happy to find this festival on our way across

 America," said Gabriele Leischsenring of Bad Oldesloe, Germany. "We danced and had a wonderful time." Mrs. Leichsenring and husband Wolf stopped en route to New England in a motor home.


"This year, folks came from around the world, including Austraila, Austria, Slovenia,

 Croatia, and a dozen U.S. states, " noted Mark Habat, Chairman of the festival. "That

 shows you the powerful attraction of polka music and sausages."


The Slovenian sausage (kranjska klobasa, in Slovenian) is made of coarse-ground pork flavored with garlic, salt and peper, and cured by smoking. Additional herbs or spices may vary from maker to maker, but the recipes were brought to America by immigrants from Slovenia a century ago. Festival vendors also prepared rice and blood sausages, as well as potato pancakes, cabbage and noodles, apple strudel and other nationality treats.


The Slovenian Sausage Festival is held by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Euclid's historic original City Hall building. Audio exhibits, vintage photographs and original instruments trace the story of the city's home-grown sound from it's roots in the Slovenian neighborhoods to nationwide renown in the 1940's and 1950's


Hall Of Fame Stars Rock Accordion Exhibit Premier

   More than 100 music fans enjoyed a polka jam session at the opening of “All-Star Accordions: Celebrity Squeezeboxes and Their Stories,” the new exhibition at the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum in Euclid, Ohio. Guests were greeted by accordionists led by Hall of Fame trustees Bob Kravos, Joe Novak and Duffy O’Neill at the March 21 event. Newly elected President Joe Valencic,who organized the exhibition, shared the stories of historic diatonic, chromatic and piano accordions on display, including those belonging to Johnny Pecon, Johnny Vadnal, Frank Yankovic, and Matt Hoyer, who organized the first Cleveland-style band after World War I. Kathy Debevits edited a collection of music videos showing many of the accordions

“The accordions are the actual instruments that got America dancing the Cleveland-style polka,” explained Valencic, a co-founder of the Polka Hall of Fame. “Richie Vadnal’s accordion got Slovenia dancing Cleveland-style, too. He was a hit in the homeland in the 1970s and 1980s. And this accordion made it possible.” Vadnal lent his polka tour accordion to the exhibition.