National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum
605 East 222nd Street Euclid, OH 44123
Toll Free: 1-800-66POLKA
Bob Timko took his “Sound of Timko” around the world as one of the hottest Cleveland-style
bands in the polka charged 1970's. The accordionist hosted some of the first polka
tours and made history playing the very first Polka Mass. Timko’s Polka Place was
a top Cleveland dance destination.
He grew up in Cleveland’s largely Slovenian St. Clair neighborhood where Polka Hall
of Famers Cecilia Dolgan and Dick Flaisman were playmates. Bob took up the accordion
at age five with Joe Princie. Joe Trolli, Frank Yankovic’s music arranger and composer,
taught Bob to recognize perfect pitch and to play from the heart. In 1955, Kenny
Bass asked him to join his Polka Poppers. Bob appeared on nearly all of his albums
and on Kenny’s television show, as well the syndicated “Polka Varieties” and in the
1964 film, One Potato, Two Potato.
Bob organized his own group and their first release, “The Sound of Timko,” was the
hit album of 1970. Two more recordings followed. Radio host Tony Petkovsek invited
him to play the first polka tour to Hawaii. The band accompanied the first Polka
Mass, celebrated by Father George Balasko on Memorial Day, 1972, in Lowellville,
Ohio. Subscribers to the Polkarama monthly named his orchestra America’s favorite
polka band in 1975 and 1976.
Spurred by success, Bob opened his popular night spot. He helped revive the PolKats
Club for Cleveland musicians. The band played around the country until his move to
Florida in 1979. Bob has made several comeback appearances.