National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum
605 East 222nd Street Euclid, OH 44123
Toll Free: 1-800-66POLKA
Dick Flaisman appeared on hundreds of recordings as a featured player on the saxophone
and clarinet. In his 56-year career, he performed with many Cleveland-Style polka
greats, and is still in demand as a versatile side musician.
He first heard polka music as a child through the wall of his bedroom, behind his
grandparents’ Flaisman Tavern, at East 64th Street and St. Clair Avenue, in Cleveland,
Ohio. His older brother, Jack was an accordion player. Dick learned the saxophone
and clarinet. At age 15, Dick joined Jolly Jack Flaisman’s orchestra. Accordionist
Dick Sodja called young Dick about a job with Kenny Bass and His Polka Poppers. Dick
performed and toured with Bass for twelve years, recording and singing with the band
on Roulette Records.
In the late 1960s, Dick reunited with Sodja in the Almars Orchestra led by Al Markic.
Dick was with the group for five years and recorded with Delta International. He
also sang and played sax and clarinet on three albums with Cecilia Dolgan, featuring
drummer Jack Ponikvar. Dick toured Slovenia in 1971 and in 1972 with the Eddie Buehner
Band. He joined Jack in Dick Sodja's band, Fantasia, for 21 years. Dick also performed
with bandleaders Bob Kravos and Art Perko and was a regular side musician with Eddie
Rodick and Don Wojtila. Dick was honored as Musician of the Year by the Collinwood