National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum
605 East 222nd Street Euclid, OH 44123
Toll Free: 1-800-66POLKA
Eddie was born Sept. 2, 1936, in Youngstown, a son of the late Joseph and Katherina
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 passed away on Wednesday, January 27, at age 79.
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. Johnny Pecon, Frank Yankovic, Flaco Jimenez and Slavko Avsenik, to name
a few, were some of the musicians he idolized. Eddie dedicated his whole life to
the music he loved, polkas and waltzes. Eddie Vallus recorded 12 albums.
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 years. He was a past trustee of the National Cleveland-Style
Polka Hall of Fame and Museum and was inducted for his lifetime achievements in 2012.