National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum

605 East 222nd Street
Euclid, OH 44123




Phone: 216-261-3263

Toll Free: 1-800-66POLKA

Fax: 216-261-4134


Father Frank Perkovich popularized the Polka Mass and turned it into a new tradition at nationality festivals

Around the country. His "Songs and Himns from the Polka Mass" recordings are the most widely-sold

Cleveland-Style polka albums in recent decades.


Frank Perkovich was born in Chisholm, Minnesota, in the the lron Range, and grew up enjoying the Slovenian and Croatian music he heard at home and in his neighborhood. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1954 and was assigned to area parishes before arriving at Resurrection Church in Eveleth in 1970.


Changes in worship, following the Vatican II Council, inspired Father George Balasko to debut the first Polka Mass in Lowellville, Ohio, in 1972 with favorite polka and waltz melodies performed by a band with lyrics from the liturgy. Father Perkovich contacted him and set out to style his own version with music by accordionist Joe Cvek and the Polka Massters, and lyrics adapted by Mary Cvek. Father Perkovich celebrated his forst Polka Mass in 1973 and, spurry by the warm reception recorded it with Cvek and his orchestra. His Polka Mass became an immediate sensation and earned headlines, Festivals soon invited "Father Perk" and the Cvek musicians for appearances Both Polka Mass releases sold more than 100,000 copies.


Father Perk premiered the Polka Mass ln Slovenia and Croatia i n 1975. He was also invited to celebrate the

Mass at the inauguration of Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich. In I982 Father Perk even created an ecumenical Polka Mass with a Lutheran pafrish. His greatest honor came in 1983 when he presented the Polka Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Pope John Paul II gave his personal approval to Father Perk in an audience.


In 2004, Father Perk retired from active ministry and documented his experiences in a personal memoir "Dancing A Polka To Heaven". He was featured in the TV Slovenia documantary, "Polka! The Movie", and gained new fans in Slovenia and at film festivals.


Thanks to Falher Perkovich's enthusiasm, the Polka Mass today is featured at celebrations and special

Occasions in nationatity parishes and neighborhoods across North America Polka bands may adapt his form witht melodies and instrumentation to suit a palicular ethnicity but the Polke Mass uniquely engages communities within the church with familiar melodies presented with reverence.


Inducted in 2012

National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame


Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient




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