National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum

605 East 222nd Street
Euclid, OH 44123

USA

 

E-mail: Polkashop@aol.com

Phone: 216-261-3263

Toll Free: 1-800-66POLKA

Fax: 216-261-4134

 

If Fred Gregorich had continued to emulate his older brother, Ed, he would still be playing the mandolin, fiddle, and guitar in a bluegrass band. Ed was a talented country musician, who died in a U. S. Air Force plane crash in 1943. A relative suggested Fred try the accordion. Fred Gregorich, who grew up in Moon Run, Pennsylvania, started accordion lessons at age 19. A year later he was playing professionally with the Frankie Trio and the Polka Knights of Burgettstown. Fred patterned his playing after the lively polka style of Kenny Bass and his top accordionists, Joe Luzar, Dick Sodja, and Bob Timko. He became leader of the Polka Toppers in 1954, and later changed the name to his most prolific band, Fred Gregorich and the Del-Fi’s. The Del-Fi’s were together until 1983, and recorded five albums. Sidemen, such as the late Lou Rosenberg on bass and Gene Casciola on saxophone, were prominent members of the band. During that period, Fred composed some popular polkas including Cheese and Crackers Polka. Fred was also the second accordionist with the Bob Timko band at the first Polka Mass performed in Lowellville, Ohio, in 1972. He joined the Centurions after the Del-Fi’s disbanded and got back on the scene with the Sam Pugliano Orchestra. He played with Sam for 13 years, as well as with the Del Sinchak band. The highlight of his 50-plus year career was to arrange and play on the Don Wojtila album, "Polka Lovin' Gal." For him it was like coming full circle from his early days of admiring Kenny Bass' music. Fred has recorded with Walter Ostanek, Ron Pivovar, the Polka Quads, Sam Pugliano, Ray Skovenski, Frank Stanger and Jack Tady.

 

Inducted in 2006

National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame

 

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

 

FRED GREGORICH

 

1932

 

 

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