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


Every time he picks up his accordion and plays, Hank Thunander pays tribute to his idol, Frank Yankovic. For nearly half a century, Hank has led one of the top Cleveland-Style polka bands in the Upper Midwest. Fans enjoy his energetic polka sound, but Hank also can put across a big-band, light-rock or country tune. His versatility has earned him frequent invitations to festivals, clubs and ballrooms with an average of 300 appearances a year.


Hank was raised in the Gogebic Range of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, near the border of Minnesota’s Iron Range. As a youngster he was fascinated with Yankovic’s happy music and took up the accordion. A dream came true when, at age 10, America’s Polka King brought Hank on stage to play along with him. Hank led bands in high school and the Army before settling in St. Paul, Minnesota. Another dream was realized in 1970, when he was invited to record with Yankovic. Since then, Hank has released eight albums of his own.


Some of the entertainers he accompanied include Lawrence Welk favorites Myron Floren and Joann Castle. From 1972 to 1981, Hank hosted a weekly radio show on WMIN, featuring Slovenian-style polkas. He organized polka tours to Europe, Hawaii, the Caribbean and Alaska. For his contributions to music, Hank has been honored by the Ironwood Hall of Fame, the Michigan Polka Music Hall of Fame, and the Minnesota Accordion Club. He received the Lifetime Award from the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame.


Inducted in 2011


National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame


Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient




1942  © National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum, 605 East 222nd Street, Euclid, OH 44123, USA.










Lifetime Achievement

Tony Petkovsek Award

Awards Shows


All Time Hit Songs

Past Winners

Polka Jukebox






Gift Shop