National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum
605 East 222nd Street Euclid, OH 44123
Toll Free: 1-800-66POLKA
Herman Spero produced the longest-running polka television show, "Polka Varieties,"
broadcast from WEWS, the ABC affiliate in Cleveland. He was at the helm of the show
from 1956 to 1975. Thanks to Herman, polka-lovers could welcome their favorite bands
into their homes every Sunday afternoon.
America's Polka King Frankie Yankovic was the original band to perform on the one-hour
show. Bands such as Richie Vadnal, George Staiduhar, Markic-Zagger, and Hank Haller
took regular turns on "PolkaVarieties," introduced in the early years by host Tom
Fletcher and by Paul Wilcox for most of the show's run.
Every prominent Cleveland-style polka band at one time performed on "Polka Varieties,"
as well as popular Polish, Italian and Bohemian-style bands. The show was also the
only television showcase for the area's many nationality choruses and folk dance
Herman eventually syndicated the show and"Polka Varieties" was enjoyed by hundreds
of thousands of viewers in 30 major television markets.