National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum
605 East 222nd Street Euclid, OH 44123
Toll Free: 1-800-66POLKA
Pioneer accordionist, Slovenian-born Louis Spehek embraced his new home in the United
States by entertaining on the button accordion, and becoming the first Slovenian-American
recording artist. Louis arrived in Mansfield, Ohio, in 1902, but soon moved to Cleveland
(1905) where he could play for larger audiences. Louis first recorded on Victor Records
in 1924,in Cleveland, Ohio, teaming with Math. Arko (Matt Hoyer) on two 78s. During
the same session he recorded another recording with singer-actress Augusta Danilova.
Louis signed with Columbia Recording and recorded six 78s, in 1928.Both of Louis’
sons, Louis and Frank, learned to play the accordion and joined him in playing for
weddings, baptisms, and lodge events. Louis, who owned a fencebuildingcompany, introduced
the “Pillow Dance” (Povster Tanc) to American-Slovenians.