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

 

 

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

 

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Polka Music All Day at the 12th Slovenian Sausage Festival

12th Annual Slovenian Sausage Festival is now Wednesday, September 16. Twelve polka bands entertain you with eight hours of music, from 12 noon to 8:00 p.m.. Sausage-makers tempt you with their finest pork products. You get to decide who wins the King of Klobasa with your vote! The spacious SNPJ Farm on Heath Road in Kirtland, Ohio, is the site for a fun-filled day of musical and culinary delights. Your hosts are the members and friends of the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum.

Click here for more information

 

Remembering Slavko Avsenik 1929 - 2015

The Polka Hall of Fame notes the passing of honoree Slavko Avsenik, one of Slovenia's most influential musicians and composers in recent history. In 1953, Slavko Avsenik and his brother Vilko formed the Avsenik Quintett, a band that would have a profound influence on the music of Slovenia and Germany for decades to come. The band's style was nicknamed Oberkrainer. ("Krain" is the German name for the Carniola region of Slovenia and "Oberkrain" refers to the highland Gorenjsko area.) His Oberkrainer sound became the primary vehicle of ethnic musical expression for Slovenia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and more Benelux countries, spawning hundreds of Alpine orchestras in the process. Landing a recording contract with Telefunken-Decca in 1960, the Ensemble rose to meteoric heights throughout Europe. The Avsenik Quintett performed before millions, including heads of state, on radio and television, and in thousands of concerts. It appeared regularly on network television, toured relentlessly (logging 400,000 miles in 1967 alone), and recorded prolifically. Milestones include a 1961 performance before 80,000 in Berlin Stadium, tours of the U.S. and Canada in 1970 and 1985, and a one-hour German television network special in 1980.Selling more than 30 million records, Slavko Avsenik earned thirty-one Gold, two Diamond, and one Platinum record. Slavko collaborated with his brother, Vilko, to produce nearly 1000 original compositions and an integral part of Slovenia's musical heritage. In time, the Avseniks' original compositions also became popular in Slovenian-American polka repertoires in English translation. The Avseniks' influence over Cleveland-Style music began in 1958 when Johnny Pecon's English lyrics transformed Slavko's "Tam Kjer Murke Cveto" into "Little Fella," an all-time Cleveland-Style hit as sung by Paul Yanchar. Since then, Cleveland-Style orchestras and performers recorded well over 200 Avsenik songs, including Hank Haller, Fred Ziwich, Fred Kuhar, the Fairport Ensemble, Al Markic, Roger Bright, Al Tercek, and Cilka Dolgan. Avsenik tribute bands formed throughout Slovenia and Austria, as well as across the United States and Canada, first with Duke Marsic and His Happy Slovenians, followed by the Alpine Sextet, Stan Mejac, Tony Klepec, Andre Blumauer, Iskre and many others. His waltzes are instantly recognizable for their romantic elegance, such as Veter Nosi Pesem Mojo (The Wind Song), Cakala Bom (I'll Wait for You), and Na Mostu (On the Bridge). One waltz, Slovenija, which extols the beauty of his homeland, is for many a pop anthem for the country. The most popular song by Slavko Avsenik is the polka "Na Golici" (Trompeten Echo) which is one of the most played instrumental polkas in Europe. He was inducted for lifetime achievement by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame in 1996.

 

Denis Novato, Word Accordion Champion headlines Thanksgiving Polka Weekend. 18 bands perform at the Downtown Cleveland Marriott. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 26, 27 and 28, 2015. The Downtown Cleveland Marriott Hotel becomes America's Polka headquarters with the Cleveland-Style's finest entertainers, plus Denis Novato, the World Button Box Champion. The high point is the 2015 Awards Show in the Grand Ballroom on Saturday, november 28, at 2:00. Celebrate the 100th birthdays of Frank Yankovic and Johnny Pecon. Their music will be featured in special tributes Friday evening and at the Awards Show gala. Eighteen Cleveland-Style and Slovenian-Style orchestras and entertainers have been schduled. The line up includes the Frank Stanger Orchestra and Jeff Winard Band.

 

Reception for Consul Jure Žmauc

The National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum invites members and friends to bid a fond farewell to the Honorable Jure Žmauc, Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia, and his wife Janja. A special reception takes place at the Polka Hall of Fame on Wednesday, July 8, at 6:00 p.m. In his six years at his Cleveland post, Mr. Žmauc cultivated many business, cultural and professional contacts for Slovenia. He also made friendships throughout his ten-state jurisdiction. As the face of Slovenia, he did much to create interest and positive impressions of the country. Please reply if you are attending. The Polka Hall of Fame is located at 605 East 222nd Street in Euclid, Ohio, in the historic former City Hall building. To RSVP or for more information, call (216) 261-FAME or polkashop@aol.com.

 

Remembering Paul Yanchar 1925 - 2015

Paul Yanchar, one of the Cleveland-Style Polka's leading saxophone and clarinet players, as well as one of its finest singers. Paul passed away at age 90. He set a standard for side musicians during a career spanning well more than seventy years. Paul was best known as the sax and clarinet player and lead vocalist of the Johnny Pecon and Jeff Pecon Orchestras. Paul contributed to some of the Johnny's finest moments, including a winning performance on the "Arthur Godfrey Show" on national TV in 1956. He also recorded and toured Hawaii and Slovenia with the Pecon Orchestra. Paul's signature tune was "Little Fella," based on the Avsenik hit melody, "Tam kjer murke cveto." He sang in English and Slovenian. Paul also distinguished himself as a regular with orchestras led by Johnny Vadnal, Louie Bashell, Eddie Habat, Pete Sokach, Chuck Smith, Al Strukel, and Vic Intihar. Paul's playing was marked by quality musicianship. He was able to step on stage with any band and make an immediate contribution. Johnny Pecon once said that Paul Yanchar was "the one man you want next to you if a song is in trouble." He was known for his willingness to help and practice with other musicians, perform at benefits, and organize musicians to play at Cleveland area hospitals and nursing homes. Paul was inducted into the Polka Hall of Fame in 1991.

 

Lou Sadar 1921 - 2015

Saxophonist and Clarinetist, Trustees Honor Roll, 2005

One of the last veterans of the golden age of the Cleveland-Style Polka, Lou began with the big bands of Russ Carlyle and Ray Anthony in the 1940s. he was best known for his years performing and recording with Johnny Pecon and Lou Trebar.

 

Polka shirts for summer. Choose a slogen or design that celebrates your love of Polka Music or Slovenian Herritage. Available in the Gift Shop. Members get 10% of.

 

Free Johnny Pecon CD at 100th Pecon Birthday Tribute and Polka Mass at SNPJ Farm Sunday, July 26. In honor of Johnny Pecon's special day, the first 300 guests receive a free, commemorative CD of Pecon hits, donated by accordionist and bandleader Fred Kuhar, who will also perform. The CD is courtesy of Fred Kuhar and Classic Records and features many favorite polkas and waltzes.

 

New Polka CDs now in stock: Call (216) 261-FAME Toll Free 1-866-66POLKA

Mikey Dee - In Your Dreams

Frank Stanger - A Polka Love Affair

Dan Peters - Live At Klima's Grove

Alaska Button Box Gang - Our Own

Navihanke - Just For You

Walter Ostanek - Today And Forever

Cilka Dolgan - The Best Of

Steve Meisner - Thank You Music Lovers

Alex Meixner - Happines Is A Choice

 

Play to win! Support the Polka Hall of Fame and you could be a winner! Enter the raffle and get a chance at weekly price of $200.m Order raffle tickets at the Polka Hall of Fame or call (216) 261-3263. You can't win if you don't play!

 

Polka Hall of Fame Awards Show 27 DVD. Honoring Denny Bucar and Don lipovac. Perfomances by Alex Meixner, Walter Ostanek, Jeff Pecon, Don Wojtila, Chardon Polka Band, Fritz Scherz, Hank Thunander, Fred Ziwich and more. Members $12. Regalar price $25. Add $3 for postage. Call or email the Gift Shop.

 

John Muhvic joins the board. Accordionist John Muhvic joins the Boards of Trustees. He was appointed to fil the unexpired term in the Musician catagory. Fans of the Fairport Jammers known John as one of the ensemble's longtime accordionists.

 

Send in your 2015 Polka Nominations. Your choices are important! As a Polka Hall of Fame member, you can nominate the entertainers, groups and individuals for their achievements in Cleveland-Style Polka music over the past twelve months. With enough nominations, your favorites can make it onto the final ballot and get a change to win. Be sure to send your nominations form to the Polka Hall of Fame , postmarked on or before Friday, July 25, 2015.

 

Walter Ostanek Celebrates with Fans

Seven hundred fans wished Canada's Polka King a happy birthday as the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum saluted the legendary Walter Ostanek, Sunday, May 3. Eighteen Cleveland-Style Polka stars paid tribute to his 80th year with eight hours of music in two halls at the Slovenian Society Home in Euclid, Ohio - all in honor of the three-time Grammy Award winner. Surprise guests included Fritz Scherz and Gabe Vaccaro of Fritz's Polka Band from Verona, New York; Murray McFadgen, Walter's long-time vocalist; and Joey Miskulin from the cowboy combo Riders in the Sky, who flew in from Nashville. "Walter is not just a fine musician, but a warm and wonderful human being," said Miskulin. "He knows how to share the joy he feels in his playing." The accordionist is featured on a 80th birthday CD release of a vintage Walter Ostanek album of polkas and waltzes, produced by John Hasper of Polkas.nl. Walter was honored with speeches and presentations by several musicians and community leader, including Frank Svet of Dayton, Ohio, and radio personality Tony Petkovsek and proclamations from Euclid Mayor Bill Cervenik and Ohio Governor John Kasich. Joe Valencic, president of the Polka Hall of Fame, presented Walter with a crystal bowl filled with packages of Slovenian smoked sausages. Bandleader Fred Kuhar, past president, treated Walter to a Slovenian potica nut roll. "It means so much to me to see all of you here today because I owe it all to the people," said Walter during the presentation. "Without them I am just another accordion player." He was accompanied by daughter Cheryl and son Rick. His wife Irene could not attend due to health issues. Walter was the first of a charismatic new generation of polka performers to appear in the 1960s. He born into a Slovenian family in Duparquet, Quebec, Canada, in 1n 1935. Frank Yankovic, America's Polka King, inspired him to start his own band at age 16 in St. Catherines, Ontario. Walter's showmanship was perfect for television and he hosted his own program for nearly 40 years. His flawless interpretation of the Cleveland-Style Polka earned him Grammy Awards in 1993, 1994 and 1995. He will be releasing his 100th album in the fall. Walter strapped on his accordion and performed with several musicians, including Miskulin, Scherz, Kuhar, Fred Ziwich, Don Wojtila, Ron Sluga, Brian O'Boyle and Mark Habat, who coordinated the celebration. Proceeds from the event benefited the Polka Hall of Fame. The 80th birthday CD, "Walter Ostanek: Today and Forever," is available at the Polka Hall of Fame at a special price through June, 2015. Call (216) 261-3263 to order.

 

Fund-Raiser CD

Walter Ostenek, Canada's Polka King marks his 80th birthday with a special collection of classic Cleveland-Style polkas and waltzes. Now available at the Polka Hall of Fame. Walter's 80th birthday CD, "Today and Forever," is a digital re-mastering of one of his top-selling recordings from the 1980s along with a selection of bonus tracks. Two of Walter's signature tunes, "Jo Ann Polka" and "Lee and Ann's Polka," highlight this special edition. His good buddy Joey Miskulin, best known as Joey, the Cow-Polka King, from the cowboy combo Riders in the Sky, makes an appearance on several songs. A portion of the proceeds from this CD benefit the Polka Hall of Fame, courtesy of John Hasper of Polkas.nl, the producer of this souvenir edition.

 

Board of Trustees

Bandleader and accordionist Bob Kravos has stepped down from the Board of Trustees. Bob was a long time Trustee who played at many Hall of Fame events and in the Awards Show orchestra.

 

Order your Polka Awards Show 27 DVD

Thrill to this polka spectacular with two hours of favorites, including Walter Ostanek, Alex Meixner, Jeff Pecon, Don Wojtila, Chardon Polka Band, Fritz Scherz, Hank Thunander, Fred Ziwich and more. Members $15. Non Members $20. Add $3 for postage. You can also order a 2014 Awards Show Program Book for $4 including postage. Call or email the Gift Shop.

 

Board of Trustees

After 15 years on the Board of Trustees, Joe Novak is retiring at the end of his term. He performed for many events on the accordion and with his orchestra, Joe Novak and Friends.

 

Fund-Raisers

John Hasper has produced a CD from the Joey Tomsick Orchestra called Polkatively Button Box. Mark Habat has relased a two DVD set of Tony Petkovsek's 25th Thanksgiving Polka Weekend in 1988. Proceeds from both sales benefit the Polka Hall of Fame.

 

Polka and Slovenian T-Shirts

Show your spirit with a T-Shirt or sweatshort featuring a polka or Slovenian theme. Choose from different colors, designs and slogans. Available in the Gift Shop.