National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum
605 East 222nd Street Euclid, OH 44123
Toll Free: 1-800-66POLKA
Ray Champa has been playing the German chromatic accordion and leading orchestras
for more than 50 years. He joins his father, Frank, on the Trustees Honor roll. Ray
Champa and the Polka Champs were the house band, playing each weekend from 1943 to
1960 at the familly's Glen Park Cafe in Cleveland. In 1949, Ray hosted a weekly,
half-hour polka radio show - one of the first - performing live music with his band.
The Champa band featured Ray and his father on chromatic accordions backed by a bass
and a banjo. Both were named Musicians of the Year by the Collinwood Slovenian Home.
Ray's recorded compositions include "Sweet Dreams" and "The Penguin Polka." The orchestra
appeared at ballrooms and nightclubs such as the Aragon, the Green Darby, the Twilight
Gardens, Euclid Beach Park and Youngstown's Avon Oaks. Ray and his musician friends
formed a close association, the Pol-Kats Social Club, for which he served as the