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


Richie Vadnal, the youngest of the Vadnal brothers, played an integral role in building the Cleveland-Style music legacy of the Vadnal family. Steeped in the family’s musical tradition, Richie began his relationship with the accordion at age four under the tutelage of his mother, Anna Vadnal, and later studied with Joey Trolli, Tops Cardone, and Pico Pallotta.

Leading his own award-winning band as a teen, Richie appeared regularly on radio, television, and the circuit of engagements adjunct to Cleveland’s Slovenian cultural community. In 1954, Richie traveled the United States with Frank Yankovic, America’s Polka King, and performed with the popular Three Sons trio during the 1960’s.

Taking over the Johnny Vadnal Orchestra in 1966, Richie led the band through a new era in which they became Cleveland-Style Polkas’ leading exponent of the "Polka Tour." With all the band members and their wives providing a personal touch, Richie and the Vadnals hosted seven tours to Slovenia, encompassing appearances in Austria, Italy, Hungary, and Germany; three to Hawaii; three to Mexico; and three cruises to the Caribbean. In addition, the Vadnals often incorporated tour groups with their appearances throughout the continental U.S., including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, California, Tennessee, Minnesota, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, and Nevada, and in Canada.

Under Richie’s leadership, the Vadnals went far beyond merely serving as mere musical tour guides during their travels. As Cleveland-Style ambassadors, the Vadnals aggressively put Cleveland-Style Polkas in the spotlight, appearing live and in documentaries of Slovenian radio and television; recording four LP albums in Europe for Helidon; being featured in "Stop," Slovenia’s equivalent of "Billboard" magazine, and in other European periodicals; and appearing annually before thousands at the July 4th Immigrants’ Picnic in Skofja Loka, Slovenia. Achieving international celebrity, Richie became known simply as "Mr. Richie" throughout Slovenia.

Back in the United States, Richie and the Vadnal Orchestral were mainstays on the syndicated "Polka Varieties" television show through the 1970’s and ‘80’s, and cut a total of ten LP albums and many singles for Helidon, Mlay, Normandy (Ray Gay), Cuca, Delta International, CBV, and Peppermint Records. Among the band’s most popular recorded hits are "Ta Glazek je Prazen," "Henry the VIII, I Am," "Love," featuring Bill Srnick, Sr., "Polka Your Troubles Away," "Look My Way," and "No Beer Today."

Richie was honored as Collinwood Slovenian Home’s Musician of the Year in 1990.
Although his Cleveland-Style career was cut short by a stroke suffered in 1982, Richie Vadnal’s many contributions during sixteen short years at the helm of the Vadnal Orchestra stand proudly in the annals of Cleveland-Style Polkas.


Inducted in 1997

National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame


Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient




1936  © 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