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


Born in Cleveland and raised in Euclid, Ohio, Ron Sluga began his musical career after he broke his wrist at the age of three. His doctor suggested a stringed musical instrument for therapy and his parents bought him a mandolin. Today he is an accomplished musician on various stringed instruments including banjo, guitar and mandolin. He is, as well, a gifted vocalist. Ron's parents felt he had a natural talent and they did all they could to motivate him with teachers such as John Lombardo, John Stebal, Dick Lurie and Jimmy Hall. At the age of eight, Ron played banjo with his brother Herman on accordion at their first public job. It was for their father's shop Christmas party. Ron knew then that music was exactly what he wanted to pursue. By the age of fifteen, he found himself part of a five-piece ensemble of musicians called the Tune Toppers. In addition to many scholastic endeavors, Ron played the clarinet in the school band for a while, but realized his love was with the guitar and banjo. With his musical abilities and professional smile, Ron spawned many new opportunities including his professional position in the Joey Stradiot Band when he was only sixteen. While only a senior in high school, at the age of seventeen, Ron was recording and appearing on TV shows with Cleveland recording artist Kenny Bass. Two years later, he was a regular on Chicago's television station WGN, and recorded and toured the country with Frank Yankovic, America's Polka King. At twenty-two, he joined Cleveland's Polka King, Johnny Vadnal and here, singing became a real interest. After receiving encouragement from so many who listened to his style, Ron's singing abilities were nurtured under the tutelage of Dick Mone. In addition to these well-known polka greats, Ron has appeared on over fifty recordings with many notables in the music industry. While pursuing his music career, Ron also attended The Cleveland School of Engineering, achieved his Associates Degree and became an engineering supervisor at White Motors in Cleveland. Music and engineering were his life for many years. When White Motors left Cleveland, Ron opened his own music store and Sluga Music served his community for fifteen years. In addition to playing and recording with local bands, Ron continues to be well known in the Cleveland area for his fine solo entertainment for private parties, night clubs and many businesses and organizations. The walls in Ron's studio display over twenty awards and proclamations from such notables as Ohio Gov. George Voinovich, Ohio Cuyahoga County Auditor, Tim McCormack, mayors of several cities and musical organizations, as well as awards of appreciation from his peers in this country and Canada. Ron has been honored as a nine-time winner of the Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame's "Sideman of the Year" award and 2002's "Best Vocalist" award. In 2005, Ron was inducted into the Cleveland Polka Hall of Fame as a recipient of their highest honor, The Lifetime Achievement Award. Other honors include being an integral part of the first polka Grammy, which was accepted by Frank Yankovic. Ron's music and vocal abilities have since been featured on nine additional Grammy nominations. Ron's latest work, "Time Out for Polkas and Waltzes," has recently earned him his own personal nomination for a Grammy, sharing this project with Canada's Polka King, Walter Ostanek. In June 2000, with the encouragement of his fans and fellow musicians, Ron produced his own CD. Calling it "Something Special", it is appropriately named after the title tune of an original written by he and his wife, Patty. Ron's popularity grew in new circles and his music career expanded. "Something Special, Vol. 2" was produced two years later. Currently,he is working on his fourth release, between recording sessions with other entertainment artists and is performing as a full-band-sound soloist featuring a variety of music, which includes many of his originals. Ron's music has never limited him to the Cleveland area. His musical travels have taken him to more than half of the United States, including Alaska. His professional appearances have taken him to Rio DeJaneiro, The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, several Caribbean cruises, and The Netherlands.


Inducted in 2005

National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame


Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient




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