National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum
605 East 222nd Street Euclid, OH 44123
Toll Free: 1-800-66POLKA
Verne Meisner has achieved international renown in a Cleveland-Style career spanning
five decades. Perfomming throughout the United States, Canada and in Europe; distributing
his recordings nationally; composing Cleveland-Style classics; and inspiring a new
generation of Cleveland-Style musicians. Verne became "the most influential Wisconsin
purveyor of Cleveland-Style sound."*
Verne began playing the accordion in his native Milwaukee at age eleven, supplementing
music lessons with independent study of Frank Yankovic and Six Fat Dutchmen recordings
at the family victrola and the stylings of Pecon, Vadnal, Benedict, Cook, and Bashell
on Fritz the Plumber's daily radio broadcasts. Verne formed his own band in 1950
and, impressing Yankovic with his keen ear, traveled with the Yanks during the 1950's.
Verne Meisner and the Polka Boys made their recording debut in 1958 with "Memories
of Vienna", one of Verne's finest and most popular compositions. Verne's recordings
include 30 singles, 16 LP albums, and two videos on the Paragon, Leaf, Cuca, VM,
Bright, and HG labels. Verne's first album, "A Polka and Waltz Holiday", achieved
a 5-Star rating on the Billboard charts.
Verne has contributed mightily to the popularity of Cleveland-Style Polkas in all
regions of the United States, perforning in California, Arizona, Maryland, Missouri.
Pennsylvania, Florida, Hawaii, Washington State, Colorado, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio,
and in Canada. He has also led two polka tours to Europe and five Caribbean cruises.
A prolific composer, Verne is the genius behind nearly sixty songs including his
two blockbusters. "Memories of Vienna" and " El Rio Drive", as well as "Doreen Waltz".
"Michelle Waltz", "Sneeky Pete Polka", "Main Attraction", "Echo Valley Waltz", "Waltz
of Love", "Sleepy Head Waltz", "Autumn Leaves" (adapted from a Croatian folk song)
and "Ukrania", now a standard in Polish repertory.
Devoting full time to music, Verne has bridged the gap between Cleveland-Style music's
post-war giants and today's generation, mentoring the likes of Joey Miskulin, influencing
bands throughout Wisconsin and the upper Midwest, and spawning the Cleveland-Style
careers of son Steve and cousin Gordon Hartmann.
Plying his trade with excellence and originality, Verne has combined the spark of
Americana with the old-country flavor of Slovenian, German, Dutch, Czech, and Polish
melodies in creating his own distinctive and refreshing sound.
Among his many honors, Verne was inducted into the IPA's Polka Hall of Fame in Chicago
in 1989, was the first polka musician to win the Wisconsin Area Music Industry Award
(along with Steve) in 1988, repeated this honor in 1994, and has been commended by
the Governor of Wisconsin for his accomplishments. Attesting to his fame, Verne's
persona was appropriated by Mary Blayney in her novel, True Colors.