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You are here: Home > Books, Calendars, Maps, Movies, Music And More > Music > Polka, General
Collier's Encyclopedia tells us that the polka is originally a Czech dance in quick double time.  It was said to have been danced for the first time around 1830 by a Czech peasant girl, but it quickly spread from Bohemia throughout Europe and into the ballrooms of New York where it aroused a mania similar to that of the waltz.
It was the composer Smetana who introduced this dance into art music with a number of famous polkas fro the piano.  He included the polka in his operatta, "The Bartered Bride."
At the popular level, the polka proved to be a dance from with universal appeal as it spread among the peasantry of Europe.  In a short time it became firmly rooted in the cultures of Russia, Prussia, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Lithuania, the Ukraine, and virtually all other European countries.  Polkas are today included in the traditional dance repertoire of virtually every European culture, and many cultures beyond.
It is, nevertheless, the Poles who are most closely identified with polkas and it is the descendants of these peasant farmers who raised the polka to its present level of popularity in the United States. It is here that the polka, grown on roots of Polish folk traditions, reached its highest levels of sophistication.
Unschooled musicians with their "skrzypki" and "klarnci" brought the traditional melodies and stylings to the United States around the turn of the century,
The second generation of musicians, educated in music and surrounded by the sounds of the roaring twenties and the despair of the Great Depression, married this traditional music with the emerging modern stylings to create a new popular form particularly Polish-American in nature.
Unlike their predecessors and even their peers, the Polish-American orchestras learned to play the foxtrot as adeptly as they did the polka.  Their obereks, mazurkas, szacy (Schottishes), kujawiaks and other Polish musical forms only served to lend variety to their increasingly popular dances.  This modern period of polkas began in the early 1930's and continued well into the 1970's, with polka bands often drawing crowds of two to three thousand dancers and spectators.
The "Golden Age of Polkas" was a post-war phenomenon which ran from the mid-1940's through the late 1960's when the music reached its highest level of quality and sophistication.  It is the period that gave birth to the most famous of all the polka bands.
In recent years the polka musicians themselves have acquired a stature of their own through the high levels of proficiency.  Former polka band musicians have found positions in many world-recoognized musical institutions including the Boston Symphony,  the Boston Pops, and the Springfield Symphony.
The magic of polka remains strong today as is evidenced in its present popularity.  It has survived many changes in style and taste and continues to deliver a strong and positive message of joy and happiness in contrast to the often negative popular culture of today.
Source (Kielbasa Polkas)
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25 Million Seller Polka Hits - Volume 1 25 Million Seller Polka Hits - Volume 2 25 Million Seller Polka Hits - Volume 3
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25 Million Seller Polka Hits - Volume 1 25 Million Seller Polka Hits - Volume 2 25 Million Seller Polka Hits - Volume 3
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25 Polka Greats 25th Anniversary Album - Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones 2K10 The Next Phase With Tony Blazonczyk
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This CD, "25 Polka Greats", is a wonderful compilation of that golden period, showcasing hits from Happy Louie, Walt Solek, Johnny Menko, Larry Chesky, Al Soyka, Jimmy Sturr and many others.  A great addition to your music collection. 25th Anniversary Album - Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones New Phaze began its journey in the fall of 2005. After several attempts to get a band started, Tony Blazonczyk finally succeded in putting the right combination of musicians together to form what is now New Phaze.
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A Bit Of Casey Siewierski And His Orchestra - All Instrumental A Blast From The Past By Jimmy Kilian And Honky Chicago A Push Style Christmas By Lenny Gomulka And The Chicago Push [ch]
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Dear music lover. Here is our second recording. We have put together a bit of "Country - Polka Style" with traditional Polish selections. Please keep these songs in your heart and we hope to see you soon. Latest release (May 2010) from this popular Chicago based Polka band. Sixteen Christmas Polkas, all English vocals, sung by various artists. Light and lively Christmas music, which gets you toe-tapping in a hurry!
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A Tribute To Casimir Pulaski - Various Artists A Tribute To Li'l Wally - The Early Hits After All These Years - One More Tyme
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A variety of vocal and instrumental music dedicated to the memory General Casimir Pulaski performed by a variety of artists. A Tribute To Li'l Wally - The Early Hits The polka band One More Tyme was formed in 2001 by John Furmaniak and IPA Polka Music Hall of Famer Wally Maduzia. The band recorded on CD and performed together from 2001 to 2007.
Compact Disc Recorded By Ed Guca And The Polish Canadians Compact Disc
Aggie's Telephone Gems - Comedy Skits By Marisha Data All American Country Flavored Polkas by Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones All Time Great Polka Singers
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In her thirty years in the radio and recording field, Marisha Data was also an opera and concert singer and a comedienne. Gifted with a great voice and acting talent, she used her abilities well. A soloist in the Midwest and San Carlo Opera Company, All American Country Flavored Polkas by Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones All Time Great Polka Singers
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Always, Forever, And A Day By Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones Ampol Aires - Life is Short Ampol Aires - Past, Present, Forever
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Eddie Blazonczyk is a native Chicagoan, son of Fred and Antoinette Blazonczyk, who for years operated the Pulaski Village Ballroom and later the Club Antoinette in Chicago.  Eddie started playing polkas in the early fifties with a four-piece combo known a Ampol Aires - Past, Present, Forever CD Way back in the early 1950's there was a very popular band called the Eddie Zima Orchestra which was comprised of Eddie Zima, concertina, Andy  Dziagwa (Day), trumpet, Wally Glowicki and Roman Truskolaski (Travers), clarinet and sax, Frank Barwig, piano a
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Ampol Aires: Famous - Fabulous Ampol Aires Ampol Aires: The Best of the Ampol Aires An Evening At Yankovic's - The Polka King Remembered
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Ampol Aires:  Famous - Fabulous Ampol Aires For those who wonder how the name "Ampol Aires" came about, the Am in Ampol Aires stands for American, and the pol stands for Polish, the Aires simply stands for exactly what it means, aires  or melodies. Frankie Yankovic (July 15, 1915 Davis, West Virginia - October 14, 1998) was a grammy award winning polka musician. Known as "America's Polka King," Yankovic was the premier artist to play in the Slovenian style during a long and successful career.
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Another Day At The Office - Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones Another Polka Celebration By Eddie Blazonczyk And The Versatones As Sweet As Candy - Lenny Gomulka And Chicago Push
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Another Day At The Office - Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones Eddie Blazonczyk is a native Chicagoan, son of Fred and Antoinette Blazonczyk, who for years operated the Pulaski Village Ballroom and later the Club Antoinette in Chicago.  Eddie started playing polkas in the early fifties with a four-piece combo known a As Sweet As Candy - Lenny Gomulka And Chicago Push
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Grammy Award Winner
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Bandstand Favorites By Stas Bulanda's Average Polka Band Batteries Not Included By Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones Best of Stas Golonka and His Chicago Masters
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Stanley "Stas" Bulanda’s love for polka music started at a very early age while listening to the music of his fathers' and uncles' polka band. Eddie Blazonczyk is a native Chicagoan, son of Fred and Antoinette Blazonczyk, who for years operated the Pulaski Village Ballroom and later the Club Antoinette in Chicago.  Eddie started playing polkas in the early fifties with a four-piece combo known a Best of Stas Golonka and His Chicago Masters
Compact Disc Grammy Nominated 2006 Release Compact Disc
Best of Wanda & Stephanie - Vol. 2 Better Than Ever By Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones Biesiada Polska - O mój rozmarynie
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In this album Wanda and Stephanie feature some brand new originals plus sone of the all-time Polka favorites which they are most requested to play. Eddie Blazonczyk is a native Chicagoan, son of Fred and Antoinette Blazonczyk, who for years operated the Pulaski Village Ballroom and later the Club Antoinette in Chicago.  Eddie started playing polkas in the early fifties with a four-piece combo known a Traditional Polish patriotic and folk music performed by a variety of artists.
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Polka Hall Of Fame 2010 Inductee
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