Throw out the Prozac Here Come Polka Heroes

Throw out the Prozac Here Come Polka Heroes

     
 

Mention polka to most Americans, and if they know one thing about it, it's likely to be Lawrence Welk. Feeling that Welk represents all polka is like judging rock & roll by Pat Boone's version of "Tutti Frutti." Just like the accordion that functions as the lead instrument in this genre, polka has been saddled with the tag "square." ThoseSee more details below

Overview

Mention polka to most Americans, and if they know one thing about it, it's likely to be Lawrence Welk. Feeling that Welk represents all polka is like judging rock & roll by Pat Boone's version of "Tutti Frutti." Just like the accordion that functions as the lead instrument in this genre, polka has been saddled with the tag "square." Those with open minds who are curious about polka can get a great overview of recent developments in polka by listening to this CD. There are three major strains of development in American polka today: the Cleveland (Slovenian) Sound, the Chicago Sound, and the Eastern Sound. Each has its major superstars and fan bases. The Slovenian contingent is led by Frankie Yankovic, who pioneered a sound that includes chromatic accordion along with piano accordion, and is especially distinguished by the use of the tenor banjo as a rhythm instrument. The Chicago sound puts more emphasis on the interplay between two accordions or accordion and concertina. The Eastern sound, at least as exhibited by Jimmy Sturr, is bigger, using elements of big band and country & western. Polka is a dance form that has migrated all over the world since its inception in the early 19th century. This collection would have to be comprised of several CDs in order to represent polka as it has evolved worldwide. Thus its emphasis is on U.S. polka and, particularly, polka from the Rust Belt. Being that Cleveland International is based in Cleveland, the Slovenian style is very well represented in this collection. There are also a couple of Chicago-style tracks, as well as a few bands working in the German style. There is a nod to more avant-garde polka bands with the inclusion of Brave Combo, a dance band from Texas. However, one will not hear norteño music, which has taken polka and run with it; perhaps the compilers felt that norteño gets enough attention. Upon first listen, the production sounds a bit slick. Too many bands seem to lose their "live" energy when they record in the studio. However, this compilation is of an extremely high quality and will have you sticking it into the CD player again and again. With each succeeding play, its happy rhythms grow on you. Your ears become accustomed to the studio values and you find yourself dancing around your house. It is apparent that the makers of this CD are advocates for polka music. Other record labels would hesitate to give any information for artists not on their roster, but Here Come the Polka Heroes gives information about other small polka labels, various polka magazines, polka festivals, and the several polka Halls of Fame. These liner notes are some of the most concisely informative you will see on a survey CD, and are thus a music fan's dream.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/15/1998
Label:
Our Heritage
UPC:
0709522200126
catalogNumber:
2001

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Polka Celebration  - Eddie Blazonczyk
  2. Who Stole the Keeshka?  - Frankie Yankovic
  3. Schnapps  - Bob Kravos
  4. My Good Old Fashioned Wife  -  Battistelli
  5. My Poor Head Is Aching  -  Dynatones
  6. I Wanna Call You Sweetheart  - Lou Trebar
  7. Red Raven Polka  - Frank Moravcik
  8. Long Live Our Brothers @@Johnny Krizancic
  9. The Glass Slipper Polka @@Frankie Spetich
  10. You'll Be Sorry @@Fred Kuhar Orchestra
  11. The Chicken Dance  - Hank Haller
  12. If I Could Be Like You Polka @@Henny & The Versa J's
  13. In Your Heart Sweetheart  - Joey Tomsick
  14. Flying Saucer  -  Brave Combo
  15. La Palooza  - Christine Hibbs
  16. Blue Lady Polka @@Joe Fedorchak Orchestra
  17. Garden of Roses  - Linda Lee
  18. A George M. Cohan Medley  - Ron Sluga
  19. Eggroll Song @@Don Wojtilla Band
  20. The Luddie's Polka @@Jeff Pecon
  21. Back in Cleveland Polka  -  Casuals
  22. La Rhonda Polka  - Walter Ostanek
  23. Meisner Magic  - Steve Meisner
  24. Last Night  - Lynn Marie Rink
  25. If You Can't Do the Polka, Don't Marry My Daughter  - Wolfgang Müller
  26. Squeeze Your A-Cor-Deen @@Roger Bright Band
  27. Goebic Range Polka @@Henry "Hank" Thunander
  28. Scott Joplin Polka @@Harry Faint Review
  29. Wish Me Luck/Thank You Medley  - Lenny Gomulka

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kinky Friedman   Track Performer
Brave Combo   Track Performer
Casuals   Track Performer
Frankie Yankovic   Track Performer
Hank Haller   Track Performer
Linda Lee   Track Performer
Joey Miskulin   Track Performer
Wolfgang Müller   Track Performer
Ron Sluga   Track Performer
Lynn Marie Rink   Track Performer
Eddie Blazonczyk   Track Performer
Lenny Gomulka   Track Performer
Walter Ostanek   Track Performer
Steve Meisner   Track Performer
Battistelli   Track Performer
Joey Tomsick   Track Performer
Lou Trebar   Track Performer
Frank Moravcik   Track Performer
Dynatones   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Jim Bessman   Liner Notes
Ron Sluga   Arranger
Walter Dana   Composer

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