Awards Show 2010

Part #1 (National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame)


EUCLID, OH. Fifty squeezeboxers shared the stage in a gala salute to the accordion at the 23rd annual awards ceremony presented by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum on Saturday, November 27, 2010. The Dick Tady Orchestra of Pittsburgh was voted Band of the Year and Cleveland bandleader Bob Kravos received Best Musician honors. Kravos also won Album of the Year for "Best of Cleveland," while Tady took home a trophy for Best New Song for "La Bella Luna Waltz." The all-star presentation was held at Euclid High Auditorium in Euclid, Ohio, before an audience of 1,000. The gala program was the high point of the annual Thanksgiving polka music weekend hosted by Cleveland radio personality Tony Petkovsek. "This year's show highlighted the versatility of the accordion and the variety of polka styles popular today," said Petkovsek, Polka Hall of Fame Chairman. "The age range of performers, from six to sixty, confirms that polka music is truly family entertainment." Cleveland bandleaders Dick Sodja and Fred Ziwich were inducted into the Polka Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in polka music, as was the Glasbena Matica Slovenian Singing Society, celebrating its 80th anniversary. Voters also designated two all-time hits songs, "No Beer in Heaven," a polka standard adapted from a German novelty song, "In Himmel es gibt kein Bier," and "Daj, daj, srcek nazaj (Give Back My Heart)," a waltz based upon a Slovenian folk melody. Fritz's Polka Band of Gowanda, New York, played the German polka with vocalist Dale Bucar, while Athena and Lydia Vadnal, ages six and seven, sang the Slovenian selection with the show band. Other winners were Ron Likovic for Button Accordionist; The Fairport Jammers for Button Accordion Ensemble; polka radio deejay Val Pawlowski for Support and Promotion; and the SNPJ Heritage Center for Culture and Heritage. Christine Hibbs was voted Best Vocalist. Three side musicians received awards: Gary Byndas, Phil Hrvatin, and Brian O'Boyle. The awards show opened with an accordion duel between O'Boyle and Joey Miskulin, accordionist for the cowboy combo, Riders in the Sky. Featured entertainers included the Alaska Polka Chips and the Martin Brothers Band of Michigan. A dozen accordionists of all ages lined up for a polka medley finale. The ceremony was recorded for cable broadcast. A reception and polka dance at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Cleveland followed the program. "This year's awards show presents an impressive range of talents from around the country," said Cecilia Dolgan, President of the Polka Hall of Fame. "Each performer brings his or her own personal style to polka music to enrich the Cleveland style." "This was the best show yet," added Edward Tomsic of Walsenburg, Colorado. "My wife and I enjoy coming to Cleveland each year just for this. There's nothing else like it for polka music." Ray Somich emceed the Show. Music director was Jack Tady of Pittsburgh, PA, and music arranger was Fred Gregorich also of Pittsburgh, PA. The National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum was founded in 1987 by musicians and leaders of Slovenian and ethnic organizations. The museum traces the story of the city's home-grown sound from its roots in the old Slovenian neighborhoods to nationwide popularity with audio exhibits, historic photographs and original instruments, including an accordion belonging to Frank Yankovic, America's Polka King. The archive preserves 5,000 vintage recordings, dating back to 1913. Each year, the organization's 1,500 members vote for top musicians and best album. The Polka Hall of Fame and Museum is located at 605 East 222nd Street in Euclid, Ohio, in the historic former Euclid City Hall. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, noon to 5:00, and Saturdays, 10:00 to 3:00. Admission is free. Polka recordings are available in the museum store. As a nonprofit organization, the Polka Hall of Fame and Museum relies on fundraising and memberships. For more information, call (216) 261-FAME, toll-free (866) 66-POLKA, or check the website,

Joe Valencic.













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