CULTURAL / HERITAGE Fantje Na Vasi Glasbena Matica Singing Society Slovenian National
Home East 80th SNPJ Circle 2 Junior Chorus SNPJ Heritage Center Joe Valencic
SUPPORT/PROMOTION Joe Gabrosek & Gene Kovack John & Helen Kuzman Val Pawlowski SNPJ Lodge
#6, Sygan Pam & Jerry Zagar
BEST BUTTON BOX-INDIVIDUAL/DUO Joe Grkman, Jr. Ron Likovic Joe Novak Ron Pivovar Fred
BEST BUTTON BOX-GROUP Fairport Jammers Magic Buttons Mahoning Valley Button Box Club Western
PA SNPJ Button Box Club
BEST VOCALIST Christine Hibbs Nancy Novak Kim Rodick John Ross Ken Umeck
BEST MUSICIAN-INDIVIDUAL Joe Grkman, Jr. Bob Kravos Eric Noltkamper Joe Novak Brian
O’Boyle Joey Tomsick Fred Ziwich
BAND OF THE YEAR Mikey Dee Bob Kravos & the Boys in the Band Joe Novak & Friends Eddie
Rodick Orchestra Joey Tomsick Orchestra
RECORDING OF THE YEAR Bang (Mikey Dee) Klancnik (Gaylord / Ed Klancnik) Polka Funhouse
(Joey Tomsick) Back to Back (Walter Ostanek, Bob Kravos & Jerry Darlak)
BEST MUSICIAN – SIDEMAN (elect 3) Gary Byndas (Fred Ziwich ISM) Bob Ferritto (Joe Novak
& Friends) Gary Fisher (Joe Novak & Friends) Fran Gondell (Bob Turcola and Teddy Zalac) Hank
Guzel (Joey Tomsick Orchestra) Phil Hrvatin (Joey Tomsick Orchestra) Frank Puskar (Karl
Lukitsch) Jack Tankovich (Bob Kravos) Brian Zupancic (Joe Novak & Friends)
BEST NEW ORIGINAL POLKA OR WALTZ Chili Donuts Polka (Joe Bajuk) Half the Time Polka
(Mikey Dee) Quarter to 3 in the Morning (Ron Pivovar) Please Don’t Wait Till Tomorrow
Waltz (Fred Scherz, Sr.) Someone Polka (Ron Sluga) Polka Funhouse (Joey Tomsick, Frank
GREATEST ALL TIME CLEVELAND-STYLE HITS El Rio Drive Polka Give My Heart Back Waltz
Members of the PHOF will elect two honorees for 2009, from the following nominees: Art
Perko, Fred Kuhar, Del Sinchak, Hank Thunander, Bill Seles.
Art Perko, who passed
away in 2008, was previously named to the PHOF Trustee’s Honor Roll for his contribution
to polka music. Art brought national acclaim to Cleveland style polka music with
his hit recording of “Peanuts Polka.” The Perko band, based in Cleveland, was together
with the same musicians for more than 25 years, and had an identifiable sound. Art
recorded ten albums.
Del Sinchak is a bandleader, accordionist, and owner of Peppermint Recording Studio.
Since the 1980s, Del has had a leading polka band in Youngstown, and has performed
in many states. Del has had a nomination for the polka Grammy. He has been a polka
disc jockey, and president of the local Musicians Union, and he served for 25 years
as president of the Penn-Ohio Polka Pals. He has recorded seven albums with his band.
He was inducted into the Ironworld Hall of Fame.
Fred Kuhar has had a polka band for 38 years. He has also recorded a series of 5
albums with his band playing Pecon style of polka music. Fred also produced sevem
Johnny Pecon “live” performance CDs, and preserved the Pecon sound for posterity.
Fred was also served as president of the American Slovenian Polka Foundation for
Hank Thunander has made a major contribution to Cleveland style polka music on the
Iron Range of Minnesota. He began playing polka music in the 1960s, and recorded
his first album in 1972. Over four decades, Hank has recorded seven albums. He hosted
a polka radio show for ten years. He was inducted into the Ironworld Hall of Fame
Bill Seles has been Western Pennsylvania’s Polka Ambassador for four decades. He
hosted polka radio shows in New Kensington and Greensburg, and Waltz Time for many
years. For 35 years he has sponsored two polka weekends each year at Seven Springs
resort in Pennsylvania, featuring Cleveland style polka bands. Bill is on the PHOF
Trustees Honor Roll.