Frank Novak

Frank Novak - 75th Birthday Album - Tony Petkovsek Golden Jubilee CD.





Double Golden Jubilee


It was in 2008 when I met Tony Petkovsek at my first ever Thanksgiving Polka Party in of all places Cleveland, Ohio.  It was not the first time I was in Cleveland.  No, that was ten years earlier.  That’s when I made my pilgrimage to I visit the city where my very favorite music started - Cleveland-Style polkas.  I could not get enough of polkas so I visited the Polka Hall of Fame, Kollander Travel and Frankie Yankovic’s grave.  All of that came rushing back to me as right in front of me was standing one of my heroes – Tony Petkovsek.  That night I had the opportunity to have a drink, relax and talk to him after another successful Polka Party.  It amazed me to learn that he had been on the radio every day for 47 years bringing polka music to the public.  And, in addition to the radio program he was the person behind this wonderful annual Polka Party!  The first year he was on the radio the idea of the Polka Party spontaneously started with the Frankie Kramer Orchestra. From that moment the Polka Party just grew and grew until it became what it is today. It was during that conversation I decided I had to do something very special for Tony’s 50th anniversary, his Golden Jubilee.  I didn’t know what but I knew that he deserved something special for sharing his love of polka music with me and everyone else who listened every day to his radio show. Last year, again while attending the annual trek to Cleveland like so many other polka lovers, I was having lunch with Tony and Cilka when the idea came to me.  My idea was sparked by our conversation with Tony sharing his memories of the early years of polkas in Cleveland when on every corner you could hear polkas floating out onto St. Clair Street.  I learned that Frank Novak was one of Tony’s very dear friends and that he loved to listen to Frank play.  So with that in the back of my mind I embarked on the journey of producing this CD so Tony could listen to Frank anytime he wanted.  Dear Tony, Congratulations on your double Golden Jubilee – 50 years radio and 50 years of Polka Party!!  


Best Wishes and Let’s Have a Party!

John Hasper (




Polkas Home.
Novak Home.



Disk Jockey Polka

Jubilee Polka

Down Under Polka

Old World Plaza Waltz

Romance Waltz

Happy Australian Waltz

Pensioners Polka

USS Polka

Light And Lively Polka

Wildwood Waltz

Fantasy Waltz

Mellow Moments Waltz


Bonus Tracks

Jackpot Polka

Retirement Waltz











The Cleveland Polka All Stars


Tony Petkovsek

Golden Jubilee CD



Original Master Recording







Frank Novak - Button Box

Paul Yanchar - Saxophone, Clarinet

Robert McGuire - Banjo, Guitar

Joey Miskulin - Piano

Tony Vadnal - Bass

Al Tercek - Drums


Photo - John Kausek

Arrangements - Norm Novak

Recorded at Audio Recording Studios

Engineer - Vlad Maleckar

Digital CD mastering - John Hasper

© John's Music

Tracks #13 #14 - Licensed from Walter Ostanek











Tony Petkovsek and Frank Novak Promote Cleveland-Style Button Box Music


Tony Petkovsek has been a major motivator in the renewed interest in polka music in America. He has been on radio, six days a week for 50 years, hosting a two-hour Slovenian show and news notes of community events.  Tony not only plays old time favorite polkas, but has introduced a new generation of polka players by premiering new albums and interviewing the musicians live on the air.  


In the late 1960s, Tony sponsored a “Band of Tomorrow” contest, which started the careers of several musicians who were teen-agers at the time.  The youngsters who played in the contest are now some of the leading polka bands, including Don Wojtila and Eddie Rodick, who are successfully performing polka music 60 years after the heyday of Cleveland-style polka music.


Pride in his Slovenian heritage and love for its music came full circle when Tony initiated “Polka Tours” through his partnership in Kollander Travel.  He came up with the idea of having polka musicians join his tour groups on excursions to Slovenia and other countries, so there would be music and dancing wherever they traveled.


Cleveland button accordion artist Frank Novak went on tour with Tony to lead groups to Australia, the Holy Land, and Spain.  Frank, a button box star in the 1920s and 1930s with Matt Hoyer and his own trio, was associated with Tony because of Tony’s Polka Village record and gift shop.  Tony invited Novak to open a music studio in his Polka Village to teach the button accordion.


 Frankie Yankovic also admired Novak’s talent, and came out with a long play recording, “Beers and Cheers”, in 1967, featuring Novak.  He also recorded one of Novak’s polkas, “Top of the Hill”,  in 1963, which was named a Greatest All-Time Hit Polka by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame.


In 1970,  Lojze Slak, the Slovenian maestro of the button box, toured America, and more students came to Novak to learn how to play.    From then on, interest in the button accordion snowballed and continues today.  It also led to Novak recording five albums of his own, with his original compositions, backed-up by all-star musicians.


Novak passed away in 1991 and  Slak passed away in 2011.  The American and Slovenian polka influence on button accordionists in the United States the past four decades can be traced to these two musicians.  Tony Petkovsek gets the credit for promoting their sounds and original music.  


Cecilia Dolgan

President, National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame



Golden Double Jubilee

Tony Petkovsek has decided to semi-retired after his 50th anniversary on being dayly on the radio.  Tony celebrate also this year his 50th anniversary of the annual Thanksgiving Polka Party.  In honor of all the work that Tony has done over the years I decided that would bring out a Tony Petkovsek Golden Jubilee CD.


After getting to know Tony I learned that one of his all-time favorite artist and one of his best friends was Frank Novak.  The artist on Tony's anniversary CD is Frank Novak and The Cleveland Polka All Stars.  I received the original master tapes and rights to put Frank Novak's 75th Birthday Album on a CD release.  The tapes were digital remastered and the CD is supplemented with two Frank Novak bonus tracks from the archive of Walter Ostanek.


During the 50th Thanksgiving Polka Party, Cecilia Dolgan, president of the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame, will be presenting to Tony the first copy of the Special Edition - Tony Petkovsek - Golden Jubilee CD.


John Hasper.




About Frank Novak.

More than any other individual, Frank Novak was responsible for the button box renaissance of the 1970s which, in turn, bolstered the strength and stability of the Cleveland-Style Polka during that decade. Frank first played the button box at age 10. Once a member of the Matt Hoyer Trio, the pioneer Cleveland-Style polka orchestra. Frank is regarded as the driving force behind the resurgence of the button box as an integral part of the Cleveland-Style movement during the 1970s.  Novak wrote over 100 polkas and waltzes, and his music continues to be in demand by recording artists searching for new material.  His modern-era recordings, beginning with "Tony's Polka Village" in 1971 and including his "75th Birthday Album" in 1981, are essential components of any button box enthusiast's collection.




About Tony Petkovsek.

Tony Petkovsek, Cleveland's Polka Ambassador, differs in one important respect from the many lifelong contributors to Cleveland-Style Polkas.  Tony has promoted Cleveland-Slovenian music and culture full-time his entire adult life.  Hosting the longest running daily polka show in America, he has been on radio since 1961.  Tony began producing and broadcasting his own radio shows on November 23, 1961-- Thanksgiving Day -- on WXEN, Cleveland's "Station of the Nations."  Going to daily broadcasts in 1962, Tony became a continuous beacon over stations WXEN, WZAK, NBN, WCPN, and WELW.  Tony has been one of the most creative promoters of Cleveland-Style Polkas ever.  For 50 years, thousands of polka fans from all over America converge on Cleveland to take in the many activities that encompass Thanksgiving weekend.





Since 2007 has been "on the web".  Since it first was launched this web site has grown to the largest polka web site in the world.  It has more than 1,000 web pages containing information about polkas and the musicians that have been so involved with this style of music.  In the four short years this web site has been live it has already had more than a half of a million visits. The web site is owned by polka enthusiast John Hasper, avid collector and promoter of Slovenian and Cleveland-Style polkas.  The site is mainly based on his personal collection.  He really just want to promote the polkas that he have, know and love. The discographies of the artists are from his large collection. Another passion of John is to "save the Music." He's busy almost every week filtering and digitizing of polka records.




POLKAS.NL  -  press release

John Hasper

03739 Jávea, Spain



2012. - 03739 Jávea, Spain.