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Joseph M. Miskulin (born January 6, 1949) is a hall of fame accordionist and producer of Grammy Award-winning music albums. In a music career spanning more than four decades, Joey Miskulin has collaborated with a range of artists including Paul McCartney, U2, John Denver, Ricky Skaggs, Andy Williams, Ricky Van Shelton, Emmylou Harris, Frankie Yankovic and many others. He is a performer, studio musician, producer and pedagogue. As a child in Chicago, Miskulin displayed early signs of musical prodigy, spontaneously showing an interest in the accordion by the time he was four. Beginning music training a year later, Joey was performing professionally by age eleven with the Ronnie Lee Band, and had his first recording produced by Roman Possedi at age twelve. A year later, the boy would meet Frankie Yankovic, forming a personal and professional relationship with the man known as "America's Polka King" that would last a lifetime. Miskulin toured the United States with Yankovich as his featured accordionist for six years, writing and arranging songs between performances. In the 1990s he rejoined Riders In The Sky, and with them is billed as "Joey the Cowpolka King".


Joey's history as a musician goes back many years. At four years old, he made his love for music known when he picked up a 2-bass accordion and began playing simple melodies. Formal music training began when he was five. At ten, Joey was playing at picnics and social functions, and at eleven he joined the Ronnie Lee Band. The following year, he made his first record album with Chicago's Roman Possedi. Joey's thirteenth year was a milestone. He met and started traveling with "America's Polka King," Frank Yankovic, thus beginning an association that would last over 35 years. Yankovic, who had a contract with Columbia Records, took a chance and insisted that Joey be allowed to record with the band. "I think it was that first recording session with Frank that helped make up my mind. I wanted to make music my career." Between recording at Columbia Studios in Chicago and performing from coast to coast, Joey met some of the biggest names in the music world, all of whom encouraged the youngster to pursue his musical dream. When he was nineteen, Joey left the Yankovic band and toured with the Hawaii Internationale Revue, entertaining throughout Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Okinawa, and finally ending up in California. A call from Yankovic brought Joey back to the band where he recorded five albums for RCA Records. During this series of recordings, Joey came to Nashville, the town that was to eventually become his home. Throughout the 70s and early 80s, Joey diversified his career. His reputation as a studio musician and producer grew, and he recorded with celebrities such as Andy Williams, Doc Severenson and Charlie Daniels, as well as with many polka bands throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. He co-hosted Sunday variety shows, a local TV show that aired weekly, and had his own show — Polka Time U.S.A. — which was the second-highest rated show on WCLQ while it aired. In 1985, Joey produced the first polka recording to garner a Grammy: "70 Years Of Hits" with Frank Yankovic. In 1987, Joey moved to Nashville. "I had recorded over 125 albums and had produced a Grammy-award winner, but I knew if I wanted to stay in the recording business, I would have to move to the largest concentration of recording studios in the world." That same year, Joey began recording with Riders In The Sky, and after becoming a regular on their NPR "Riders Radio Theater." He became a member of Riders In The Sky producing their multiple Grammy-award winning recordings and performing an average of 185 shows each year including the "Grand Ole Opry" as part of the Opry's favorite cast. In addition, he oversees other studio and production projects as a respected and sought-after member of the music industry community.







Joey Miskulin

Article - #2

Joey Miskulin,

The Cow-Polka King