“Of all the years I’ve known John, we’ve never had words,” said band leader Del Sinchak,
who estimated he had known Krizancic 35 to 40 years. “He respected me like I respected
him.” Whenever Sinchak had a gig Krizancic was sure to be in the audience, Sinchak
said. “He’s one of those kind of guys who knew everyone,” said Paul Jacobson, of
Hermitage, former guitarist with the Del Sinchak Orchestra and occasional session
player with Krizancic. “He was very important in promoting polka music, or ethnic
music, as I should call it. He knew people all over the world.” “His Croatian (music)
and his polka music was his life,” Sinchak said. While polka musicians, like those
in other genres of music, compete with each other for gigs, the area polka musicians
thought that promoting polka music as a whole was more important than individual
players. Krizancic’s personality fit well with the non-competitive aspects of the
effort. “Thirty-five years ago, we formed the Penn-Ohio Polka Pals,” Sinchak said.
“The whole idea was to promote polka, but to promote fellowship among the musicians
and band leaders.” When Sinchak couldn’t play a gig, he’d recommend Krizancic or
one of the other Polka Pal members, and Krizancic would return the favor. They also
played on each other’s recordings.
“He was really open for anything and any help he could give you, he would,” Trontel
said working with Krizancic. Although Krizancic will forever be linked to polka music,
he released country music on his label and was friends with younger rockers, opening
up his studios to acts as diverse as the Works, the Flashbacks, the Dead Boys and
the Infidels. Younger musicians helped him master the computers and synthesizers
that came to play such a big role in the recording of music. Sinchak said he’s having
a hard time accepting that Krizancic is gone. He last saw Krizancic two weeks ago.
“I noticed that John had lost some weight, but I didn’t know anything was wrong,”