The Roman Catholic priest who popularized the Polka Mass and two bandleaders are
to be inducted into the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame at the annual
awards ceremony on Saturday, November 24, 2012. Father Frank Perkovich of Chisholm,
Minnesota, Steve Meisner of Whitewater, Wisconsin, and Eddie Vallus of Youngstown,
Ohio, were voted for their lifetime achievements in polka music by Hall of Fame members
and trustees. The announcement was made October 11 in Euclid City Hall in Euclid,
Meisner and Vallus are accordionists. Steve Meisner has led one of Wisconsin's most
popular polka bands since 1976. He has released nineteen albums and seven videos.
Eddie Vallus began his polka music career in 1950 and organized his first band in
1965, based in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. He recorded seven albums and
published five accordion songbooks. Father Frank Perkovich first celebrated the Polka
Mass in 1973 and toured with his unique service combining favorite polka and waltz
melodies with lyrics from the Liturgy. The Polka Mass is now a key event at nationality
and church festivals in the U. S. and Canada. His Polka Mass recording has sold more
than 100,000 copies.
Two Cleveland-Style polka standards were chosen All-Time Hits by voters. "Red Lips
and Red Wine," based upon a Slovenian folk song, "Kaj pa ti, pobic," was first recorded
in the 1920s and, with English lyrics, became a hit for the Ernie Benedict Orchestra
in 1949. The "Tic-Tock Polka" was written by Italian composer Gaetano Lama in 1920
as "Tic-ti, tic-ta." The bouncy tune has been popular ever since, especially in a
1950 English-language version recorded by Frank Yankovic, America's Polka King.
The Board of Trustees added ten individuals to the Polka Hall of Fame Honor Roll
for their achievements: Pittsburgh saxophonist Jack Frohnhofer, Cleveland accordionist
and bandleader Lud Hrovat, Cleveland polka promoter and videographer Ken Tomsick,
and Cleveland vocalist Ray Young. As "Zeke and Charlie," brothers Eddie Vertovsnik
and Charlie Vrtovsnik, led the quintessential Cleveland-Style garage band for 30
years. Tops Cardone, Buddy Griebel, Al Leslie and Carl Paradiso received group recognition
as members of Frank Yankovic's show band, performing and recording in Hollywood and
Las Vegas in the 1950s.
The 25th annual National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame Awards Show takes place
2:00 p.m., Saturday afternoon, November 24, 2012, at Euclid Auditorium, 711 East
222nd Street, in Euclid, Ohio. This year's program features an all-star salute for
the Hall of Fame's silver anniversary, featuring Steve Meisner, Canada's Polka King
Walter Ostanek, and Nashville's button-box sweetheart Lynn Marie Hrovat Rink. Annual
polka awards will be given in categories including Musician of the Year, Band of
the Year and Album of the Year.
The Awards Show is the high point of the Polka Hall of Fame's annual Thanksgiving
polka music marathon weekend with three days of dancing, Thursday, Friday and Saturday,
November 22, 23 and 24, 2012, at the Marriott Hotel on Public Square in Cleveland,
Ohio. Father Perkovich will celebrate the Polka Mass with Bishop Edward Pevec in
the Marriott Ballroom on Saturday, November 24, at 6:00 p.m.
Tickets for the Awards Show and the evening dances are $15 each. For information,
call (216) 261-FAME, toll-free (866) 66-POLKA, or order on the Polka Hall of Fame
Joe Valencic, President.
Perkovich, Meisner & Vallus honored by Polka Hall of Fame
Article #1 By Joe Valencic - Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame (2012)