• Johnny Vadnal – Living Category – Inducted 1987

      Even to aficionados, most polka bands sound familiar.  If you tune in to the middle of a song on the radio, you will have a hard time distinguishing one band from another.   This is not true of the Johnny Vadnal Orchestra.  It has always had a unique sound,…

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  •  Emily Pinter – Living Category – Inducted 1987

      Emily Pinter began her music and dancing at the early age of five, studying piano, ballet and tap dancing.  At age 16, while dancing with the Alliance of Polish Clubs group, the dancing instructor took ill, and Emily was asked to take over the class.  The following year she…

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  • Johnny Menko – Pioneer Category – Inducted 1987

      Johnny Menko was born in Windsor Locks, Connecticut on June 13, 1915, and lived in Warehouse Point, Connecticut, during his earlier years.  At the age of nine, Johnny was already paying the violin with Polish records on a phonograph.   Johnny graduated from Enfield High School in Thompsonville, CT,…

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  • Jolly Jack Robel – Deceased Category – Inducted 1987

      John Michael Robel was born in Austria February 14, 1903.  His parents, John and Mary, were Austrian immigrants of Slovak descent, who settled in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  He took his first music lessons on a clarinet from Tommy Dorsey, Sr.  Later, John played with Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey in the…

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  • Matt Hoyer – Deceased Category – Inducted 1987

      One of the best-loved American Slovenian performers on the button accordion was Matt Arko Hoyer, the “granddaddy” of the button accordion players and pioneer performer of Slovenian polka and waltz music.  Matt was born in Slovenia in 1891.  He came to the U.S. in 1911 and settled in Cleveland.…

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  • Antonina Blazonczyk – Deceased Category – Inducted 1987

    Antoinette Blazonczyk was born and raised in the southern mountainous part of Poland in a village called Chocholow.  Also known as “Gazdzina z Chocholowa” – Antoinette was a “goralka” and extremely proud of her Polish Heritage.   Back in the 1940’s Antoinette Blazonczyk recorded four 78 rpm records as a…

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