• Dean Hansen – Living Category – Inducted 2016

    DEAN HANSEN WAS BORN IN ITHACA, NE IN APRIL OF 1933 INTO A FARMING FAMILY OF GERMAN ANCESTRY. HE WAS STRICKEN WITH POLIO AT THE AGE OF FOUR AND SUFFERED PARALYSIS OF HIS RIGHT LEG. FEARING HIS CONDITION WOULD PREVENT DEAN FROM EVER FARMING, HIS PARENTS INTRODUCED HIM TO MUSIC…

    Continue reading

  • Cliff Hermel – Deceased Category – Inducted 2014

        Musician and ballroom owner  Cliff Hermel was born March 18, 1918 in Mankato, Minnesota.  He graduated from high school in 1934 and entered the wholesale business with his father A.H. Hermel.  He was on the road in that business for 17 years, all the while though being very…

    Continue reading

  • Eddie Habat – Deceased Category – Inducted 2009

      Eddie Habat was born in Cleveland, Ohio on September 16, 1926, the youngest child of John and Anna Habat. He had two brothers, John and Herman, and two sisters, Betty and Anna. When Eddie was eighteen months old, his mother was tragically killed in an auto accident. His father…

    Continue reading

  • Hank Haller – Living Category – Inducted 2003

      Hank Haller of Westlake, Ohio, is a musician, vocalist, bandleader, deejay, has made numerous recordings and leads a traveling band.   Mention Hank Haller and visions of oompah music and “lederhosen” [short leather pants], come to mind.  But Haller is more.  He is a very prolific recording artist in…

    Continue reading

  • Fred Hudy – Living Category – Inducted 1993

      Fred Hudy’s introduction to music was at the age of 10 when a representative of the Midwest Accordion School visited SS. Peter and Paul School on Chicago’s Southwest side. Practicing daily, he soon joined his first polka band with Richie Gomulka and Louie Jedlowski called “Little Louie and the…

    Continue reading

  • Johnny Haas – Living Category – Inducted 1988

      The words Polka Music and Johnny Haas are synonymous.  It is rare that one is said without the other, for this man of worldwide fame was polka.  But let’s find out more about this legend.   Johnny Haas said he was half-Polish and half-Pennsylvania Dutch, and he used his…

    Continue reading

  • 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.…

    Continue reading

  • Charlie Hicks – Pioneer Category – Inducted 1984

     Charlie Hicks is a pioneer in the polka field from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area.  At eighteen years of age, he already displayed his musical talent by playing accordion.  In 1930 he formed a small dance band.  In 1937 he made his first recording for RCA Victor.  He then joined the…

    Continue reading

  • Johnny Hyzny – Living Category – Inducted 1983

      Johnny Hyzny was born in Chicago, Illinois April 25, 1930 to Joe and Ann Hyzny.  They also had another son named Joe, who played the accordion at a very early age.  John’s father figured that if Joe learned to play the accordion, John could learn from him.  But John…

    Continue reading

  • Marv Herzog – Living Category – Inducted 1979

      Born in Frankenmuth, Michigan, on August 9, 1932, lived there until his decease.  Having a natural affinity to music, at age 12 he began playing a forty-eight bass accordion, then acquired his own and played his first job the following New Year’s Eve.  With his father, Otto Herzog, playing…

    Continue reading

  • Ray Henry – Living Category – Inducted 1972

      While still in his early teens, Henry Mocarski, of Windsor, Connecticut started a polka band with Emil Juda on drums, Ray Zak on sax, and Henry Mocarski on accordion.  Using the first names of Ray Zak and Henry Mocarski, the Ray Henry Orchestra was born.  This group played in…

    Continue reading