• Don Jodlowski – Deceased Category – Inducted 2016

    DON JODLOWSKI WAS BORN ON AUGUST 30,1940 INTO A MUSICAL FAMILY THAT LIVED ON THE SOUTHWEST SIDE OF CHICAGO, IL. HIS FAMILY’S LOVE FOR POLKA MUSIC INSPIRED HIM TO TAKE DRUM LESSONS AT A YOUNG AGE. DON DEVELOPED HIS SKILLS SO THAT BY THE 1960’S HE WAS DRUMMING WITH BANDS…

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  • Henry “Henny” Jasiewicz – Living Category – Inducted 2011

      Henry David (Henny) Jasiewicz was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, on May 22, 1945.   He has performed professionally since he was nine years old and started his polka career playing trumpet for Leo Gibala & The Bell Hops. Henny performed with this group for several years.   In 1979…

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  • Raymond “Ray Jay” Jarusinski – Living Category – Inducted 2008

      Raymond Jarusinski was born on November 3, 1945. He was the youngest of three boys. His parents were John and Blanch Jarusinski. Ray’s ethnic background consisted of his mother being Polish and his father Slovak. As a small boy, Ray enjoyed listening to the Polka radio programs with his…

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  • Vi Johantgen – Pioneer Category – Inducted 1996

      Vi Johantgen was born on September 24, 1915 in Chicago, Illinois. Her parents, Stanley and Marie Patla were born in Rzesow, Poland. Her father was a violinist and her mother was a singer of Polish Folk Songs. At the age of five, Vi started to sing and at the…

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  • Henry Jasiewicz – Deceased Category – Inducted 1991

      By age 12, Henry Jasiewicz discovered his love for music and was practicing with a muted trumpet in his basement, often while his parents were sleeping.  In the years that followed, he also spent as much time as possible learning the violin.  His musical career began in the 1930’s. …

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  • Stanley J. Jasinski – Pioneer Category – Inducted 1985

      Stanley J. Jasinski, one of Buffalo’s most outstanding public figures in the field of broadcasting, was born August 25, 1915 in Detroit, Michigan.   While still in high school as an amateur actor and script writer, Stanley began his broadcasting career.  As opportunity would have it, one day in…

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  • Li’l Wally Jagiello – Living Category – Inducted 1969

    Li’l Wally has been one of the most important and influential polka musicians in America. He was responsible for creating the Chicago-style polka, a slower, more danceable, more improvisational sound, whose core appeal lay with Polish-Americans. Wally was a cottage industry unto himself, recording at an often frantic pace and…

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