• Ted Okrzesik – Pioneer Category – Inducted 2010

        Ted (Thaddeus) Okrzesik was born in Chicago on July 29, 1937, to Joseph Okrzesik and Emily Scieszka Okrzesik. Ted’s dad played the violin and both of his parents enjoyed polka music. His mother said Ted spoke fluent Polish in his early years. Ted was the youngest of three…

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  • Joseph “Joe” Oberaitis – Living Category – Inducted 2009

      As a toddler, Joe Oberaitis was already the polka promoter herding the neighborhood kids together and making them listen to his polka records. By kindergarten, Joe was taking accordion lessons. At age seven, he had already appeared on the local television talent show, “The Gene Carroll Show,” playing Eddie…

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  • Walter Ostanek – Living Category – Inducted 1983

      Ladislav John Ostanek was born of Yugoslavian parents on April 20, in Duperquet, Quebec, an only child.  When he was five years old, his family moved to the St. Catharines area.  At the age of nine, Walter began playing the Button Diatonic accordion.  Without formal training, he progressed at…

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  • Eddie Oskierko – Pioneer Category – Inducted 1983

     There can be little doubt about Eddie Oskierko being a pioneer in radio and in the early formative years of polka music.  The history of his career can be summarized in one word:  “determination.”  When Ed started his radio career in October 1930, at station WJKS, he found that the…

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