• Elmer Scheid – Deceased Category – Inducted 2017

    Elmer Scheid was born on October 4, 1921 in New Ulm, MN.  At the young age of 8 years old, he learned to play the concertina from his father and performed his first professional dance event with the John Fritsche Band at the age of 14.  Elmer later played with…

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  • Gary Seibert – Deceased Category – Inducted 2006

      Gary Seibert, originally from Cleveland, Ohio, started playing the accordion at the age of 8. By the age of 12 he started his own two-piece band, resulting in over 60 years of musicianship.   Throughout his school, Gary would play at the local canteen, parties, and of course, local…

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  • Math Sladky – Pioneer Category – Inducted 2005

      Matias “Math” Sladky grew up on a farm near Wahoo, Nebraska. With the love of polka music in his heart, when his folks would go to a dance, he would head straight for the stage where he would sit all evening watching the musicians.   Sladky always wanted to…

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  • Eddie Siwiec – Pioneer Category – Inducted 2005

      Eddie Siwiec began playing polka music in 1969 and continues to this day. He credits his parents, Chester and Catherine, and his uncle, Joe Smiell, renowned musician, composer and bandleader from Oakland, California, with introducing him to the wonderful world of music and dance. Edward is the youngest of…

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  • Eddie Skinger – Living Category – Inducted 2001

        The gifted Eddie Skinger has always been clear about his commitment to his vocation.  Over the past 62 years, he has become an accomplished and respected vocalist, musician, arranger and composer.  His talent and ability shine through his music and can easily be considered as one of the…

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  • Rev. Walter Szczypula – Deceased Category – Inducted 2001

    Father Wally, as he was affectionately known, was one of eight children born to St. Louis and Magdeline Szczypula on September 22, 1916.  He was born and raised in Chicago where he attended Five Holy Martyrs grammar school.  He went on to Quigley Preparatory Seminary and then to St. Mary…

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  • Keith G. Stras – Living Category – Inducted 1999

      Keith Stras was born in Chicago, on October 9, 1961. At an early age, Stras seemed to be interested in entertaining people. His late Uncle Ned Locke, a 25 year veteran of Chicagoland television and radio, was responsible for Stras being bitten by the limelight bug. Ned, a Circus…

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  • Dave “Scrubby” Seweryniak – Living Category – Inducted 1994

      An explosive entertainer, polka dynamite, and charged with TNT describes one of the 1994 Polka Music Hall of Fames inductees. Born on the Fourth of July and growing up on the East Side of Buffalo, known as the city’s Polonia, “Scrubby” was exposed to polka music at a very…

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  • Virginia Seretny – Living Category – Inducted 1993

      It was 1960 when it all started for Virginia Seretny on a small community radio station WILI in Williamantic, Conn. As a result of an association with a friend named Homer who was employed as a newscaster and Sunday morning DJ at the station who enjoyed polka music and…

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  • Joseph F. Struzik – Deceased Category – Inducted 1988

      Joe was born on January 29, 1941, in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.  During his early childhood, his family moved to Blackstone, MA, where he was educated and graduated from the local High School.  He subsequently received his Bachelor’s Degree in History and Government from Boston College and a Masters Degree…

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  • Jimmy Sturr – Living Category – Inducted 1984

      Today’s most eligible polka bachelor is Jimmy Sturr.  He is Irish, earns big figures a year and owns a radio station.   At the ripe old age of thirteen, Jimmy was off and playing.  The first bookings were those classical traditional, all-out, three-day Polish weddings.  That kind of experience…

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  • Ray Stolzenberg – Living Category – Inducted 1981

      In 1933, a fresh 18-year old country kid named Ray Stolzenberg launched his band, The Northern Playboys, at a dance in LeRoy, Minnesota.  From small community dance halls they went on the road to playing in ballrooms from St. Paul to Cedar Rapids, from Kansas to Chicago for the…

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  • Casey Siewierski – Living Category – Inducted 1981

      Casey was born in Chicago, Illinois on February 25, 1921.  At the age of seven, he began concertina lessons whenever he had money.  At the age of eleven, Casey played his first wedding, along with his father and brothers, Eddie and John, who were also musicians.  When Casey’s father…

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  • Stan E. Saleski – Living Category – Inducted 1980

      Stan was born in South Meriden, Connecticut in 1910.  He attended St. Stanislaus School, and after finishing 7th grade, his parents told him they needed some financial support, and Stan had to go to work at age 13.  He worked at various jobs:  in a silver factory, for a…

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  • Al Soyka – Living Category – Inducted 1979

     Al Soyka was born May 6, 1922 in Rockville, Connecticut.  At the early age of thirteen the Soyka Trio was formed with Al on the accordion, brother Ray on vocals and cousin Ed on the violin.  The group entered a local talent show and won first prize, which was a…

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  • Alvin C. Sajewski – Living Category – Inducted 1978

     When it comes to polka music the name of Sajewski is a household word, representing an association of over 80 years in the annals of Polish and polka music in America.  Alvin Sajewski carried on the tradition established by his father, who opened their first music store in 1897 in…

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  • Chet Schafer – Living Category – Inducted 1976

      The polka career of Chet Schafer began in 1950, when, together with Li’l Wally Jagiello, their voices were heard on a half-hour polka program on radio station WCRW in Chicago.  But things didn’t roll for Chet until he started his own “Polka Hit Parade” program on station WTAQ, LaGrange,…

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  • Walt Solek – Living Category – Inducted 1974

      Walt Solek got his first break with the “Krakowska” orchestra organized by his brother Henry.  In 1939 after recording with them on the RCA Victor label, he organized his own polka band mixing good polka music and good comedy.  In 1940 Uncle Sam called him into the Navy and…

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