Fifty years is a long time. During that time span Andy has entertained polka fans throughout the United States with a distinctive style of musical talent all his own. Andy “Day” Dziagwa started his polka career in 1942 at the age of fourteen. He started to perform on trumpet with the late Joe Durlak Orchestra, the band also made several recordings on Rondo Records. During this time he and the band would perform every Wednesday evening on Chicago radio station WGES. The Durlak Orchestra was one of the most popular bands in Chicago during that era. Performing at least six times a week. In 1948, he left the band to join up with a group that was gaining popularity nation wide. The Eddie Zima polka band is synonymous with great Chicago style polka music and it was indeed a thrill for Andy to begin to perform with this group.
He performed with Zima until 1950, when his musical career was interrupted by the Korean War. After two years of service in the United States Army, he rejoined the Eddie Zima Band. They recorded a number of big hits on the RCA Victor, Capitol, Dana and Chicago record labels. In 1954, Andy along with other fine musicians, formed a group called the Ampol Aires. For 40 yrs. he was a mainstay performing with the group. The group also started the Ampol Recording Co. which Andy and other members of the band owned at one time. The Ampol record label was sold to Eddie Blazonczyk many years ago, and still produces many albums under the Ampol name. He and the Ampol Aires have recorded 23 albums to date, many of which were recorded on Jay Jay, and Dyno records.
While Andy performed with the band they made frequent appearances on WGN Television 9, performed for many years during live Sunday morning remote broadcasts over former radio station WOPA (now known as WPNA) where they became so popular, the radio station would swell with fans by 9:00 a.m. who came personally to enjoy their music. He has written & composed many of the hits that had made the Ampol Aires famous and have become standards in our industry. Not only did he perform on trumpet and vocals, he also served as master of ceremonies for the band.
In 1992, after devoting a half century to performing, road work, recording and making people happy he decided to retire. His love for the music and it’s fans will never die. For his outstanding contributions to the promotion of polka music, Andy “Day” Dziagwa is enshrined into the prestigious IPA Polka Music Music Hall of Fame, the polka world’s highest honor.