Joey Miskulin – Living Category – Inducted 1999

Portfolio Categories: 1999 and M.

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Joey Miskulin is one of Cleveland-Style Polkas’ greatest pillars of musical talent. Plying his many skills in a myriad of ways. Joey has enhanced the quality of Cleveland-style music far and wide.

 

In his most memorable role, Joey, the child prodigy discovered by Chicago’s Roman Possedi, became Frank Yankovic’s featured accordionist at age thirteen, beginning an association that would last over thirty-five years. Frank’s insistence that Joey be included in a Columbia recording session cemented Joey’s decision to make music his career.

 

Broadening his experience, Joey toured the Far East with the Hawaii International Revue, and, in the 1970s became a studios musician and producer, performing on bass, piano, banjo, guitar, organ, accordion and as a vocalist with the likes of Andy Williams, Doc Severinsen, and Charlie Daniels. All the while, Joey maintained his love affair with Cleveland-Style Polkas, playing and recording with Yankovic and Cleveland-Style orchestras in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

 

In 1978, Joey opened Miskulin’s Lounge, reviving a venue that housed some of Cleveland’s most famous polka clubs. Teaming up with the legendary Lou Trebar, Joey formed the Mis-Tre Orchestra, recorded two hit albums, and toured the U.S. for six years, Miskulin’s was Cleveland’s premiere polka spot and the “nerve center” of Cleveland-Style music. Joey hosted various TV shows, including his very own “Polka Time USA” and in 1985, produced the first Grammy-winning polka album, Yankovic’s “70 Years of Hits”. Among Joey’s many compositions, “I Wanna Call You Sweetheart” was designated a Greatest All-time Cleveland-Style Polka hit.

 

Joey moved to Nashville in 1987 to focus his efforts as a producer. The quintessential musician,

 

Joey delved into all realms of music, icing the recording cakes of stars including Johnny Cash, U2, Paul McCartney and Roy Rogers.

 

Marrying polkas with his other love, Western music, Joey, the “Cow-polka King”, has more recently starred with the Riders in the Sky and co-produced a series of Western releases with Michael Martin Murphey.

 

Not neglecting Cleveland-Style music, Joey has released three more albums and a video, continues to record with Cleveland-Style bands, and produced additional albums of Yankovic.

 

Among his astounding list of credits and countless appearances on national television and radio, in the movies and/on video; hundreds of recording sessions; and four Grammy-winning and several gold and platinum albums among scores of international hit recordings.

 

Joey has always represented Cleveland-Style Polkas with the utmost of class and dignity, befriending most everyone with his congenial and personal demeanor.  Polkas have truly been blessed with Joey’s outstanding talents and the new levels to which they have taken our music.

 

Joey’s history as a musician goes back many years. At four years old, he made his love for music known when he picked up a 12-bass accordion and began playing simple melodies. Formal music training began when he was five. At ten, Joey was playing at picnics and social functions, and at eleven he joined the Ronnie Lee Band. The following year, he made his first record album with Chicago’s Roman Possedi.

 

Between recording at Columbia Studios in Chicago and performing from coast to coast, Joey met some of the biggest names in the music world, all of whom encouraged the youngster to pursue his musical dream.

 

When he was nineteen, Joey left the Yankovic band and toured with the Hawaii International Revue. A call from Yankovic brought Joey back to the band where he recorded five albums for RCA Records. During this series of recordings, Joey came to Nashville, the town that was to eventually become his home.