Stanley Przasnyski – Living Category – Inducted 1993

Portfolio Categories: 1993 and P.

Stanley Przasnyski-112x150

 

Born in 1926 in Bristol Connecticut, he started to study the accordion at age ten while attending St. Stanislaus School. At the age of thirteen he was playing professionally at social affairs, concert solos, and private parties. He started a four-piece band at the age of eighteen. A typical Saturday consisted of a one hour broadcast over Radio station WBIS, a wedding reception from 2-6PM, a night club from 8PM-Midnight, and then played a place called the “Bottle Club” from 1-3AM.

 

In 1952 he made his first recording for the Stella Music Company of New York using the name of “The Connecticut Twins Orchestra.”  Original compositions included in that recording were “Polish Wedding Polka,” “My Girl Friend Polka,” “No Gonna Drink Oberek,” “John and Katie Polka,” “Sugar Daddy Polka” and “Accordion Magic Polka.” As a result of the popularity of the Connecticut Twins, they produced a total of 16 long playing albums on the Stella Label. It was due to these recordings that took the band on personal tours to Oshawa, Canada, as far south as Baltimore, Maryland, and back in 1962 as far West as Chicago. The band played at every major hotel in New York City, as well as the New York World’s Fair in 1966 as well as the Roseland Ballroom on Broadway. The band traveled so much that they only played one Saturday night a year in Connecticut.

 

He was married in 1948 to Genevieve Sieruta also from Connecticut and they are the proud parents of two sons, Stas Jr. and Vance. The numerous recordings featured Stas Jr. vocalizing the Grey Horse Polka while his wife Genevieve and son Vance vocalized a polka titled “Fortune Polka.” These were all sung in Polish.

 

Outside of playing in the band he was also a disc jockey from 1962-1982 over radio station WBIS and was the promoter of a number of successful Cancer Telethons.

 

When the biggest polka recording of all time “The Beer Barrel Polka” was released in 1939, RCA Victor wanted to stop paying royalties to Germany and The Bill Glahe Orchestra. They called upon Bernie (Wyte) Witkowski Orchestra to reproduce a new master recording. Bernie asked Stas to perform on the recording because the flipside featured a tune called “Hot Pretzel Polka,” which had a accordion solo that took up 80% of the song. It was then that the A&R (Artist and Repertoire) man for RCA congratulated Stas for imitating the technique of another accordion player to perfection. Stas also performed with the Bernie Witkowski Orchestra in 1975-76 at Madison Square Garden for the Harvest Ball.

 

He has also recorded with a number of groups on various labels like Remington, Harmonia, RCA Victor, Dana Stella, i3lo and Bel-Aire. He and his wife and Stas Jr. now reside in Deland, Florida, and are the proud grandparents of Desiree and Jashua. His induction into the Polka Music Hall of

 

Fame was long overdue and took place on Sunday, August 7, 1993, during the IPA 25th Anniversary Induction Ceremonies.