Rick Rzeszutko – Living Category – Inducted 2020

Portfolio Categories: 2020 and R.

Richard Walter Rzeszutko was born on March 6, 1958, to Sally & Chester Rzeszutko of Chicago, IL. Since his grandfather was the original drummer with the Steve Adamczyk Band, Rick was exposed to the sounds of polka music from an early age. While attending St. Peter & Paul School, Rick played trumpet in the same band program that taught Lenny Gomulka and Jerry Mytych, along with many other prominent polka musicians. Later, he joined a band called the Moon Rays and went on to perform with the Kelly High School Band. At that time, Rick began performing with Chicago’s Dial-a-Tones polka band, where he shared the stage with John Furmaniak. In 1974, he joined a band called the Music Company that became a mainstay on the Chicago polka scene for over 50 years. Rick became the group’s leader and main vocalist back in the late 1970s when his brother Bob “Ode” also joined the group.

His musical career includes performances with Eddie Blazonczyk’s Polish Brass Show Band, The Ampol Aires, Stephanie, Stas Golonka, Dennis Motyka’s Good Times, The Bratwurst Brothers, The Schnitzels, and over 40 other groups. Rick is also a founding member of the IPA Tribute Band. His discography includes various 45 rpm recordings from the early 1970s and the albums: We’re Pulling Together (1986), Volume 1 ½ (1999), Honky Holiday (1999), Stephanie’s Honky Polka Favorites (2004), Christmas in Chicago (2011), United for Freedom (2014), and Yesterday’s Songs by the IPA Tribute Band.

Off the stage, Rick has enjoyed a long broadcasting career that began in the early 1980s as a frequent radio guest on the Tuesday Night Polka Review (WTAQ) and later co-host of the Polka Get-Together Show with Keith Stras. The two “shock jocks” were also often featured on the 50,000-watt powerhouse, WGN Radio. Since then, Rick has co-hosted the IPA Polka Radio Show on WPNA and the Polka Jammer Network.

To sustain and promote the music he loves, Rick has served on the IPA Executive Board for approximately twenty years in the capacity of Director, Treasurer, 1st Vice President, and four terms as President. For his many accomplishments in the polka industry, Rick Rzezutko has been deemed deserving by the electorate of the International Polka Association for induction into the Polka Music Hall of Fame®.