John “Stanky” Stankovic was born into a family of coal miners and musicians in Nanticoke, Pa, in 1936. He discovered the accordion as a young child and was performing at house weddings by the age of nine. Even though John’s first polka band was called the Tip Toppers, town folks referred to the group as Stanky and the Coal Miners since most of his musicians came directly from the coal mines on their way to play events. The group adopted the name and grew in popularity as they performed throughout the east coast of the USA. And eventually toured internationally on five continents. Their career highlights include performances at two world’s fairs, the 50th anniversary of the Korean War at Osan Air Force base in South Korea, HBO television, and the recording of over 20 albums. In addition to leading and playing with the band, John conducted many polka dances, bus trips, polka weekends, and trips abroad. He was also the producer of the long-running national tv show Pennsylvania Polka, that has promoted polka music for the last 35 years and continues to air across the country today.
For his many accomplishments in the polka industry, John “Stanky” Stankovic has been deemed deserving by the electorate of the International Polka Association for induction into the Polka Music Hall of Fame®.