Stanley “Stas” Golonka was born in 1944 into a polish family in Chicago. He was raised in a Polish neighborhood, attended a Polish school, and listened regularly to Polish radio programs. Inspired by the music of Li'l wally, Stas developed his vocal and drumming skills and formed his first band, the Polka Diamonds, in the late 1950s. After his return from service in the U.S. Army in 1967, Stas resumed his musical career and performed with polka greats that included Li'l Wally and Marion Lush. In the late 1970s, he formed his most well-known band, the Chicago Masters. The group went on to tour nationally and record nine albums where Stas' Dean Martin-like vocals and energetic rhythms helped him become known as “the King of Honky.” His music achieved national acclaim by being included on a compilation recording called Deeper Polka produced by the Smithsonian Institute.
For his many accomplishments in the polka industry, Stanley “Stas” Golonka has been deemed deserving by the electorate of the International Polka Association for induction into the Polka Music Hall of Fame®.