Frank Borzymowski – Living Category – Inducted 2013  

  Music has always played an important part of Frank Borzymowski’s life. His first professional gig was at the ripe old age of 14 and it wasn’t long after that all of Baltimore’s Polonia wanted to book Joe and Anita’s boy for their functions. Frank’s high school and college years…

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John Furmaniak – Living Category – Inducted 2013

    John (Foo) Furmaniak (pictured at right with daughter Christy), was born on August 7, 1948 to Thaddeus (Ted) and LaVerne Furmaniak. He is the oldest of their five children. John became infatuated with the accordion at the young age of 10 when a representative of the Mort Herald…

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Craig Ebel – Living Category – Inducted August 2012

    Craig Ebel has been involved in polka music all his life. Craig grew up in a musical family with his mother, LaVay, singing and playing guitar in country western bands and his father, Elhart, building and operating the Bel-Rae Ballroom in Mounds View, Minnesota, from 1964 to 1971.…

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John Gora – Living Category – Inducted 2011

    John Gora was born on July 27, 1959, in Poland and emigrated to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, with his parents in 1974.   He learned to play clarinet and saxophone in 1977. John formed a musical group “Gorale” catering to “Continental” music crowds and they played their first polka…

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Richie Gomulka – Living Category – Inducted 2010

    Richie Gomulka was born on February 6, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois to first generation American-born parents, Ted and Mary (Owca) Gomulka.   Richie is the oldest of four children. He has two sisters, Angie Gomulka and Dianne (Steve) Paliga, and one brother Lenny (Estelle) Gomulka.   Richie is…

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Stephanie Pietrzak – Living Category – Inducted 2010

    It all started at the age of seven when Stephanie was being taught the accordion by her mom, Wanda, and the Polish vocals by her grandmother, Stephanie. This created an interest in listening to Polish music. While Henry her father was off bowling, Wanda took Stephanie to see…

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Edward Guca – Living Category – Inducted 2009

    Ed Guca was born on August 7, 1944 to a very musical Polish family in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. His uncle played clarinet in a popular wedding band and was of particular influence in Ed’s love for Polka music. It was in his youth that Ed learned how to…

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Joseph “Joe” Oberaitis – Living Category – Inducted 2009

As a toddler, Joe Oberaitis was already the polka promoter herding the neighborhood kids together and making them listen to his polka records. By kindergarten, Joe was taking accordion lessons. At age seven, he had already appeared on the local television talent show, “The Gene Carroll Show,” playing Eddie Zima’s…

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Michael Matousek – Living Category – Inducted 2008

Michael T. Matousek was born in 1956 into what would become one of Baltimore’s most prominent polka families. His father Al was regarded as one of Maryland’s most celebrated polka accordionists, and his mother, Connie, was recognized as one of the noted polka dance instructors who helped bring the “polka…

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Dennis Polisky – Living Category – Inducted 2007

    Dennis Polisky, leader, clarinet, tenor saxophone player for the Maestro’s Men Orchestra from Colchester, Connecticut, has been performing and entertaining audiences for over 38 years. His dedication, versatility and personality has earned him the recognition as one of the best clarinet players in the polka field today. He…

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Eddie Forman – Living Category – Inducted 2006

    Eddie Forman, musician, educator, composer, arranger and polka band leader of the Eddie Forman Orchestra, known to many as EFO, has been promoting polka music since 1968. Eddie was born on June 3, 1953 in Hadley, Massachusetts, His parents, both of Polish descent, exposed him to polka music…

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Jimmy Weber – Living Category – Inducted 2006

    The first time Jimmy went to Fiedor’s Grove to see and hear Eddie Blazonczyk’s Versatones along with Little Ronnie and the Carousels, Jimmy’s interest in polkas began. Starting to play the sax at age twelve, in 1970 at the age of fourteen, he found himself playing polkas with…

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Gary Rhamy – Living Category – Inducted 2006

  Engineer, producer. announcer and owner of Peppermint Productions, Gary Rhamy has engineered four Grammy winning albums. He has produced over 500 albums for more than 175 polka artists alone.   While at Ohio University where Gary (seated at right) received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in broadcasting he…

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Math Sladky – Living Category – Inducted 2005

  *Deceased in 2009* Matias “Math” Sladky grew up on a farm near Wahoo, Nebraska. With the love of polka music in his heart, when his folks would go to a dance, he would head straight for the stage where he would sit all evening watching the musicians.   Sladky…

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Eddie Siwiec – Living Category – Inducted 2005

    Eddie Siwiec began playing polka music in 1969 and continues to this day. He credits his parents, Chester and Catherine, and his uncle, Joe Smiell, renowned musician, composer and bandleader from Oakland, California, with introducing him to the wonderful world of music and dance. Edward is the youngest…

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