IPA Hall of Fame Categories


IPA Hall of Fame Biography

Roger T. Lichwala was born on September 27, 1945, in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts.  As a result of his exposure to polka music in his local Polish community, he began playing drums at the age of 14.  Roger first gained national recognition while playing with the Happy Louie & Julia polka band from 1966 – 1967.  In 1969, he teamed up with Billy Czupta, Carl Hoynoski, Mitch Biskup, Tom Kostek and Steve Dudas to form the Golden Brass.  Immediately, the band was embraced by the polka world for its vibrant double accordion/double trumpet sound and went on to perform at all the major polka venues.  In 1972, the band won the IPA's best album and best single for Let The Sunshine In, and best instrumental group.  Roger then renamed the band the New Brass, which went on to record a series of hit albums culminating with Roll Out The Barrel recognized by the IPA as the best single and best album in 1978.  After the band’s retirement in 1985, he went on to perform with Happy Louie, Jimmy Sturr, Larry Chesky and others and even hosted the Polka Showcase, a weekly radio show on WMUA.

For his many accomplishments in the polka industry, Roger T. Lichwala has been deemed deserving by the electorate of the International Polka Association for induction into the Polka Music Hall of Fame®.