• Rick Rzeszutko – Living Category – Inducted 2020

    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…

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  • Bill Shibilski – Living Category – Inducted 2020

    Bill’s radio career started in 1963 when involved with supporting a Rock n Roll radio show at Fordham U in NYC. He quickly got the radio bug and was invited by the Jesuit priest and station director, Father Trivett, to host a Polka show starting on November 28, 1964, on…

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  • David M. Zychowski – Living Category – Inducted 2020

    David M. Zychowski was born on October 9, 1953, to John and Catherine Zychowski of Ambridge, PA. His parents met at a Frank Wojnarowski dance in 1949 and later exposed their children to the rise of polka greats such as Li’l Wally, Marion Lush, and Eddie Blazonczyk. It was a…

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  • Tony “Krew” Krupski – Deceased Category – Inducted 2020

    The back story on the Krew Brothers Band is that it was established in 1958 as a three-piece combo with members Tony, Don, and Gary. The year was 1967 when Allen and Dennis joined the group, and just two years later, the band recorded its first album. “A Lively Polka…

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  • Ellsworth “Babe” Wagner – Pioneer Category – Inducted 2020

    Ellsworth Wagner, nicknamed “Babe” in his early youth, was a native of New Ulm, Minnesota, the “Polka Capital of the Nation.” He was born in Essig, Minnesota, on June 1, 1914. During his short life, music was his thing. His musical training began almost on the day he was born.…

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  • Steve Meisner – Living Category – Inducted 2019

      STEVE MEISNER WAS BORN INTO A MUSICAL FAMILY ON APRIL 17, 1961, IN BELOIT, WISCONSIN, AND RAISED IN WHITEWATER, WISCONSIN.  HE BEGAN PLAYING THE PIANO ACCORDION AT AGE FIVE, PERFORMING SOON AFTER ON STAGE WITH HIS LEGENDARY FATHER, VERNE MEISNER.  SINCE THE AGE OF 16, STEVE HAS EARNED A…

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  • Ted Lange – Living Category – Inducted 2019

      TED LANGE HAS BEEN ACTIVE IN THE POLKA INDUSTRY HIS ENTIRE LIFE.  HE GOT HIS START ON DRUMS WITH HIS PARENTS’ BAND, THE BUCKEYE POLKA BAND AT AGE FIVE, AND TO DATE, HAS PERFORMED IN 34 STATES, CANADA, MEXICO AND EUROPE IN ADDITION TO APPEARING ON OVER 40 RECORDINGS. …

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  • Stephen “Big Steve” Krzeminski – Pioneer Category – Inducted 2019

      BORN ON JUNE 5, 1945, IN BUFFALO, NEW YORK, STEPHEN W. KRZEMINSKI WAS DESTINED TO MAKE HIS MARK IN POLKA MUSIC.  STANDING TALL AT 6 FEET, 3 INCHES BY THE TIME HE WAS 16 YEARS OF AGE, THE CHARISMATIC ACCORDIONIST FIRST LED BIG STEVE’S ORCHESTRA AND LATER BIG STEVE…

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  • John “Stanky” Stankovic – Pioneer Category – Inducted 2019

      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…

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  • Roger T. Lichwala – Deceased Category – Inducted 2019

      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 & JULCIA…

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  • Leon “Bud” Hundenski – Deceased Category – Inducted 2018

      LEON “BUD” HUNDENSKI WAS BORN IN CANONSBURG, PA, ON JULY 26, 1944. AFTER HIS DAD BOUGHT HIM HIS FIRST ACCORDION, HE STARTED TAKING PRIVATE LESSONS AT AGE NINE. AS A YOUTH, BUD WON MANY SOLO AMATEUR CONTESTS AND FORMED HIS OWN TRIO BY THE TIME HE WAS IN JUNIOR…

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  • Joe Macielag – Pioneer Category – Inducted 2018

      JOSEPH MACIELAG BEGAN HIS MUSICAL CAREER WITH CLARINET LESSONS AT THE AGE OF 14. TWO YEARS LATER, HE WAS INVITED TO JOIN THE RYDZEWSKI BROTHERS TRIO FROM NIAGARA FALLS, NY. INFLUENCED BY FRANK WOJNAROWSKI, JOSEPH ORGANIZED A NINE-PIECE ORCHESTRA THAT PLAYED ITS FIRST GIG WHEN HE WAS ONLY 18.…

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  • Mollie Busta Lange – Living Category – Inducted 2018

      MOLLIE BUSTA LANGE, COMMONLY KNOWN AS “MOLLIE B,” HAS BEEN ACTIVE IN THE POLKA INDUSTRY HER ENTIRE LIFE. SHE BEGAN AT AGE THREE ON VOCALS WITH THE JIM BUSTA BAND, AND TO DATE, HAS PERFORMED IN 35 STATES AND ELEVEN COUNTRIES IN ADDITION TO APPEARING ON OVER 35 RECORDINGS.…

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  • Gary Brueggen – Living Category – Inducted 2018

    GARY BRUEGGEN WAS BORN IN THE SMALL FARMING COMMUNITY OF CASHTON, WI, WHERE AT THE YOUNG AGE OF TWO HE BECAME CAPTIVATED BY POLKA MUSIC HE HEARD ON THE RADIO. RECOGNIZING HIS POTENTIAL, GARY’S PARENTS BOUGHT HIM HIS FIRST SET OF DRUMS AT FIVE YEARS OLD, AND BY THE TIME…

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  • Edward Kutas Sr. – Pioneer Category – Inducted 2017

    Edward Chester Kutas Sr. was a well-known and important promoter of polka music in Buffalo and Western New York.  He was the owner and operator of the historic Warsaw Inn on Broadway in the heart of the Polish East Side.  For many years, Ed had a vision for a polka…

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  • Marge Machay – Deceased Category – Inducted 2017

    Since 1968, Marge Machay and her predeceased husband Chuck, owned and operated Polonia Ballroom and Grove.  A Chicago landmark, its name was changed to Polonia Banquets in the 1980’s as renovations were made to broaden the business and better accommodate its patrons.  For almost a half century, Marge leveraged the…

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  • Elmer Scheid – Deceased Category – Inducted 2017

    Elmer Scheid was born on October 4, 1921 in New Ulm, MN.  At the young age of 8 years old, he learned to play the concertina from his father and performed his first professional dance event with the John Fritsche Band at the age of 14.  Elmer later played with…

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  • Andrew “Andy” Fenus – Living Category – Inducted 2017

      Andrew (Andy) Fenus, along with his brother Steve Fenus, organized The Trel Tones polka band in 1954.  Since that time the band has performed at venues across the United States and Canada and appeared on numerous radio and TV shows in Ohio and Pennsylvania, including a three-hour special about…

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  • Fred Ziwich – Living Category – Inducted 2017

    Fred Ziwich was born in Cleveland, Ohio on March 10, 1954.  He began taking accordion lessons at the age of 5, and could read music before he could read English.  Fred started taking clarinet lessons in the 4th grade, began playing the tenor sax in the 8th grade, and learned…

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  • Don Jodlowski – Deceased Category – Inducted 2016

    DON JODLOWSKI WAS BORN ON AUGUST 30,1940 INTO A MUSICAL FAMILY THAT LIVED ON THE SOUTHWEST SIDE OF CHICAGO, IL. HIS FAMILY’S LOVE FOR POLKA MUSIC INSPIRED HIM TO TAKE DRUM LESSONS AT A YOUNG AGE. DON DEVELOPED HIS SKILLS SO THAT BY THE 1960’S HE WAS DRUMMING WITH BANDS…

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