Mollie Busta

Mollie Busta
Tom Brusky
Matt Dziedzic
Ray Gavlak
Troy Gawlak
Paul Gifford
Lenny Gomulka
Barbara Jellinek
Kevin (DsB)
Ed Klancnik
Randy Koslosky
Steve Litwin
Rick March
Mike Matousek
Gene Mikrut
Jim Polaski
Joe Rodgers
Fritz Scherz
Mike Surratt
Stephen Terrell
Walt Wagner
Robert Walser
Lauren Wyte

Polka: The Changes and Developments Through the Years

Written by:  Mollie Busta

 © Mollie Busta. Reprinted by permission.

Music of the people; music brought from the European home land; music people take pride in; music that brings smiles to faces; music that combines the heritage of yesterday with the musical ideas from today... what is this music, you ask?  It is POLKA.

The Beginning

The polka originated in Bohemia (which is now part of the Czech Republic), around 1830, by a young peasant girl.  It was introduced to the city of Prague on sheet music in 1837.  The following year, several polkas were written by composers in Prague.  From there, a Bohemian band brought the polka to Vienna.  The polka soon became the new craze and spread throughout Europe.  It was immensely popular amongst the upper class, and they made polka the dance of choice in Paris, St. Petersburg, and London by the late 1830s and into the early 1840s.  By 1844, the polka was dominant throughout European continent.  Within a couple of years, upper class citizens of the United States also caught onto this craze.  However, the popularity of the song and dance amongst the lower and middle class citizens in the United States did not rise until the arrival of large waves of immigrants into the country (in Greene 50).  The Polish, Germans, Czechs, Slovaks, Norwegians, Finns, and Spanish all carried their style of polka to the United States of America.

As immigrants came to the United States, so did their possessions, their heritage, and their music.  The immigrants often carried a small instrument with them allowing them to play polkas: fiddle, button box, or hexagonal concertina -- all which became primary instruments in bands that played polkas in the United States.  It was common for these travelers to bring out their instruments during the migration to “spice up” the long journey.  The button box and the “concertina player could replace a small ensemble, producing melodies and harmonies on the right hand while the left hand provided rhythmic chords and bass notes, [making them a] prized possession in the immigrant’s pack” (March 3).  Once the travelers settled, their music did not stop.  It became quite common for all the neighbors to gather at a home, roll up the rug, play music, and dance.

Through the Years

When immigrants settled in the United States, they formed communities with people from the same country.  They worked together, partied together, cried together, and entertained together, keeping strong their European heritage.  In the nineteenth-century the polka, along with other couple dances, was enjoyed in “cleared-out kitchens during house parties, on granary floors and grassy summer picnic grounds, atop outdoor platforms assembled for weddings, and in fraternal halls and the ballrooms adjacent to family-run taverns” (Leary 1).

Near the end of the 1800s, most of the formal entertainment was the theatre -- Vaudeville plays were the most common attraction.  As this century came to an end, it became more and more popular for the polka and other ethnic music, to be played at the end of a Vaudeville performance.  People would find themselves dancing throughout the remainder of the evening.  It was not long before polka music became the main form of entertainment for the evening.  From 1900-1920, ethnic music was on a rise and soon it became one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the United States. 

There are many different factors attributable to the rise of the polka.  In 1905, record companies began taking interest in recording the music of ethnic groups.  In 1930, the radio began to give airtime to ethnic groups.  The “new” piano accordion was created in 1920 (before this time primarily diatonic button boxes were used) and became the “hot item.”  Musicians also began to travel to playing engagements, rather than playing only for local events.

The Great Depression of the 1930s slowed down the advancement of most music; however, the polka stayed alive and well.  It was one thing that helped people remain upbeat in these hard times.  Polka musicians actually made a decent living during the Depression because they were in great demand.  Their average playing engagement would pay seven to eight dollars.  In 1927, jukeboxes became popular.  This helped polkas stay strong through the Depression, for many jukeboxes played polkas.  People were willing to spend a nickel on the jukebox, providing music for dancing and in turn raising their spirits.  Victor Greene states, “Many proprietors were eager to transform any public house, tavern, restaurant, or ice cream parlor into a small dance hall” (Greene 125).  Rural areas, particularly in Minnesota and Wisconsin, often held dances in homes, barns, or schools (Greene 120).  It was also common to have a dance take place every night of the week (Leary 10).

Before the 1930s, “the American people” were divided as to their preferred style of dancing music.  Some danced only the purely American style music, such as the Charleston.  Others danced all kinds of music, particularly the polka along with other ethnic dances.  However, by 1930, nearly everyone participated in ethnic forms of dance (Greene 116).

When WWII came, it slowed the advancement of polka music, yet the music stayed quite strong and served as an up-lifter for the American in the United States.  The polka craze in the United States came in 1939, caused by the release of the Andrew Sister’s version of the “Beer Barrel Polka.”  This polka was not an old folk tune.  A Czech composer wrote the melody in 1927.  In the year 1943, one million copies of the “Beer Barrel Polka” recording were sold.  Because of the popularity of the “Beer Barrel Polka,” polkas in general became hits amongst people of all nationalities.  The bands that recorded polkas began to sell their recordings, no matter if they, themselves, had recorded the “Beer Barrel Polka” or not. 

A person of large influence on polka was known as the Polka King – Frankie Yankovic.  He influenced a large audience and became a favorite to many.  His biggest hits were “Too Fat Polka” (a comic tune) and “Just Because” which originally was a “hill-billy country-western” tune that was made into a polka:

With Yankovic and [the other top polka artists] leading the charge through the 1950s, polka made a serious run at becoming an established genre in American pop music.  Then Elvis Presley hit and changed the business.  By the 1960s, rock-n-roll had captured the poplar music industry, and polka had retreated to enclaves in a variety of urban and rural grassroots fold communities” (March 6).

Other events affected the popularity of polka music as well, such as “demographic shift from country to city and the ‘generation gap’” (Leary 10).  However, polka is still alive today and enjoyed by people of many ages and nationalities, even though the popularity of the polka is not at the same level it was fifty years ago. 


Difference in Styles due to Nationality

Each European nation adopted the polka and made it theirs by putting a little “twist” to it.  There are various styles related to nationalities: Polish, German, Czech, Slovak, Finnish, Spanish, and Norwegian.  Within those polka styles are sub-styles.  This paper focuses on two basic Nationalities: Polish and German.

Polish Style

There are three styles dominating the music of today’s Polish polka bands: Eastern, Honky, and Push.  Eastern style polka music, started in the 1920s, is the fastest of the three styles (quarter note = 128-136 beats per minute).  Eastern style polka music is often used more in concert settings, favored by the urban Polish listeners.  Most of the music is arranged for an orchestra of musicians: a reed section, a brass section, and the rhythm section. Some Eastern polka bands have singers that are not instrumentalists.  Eastern bands often have a “big band” sound.  Dancing to Eastern style polkas is different than when dancing to the Honky or Push styles. 

The Honky style was created after the Eastern style.  The Honky style consists of the polka in its traditional form but with a steady tempo (Gora interview), allowing phrases to be isometric.  Honky style became preferred over the Eastern style by many listeners and dancers because it was easier to dance to due to its slower tempo (quarter note = 112 BPM).  “Li’l Wally” Jagiello proved to be one of the most popular musicians in the honky style.  He made many appearances on television in the 1950s and 60s.  Li’l Wally believes the slower tempo of the Honky style also allows the average polka dancer to dance and be apart of the music (Keil, Keil, Blau 57).  Li’l Wally also said in favor of Honky style, “Eastern style [Polish polkas] may be musicians’ music, but I don’t play for musicians – I play for the public.  They want to hear a song with a simple, real pretty story behind it that they can dance to…. and real bouncy.” (Keil, Keil, Blau 63)  The tempo is quite a bit slower than Eastern style allowing more time for improvisation. 

Edward Siwiec, a musician who has played in eight different style Polish polka bands, stated,  “Honky is the Dixieland style of polka music... free played… less defined… personal [to the individual musician].”  Honky style allowed the second horn to be freed of strict harmony.  Improvisatory counterpoint became quite apparent in the second horn part.  When there is counterpoint in the second horn, the accordion often plays a steady, strict harmony a major third above or below the melody line.  There are times when the second horn is playing a strict second part on thirds, and the accordion plays an improvising counterpoint around the melody line.  The term “Honky” refers to emotional style of playing.  Musicians speak of the style as being loose, exuberant and heartfelt.  According to Siwiec “[Honky is] from the heart.  It’s what you feel.  Honky usually denotes simple rhythm, and simple chords.  It’s the chords that do all the decorating.”  Each band that plays the honky style gives it their own special twist.  Some former bands that made themselves famous through the Honky style were Stas Golonka, Eddie Zima, Wanda & Stephanie, Ray Jay & the Carosels, and as already mentioned, “Li’l Wally.”

Push style was generated from Honky style in the, along with the influence of “rhythm and blues” and rock-n-roll.  Push style received its name from the high-energy, “push” or “ride” section of the song that often takes place near the end.  This section has great energy created mostly by the rhythm section.  The drummer uses a steady pattern on “ride” cymbal (giving this section the “ride” name) and the accordion player gives four pulses within a beat (one pulse for every 16th note) by shaking the accordion, or quickly pushing and pulling (thus, the “push” name).  Push style moves away from the traditional style; there is not as much improvisation in the horns, but there is more in the rhythm section (Lange).  Since its creation, the Push style has become quite popular among most Polish bands; therefore, Push style is the dominant style of Polish polka music.  The musicians that have helped develop Push style are Marion Lush, Eddie Blazonczyk, and “Happy Louie” Dusseault.  Push style is brassy and cleanly executed with a more tightly woven ensemble than the traditional Honky style.  There are fewer opportunities for improvising.  According to Siwiec, the Push style polka is played at a slow tempo with heavy amplification, much syncopation, and clear solos.

German Style

The style of German polka music that is still alive today is called “Dutchmen.”  Dutchmen style is a mix of German and Czech styles, taking the name of “Dutchmen” from “Deutsch” (meaning “German” in the German language).  The style began in New Ulm, Minnesota, where many of the settlers were German-speaking Bohemians; they had combined their German and Czech heritages before coming to the United States.  The first band to claim the “Dutchmen” name was the famous “Six Fat Dutchmen” from New Ulm, a popular band in the late 1920s.  The other band that gained great, nation-wide recognition and popularity was the “Whoopee” John Wilfahrt Band.  The Dutchmen style synthesizes the sound of traditional and contemporary material.  One sound that is unique to the Dutchmen style is yodeling.  Some yodels are sung, but more often musicians vocalize “whooping yodels,” a tradition started by Whoopee John.  Second generation, concertina artist Elmer Scheid introduced the “hoolerie” sound to the Dutchmen bands.  The hoolerie sound consists of a concertina/clarinet combination played in high registers appropriate to the laendlers of Bavaria and Austria (tape #1).  Scheid also was the first bandleader to lean “toward distinct parts and solos, especially on… the concertina” (Leary 3).  Before Scheid, who began his band in the 1940s, bands went for a full and blended sound with trumpets and saxophones dominating throughout a tune.  Ever since the influence of Scheid, the concertina player has been the central figure in most Dutchmen style bands.  In the 1960s another shift came to the Dutchmen style.  Rather than the concertina playing long sustained notes, the concertina added “runs” and “fills.”  Concertina artists, Sylvester Liebl, Jerry Schuft, and Karl Harwich, provide examples of runs and fills in their playing


Roles of the Different Instruments

Dutchmen bands originally consisted of twelve musicians.  By the second generation of musicians (1940s), the bands had about eight musicians: Chemnitzer concertina or accordion, four horns (two reeds and two brass), tuba, piano and/or banjo, and drums.  Today, the size and styles of the bands have changed due to the amplification  (through technology) and availability of musicians. 

The concertina, or accordion, is amplified by either an internal or external microphone.  It is made up of reeds inside a box-like shell or covering.  Sound is produced when air flows through the reeds causing them to vibrate -- the faster the air, the louder the sound.  Faster air is created by a harder push or pull.  Without good amplification, the concertina artist had to really work on pulling and pushing, generally limiting the musician to big, full chords to create a higher volume.  Now, with high quality amplification, concertina artist do not have to work on pushing and pulling.  Instead, they can “spice up” the music with runs, stylistic rhythms, and by playing harmony to the horns, which is done quite often in Dutchmen style polkas (Hartwich interview) (tape #2).

The number of horns in a Dutchmen band has also changed.  It is now common to have two to four horns in the band.  In most cases, bands prefer to have more horns, but no more than four.  Often Dutchmen bands will try to have at least one trumpet and/or trombone player and one clarinet and/or saxophone player.  The trumpets usually have the lead part.  It is common for a band to have a musician who plays reed instruments (saxophone and clarinet) and brass instruments (trumpet and trombone).  The most common saxophone used in a Dutchmen style band is the tenor; however, the alto saxophone is also used.

Dutchmen bands have a solid rhythm section made up of tuba, trap set, and piano or banjo.  The bass drum is loud and solid playing on the down beats, followed by a crisp high hat (cymbal) on the off beats to create the steady tempo for the dancers.  The “bass horn or tuba provides a bouncy, ‘rollicking’ bass line” (March 5), creating an “oom-pah” sound, thereby giving the Dutchmen style another name: “oom-pah.”  The piano player, playing an electric keyboard with a simulated piano sound, generally plays chords: a single bass note for the downbeat and a chord is in a higher range on the upbeat(s).  This not only helps the dancers by re-emphasizing the beats, but also lays out the chord structure.  The chord helps create a full sound by filling in parts of the chord that may not be played by the other musicians. 

Polish bands, Push and Honky styles, often consist of two, or three, horns, a trap set, a bass guitar, and two accordions (one accordion may be substituted by a Chemnitzer concertina player).  The horn section is usually comprised of at least one trumpet on lead (when solos are not being played) and either a trumpet, tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, or clarinet playing second part and third part, if there is a third part.  Push style often uses two trumpets and while Honky style will often use a trumpet and a clarinet (Lange). 

Push and Honky style Polish bands have a rhythm section made up of a trap set, bass guitar, and an accordion/concertina.  The trap set keeps a steady beat with a loud bass drum on beat one and a loud snare on beat two.  One accordion or concertina helps keep the beat and sets the chords for the horns.  The horns set the melody, while the other accordion adds runs to fill in the empty space in the music; polka musicians call these runs “fills.”  When the vocalist sings, the horns or accordion often play fills.  It is very common to find singing in a Polish polka.  This is true for ninety percent of the songs that are sung.  Most of the time, the singing is done in the Polish language.  It was not until the 1970s that the horns began to lead the band with powerful, dominating rhythm (Siwiec).  “In Honky the rhythm section follows a general pattern that is relatively low key [giving] emphasis on the concertina, horns, and vocals.  It is more solid than Push bands.  They never over-extend themselves in a Honky rhythm section; in contrast, that happens quite a bit in Push bands” (Lange)

There are still some trio Polish bands today, as there were before Eastern, Honky, and Push styles were created.  These bands make use of the concertina, bass, and trap set.  In these bands the concertina or vocalist carries all the melodies, “embedded in full, slightly dissonant chords” (March 4).

Eastern style bands have a different band make-up.  They usually have a orchestral set up, similar to the big band set-up: two to four trumpets, two to four saxophones, two to four trombones, a piano, a saxophone, one to three fiddles, bass guitar, trap set, and one to three singers.


Form of the Polka

The polka most often has three parts, varying between at least two different keys (the most common keys are tonic and dominant).  Both Dutchmen and Polish styles have similar form to the pieces.  In each, the song is introduced by the horn (section A).  Then the concertina/accordion takes the melody (section B).  If there are words, which is often the case in the Polish Polka, the singer takes the lead at this time instead of the concertina/accordion (section B).  When this section is finished, the horns often play the beginning melody (section A) or the melody that was sung by the singer or played by the concertina (section B).  This is usually followed by a modulation into a new key, playing a new section (section C) or possibly playing the same part (section A or B).  Dutchmen style songs often end here. 

Polish polkas will play around with the sections a bit more, sharing the melody with solo accordion/concertina, solo horn, or the complete horn section.  In both styles the song usually ends with the full band playing at a forte dynamic level and a high level of energy.  Dutchmen style bands often “jazz up” the piece the last time through the section (tape #3).  Polish style bands will often go into the “push” section.  Two horns play a major third apart, while an optional third horn plays a counter-melody.  One accordion is filling in with runs, while the other is shaking, giving four pulses to the quarter note.  The drummer uses his ride cymbal and has lots of fills.  The bass player often uses a slide going into the push section or at the very end, or both (tape #4). 

The melodic shape of the line differs between Polish and Dutchmen style.  Polish style polkas emphasize rhythmically-oriented scales and arpeggiated motives.  The Dutchmen style emphasizes lyricism.  This is obvious in the two well-known tunes: the “Clarinet Polka” (Polish) and the “Red Bird Polka” (Dutchmen).  (tape #5 & 6)

The form of a polka will often follow the key structure of “I – V – I – IV” (meaning, the polka will start in one key, modulate to a key a major fifth above the first key, return to the first key, then modulate to a key a major fourth above the first key).  Most bands today have extended that form and have created modulations for different effects.  One fine example is the award-winning Wisconsin band, “Ray Dorschner and the Rainbow Valley Dutchmen."  Near the end of a song, it will build the suspense and power with modulations, often up one half-step or a whole-step.  These effects get the crowd cheering and cause excitement in the whole ballroom. 

The key and the chord structure of polkas, especially those that were composed before 1960, are quite predictable.  Carl Finch of “Brave Combo” has made a strong connection between the chord progressions of polkas and hymns.  “The tonality of [polkas] makes sense to me; the sense of where the chords will go and a chord progression, and the sense of how the melody works in a most stable way when you don’t [improvise] with it a whole lot.  You let it follow a believable predictable flow.  That I see a real connection in.”  Present day bands that have change the ability to predict what comes next make polkas very exciting.


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The musicians that play polkas age from three to ninety.  Most often musicians will play in bands of their ethnic group.  The musicians take pride in what they do.  Polish polka musician, Ed Sawyer, stated “We like all kinds of music, but we specialize in polkas and we’re proud of it.  We want to carry the torch on.” 

Listening and watching the older, more experienced players has proven to be the best training for younger musicians.  They listen to the radio’s polka shows, live bands, and recordings.  New musicians find themselves listening to recordings over and over again.  They learn the style and the “licks” of all the previous musicians they admire.  From all the different styles and techniques they have listened to, they create their own stylistic musical ideas.  Listening is central to the learning of technique, style, and also repertoire.  Musicians are often called upon to substitute for a regular member of another polka band when that regular member must miss an engagement.  The substitute’s knowledge of the standard repertoire is crucial, both to the musician’s personal reputation and employment through polka bands.

Future of the Polka

Musicians and fans of polka desperately hold onto the traditions that have been established through polka music.  Bands are striving to keep up the traditional ideas and sound, but keep bringing in new ideas, hoping to attract new listeners.  One prime example is a band from Texas, “Brave Combo.” 

Brave Combo won the 2000 Grammy for the best polka recording of the year.  This band plays a variety of music, but polka is one of their specialties.  They have brought in many “rock-n-roll” aspects to the music.  For example it is common to see the leader, Carl Finch, run around stage with his guitar, “headbanging” as he plays.  The sound of the horns playing the melody is mixed with a "heavy-metal" guitar sound.  The band itself appears to be a stereotypical rock band.  All the musicians wear their own style of clothes on stage; for example Jeffrey Barnes, the woodwind player, commonly wears Harley Davidson apparel on stage, with many chains around his neck.  This band has playing and touring together for over twenty years.  Brave Combo continues to study all styles of polka music – every nationality, old and new, fast and slow.  The music arrangements written for the band are obviously influenced by other bands within the polka field; however, the arrangements have their own twist with a large amount of counterpoint and modulations  (tape #8).  According to Barnes, one of Bravo Combo’s musical missions is “to jangle people’s conception about what is ‘hip’ and what isn’t” (qtd in Sowd).  Finch stated his reasons for getting into polka music in a recent interview:

The reason I got into polkas was the result of trying to … change myself, and … my perception of things.  [I realized] embracing polka music was to take on the most maligned form of music and try to find if in fact there was something that was so beautiful about it, because it was so deeply buried under all this prejudice.  And it just came back at me like a flood. It was weird.  When I got focused on that, things just suddenly started happening – so fast I couldn’t stay on top of it.  (Cavier)

The future of polka music is threatened by the lack of interest and lack of open mindedness in the non-polka circuit. Polka is often given a preconceived notion that it is square and only for the “old folks.”  As mentioned earlier, people need to go and experience “the golf of the music industry.”  Mike Brown, owner of “BizTech,” a web page design company in Toledo, went to his first polka festival in July of 2000 at Seven Springs Resort in Pennsylvania.  His comments were “Wow!  I never knew what I was missing.  I am hooked!  I cannot wait to go again!”  Barnes of Brave combo stated “polka is the music that banishes care, and there is no [chance of] being remorse when a good polka band is playing” (qtd in Sowd).  To see a sour face at a polka dance is rare.

In hopes to keep up the “polka spirit,” many newspapers and magazines are working to promote polkas (39 magazines and newspapers was the last recorded number, 1990 statistic of The Polka News).  One of the largest papers is the nationally distributed, The Polka News, printed in Michigan.  This paper covers polka music nationwide, inclusive of all styles.  The Polka News, averaging twenty pages in length, contains advertisements about upcoming dances and fests, polka jam sessions, newly released recordings, information on where to find and purchase old vintage recordings, columns by journalists from around the country, news about the bands, and information on instrument manufacturers.  The Polka News also includes items about recent marriages, births, band and family reunions, and obituaries -- reflecting the sense of one, big family.

There are additional ways in which the polka industry is promoted.  There are many clubs and associations: Po.L.K. of A. (Polka Lovers Klub of America), International Polka Association (based out of Chicago), Penn-Ohio Polka Pals, Unites States Polka Association, Polk Music Clubs United.  These organizations help support polka music through funding, events, and awarding musicians, promoters, and dancers for their outstanding contributions to the advancement of polka music.  Not everyone believes this is helping encourage polka music.  Some people believe this singles out and makes polka music look like a “club only” style of music. 

Besides the newspapers, the associations, and the dance halls already mentioned, there are newsletters, mail order recording outlets, accordion/concertina makers and dealers, and polka radio and television shows.  Many radio stations will feature a polka show daily or weekly.  Some stations devote nearly all their programming time to polka, like WTKM in Hartford, Wisconsin.  Some shows will feature only one or two styles of polka music, while other shows will promote all styles, as “Chuck Statsny’s Top Ten.”  During Statsny’s nation-wide program, he holds interviews with bandleaders and popular musicians in the field.  Statsny plays new and old recordings and, play the nation’s Top Ten Polkas of the week, which are voted on by radio DJs, polka fans, and himself.

Still today, polka is thought of as the music of the people.  It has been the music of the hard-working, blue-collar folk for years.  It is these people that love, listen, sing, and play the music.   By no means does that make the music any less valuable.  If anything, the polka became more valuable.  Polka music creates a special feeling and atmosphere for those who listen to it.  It is their heritage, their enjoyment, their culture, and their life.




Besman, Jim. “Brave Combo Updates Polka.” Billboard. Oct 25, 1999. Vol 111, Issue 39, p13-7.

Besman, Jim. “Polka is Focus of Heritage.” Billboard. Nov 7, 1998. Vol. 110, Issue 45, p13-4.

Christgau, Robert. “That’s Ethnomusicology!”  Village Voice. May 7, 1996.  Vol. 41, Issue 19, p1-12.

Comier, Valerie. “Valerie Comier Interview.” Domain Chandon Winery, Napa, CA.  June 9, 1997.

Greene, Victor. A Passion for Polka: Old-Time Ethnic Music in America. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1992.

Gomulka, Leonord. Personal interview. May 2000. (Professional musician in the Polish polka field.  Leader of Grammy-nominated band, “Chicago Push.”)

Gora, John. Personal interview, May 2000.

Hartwich, Karl. Personal interview, May 2000. Professional musician since 1973 in the Dutchmen style polka field. (Leader of “Karl and the Country Dutchmen,” Wisconsin State Art Board Dutchmen band of choice.)

Horak, Terri. “Festivals Drawing Growing Fan Base.”  Billboard.  Aug 3, 1996, Vol 108, Issue 31, p1-2.

Keil, Charles, Angeliki V Keil, & Dick Blau.  Polka Happiness.  Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992. 

Jerebek, Michelle. Personal interview. May 2000. (Professional musician since 1990 in the Slovenian, Dutchmen, and variety style polka field. Currently co-leader of “K!CK,” name Wisconsin’s band of the 1999 year, by Wisconsin’s polka hall of fame.)

Lange, Ted. Personal interview. October 2000. (Professional in the Polish and German-Bavarian style polka fields. Currently a member of the Grammy-nominated band, “Toledo Polka Motion.”)

Leary, James. Minnesota Polka: Polka Music, American Music. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1990.

March, Richard. Deep Polka: Dances Music from the Midwest. Washington DC: Smithsonian Folkways, 1998.

Polka News, The. 13 June 1990, Issue 13.

Siwiec, Edward. Personal interview. May 2000.  (Polish, professional musician  in the Polish polka field. Currently a member of the Grammy-nominated band, “Toledo Polka Motion.”)

Sowd, David. “Polkas for Peace!  Brave Combo Make ‘Square’ Music Hip.” Northeast Ohio’s Entertainment Weekly. July 18-24, 1996.

Volek, Alan.  Personal interview. May 2000. (Professional Polish musician, substitute for many bands and a regular in his family band, New Tradition)

Volek, Jeff. Personal interview. May 2000.  (23-year-old professional Polish polka musician)

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