Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame

My visit to the National Cleveland style Polka Hall of Fame in Euclid - dedicated to the preservation and promotion of polka music, 'the happiest sound around' - was memorable.
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Photo above: Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame Euclid Ohio building on 605 East 222nd Street
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The Polka Hall of Fame and Museum is located in the historic, former City Hall of Euclid, Ohio, in close proximity to the Collinwood neighborhood where leading polka musicians lived such as Frankie Yankovic, Johnny Vadnal, Johnny Pecon and Eddie Habat. The Museum has free admission and is open five days a week.
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Even though I've only been learning about the North American polka music scene for the last two years or so, I've seen many familiar faces and names at this international Polka Hall of Fame.
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Photo above: Frankie Yankovic memorabilia at Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame Euclid Ohio
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The American Slovenian Polka Foundation, which operates the Museum, was founded in 1987. A volunteer board of trustees is elected by the present 1600 members. The trustees represent all segments of polka music, including musicians, promoters, cultural societies, disc jockeys, and button accordion players.
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Photo above: The Slovenian roots of Cleveland-style display at Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame Euclid Ohio
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The Cleveland-Style polka music has its roots in folk music from Slovenia and the influence of American musicians, which has given this polka music style universal appeal and popularity. In the same was as English and Irish music on American ground has evolved into country music style, in the same way polka represents the music of Central Europe.
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Photo above: Some polka legends familiar faces at Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame Euclid Ohio: Johnny Pecon, Frankie Spetich, Frank Yankovic, Slavko Avsenik, Richie Vadnal, Walter Ostanek, Verne Meisner

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During Thanksgiving weekend, the Polka Hall of Fame produces an annual awards show. Members vote for annual categories such as Recording of the Year, Lifetime Achievement recipients, and the all-time greates polka hits among others. The honorees receive a Crystal Award trophy. The Lifetime Achievement award is the highest honor presented and includes enshrinement in the Polka Hall of Fame.
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Photo above: More polka legends familiar faces at Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame Euclid Ohio: Eddie Habat, Georgie Cook, Lojze Slak, Zarja Singing Society, Paul Yanchar, Tony Petkovsek

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The National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame Museum is filled with artifacts and memoribilia from polka stars of yesterday and today.
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Photo above: The Vadnals - latest exhibit at Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame Euclid Ohio
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Visit Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame online at:
http://www.clevelandstyle.com/index.html



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