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Prime Time Polkas 101...
Required Listening Materials
This page is intended for those:
 - new to the polka field, specifically the Slovenian/Cleveland polka style
- who want to pick up some outstanding music, be it polka or otherwise
- who are interested in our opinion of some of the best albums available.

Some of the criteria used in making these selections:
1. Album contains hard-driving, Cleveland (American) style polkas & smooth, melodic waltzes
2. Musicianship
3. English vocals
4. Recording quality & availability

This list is a work-in-progress.  So far, here's what we've come up with.

Drum roll, please.

And now, Essential Recordings in no particular order...

"The Mis-Tre Together Again"
The Miskulin-Trebar Orchestra
Newly remastered from the 1/4 inch backup tapes in 2003 (the masters were lost), this CD encompasses the entire recording library (2 LPs plus 4 more tracks) from these two outstanding musicians & their band.  Originally recorded in 1979 & 1981 at Peppermint Productions, the CD features 28 selections with uncompromising musicianship and lasting melodies that you'll want to hear over & over again.

Write: Musicwagon Nashville, P.O. Box 158061, Nashville, TN, 37215.  Visit Joey Miskulin's website or e-mail him to order your copy.
"Christmas Memories"
Frank Yankovic
Our favorite Christmas album; bar none.  Something that could only come from America's Polka King with some help from Joey Miskulin.  This recording was released, manufactured & marketed nationally by Polygram Records in 1984.  Although there are only ten selections contained on this LP, cassette, then CD, seven are originals.  Outstanding musicianship again plus vocal help by the Serbian Singing Society and "Angelfire."  Peppermint Productions in Youngstown, Ohio, where it was recorded & mixed.

Write to:  Ida Yankovic, P.O. Box 21, Scottdale, PA, 15683.
"Reflections of Cleveland"
Eric Noltkamper
Released in 1994 & recorded by Don Hunjadi at HG Studios in Wisconsin, this one features 14 tracks covering classic Cleveland style artists' tunes such as Pecon, Almars, Bass, Novak, Markic-Zagger, Kramer, Perko, Habat, Staiduhar & Timko.  What's more impressive, Eric plays all the instruments except sax, clarinet & trumpet on this CD.  Oh yeah, he plays each of those instruments extremely well.  Plug this first class CD into your player and get 12 hard-driving polkas & 2 melodic waltzes.

Get your copy by ordering online through the store at Nancy's Place, www.polkas.com.
"Direct From Nashville"
Gaylord Klancnik
This one released in 1998 was half-recorded live & half-recorded with studio overdubs, accomplishing a live sound in a studio.  Just three musicians are in the band on this CD, Gaylord on accordion, Dick Kuciemba on sax & clarinet and Eddie Klancnik doing banjo, guitar, bass & drums.  Several Nashville vocalists are featured on 21 rockin' polkas & 4 beautiful waltzes.  This stuff is HOT.

Get your copy by ordering online through the store at Nancy's Place, www.polkas.com.
"Polka Lovin' Gal"
The Don Wojtila Show Band
Also released in 1994 but recorded at Peppermint Productions by Gary Rhamy (the "wizard"), this one harks back to the glory days of the music, back to the late 50s & early 60s that made Cleveland the Polka Capitol.  It features many well known polkas (15, no waltzes) that you're sure to recognize but in a style that's fast & lively, guaranteed to lift your spirits and musicianship that can get no better.  Musicians on the recording are Don Wojtila & Fred Gregorich on accordions, Dan Wojtila on sax & clarinet, Ralph Delligatti on bass, Ron Sluga on banjo, Jack Ponikvar on drums and lastly but not leastly Christine Hibbs on vocals.

Get your copy by ordering online through the store at Nancy's Place, www.polkas.com.
"Jammin Polkas"
Steve Meisner Band
This CD set the standard in 1988 (its year of release) and thereafter for how a polka should be played.  Steve is the son of one of this music's pioneers, Verne Meisner, who continues his dad's long-standing tradition of great music.  11 polkas of mostly original material & the title track's anthemic salute to Bashell, Pecon, Habat, Yankovic, Meisner, Vadnal & Bass.

Get your copy by ordering online through the store at Nancy's Place, www.polkas.com or visit Steve's website for more info.
"Salutes 60 Years of Cleveland Style P & W"
Eddie Rodick
This band has always been a favorite of ours and it's safe to say that any recording by this band comes highly recommended.  However, this one rises slightly above the rest.  "60 Years" was recorded live on location at the Croation Lodge in Eastlake, Ohio, released in 1991 and recorded by Gary Rhamy & Peppermint Productions.  The complete 41-track (yes, 41 tracks!) recording is available on 2 cassettes or a "best of" CD has been issued with only 21 tracks.  Capturing the live sound of this band back in its heyday of the late 80s/early 90s was a GREAT idea, and thank goodness somebody thought of it.  In our most humble opinion, no live band has come close to the style, heart, musicianship or shear drive of this band.  And it's those qualities that are well documented here.  Paying homage to the polka greats from the 1930's to the 1990s, it's a non-stop polka force.

Get your copy by ordering online through the store at Nancy's Place, www.polkas.com.
"Polka Visions"
The Mike Schneider Band
At the ripe old age of 24 (in 2002), Mike burst onto the polka scene with this outstanding effort showcasing his feel & arrangements of polka music for the 21st century.  Recorded by Don Hunjadi at HG Studios, 5 originals and 14 tracks in all highlight the musicianship of this young dude.  It meets all our requirements:  hard-driving polkas, smooth waltzes, English vocals, excellent recording quality and it's available on CD!

At the risk of making this whole page look like an advertisement for Nancy's Place, you can get your copy by ordering online through the store at Nancy's Place, www.polkas.com.
more listings on the way...

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