The Early Years
3-CD Collector’s Edition
If you know polka music, you know Frankie Yankovic.
Starting in 1938, Frankie Yankovic (1915-1998), “America’s Polka King” recorded over 200 recordings. His songs have become
standards in the polka lexicon, and are heard on such notable labels as Columbia, RCA Victor, ABC, and Polygram.
The center of Cleveland’s Slovene-style polka scene for decades, Yankovic is the recipient of numerous awards. He was one of the first
bandleaders inducted into the International Polka Association Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame. In 1986, he won the first Grammy in the National Association
of Recording Arts and Science’s newly established polka category.
A U.S. Army veteran, Yankovic overcame injuries received during the Battle of the Bulge (for which he received the Purple Heart) to push career
to new heights.
His band traveled west to Hollywood, where they appeared both on stage and screen, and brought the polka to million through acquaintances with
popular entertainers Bob Hope, Milton Berle, and Mitch Miller. Yankovic’s fashionable sound led to appearances on The Lawrence Welk Show, Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, and numerous other
television and radio broadcasts. He performed with such greats as Chet Atkins, Don Everly, Lawrence Welk and Bobby Vinton, to name a few.
This collector’s edition of Yankovic’s early recordings includes sessions from 1938, 1939, and his famous
“Jolly Recording” session of February 2, 1944, when Yankovic and his band recorded a remarkable 32 songs. First released by Sunshine in 1990 on cassette only (SNC 109, SNC 110 and SNC
111), these recordings have been digitally remastered to match the clarity and quality of the day they were first recorded.