...last update 27 August, 2012.
The success of Polka Past has caused the creation of Polka Past - Two. The past is relative, depending on your age or the number of years you've been involved in polka music. Whether it be 30 years ago or 5 year ago, the polka past holds memories of great times, good friends, musicians, bands and festivals. We hope to bring back a few memories.
Included here are a few bits of our Polka Past. Hopefully they will awaken a few memories of your own, and you may even see your photo here someday soon.
This month we are featuring none other than Stanley Wozniak, Jr. Stan began his musical career at an early age, five years old to be exact. His first instrument was the violin. Stan could literally read music before he could read words. At the age of eight he joined the drum and bugle Corp and this is where he developed a foundation for playing the trumpet.
Stanley attended Holy Trinity High School, where he joined the band in his freshman year. In his second year of High School, he was already playing with the Polkaliers Orchestra. The following year he joined the Sync - Paters Orchestra. By the time he reached his senior year, he got a call from Li’l Wally to play steady with the band. The very first job Stan played with Li’l Wally was at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. Already playing the trumpet and violin, he decided to add the concertina to his repertoire or musical instruments.
Because of business interests, Stan had to quit playing for about a year. The urge returned and this time he hit the jackpot, for it was at this time the Musical Stars were formed. The original group formed in 1959, consisting of Marion Lush, Stanley Wozniak, Mickey Lacny, Ed Bendenek, Ron Mandell, Gene Rydosz and Stan Mikrut. The individual members had been playing in the Chicago area for some time and the formation of this group came under the leadership of Marion Lush and started playing the big ballrooms throughout the country.
In November of 1961, Stan left for the army and temporarily was out of the polka field. Upon his return from the Army he was contacted by Don Ptak with an idea to form the group known as The Casinos. The name originated from Stanley’s place of business, known as Wozniak’s Casino. Presently Stan is running his business which includes a ballroom, lounge, restaurant and bowling alley along with playing dance dates with the Casinos.
Stanley Wozniak, Jr. has come a long way since his spirited playing and business management. Hats off to Stas and best of luck in your future endeavors.Polka Guide Magazine July- August 1965
A collection of Eddie Blazoncyzk and the Versatones from years past years. There is no doubt that anyone involved with polkas during these years can relate to a portion of this collage and remember a treasure.
Watch for other photos from the polka past....in the future