A Polka Dictionary

"Welcome to A Polka Dictionary - terms, phrases and words with a meaning all their own."

- Last updated - 18 January 2013

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Polka vocabulary list

APB - Stas Bulanda's Average Polka Band from Chicago.

Bayway - The Bayway Polish Home in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Blaz - Eddie Blazonczyk, longtime bandleader of the Versatones, owner of Bel-Aire Recording Company, the Big Man of Polka Music.(See EBV)

Box -A Concertina or Accordion.

Boxman -Concertina player or Accordion player.

(The) Brass -The New Brass band from Massachusetts. Starting as "The Golden Brass," the band was popular in the 1970s through mid-1980s.

Casualties - The group of polka fans that follow The Casuals, an American polka band from Cleveland, OH.

Chicago Style -A type of polka played at a slower tempo (approx. 120 beats per minute), based on the sounds of early Windy City Artists.

Clown Prince of Polkas -Walt Solek, Meriden, Connecticut bandleader, musician, composer, vocalist whose antics and costumes became a mainstay of his performances.

Coalminers -John Stanky and the Coalminers band from North Eastern Pennsylvania.

Dyna-Tones -Buffalo-based band lead by Mark Trzepacz and most-often associated with Dave "Scrubby" Seweryniak, singer and concertina player.

Eastern Style -A type of polka played at a fast tempo (up to 144 beats per minute). Name derived from East Coast bands which popularized the music.

EBV - Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones of Chicago.

Eddie "B" -Eddie Blazonczyk, (see Blaz).

EDDY BELL -Eddie Blazonczyk's name before the Versatones and Polkas and did a stint in Rock 'n' Roll. (See Blaz, Eddie "B")

EFO -The Eddie Forman Orchestra of Massachusetts.

(The) Grill -The Buffalo Broadway Bar that served as the home for The Dynatones, back in the 70s and early 80s. The Broadway Grill was vocalized into polka history by Larry Trojak and Scrubby Seweryniak on the Down At The Friendly Tavern album.

(The) Grove -Fiedor's Grove near Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania. A Polka Hot spot with dances run by Promoter Joe "Zip" Lubovinsky. (See ZIP)

Honky Style -A type of polka characterized by a slower tempo and usually played with a concertina, clarinet, trumpet, drums and bass guitar.

(The) Jammer -The Polka Jammer Network, a not-for-profit internet radio website dedicated to the promotion and preservation of polka music.  POLKA JAMMER NETWORK

Jolly Joe -Al Truszkowski of Jolly Joe and the Bavarians from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, musician, bandleader, promoter and disc-jockey.

J.R. -Eddie Blazonczyk Jr. Chicago musician, composer leader of Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones. Plays Concertina and fiddle.(see Junior, EBV)

Junior -Stan Wozniak Jr. Chicago musician, now deceased. Played trumpet, violin and Concertina with several bands including the Casinos, Marion Lush's Musical Stars and Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones

Junior -Eddie Blazonczyk Jr. Chicago musician, composer leader of Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones. Plays Concertina and fiddle.

Kaz - Eddie Kaczmarczyk Jr., drummer for the band, Crusade

Lenny -Lenny Gomulka, musician (trumpet, clarinet, sax, concertina), vocalist, composer, Grammy nominee and Leader of the "Chicago Push" band. He is easily known by only his first name.

Li'l Wally -Walter Jagiello, influential polka artist originally from Chicago who introduced the "Chicago Style" of polkas to fans.

Live Wire - The historic live recording made by Buffalo's Dynatones on April 3, 1982. Musicians included Larry Trojak, Dave "Scrubby" Seweryniak, Al Piatkowski, Chris Gawlak, Mike Evan and David "Nigel" Kurdziel. The recording was released on LP by WAM Records and the recording done by Gary Rhamy of Peppermint Studios and Produced by Dave Zychowski.

Louie -Happy Louie, Bandleader, musician and vocalist from Palmer, Massachusetts. Along with his wife, Julie, they produced what has become known as the Baystate Sound with the Happy Louie and Julcia Band.

Maly -Jimmy Weber, musician, composer, vocalist, leader of The Sounds.

Maniu -Marion Lush, "The Golden Voice of Polkas." Deceased Chicago Bandleader, musician, composer, vocalist.

(The) Maestro -Ray Henry, bandleader, accordionist, composer from Windsor, Connecticut.

Nigel -Nickname for David Allen Kurgiel. A bass player, originally from Buffalo,NY. One time member of The Steel City Brass, he made a name for himself as the "power bassman" for Buffalo's Dynatones. He has filled in Eddie Blazonczyk and does a lot of studio work.

Oberek - Traditional Polish folk dance played in 3/8 or 3/4 time. Adopted and adapted by Polish American musicians and dancers and still popular today.

Pan Juzef - Joe Oberaitis, bandleader, accordionist, composer and vocalist originally from Ohio and now living in Florida and performing for the Disney corp.

Polkabration -A word originated by Dick Pillar, promoter and bandleader of Connecticut. Polkabration is the "longest running polka festival in America, beginning in 1965 in Ocean Beach Park, CT.

PFB -Polka Family Band started in California and now based in Pennsylvania.

PCM -Polka Country Musicians band of Connecticut.

(The) Polka General -Li'l Richard Towalski of Chicago. Bandleader, musician, vocalist and DJ.

PTS -Polka Town Sound band from Pulaski, Wisconsin.

Push - Lenny Gomulka & The Chicago Push Band.

Push style -a style used by the rhythm section that adds drive to polkas utilizing a jazz ride effect on cymbals along with a mixture of syncopated rhythms on the drum set as well as bellow shaking the accordion and "button pushing" of the concertina. Push style bands more often than not, utilize double horns, accordion, concertina, bass and drums but have also been known to consist of instrumentation noted in "Honky" style.

Riff -The familiar opening strain of a polka tune. This is the equivalent of a "hook" in rock or country music. This strain opens a tune and may frequently be used to close out a tune. A riff may also be referred to as a "tag".

SCB - Steel City Brass band from the Buffalo/Western New York area.

Scotch - Nickname for Eddie Skoczylas a clarinet/sax player from Buffalo NY. Most recently with with The City Side band, he was an original member of The Dynatones. He also was a sideman for Big Steve and the Bellaires and recently filled in with Polka Family.

Scrubby -Dave Seweryniak, vocalist and concertina player with the Dyna-Tones, known for his questionable antics.

Slovenian Style -A type of polka also known as "Cleveland Style," popularized by bandleader Frankie Yankovic, most often played with two accordions, drums, bass guitar and saxophone.

(The) Springs - The Polka Fireworks Festival, held July 4th weekend at the Seven Springs Resort in Champion, Pennsylvania.

Stick - A Clarinet.

Sturr -Jimmy Sturr. Florida, NY bandleader popular for his American and Nashville style of polkas.

TBC -The Brass Connection band of Ohio. (Frankie Liszka and The Brass Connection).

TPM -Toledo Polkamotion band of Ohio.

Tubs -Drums, drum set. As used by Tony Kempinski at PACC in Ludlow, Massachusetts.

Wally -see Li'l Wally

Weasel - Eddie Wolinski, Chicago trumpet player, sound man and musical arranger. Former member of Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones.

Woberek - Oberek as pronounced by some bandleaders, especially Marion Lush.

ZIP -Joe Lubovinsky, owner of Fiedor's Grove and co-promoter, along with Eddie Blazonczyk, of the Polka Fireworks and Fall Polka Fest at the Seven Springs Resort in Champion, Pennsylvania. (See BLAZ, EBV, The Springs)

More to come!!!!!

Thanks to Adele Litwin, Budi Tirtotjondro, Ken Yagelski, Mark Kohan, Chuck Stastny, Eddie Rajewski, Al Truszkowski, Bob Frydryk, Sophie Kupiec, Greg Chowjdak, Greg Durski, Brian Drzyzga, Matt Mularz, Jason Anschutz, Ray Ableski, Ernie Daigle,Anthony Palischak, John Sentiwany, Dick Pillar, Ray Zalokar, Steve Thomas, Rick DeLeur for contributions to the Polka Dictionary.

If you didn't get credited for a contribution, please let me know and I'll be glad to add you to the list of contributors. Additions and comments can be sent to pajpolka@verizon.net

Questions or comments, E-mail:


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