Spirit of Polka Presented in "Polka Passion!"
LINCOLN, Neb. (Feb. 22, 2002) — Polka is as American as apple pie, collard
greens, tamales, kolaches and beer. Its foot-stomping bass-line and elaborate
button-box accordion riffs reverberate in small town Legion clubs, ritzy
ballrooms and adobe courtyards.
Join teens in Levi’s as well as seniors in ethnic costumes and become
part of an audience in motion as "Polka Passion!," airing nationally
during the month of March on PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) stations
(check local PBS stations for date and time), delivers the spirit of polka
as it lives and breathes today.
Through its music, its dance and the ebullient feelings it generates,
the spirit of polka entices young and old alike to dance halls and festivals
across the country.
In "Polka Passion!," high-energy performances by the nation’s
most popular polka bands are interwoven with slice-of-life views of this
multi-generational phenomenon. The program is narrated by folklorist and
humorist Roger Welsch, nationally-known for his work on CBS "Sunday
Morning" "Postcards from Nebraska" segments.
Viewers become part of the audience in a beautiful historic ballroom
where Grammy Award-winning Eddie Blazonczyk and the Versatones demonstrate
why they have been at the top of Polish polka for 40 years. Then experience
German-style polka with Karl and the Country Dutchmen, whose sparkling
keyboard sounds keep it all moving, and finally, witness the mastery of
Grammy Award-winning Polka Family which renders forth with its frenetic
The program also takes side trips to polka shrines such as the LoDuca
Accordion Factory and Art’s Concertina Bar, both in Milwaukee, to put
everything in perspective. Art’s Concertina Bar is listed in the National
Historic Registry as the only concertina bar in the world.
Amid twirling bodies, stomping feet and an effervescent atmosphere, the
show features polka tunes that include "Mountaineers Polka,"
"At the Square Polka," "Suicide Polka" and "Ukrania"
from Eddie Blazonczyk & the Versatones and "Pizza Polka,"
"Chicken Polka," "Christmas Toy Polka" and "Dance
Hall Polka" performed by Karl & the Country Dutchmen.
Polka Family wraps up things with songs including "Pennsylvania
Hills," "When I Hear the Fiddle Play" and "Fiddle
A production of the Nebraska ETV Network, "Polka Passion!"
is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and Nebraskans for Public
Television. Sue Maryott is producer/writer for "Polka Passion!"
Dennis Glore directed the program.
The Nebraska ETV Network is a service of Nebraska Educational Telecommunications