Upper Midwest Polka 1940’s – 1970’s

Upper Midwestern polka bands from the 1940’s – 1970’s. Good time music from the heartland. This is a small portion from a collection of regional polka 78’s and LP’s. A few years before this program aired, 05-05-2009, a listener to the radio show called to tell me of a record collection he had seen on this new weird web site called Craig’s List (registered trademark). All of the music here is a small portion from that collection of 40+ 78 RPM’s and as many LP’s.

North of White Bear Lake, 30 years in the collecting and making, we heard music from such push button hot spots as New Ulm, New Prague, St. Cloud, Hastings, Duluth and the Twin Cities themselves. Wisconsin and the Dakotas show up to keep things friendly. The phone really did ring off the hook during this program – it hit a regional nerve. The 2 exceptions in this mix, that came from outside the collection, were Minneapolis band The Wallets with their freak-out breakdown Gonznoi Polka from 1983, and the show ends with one of the funniest mash-ups I know of: Scottish accordionist Sir Jimmy Shand teamed up with rapper 50 Cent.

To hear the show please visit this Dig Up The Roots page at Internet Archive.

Playlist Tracks:

The Graniteers – Good Morning Polka
Album: On The Rocks; Label: Oxboro

Ted Johnson’s Scandinavian-American Recording Orchestras – Bor Du Hemma Hos Din Mama? (Do You Live At Home With Your Mother?) / Kalle Pe
Album: Gammaldans! Old Time dance Music; Label: Nordvest

Andrew Walter Walter Eriksson’s Orchestra – Polka I Kaffestugan
Album: Happy Tunes Scandinavia; Label: Colonial

Blue Barron and his Orchestra – Open The Door Polka
Album: 78 RPM; Label: M-G-M

Clem Brau – Josephine
Album: 78 RPM; Label: SOMA

The Globetrotters – Hurdy Gurdy Polka
Album: 78 RPM; Label: Columbia

Jolly Jack Robel – The New Okey Dokey Polka
Album: 78 RPM; Label: Decca

Louie And His Old Time Band – Village Tavern Polka
Album: 78 RPM; Label: Mercury

Harold Picha and his Band – Sev Widman Polka
Album: 78 RPM; Label: fm Recording Co

The Pinetoppers – Big Parade Polka
Album: 78 RPM; Label: Coral

Plehal Brothers – Jolly Lumber Jack
Album: 78 RPM; Label: Decca

The Polkateers – Oriental Polka
Album: 78 RPM; Label: M-G-M

The Deutschmeisters – Black John Polka / In The Concertina Mood
Album: Polkas Waltzes; Label: Golden Wing

Val-Taro Musette – Madness Polka
Album: 78 RPM; Label: Columbia

The Babe Wagner Band – Putzig Polka
Album: The Babe Wagner Band, New Ulm, Minnesota; Label: Pleasant Peasant

Les Schuft and the Country Dutchmen – Gary’s Polka / North Star Rouser
Album: It’s Polka Time; Label: Red Rose Records

Jolly Lumberjacks – My Wife, She Is Happy Polka
Album: Live and Lively At the Prom Center; Label: SOMA

Jimmy Jenson – Little Grass Shack / Scandinavian Hotshot
Album: The Swingin’ Swede; Label: Pleasant Peasant

Bob Mastel – Julida Polka
Album: Golden Goodies Vol 4; Label: Polka Favorites

The Cards – Musicians Come Play Polka
Album: New Ulm’s Greatest Vol 2; Label: Polka Favorites

Eddie Skeets – Tinker Polka
Album: Golden Goodies Vol 4; Label: Polka Favorites

Albert Mikesh – Sausage Polka / Happy Farmers Polka
Album: Accordion Duets; Label: M Records

Chieleski Brothers – Up the Hill Polka / Wipe Out
Album: Danceland In Stereo; Label: Sentinel Records

The Wallets – Gonznoi Polka
Album: Catch A Falling Star; Label: Spiffola

The Polka Beats – Folsom Prison
Album: Variety On Wheels; Label: PB Records

Six Fat Dutchmen – Too Old To Cut The Mustard Polka
Album: Polkas: Greatest Hits Vol 2; Label: Dot

Sir Jimmy Shand & 50 Cent – 50 Bluebells


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