He must be an "Evergreen"…
…Walter Ostanek that is. He is still the "King of Polka" with most of the ethnic communities all over North America.
Who would have thought, that young Ladislav Walter, who was born on the 30th of April 1935 – would become as famous as he is now, when he got his first accordion, as a gift, at the tender age of nine.
After mastering – and I mean "mastering" – this instrument, he started out playing as a very popular entertainer in Southern Ontario and often on the radio in the St. Catharines and Welland area – performing Polkas and Waltzes.
In 1963, Walter and his band recorded their first of many albums and over the years Walter became known as Canada’s ‘Polka King’.
He has received three Grammy Awards and has been nominated 13 times. His style has been compared to that of the American Polka King Frankie Yankovic, who hails from the Cleveland area. As was the late Yankovic, Walter Ostanek is of Slovenian descent.
Walter hosted his own television shows (one for 14 consecutive years), radio shows and polka tours. He has appeared on The Tonight Show, with Johnny Carson, Phil Donahue, Tommy Hunter Show, Cleveland’s Polka Varieties and his own award-winning TV specials and telethons. He has appeared in concerts with Roy Clark, the Oakridge Boys, Ronnie Milsap, Ray Price, Mel Tillis, Brenda Lee, Slim Whitman, Tom T. Hall, T. G. Shepard, Tommy Hunter, Lawrence Welk, Myron Floren, Frank Yankovic and Weiss-Blau.
Small wonder the Danube Swabian Club was well filled the last time he played here - at the Winterfest on the 19th of January.
Most of the polkas, waltzes and other tunes were reminiscent of the areas in Europe where most of the audience came from. It is always a happy crowd that comes back year after year for the Polka King’s performances.
People are being appreciated!
This was demonstrated again at the annual appreciation night’s dinner. This is where those members and volunteers - who often only toil in the background - are given recognition and a great meal. This year the goulash and spaetzle were exceptional. Compliments to the Chef!
As usual, our veteran DJ Mike Nemeth entertained with wonderful tunes to dance to. I think they check him off each year at the annual inventory. Great effort, Mike!öhm very enthusiastically announced the up-coming "Schlachtfest".
As always, and hoping for warmer weather
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