I like to think of The Big Joe Polka Show as polka’s answer to American Bandstand. Just replace the TV studio with a large plywood dance floor in an Elk’s Lodge, the awkward teens with polka dancing seniors, and Dick Clark with the charming “Big Joe” Siedlik and his loud, accordion-patterned vests.
For more than 25 years, Big Joe was a polka radio king, spinning a popular mix of Polish, Czech and German polka records for listeners in the Midwest. After retiring from radio, he moved to television and now showcases live polka bands and dancers on his program which airs nationwide on RFD-TV, “Rural America’s Most Important Network.”
Later this month, Big Joe will film a series of shows at the RFD-TV Theater in Branson, Missouri. It’s a big deal for the bands chosen to perform and they’re coming from all over the country — the Polka Chips from Alaska, Smilin’ Scandinavians from Washington, Phocus from Buffalo, and many more.
One of polka’s biggest promoters, Big Joe likes to say that “polka tots make polka teens, and polka teens make adult human beings.” This clip is proof of that, as Big Joe welcomes (and teases) the younger members of Colorado’s Polka Nuts: