State of the Polka 2006

As if our site alone isn’t enough to keep polka at the center of America’s collective consciousness, here’s a news story from the AP: “Enthusiasts Trying to Revive Polka”. The article begins with Art Altenburg’s desire to sell his Milwaukee concertina bar (“The Only Concertina Bar in the USA”) and then covers how polka fans from coast-to-coast are keeping the polka tradition alive.

Ray Zalokar, who runs and Ken Irwin of Rounder Records (home of Brave Combo and Jimmy Sturr), are both quoted and talk about promoting the polka to younger audiences.

“Irwin said the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou changed people’s attitudes about bluegrass. Polka needs something similar that shows the music and culture in a positive light, he said. ‘I think it is really infectious music… There is a great amount of talent out there. People, when exposed to it, seem to really enjoy it.'”

That got me thinking — isn’t it time for Hollywood to make a blockbuster polka/accordion movie? With the success of Ray and Walk the Line, America’s clearly hungry for a Frankie Yankovic biopic. Come on, Spielberg, give the Polka King his due!

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