Frankie Yankovic: America’s Polka King

America's Polka King: The Real Story of Frankie Yankovic and His MusicStill need a gift for that polka fan on your holiday list? Check out Cleveland native Bob Dolgan’s new biography, America’s Polka King: The Real Story of Frankie Yankovic and His Music.

Thirty years ago, Dolgan ghostwrote Yankovic’s autobiography, The Polka King: The Life Of Frankie Yankovic. His new book chronicles the accordion legend’s rise to fame, as well as his complicated relationships with family members and fellow musicians. Dolgan admits from the start that his book shows all sides of Yankovic’s personality — there’s no sugarcoating here and that’s just how Frankie would have wanted it:

“In this book, I have tried to tell the honest story of Frankie Yankovic, the foremost musician in American polka history. Some readers may feel it is too frank and revealing and that it may damage the Polka King’s image and, therefore, the struggling polka culture. But I don’t think so. Yankovic was a realist who never wanted to play it safe. As he said when I ghosted his autobiography almost thirty years ago, ‘Let’s tell everything. People will like it better that way.'”

WCPN, the public radio station in Cleveland, has a brief interview with Dolgan about his book, as well as some great clips of a 1995 interview they did with Yankovic himself. Thanks to the book’s publisher, Gray & Company, you can download the preface and first two chapters here:

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