The Oregon Polka King Controversy

A few weeks ago, the Corvallis (OR) Gazette-Times ran a seemingly innocuous profile of accordionist Gene “The Polka King” Sadowsky, leader of the Little Bohemian Band. In the piece, Sadowsky boasted about his band’s recent appearance on the “Big Joe Polka Show”, their packed touring schedule, and his brand-new, $12,500 Diamond accordion. Nothing too controversial, right?

This past Friday, however, the paper printed a follow-up in which a former bandmate of Sadowsky’s — Richard Kadrmas of the R-K Polka Bandstakes his own claim to the Oregon polka crown. Kadrmas claims Sadowsky “only knows how to play 10 or 15 songs… [and is] just doing it to make a buck,” and has even challenged him to an accordion duel.

Now I like a good feud as much as anyone, but come on — these guys are old enough to know better. Isn’t the Willamette Valley big enough for two polka kings?

[Found via TDA’s Wall of Wheeze]


  1. I’m wondering when and where your polka dances are held in southern oregon, would you please send me a schedule of dates and time they are held, which i would appreciate, thank you. do you have a catalog you could send me?

  2. Last I heard the “POLKA KING” was dethroned in arizona after agrivated assault on a police officer.
    I guess this settles the “polka King” contraversy.

  3. we would like to know of any polka dances ,we could go to in oregon….We live in florence oregon on the south central coast……we grew up in minnesota and would like to get back into dancing the polka….Thanks jeff Amundson