Johnny Vadnal Passes Away

Legendary Cleveland-style polka band leader and accordionist Johnny Vadnal passed away yesterday at the age of 84. Vadnal was the first polka band leader to have his own major market television show, performing every Sunday afternoon on WEWS Channel 5 in Cleveland from 1949 to 1961. In 1949, Vadnal won the title of “Cleveland’s Polka King” in a vote held by a local radio station.

A prolific songwriter, Vadnal penned such polka classics as “Yes, My Dear”, “No Beer on Sunday”, “Wayside Polka” and many others. Here’s Johnny and his band performing one of his later hits — written for his wife — “My Alice Waltz”:


  1. Reminder of better days in Cleveland. Great to see Johnny, Tony, and Frankie.

  2. I have been enjoying polka’s since I have been 7 or 8 years old, my father and mother,brought me to all the halls in the Cleveland area,I even remember them talking with,Johnny Vadnal,Johnny Peacon,ect
    Now I play them for myself and wife.Johnny Vadnal was the best.Is Richie Vadnal still around.
    Polka varieties was great!
    Thank you!