Grammy Award for Best Polka Album

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Grammy Award for Best Polka Album
A gold gramophone trophy with a plaque set on a table
Gilded gramophone trophy presented to Grammy Award winners
Awarded for quality polka albums
Country United States
Presented by National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
First awarded 1986
Last awarded 2009
Official website grammy.com

The Grammy Award for Best Polka Album was an award presented at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards,[1] to recording artists for quality polka albums. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".[2]

Originally called the Grammy Award for Best Polka Recording, the award was first presented to Frankie Yankovic in 1986. Previously, polka recordings had been placed in the folk category.[3] While neither Billboard nor the Recording Industry Association of America tracked polka sales at the time the award category was introduced, polka musicians viewed its inclusion as a sign of respect and increasing popularity.[3][4] In 1987, a tie vote resulted in awards being presented to Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra for the album I Remember Warsaw as well as to Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones for the album Another Polka Celebration. In 1992, the name of the category was changed to Best Polka Album. Beginning in 2001, award recipients included the producers, engineers, and/or mixers associated with the nominated work in addition to the recording artists. The Academy retired the award category in 2009 to remain "relevant and responsive" to the music community.[5][6]

Sturr holds the record for the most wins in this category, with a total of eighteen (including six as the leader of the group known as Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra). Sturr also holds the record for the most consecutive Grammy wins.[7] Walter Ostanek received the award three times consecutively, and the band Brave Combo was presented the award twice.[8] American artists were presented with the award more than any other nationality, though it was presented to Ostanek and his band from Canada three times. Lenny Gomulka holds the record for the most nominations without a win, with twelve.

Recipients[edit]

Seated, smiling man with wire-frame glasses, playing a piano accordion that is decorated with the name "OSTANEK".
Three-time award winner Walter Ostanek in 2011
Four people on a stage; from left to right, they are playing a keyboard, a trumpet, a drum set, a guitar, and a saxophone. In the background are various signs, and on the stage are microphone stands and other audio equipment.
Members of the two-time award-winning band Brave Combo
*
Indicates a joint award for that year
Year[I] Performing artist(s) Work Nominees Ref.
1986 Yankovic, FrankieFrankie Yankovic 70 Years of Hits
  • Brass Release – Brass with Class
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – Polka Fireworks
  • Lenny Gomulka and the Chicago Push – Simply Polkamentary
  • Li'l Wally and Orchestra – Polskie Czucie, Polish Feelings
[3]
[4]
1987* Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra I Remember Warsaw [9]
1987* Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones Another Polka Celebration [9]
1988 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr A Polka Just for Me [10]
1989 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr Born to Polka
  • Jimmy Weber and the Sounds – Sounds from a Polka Party
  • Lenny Gomulka's Chicago Push – Join the Polka Generation
  • Stas Bulanda's Average Polka Band – Let's Have a Party
  • Walter Ostanek and His Band – All Aboard It's Polka Time
[11]
1990 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr All in My Love for You
  • Gene Mendalski and the G-Men – Moldie Oldie Golden Goodies
  • Gordon Hartmann – Polkaholic
  • Penn Ohio Polka Pals – Penn Ohio Polka Pals Souvenir Edition
  • Walter Ostanek and His Band – Any Time is Polka Time
[12]
1991 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr When It's Polka Time at Your House
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – Everybody Polka
  • Jimmy Weber and the Sounds – Sounds from the Heart
  • Polka Family Band – Fiddle Faddle
  • Toledo Polkamotion – Grand Illusion
[13]
1992 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr Live at Gilley's!
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – All Around the World
  • Walter OstanekA Wonderful World of Polkas and Waltzs
  • Polka Family Band – We Are Family
  • The Dynatones – When the Band Plays a Polka
[14]
1993 Walter Ostanek and His Band 35th Anniversary
  • Dick Tady Orchestra – Happy Polka Days
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – All American Country Flavored Polkas
  • Lenny Gomulka and the Chicago Push – Where Were You Back Then?
  • Jimmy SturrSturr-It-Up
[15]
1994 Walter Ostanek and His Band Accordionally Yours
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – A New Batch of Polkas
  • Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra – Saturday Night Polka
  • Lenny Gomulka and the Chicago Push – Most Requested Hits
  • Polka Family Band – Polka Music Fan
[16]
1995 Walter Ostanek Band Music and Friends [17]
1996 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr I Love to Polka [18]
1997 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr Polka! All Night Long [19]
1998 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr Living on Polka Time [20]
1999 Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra Dance with Me [21]
2000 Brave Combo Polkasonic
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – Smokin' Polkas
  • John Gora and Gorale – Follow Me
  • Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra – Polkapalooza
  • Walter OstanekYearning for Polkas and Waltzes
[22]
2001 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr Touched by a Polka [23]
2002 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr Gone Polka [24]
2003 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr Top of the World
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – My Father's Shoes
  • Jerry Darlak and the Touch – Let the Good Times Roll
  • LynnMarie – The Polka Record
  • Walter Ostanek and His Band – Good Time Polkas and Waltzes
[25]
2004 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr Let's Polka 'Round
  • Dennis Polisky and the Maestro's Men – Strike Up the Band
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – Versalicious!
  • Jerry Darlak and the Touch – Polkas in Black and White
  • LynnMarie – LynnMarie and the Boxhounds
  • Walter Ostanek and Bob Kravos – Just for You
[26]
2005 Brave Combo Let's Kiss: 25th Anniversary Album
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – Highways & Dancehalls
  • John Gora and Gorale – Pangora's Box
  • Henny and the Versa J's – Come on Over
  • Walter Ostanek and Gaylord Klancnik – Polkas United
[27]
2006 Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra Shake, Rattle and Polka!
  • Del Sinchak Band – Polka Pizzazz
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – Under the Influence
  • Walter Ostanek and Ron Sluga – Time Out for Polkas and Waltzes
  • Kevin Solecki – Solecktions
[28]
2007 Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra Polka in Paradise [29]
2008 Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra Come Share the Wine [30]
2009 Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra Let the Whole World Sing
  • Paulino BernalEl Maestro del Acordeón y Sus Polkas
  • LynnMarie and Charlie Kelley as the Boxhounds – Speechless
  • Walter Ostanek and His Band, Jerry Darlak and The Touch, and Bob Kravos and His Band – Back to Back Hall of Fame Polkas
  • Polka Family Band – Hungry for More
[31]

^[I] Each year is linked to the article about the Grammy Awards held that year.

Category retirement[edit]

In 2009, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced the retirement of the award category. President and CEO Neil Portnow stated that the Academy needed to do so in order to remain a "relevant and responsive" organization within a "dynamic music community".[5] Polka musicians and fans were disappointed with the category elimination.[32] Three-time award winner Walter Ostanek admitted he "[felt] sorry for the future artists" that would fail to be recognized by the Academy.[5] Carl Finch of the group Brave Combo stated the following: "Having a polka category was the most important step to legitimacy that we could ever hope to achieve. To have that taken away, it's like it was all for nothing."[33] Apart from ensuring that the "awards process remains representative of the current musical landscape", the Academy cited dwindling competition as one reason for the category retirement.[33] Others speculated that Jimmy Sturr's eighteen wins led to the elimination.[32][34] Due to the elimination of a polka-specific category, polka musicians are likely to submit recordings in the folk and world music categories.[3][32][34]

In 2011, the Grammy Award organization announced a major overhaul of Grammy categories, lowering the number of awards from over 120 to just 78. Several regional American roots genres, such as Hawaiian music or Native American music, were combined in the new Best Regional Roots Music Album category, for which polka albums would also be eligible.[35][36]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General

Specific

  1. ^ "Grammy Awards at a Glance". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Overview". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d Smith, Wes (January 11, 1986). "'Polka Power' takes its spot in the race for the Grammies". The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington: Cowles Publishing Company). Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "New Grammy should help win respect for lowly polka". The Telegraph (Nashua, New Hampshire: Telegraph Publishing Company). February 10, 1986. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c "Grammy board axes polka category to stay 'relevant and responsive'". CBC News. June 4, 2009. Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  6. ^ Sisario, Ben (June 5, 2009). "Polka Music Is Eliminated as Grammy Award Category". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). p. C5. Retrieved October 18, 2010. 
  7. ^ Amos, Shawn (January 27, 2010). "Grammy Week: What You Don't Know About the Grammys". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  8. ^ Sisario, Ben (February 5, 2006). "The Polka King Rolls Out the Barrel for the 19th Time". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved October 18, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b "Preferred picks for Tuesday's Grammy awards". Ottawa Citizen. February 21, 1987. Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  10. ^ Swartz, Kirsten Lee (January 16, 1988). "Walt Groller Honored By Grammy Nomination". The Morning Call (Allentown, Pennsylvania: Tribune Company). Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Complete list of Grammy nominees". Times-News (Hendersonville, North Carolina) 114 (13): 14. January 13, 1989. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Here's list of nominees from all 77 categories". Deseret News (Deseret News Publishing Company). January 12, 1990. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  13. ^ "List of Grammy Awards nominations". Times-News (Hendersonville, North Carolina: The New York Times Company). January 11, 1991. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  14. ^ Campbell, Mary (January 9, 1992). "R.E.M., Raitt tops in Grammy nominations". The Tuscaloosa News (The New York Times Company). Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  15. ^ "The 35th Grammy Awards Nominations". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). January 8, 1993. p. 8. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Hundreds Nominated For Grammys". Deseret News (Deseret News Publishing Company). January 10, 1994. p. 5. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  17. ^ "The 37th Grammy Nominations". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). January 6, 1995. p. 7. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  18. ^ "List of Grammy nominees". CNN. January 4, 1996. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  19. ^ Campbell, Mary (January 8, 1997). "Babyface is up for 12 Grammy awards". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Journal Communications). Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  20. ^ "1997 Grammy Nominees". Orlando Sentinel (Tribune Company). January 9, 1998. p. 6. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Academy's Complete List of Nominees". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). January 6, 1999. p. 8. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  22. ^ "And the nominees are...". USA Today (Gannett Company). February 22, 2000. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  23. ^ Boucher, Geoff (January 4, 2001). "Grammys Cast a Wider Net Than Usual". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). p. 10. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Complete List Of Grammy Nominees". CBS News. January 4, 2002. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Complete list of Grammy nominees; ceremony set for Feb. 23". San Francisco Chronicle. January 8, 2003. p. 4. Retrieved July 19, 2010. [dead link]
  26. ^ "Complete list of Grammy nominations". The Seattle Times (The Seattle Times Company). December 5, 2003. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  27. ^ Machosky, Michael (February 13, 2005). "White Oak family hopes Grammy will 'Come on Over'". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Tribune-Review Publishing Company). Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  28. ^ "The Complete List of Grammy Nominations". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). December 8, 2005. p. 4. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  29. ^ "49th Annual Grammy Awards Winners List". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  30. ^ "50th annual Grammy Awards nominations (part II)". Variety (Reed Business Information). December 6, 2007. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  31. ^ Conner, Thomas (December 3, 2008). "Complete list of Grammy nominees". Chicago Sun-Times (Sun-Times Media Group). Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  32. ^ a b c Rogers, John (June 5, 2009). "No more polka album Grammys for Jimmy Sturr". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  33. ^ a b Sisario, Ben (June 4, 2009). "Polka Music Is Eliminated as Grammy Award Category". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  34. ^ a b Patch, Nick (June 4, 2009). "Sad day for Ostanek as Grammys drop polka". Toronto Star (Torstar). Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  35. ^ "The Recording Academy Continues Evolution of Grammy Awards Process". The Recording Academy. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  36. ^ Chun, Gary (April 6, 2011). "Grammys: Hawaiian category dropped". Honolulu Star-Advertiser (Honolulu, Hawaii: Oahu Publications). Retrieved May 12, 2011. 

External links[edit]