Walt Groller "gals in pennsyltucky" album cover
|Birth name||Walt Groller|
February 12, 1931 |
|Origin||Huntington Beach, California|
Groller was born in Allentown, in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, to Austrian immigrants. By the age of four, he already had learned to play the accordion and to play and sing folk music songs. By the age of 12, he was performing professionally. At the age of 14, he started his own orchestra.
Groller attended Allentown Central Catholic High School in center city Allentown.
In 1952, at the age of 21, Groller was inducted into the United States Armed Services. He served in South Korea with the United States Army. He was discharged two years later, and resumed his orchestra career, performing for live audiences and on radio.
He was signed by Stella Records and produced seven albums and several 45s for Stella. Perhaps his best known album was New Christmas Songs.
Following the release of his Stella Record albums, Groller started his own production label (Chalet Records, Whitehall, PA) and released 11 albums through it. Well known hits included "Say Thank You Dear and Give Her Roses" and "Papa, the Old Accordion Man". Groller toured the United States and Europe in support of the albums, gaining an especially loyal following in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
Groller also hosts a weekly television show, Cafe Internationale, which airs on Fridays. A recording of his radio play, Forty Years of Music: The Old Radio Band, was released by Chalet Records.
In 1986 he was inducted in the International Polka Association's "Hall of Fame". In 1988 he was nominated for a Grammy Award. In 1990 the government of Austria presented Groller with the Austrian Decoration of Merit in Gold, an award given in recognition of those who help to preserve Austria's culture. Groller also received a letter of commendation from President Bill Clinton. In May 1995 he received Polka News Network's "Lifetime Polka Music Award".
Groller is married with three children, including two sons (Joe and Tom) and a daughter (Anita). Groller's son Joe plays drums in Groller's orchestra. Groller currently resides in Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania.