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Died On This Date (May 21, 2012) Eddie Blazonczyk / The Polka King

Posted by themusicsover on May 21, 2012

Eddie Blazonczyk
July 12, 1941 – May 21, 2012

Known as the Polka King, Eddie Blazonczyk rose to prominence during the 1950s.  He first began playing at Polish festival in and around Chicago as Happy Eddie and his Polka Jesters.  For a time during his early years, he made pop music as Eddie Bell and the Bel-Aires, even performing on American Bandstand.  But in 1962, he returned to polka and formed the Versatones.  He quickly became the biggest name in American polka. In 1963, he founded his own record label, Bel-Aire Records.  Throughout the years, Blazonczyk released over 30 albums, with his 1986 release, Another Polka Celebration earning him a Grammy.  And in 1998, he was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship.  After suffering a stroke, Blazonczyk retired from performing in 2002.  Eddie Blazoczyk was 70 when he passed away on May 21, 2012.

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