First Ever Polka Pawty to Benefit Homeless Animals

PrintA SMART Rescue, Cleo the Cat and are combining their passion for animals and polka music to bring you the world’s first “Polka Pawty” fundraiser for homeless animals (at least as far as we know). Let’s Polka for Pets Slavic Dinner and Dance will be held on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at SPJST Lodge 88, 1435 Beall Street in Houston. Brave ComboDoors open at 6 p.m. with free Slavic dance lessons by Valina and Ross of Das Ist Lustig beginning at 6:15 p.m. Dinner will begin at 7 p.m. and dancing, with music by the Grammy-winning Brave Combo, will start at 8:30 p.m. and last until midnight. Tickets are $20 each or table of eight for $140, and can be purchased online at

Proceeds will be used for the ongoing construction of A SMART Rescue’s small, private sanctuary in Conroe.

Great Raffle Prizes! Bring an item from SMART's pet supplies wish list and be entered into a special door prize drawing

Sponsorship opportunities are still available at Be sure to type in Dance Sponsorship in the "Specified Donation" box. You will receive an email confirming the donation. Any amount will do. Special perks are given for $50, $100, $250, $500 and $1,000 donations.

Polka for Pets Extras @ Cactus Music Saturday, June 15, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Cleo the Cat invites you to learn more about A SMART Rescue during this in-store live music set. Bring pet food donations and buy your tickets to Let’s Polka for Pets. Saturday, June 29, 5:30 p.m. Brave Combo will perform an in-store live music set before heading over the Lodge for the Slavic Dinner & Dance.

About SMART Animal Rescue A SMART Rescue is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) organization (EIN # 04-3695847) founded in 2002. SMART has helped reduce the number of unwanted animals euthanized in Harris and surrounding counties by successfully placing over 4,000 animals into loving homes. Animals are cared for in the homes of volunteers pending adoption. In addition to web-based adoptions, the organization holds weekend adoptions at three PetSmart locations. SMART also provides sanctuary to animals with medical and behavioral issues prohibiting adoption.

About Cleo the Cat Cleo the Cat was rescued from a kill shelter. As a Houston socialite, it’s Cleo’s mission to increase awareness about rescue animals, raise money for rescue organizations and have a great time while doing it.

About Founded in 2010, promotes Texas polka music and heritage. The website features schedules for polka dances and festivals across the state, as well as photos, videos and the latest polka news. The Polka On! Store offers polka CDs and DVDs, cool T-shirts, jewelry and gifts. Proceeds are used to reinvest in the polka community by supporting bands and festivals.

Polka News: PACE Award Winners, West Benefit Concerts, Rescue Bank Helps West Animals, Cernoch Parker Named to PAC Board

Pace Award Winners: Congratulations to the winners of the annual People’s Choice Awards presented by Polka America Corporation.Best New Original Song Song for the People - Polka Country Musicians Best Polish Album United We Jam - Polka Country Musicians

Best Slovenian Album (2 Winners) Button Box Menagerie Part 1 & 2 - Fred Ziwich and Others Wrap Your Heart Around It - LynnMarie Best German Album Stand and Sing Ein Prosit - Alex Meixner Best Variety Album Mollie B Christmas Special - Mollie B All Star Band

“With 5,997 votes cast, I know we successfully reflected the opinion of the polka nation,” said John Ziobrowski, PAC Executive Committee president. “I look forward to next year when we will add a Czech category and move a step closer to a complete public endorsement of the polka nation’s favorite polka artists and acknowledging their accomplishments.”

Congratulations also to the winners of the PAC's Frankie Awards, named after polka legend Frankie Yankovic.

Ernie Daigle - Massachusetts Ron Nadherny - Nebraska

The Frankie Award is a national service award, given to those individuals whose efforts have been instrumental in sustaining the polka genre.

West Benefit Concerts: Two concerts are being held the week of May 6 to benefit the relief efforts for the town of West.

Dan's Silverleaf in Denton will present a concert on Wednesday, May 8, to benefit the volunteer firefighters. Music will be provided by Brave Combo, Isaac Hoskins Band, Grady Don Sandlin and other Denton music luminaries. It gets underway at 8 PM and suggested donation for admission is $10.

The Czech Center Museum in Houston will present a concert on Thursday, May 9, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. in the museum’s Prague Hall. The concert will feature Dvorak and his Countrymen and the Lone Star College Kingwood Chorale with Nancy Curtis, soprano, Jon Janacek, bari-tenor, and Todd Miller, conductor. Wine and hors d’ouerves will be served.

The cost is $20 and $15 for seniors and students with proceeds going to the West relief efforts. RSVP at 713-528-2060 or

Rescue Bank Helps West Animals: Following the explosion in West, the Humane Society in Waco took in pets found wandering or provided housing for pets whose owners are currently unable to care for them. Rescue Bank delivered nine pallets of pet food to the Humane Society to help the families and pets left homeless by the explosion. Read more.

Cernoch Parker Named to PAC Board: Theresa Cernoch Parker, founder of, has been named to the board of the Polka America Corporation. She will be responsible for general media. “I am honored to be part of this impressive board and look forward to this great opportunity to promote polka,” she said.

PAC encourages, supports and promotes polka music at all levels. The 501(C)(3) non-profit corporation is chartered in Wisconsin and the executive committee, board of directors and sub-committees are an all-volunteer group of polka music enthusiasts from many parts of North America. Join PAC today!

Moravians Release Debut CD

4panel.inddThe wait is over. The Moravians have recorded their first CD and will celebrate with a CD Release party from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, at the Moravia Store. The Moravians came on the polka scene a couple of years ago and have been wowing the polkabeat nation with their mastery of traditional Czech tunes and country standards. The band, made up of high school and college-age guys from the Ennis area, is on a mission to keep Texas Czech music alive and well. Their CD is a testament to that mission. Called Czech Spirit Will Live On, the group selected 15 songs based on their fans’ input. “We put music on the CD that our supporters want to hear. For instance, U Studanky Waltz is a favorite of our trumpet player Matt Matous's grandfather, while Falling Leaves is a favorite of the Trojacek family,” said Josh Goodwin, bass and tuba player. “Overall, the CD is the very best of The Moravians.”

Indeed it is. The group did most of the arrangements with the help of Danny Zapletal, leader of Czech and Then Some. The waltzes are great, but I think the group really shows its stuff on the polkas, especially the Red Raven, Red Rose and Shiner tunes. Three more polkas – Our Katy, Musicians Come and Play and When I Sleep – feature David Slovak, also a CATS member, on tuba. And as with every law-abiding Texas Czech group, the CD includes some great country – Cowboy Rides Away, Waltz Across Texas and Lonesome Fugitive.

Congratulations Moravians on an excellent debut CD. Polka on!

Read more about The Moravians.

Donate to West Relief Efforts

Pray_for_WestThe town of West is reeling from an explosion at a fertilizer plant on April 17, which has claimed several lives and injured hundreds more. In addition to praying for the people of West, consider participating in these fundraising efforts. SPJST has set up a site to make online donations to the relief efforts. Go to and read how to donate on the home page.

The Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center in La Grange is also accepting donations. For more information, call 979-968-9399 or e- mail: Checks can be mailed to P.O. Box 6, La Grange TX 78945.

Texas Folk Life also made this announcement: "Our hearts are with our friends up the road in West, home to some of the best Czech polka accordion music in the state. In light of the tragedy, the previously scheduled Big Squeeze Semifinal Playoffs and Concert this Saturday, April 20 (2:00-5:30) at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, will be dedicated to the relief effort for the devastated community. The event is free, but a hat will be passed and donations will be accepted for the relief effort."

Several Ennis organizations are accepting monetary and tangible donations: You can go to the websites of the National Polka Festival, KJT Hall and Sokol Hall for information on how to donate to a Pointwest Bank account. Monetary donations also can be made at the National Polka Festival food booth at the Bluebonnet Trails Festival, April 20-21 in Ennis. The KJT Hall website also has a list of needed items, such as bottle water, toiletries, clothes, etc.

The Czech Center Museum in Houston is also accepting monetary donations. Contact them at 713-528-2060 or email:

Read more about the explosion.

Polka News: Polkabeat B-Day, RFD Schedule, April 15 Deadline

Happy Birthday Polkabeat! The premier polka website,, is celebrating its third birthday. Thank you polka fans who have made the website and merchandise such a success. It's great to go to a dance and see all the Polka On! buttons, koozies, T-shirts and other gear. To celebrate, polkabeat fans can get 15% off your next purchase in the online Polka On! store. Stock up now in preparation for the National Polka Festival in Ennis at the end of May and for all the church picnics coming up this summer. That Bohemian Air Conditioner will come in handy at the picnics! The offer runs through April 30. All you have to do is fill up your cart and enter the Code: POLKAON when you check out. This includes 15% off CDs, DVDs and the 20 Polka Bands book/CD. Perfect timing for Mother's Day and Father's Day gifts. Learn more about got its start. RFD Debuts Ennis Polka Party. Tune into the Mollie B Polka Party at 9 PM (central) on Saturday, April 13, to see the first show from the tapings done in Ennis in February. The first show features Czech and Then Some, Polka Nuts, Kenny Brandt, Pan Franek and Alpenfest. The show at 6 PM (central) on Wednesday features Das Ist Lustig, Texas Sound Czech Band, SqueezeBox, Benji’s Polka Pac and Jerry Haisler and the Melody 5. Check the schedule for future shows.

Vote for Your Favorites Deadline. April 15 is the deadline to send in your tax return, but more importantly it's the deadline for voting for your favorite polka albumns in the Pace Awards. Read more.

Polka News: Must-Read Polka Book, Frauenpower at Wurstfest & More!

Give the Gift of Polka History: Jimmy Brosch Remembers Twenty Legendary Texas Czech Polka Bands book makes a perfect Christmas present for the family. “Not just for your mom and dad or grandma and grandpa, but for the kids as well,” says Jimmy Brosch. “They can read about the music that their parents and grandparents grew up with. It can become an heirloom passed on for future generations to enjoy.” Excerpt from Chapter 2: Jimmy Brosch and His Happy Country Boys Growing up in Praha: Jimmy would arrive at a dance with 50 cents in his pocket. He paid 25 cents for admission and during intermission he’d treat the young lady he was dancing with to a soda water. “We’d walk across the street to Blahuta’s store. She would have a red soda water and I’d have a root beer—five cents each. Same thing at second intermission. I was lucky she didn’t want something to eat because I wouldn’t have had enough money. After all that, I would still have a nickel left and I would save it for the next dance.”

The book also comes with a companion CD. “While you’re reading a chapter on a band, you can listen to their music,” Jimmy says. The book costs $28. The book and CD make a great gift set and costs $38. To place an order, send a check made out to Jimmy Brosch to 24707 Weld Ct. Katy, TX 77494. If you mention this article, Jimmy will offer free holiday shipping if ordered by December 15. You can also order online at Enter code LODGE88 for free shipping.

Now, for any of you who know Jimmy, offering FREE shipping is a big deal. Hurry and order before he changes his mind!

New at Wurstfest: Die Bayriche 7 (Your Bavarian 7), an all-girl band from Germany. The group celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. The band’s objective is to transfer their skills, their musical diversity, their good mood to the audience and to the famous "spark" überpringen - typical female way. Um, that’s the website English translation. In any language, I think the goal is for their audience to have a good time. Check them out on YouTube. They play each day at Wurstfest except Tuesday, Nov. 6. Check the schedule for times. Frauenpower!

Burton Jams Are Back: Yay! Gene and Allison are back the second Wednesdays of every month in the biergarten of the Pig 'n Whistle. Next jam is Wednesday, November 14. Gene says bring your hammer and join in the fun! MAP

Mikayla Wavra Fund: The October 20 dinner and polka jam in New Ulm were a huge success. Polka musicians provided music benefitting Mikayla Wavra, daughter of polka musician Duane Wavra. Mikayla is still recovering from an accident this summer and the dance, dinner and auction will help pay some of her medical bills. If you weren’t able to attend, but would like to make a donation, send it to: Mikayla Wavra Recovery Fund, Columbus State Bank, P.O. Box 249, Columbus, TX 78934.

Dad Would Love to Polka!

It's Dad's turn to polka. What a great way to celebrate Father's Day. And there are plenty of polka dances in Texas to choose from. If I were given one wish, I'd like to dance once more with my dad, Willie Cernoch. A passionate polka promoter, my dad loved to dance. He passed away in 2009 and any time I'm at a polka dance, I can't help but feel he's there with me--dancing to A Ja Sam, one of our favorites. So, this Sunday, grab your dad by the hand and dance the afternoon away at one of these great venues.

Ammansville: Church Picnic Charles & the Fabulous 4, Incredible Music Makers @ St. John the Baptist Boerne: Oma and Oompas, Boerne Village Band, Texas Lady Bugs Elgin: Czech and Then Some @ SPJST Lodge 18 Millheim: Annual Father’s Day BBQ Lazy Farmers @ Harmonic Hall New Taiton: Texas Legacy Czech Band @ Community Center Sweet Home: Original Sweet Home Boys @ Community Center West: Father Ed Karasek Celebration Red Ravens, Dujka Brothers @ KC Hall

Polka on Dad!

Take Mom Polka Dancing

Nothing says I love you like polka music. This Mother's Day, treat Mom like a queen and take her dancing. Check out this lineup Texas polka fans: May 11-12 Gedenke! Weimar

Friday, May 11 Edna: Charles & the Fabulous 4 @ Country Oaks Weimar: DJ Johnny Loco, Southbound 955 @ Municipal Park Pavilion

Saturday, May 12 Dallas: Brave Combo @ Sons of Hermann. This is BC's CD release party for their new recording Sounds of the Hollow. How cool is that. You can take Mom dancing AND buy her the new BC CD. The recording features a little bit of everything: polkas, cumbias, rumbas, a waltz, a twist, a tango, and more! Rosenberg: Odessa @ American Legion Swiss Alp: Tim Hall Band Weimar: DJ Darren Kunz, Telstars, The Hit Men @ Municipal Park Pavilion

Sunday, May 13 Schulenburg: Brunch & Dance Tim Hall Band @ Sengelmann Hall Seaton (Temple): Jerry Haisler & the Melody 5 @ Sefcik Hall

Check out for times and maps and stuff.

Polka On Moms!