Let’s say you have a hankering to hear some polka music at midnight on a Sunday, but you don’t have your CD collection or iPod handy. No problem. Go towww.live365.com/stations/hungerfordmike and enjoy!
Hungerford Mike is Mike Konvicka, who, you guessed it, lives in Hungerford. Since 2002, Mike has had a 24-hour, 365-days-a-year polka station on the live365 web network. Polkabeat visited with Mike, the former sports editor of the Bay City Tribune, about his passion for polka.
What do you see when you click on www.live365.com/stations/hungerfordmike?
The words, “You’re listening to Mike’s Texas Polkas” appears on the screen and it shows the current song playing and the last four or five songs that played. (When I went to Mike’s Texas Polkas home page, the tune playing was In Heaven There Is No Beer by the Brave Combo. The songs right before that were the Barbara Polka by Jimmy Brosch; Julida by Dujka Brothers; Orphan Waltz by Joe Patek; and the Houston Oilers theme song-huh? Mike’s collection also includes eclectic, Cajun, Zydeco and Tejano selections.)
Do you have to subscribe?
No, it’s free to listen, but you will also hear advertisements. If you don’t want to hear ads, you can subscribe for $5.95 a month as a “VIP.”
What’s your polka story?
I went to East Bernard high school and Wharton County Jr. College. I grew up listening to Lee Roy Matocha and I played clarinet and mandolin.
Besides Matocha, what are some of your other favorite bands?
The Vrazels and Joe Patek. I remember the Big 3 battle dances at East Bernard in the late 1960s and early ‘70s with the Vrazels, Joe Patek and Lee Roy Matocha. It lasted from 6 to midnight with a concert at the end by all three bands. It was great! Also, the Vrazels played at our wedding dance. (Mike and Cindy got married on January 31, 1998.)
How many recordings do you own?
I have tons of music--over 200 polka albums and 100 polka CDs, plus 5,000 45s, and almost 3,000 CDs of all kinds of music, 1,000 cassettes--mainly ones I recorded--and 100 8-tracks.
Is your collection complete?
No way. I recently found some Joe Patek albums on ebay. I put an ad in the La Grange paper because I’m always looking for older records like the Bacas.
How often do you upload music?
Once a week.
How does it work?
The site contains 200 songs on a playlist. It randomly picks out songs from the playlist. That’s about 10 hours of continuous music.
How many listeners do you have?
I have five to 10 listeners any time of day from all over the world, averaging over 1,000 listening hours a month.
Why did you start Mike’s Texas Polkas?
Music is my hobby. I’m not a big outdoors person. The cool thing is you can listen to polka music at midnight if want to. The satisfaction comes from knowing people are listening to the show.