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 Eddie Blazonczyk, Sr

Photo added by John "J-Cat" Griffith

Eddie Blazonczyk, Sr

  • Birth 12 Jul 1941 Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
  • Death 21 May 2012 Palos Heights, Cook County, Illinois, USA
  • Burial Justice, Cook County, Illinois, USA
  • Memorial ID 90601289

Musician. Dubbed the "Polka King", he was noted for revolutionizing the traditional polka style by infusing it with rock, Cajun, zydeco and country into his own polka music. Before becoming a polka artist he was a rock-a-billy instrumentalist who preferred to play bass and sing, recording for Mecury Records as Eddie Bell and the Bel-Aires in the 1950s. In 1962, he formed his polka band The Versatones and released their first album, "Polka Parade" on his own Bel-Aire Label. The group transformed into a nationally known act, performing at ballrooms, festivals and eventually proceeded to tour the globe. With the Versatones, he received more than a dozen Grammy nominations and with his recording "Another Polka Celebration" (1986) won the Best Polka Grammy Award. For decades, his group was unchallenged as America's number 1 polka band by the International Polka Association and he was inducted into the Polka Music Hall of Fame. In 1998, he received one the country's most prestigious cultural honors, a National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship, presented by then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton at the White House. After suffering a stroke in 2001, he retired and his son Eddie Blazonczyk Jr. led the band for another full a decade. Blazonczyk Sr. died of natural causes at age 70.

Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: John "J-Cat" Griffith
  • Added: 23 May 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 90601289
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Eddie Blazonczyk, Sr (12 Jul 1941–21 May 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 90601289, citing Resurrection Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleums, Justice, Cook County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .