Best Polka Album

Grammy Award for Best Polka Album
Gilded gramophone trophy presented to Grammy Award winners
Awarded for quality polka albums
Country United States
Presented by National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
First awarded 1986
Last awarded 2009
Official website

The Grammy Award for Best Polka Album was an award presented at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards,[1] to recording artists for quality polka albums. Honors in several categories are presented at the ceremony annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position".[2]

Originally called the Grammy Award for Best Polka Recording, the award was first presented to Frankie Yankovic in 1986. Previously, polka recordings had been placed in the folk category.[3] While neither Billboard nor the Recording Industry Association of America tracked polka sales at the time the award category was introduced, polka musicians viewed its inclusion as a sign of respect and increasing popularity.[3][4] In 1987, a tie vote resulted in awards being presented to Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra for the album I Remember Warsaw as well as to Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones for the album Another Polka Celebration. In 1992, the name of the category was changed to Best Polka Album. Beginning in 2001, award recipients included the producers, engineers, and/or mixers associated with the nominated work in addition to the recording artists. The Academy retired the award category in 2009 to remain "relevant and responsive" to the music community.[5][6]

Sturr holds the record for the most wins in this category, with a total of eighteen (including six as the leader of the group known as Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra). Sturr also holds the record for the most consecutive Grammy wins.[7] Walter Ostanek received the award three times consecutively, and the band Brave Combo was presented the award twice.[8] American artists were presented with the award more than any other nationality, though it was presented to Ostanek and his band from Canada three times. Lenny Gomulka holds the record for the most nominations without a win, with twelve.


Indicates a joint award for that year
Year[I] Performing artist(s) Work Nominees Ref.
1986 Yankovic, FrankieFrankie Yankovic 70 Years of Hits
  • Brass Release – Brass with Class
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – Polka Fireworks
  • Lenny Gomulka and the Chicago Push – Simply Polkamentary
  • Li'l Wally and Orchestra – Polskie Czucie, Polish Feelings
1987* Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra I Remember Warsaw [9]
1987* Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones Another Polka Celebration [9]
1988 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr A Polka Just for Me [10]
1989 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr Born to Polka
  • Jimmy Weber and the Sounds – Sounds from a Polka Party
  • Lenny Gomulka's Chicago Push – Join the Polka Generation
  • Stas Bulanda's Average Polka Band – Let's Have a Party
  • Walter Ostanek and His Band – All Aboard It's Polka Time
1990 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr All in My Love for You
  • Gene Mendalski and the G-Men – Moldie Oldie Golden Goodies
  • Gordon Hartmann – Polkaholic
  • Penn Ohio Polka Pals – Penn Ohio Polka Pals Souvenir Edition
  • Walter Ostanek and His Band – Any Time is Polka Time
1991 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr When It's Polka Time at Your House
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – Everybody Polka
  • Jimmy Weber and the Sounds – Sounds from the Heart
  • Polka Family Band – Fiddle Faddle
  • Toledo Polkamotion – Grand Illusion
1992 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr Live at Gilley's!
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – All Around the World
  • Walter OstanekA Wonderful World of Polkas and Waltzs
  • Polka Family Band – We Are Family
  • The Dynatones – When the Band Plays a Polka
1993 Walter Ostanek and His Band 35th Anniversary
  • Dick Tady Orchestra – Happy Polka Days
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – All American Country Flavored Polkas
  • Lenny Gomulka and the Chicago Push – Where Were You Back Then?
  • Jimmy SturrSturr-It-Up
1994 Walter Ostanek and His Band Accordionally Yours
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – A New Batch of Polkas
  • Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra – Saturday Night Polka
  • Lenny Gomulka and the Chicago Push – Most Requested Hits
  • Polka Family Band – Polka Music Fan
1995 Walter Ostanek Band Music and Friends [17]
1996 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr I Love to Polka [18]
1997 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr Polka! All Night Long [19]
1998 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr Living on Polka Time [20]
1999 Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra Dance with Me [21]
2000 Brave Combo Polkasonic
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – Smokin' Polkas
  • John Gora and Gorale – Follow Me
  • Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra – Polkapalooza
  • Walter OstanekYearning for Polkas and Waltzes
2001 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr Touched by a Polka [23]
2002 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr Gone Polka [24]
2003 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr Top of the World
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – My Father's Shoes
  • Jerry Darlak and the Touch – Let the Good Times Roll
  • LynnMarie – The Polka Record
  • Walter Ostanek and His Band – Good Time Polkas and Waltzes
2004 Sturr, JimmyJimmy Sturr Let's Polka 'Round
  • Dennis Polisky and the Maestro's Men – Strike Up the Band
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – Versalicious!
  • Jerry Darlak and the Touch – Polkas in Black and White
  • LynnMarie – LynnMarie and the Boxhounds
  • Walter Ostanek and Bob Kravos – Just for You
2005 Brave Combo Let's Kiss: 25th Anniversary Album
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – Highways & Dancehalls
  • John Gora and Gorale – Pangora's Box
  • Henny and the Versa J's – Come on Over
  • Walter Ostanek and Gaylord Klancnik – Polkas United
2006 Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra Shake, Rattle and Polka!
  • Del Sinchak Band – Polka Pizzazz
  • Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones – Under the Influence
  • Walter Ostanek and Ron Sluga – Time Out for Polkas and Waltzes
  • Kevin Solecki – Solecktions
2007 Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra Polka in Paradise [29]
2008 Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra Come Share the Wine
  • Brave ComboPolka's Revenge
  • John Gora and Gorale – Bulletproof Polkas
  • Bubba Hernandez and Alex Meixner – Polka Freak Out
  • Walter Ostanek and His Band and Brian Sklar and the Western Senators – Dueling Polkas
2009 Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra Let the Whole World Sing
  • Paulino BernalEl Maestro del Acordeón y Sus Polkas
  • LynnMarie and Charlie Kelley as the Boxhounds – Speechless
  • Walter Ostanek and His Band, Jerry Darlak and The Touch, and Bob Kravos and His Band – Back to Back Hall of Fame Polkas
  • Polka Family Band – Hungry for More

^[I] Each year is linked to the article about the Grammy Awards held that year.

Category retirement

In 2009, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences announced the retirement of the award category. President and CEO Neil Portnow stated that the Academy needed to do so in order to remain a "relevant and responsive" organization within a "dynamic music community".[5] Polka musicians and fans were disappointed with the category elimination.[32] Three-time award winner Walter Ostanek admitted he "[felt] sorry for the future artists" that would fail to be recognized by the Academy.[5] Carl Finch of the group Brave Combo stated the following: "Having a polka category was the most important step to legitimacy that we could ever hope to achieve. To have that taken away, it's like it was all for nothing."[33] Apart from ensuring that the "awards process remains representative of the current musical landscape", the Academy cited dwindling competition as one reason for the category retirement.[33] Others speculated that Jimmy Sturr's eighteen wins led to the elimination.[32][34] Due to the elimination of a polka-specific category, polka musicians are likely to submit recordings in the folk and world music categories.[3][32][34]

In 2011, the Grammy Award organization announced a major overhaul of Grammy categories, lowering the number of awards from over 120 to just 78. Several regional American roots genres, such as Hawaiian music or Native American music, were combined in the new Best Regional Roots Music Album category, for which polka albums would also be eligible.[35][36]

See also



  • Note: User must select the "Polka" category as the genre under the search feature.


External links

  • Official site of the Grammy Awards

Template:Grammy Award categories

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