Polka Time Exclusive - Li'l Wally Photographs from 1961!

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I recently received an e-mail from Gerald Swaser, the son of Frank Swaser. Frank was a great musician I used to play with in Ernie Mazurek's White Eagle Concertina Band. He gave me some of his dad's things that he didn't want to throw away including songbooks, records and pictures. I am so glad he did!

Included in this "care package" of items were photographs of Li'l Wally Jagiello and the Harmony Stars from 1961 taken on two different occasions at Schlief's Little City.

Schlief's was one the most popular polka hot spots and dance halls located on the outskirts of South St. Paul, Minnesota.

With the help from my good friend and Chicago Polka historian Marty Dzik, we were able to identify most of the musicians playing with Wally at that time. They include Eddie Noga on clarinet, Don Ptak on trumpet, Joe Koldon on accordion, and Eddie Madura on clarinet.

These photographs show Li'l Wally and the band in their prime! One of the first to be inducted to the International Polka Association Polka Hall of Fame in 1969, Wally produced many polka recordings and came out with countless polka hits that have become standards in today's polka world.

I want to thank Gerald Swaser for allowing us to share his father's classic photographs of Li'l Wally.

Since publishing these pictures of Li'l Wally, I received and e-mail from Valentin Jedraszyk from Paris, France. He's a huge Li'l Wally fan. Wally was his two grandpa's favorite musician. In order to keep Wally's melodies and memories alive, Valentin created a Youtube channel dedicated to Wally's work. Since creating this Youtube channel, he has received hundreds of messages from the Polish people all over the world including the United States, London and a good amount from Poland.

Paris, France actually has a large Polish population. Among his many appearances in Europe, Paris was one of Wally's regular destinations. He even recorded his polkas and waltzes in the French language along with the Claude Musczynski Orchestra.

Valentin stumbled upon our website and saw the recently uploaded exclusive pictures of Li'l Wally from 1961. He asked permission to use the pictures in a video he created called Nasze Rozlaczenie - Our Break Up Polka. We love this idea and you can view this video by clicking here.

Nasze Rozlaczenie - Our Break Up Polka