(WBRE/WYOU-TV) — When many people think polka, they think “Stanky”.
Now, northeastern Pennsylvania’s very own John “Stanky” Stankovic is on his way to the Polka Hall Of Fame. Eyewitness News Photojournalist Joseph Butash visited him at his home in Nanticoke home where he talked about his career and played a little polka.
“Let’s all play hide and seek, one more time after 74 years of playing, I’ve been inducted into the I.P.A., that’s the Polka Hall Of Fame. So I’m very honored and proud to be a part of it,” John Stanky Stankovic told our Joe Butash on Wednesday.
He went to explain the story of Stanky.
“The story of Stanky and The Coal Miners, I started when I was about seven years old actually, I went for lessons for about two years. Then at the age of nine, I started playing house weddings,” Stankovic said.
The 2019 Polka Hall Of Fame Inductee explained “I would play the wedding on a Saturday. And at that time, the weddings lasted Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. What I do when I’m playing, I go dididididididi!!!! , in between, in between the polka. So you give it like a good shot right there,” he demonstrated his classic vocal notes.
“We (Stanky And The Coal Miners) have 20 albums out, we got CDs, and we, I produced the show “Pennsylvania Polka”, and I produced that for over 35 years, and the shows are still being seen all over the world,” Stankovic said.
And as Stanky and the Coal Miners’ popularity grew so did their tours.
“We played in England, France, Holland, Germany, and Australia. We played on airplanes. We’re the only band that played on airplanes in the USA, China, Russia, and Australia. We played in England on a Friday. We flew from England to the US, we played at the Bloomsburg Fair” and he boasts “And by the way, this year (2019) will be our 45th year at the fair. We hopped on a plane, and the next day we played in Switzerland. We just kept on going!!” Stankovic said.
Stanky will be inducted in the IPA Polka Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 31 at Millemmium Hotel in Buffalo, New York.
Learn more about Stanky and the Coal Miners LINK