Polka Heartland: Why the Midwest Loves to Polka by Rick March, Dick Blau

Polka Heartland: Why the Midwest Loves to Polka - Rick March, Dick Blau

Description (Goodreads):

 

"Polka Heartland" captures the beat that pulses in the heart of Midwestern culture--the polka--and offers up the fascinating history of how "oompah-pah" came to be the sound of middle America. From the crowded dance tent at Pulaski Polka Days to an off-the-grid Mexican polka dance in small-town Wisconsin, "Polka Heartland" explores the people, places, and history behind the Midwest's favorite music.

From polka's surprising origin story as a cutting-edge European fad to an exploration of the modern-day polka scene, author Rick March and photographer Dick Blau take readers on a joyful romp through this beloved, unique, and richly storied genre. "Polka Heartland" describes the artists, venues, instruments, and music-makers who have been pivotal to polka's popularity across the Midwest and offers six full-color photo galleries to immerse readers in today's vibrant polka scene.
 

 

My Thoughts:

 

This is amazing tribute to Polka music. 

 

It seems like my entire childhood was lived with Polka music playing in the backround. My mother's family is Polish on both her maternal and paternal sides. We listened to polka EVERYWERE. In the car, at family get togethers, on holidays, and Saurdays and Sundays. When we went out for fun we would always end up at some place playing Polka. I remember getting picked up from every Tuesday and Thursday by my grandmother who would have Polka blasting from her car speakers. I, being a teenager, was of course embarassed by this, but my friends thought it was just the neatest thing ever. I fund now that my family has all passed on that I miss that Polka backround music. For me, this was a fun reminder of so many memories.

 

This is an in depth look at the culture and history of Polka music. It is filled with bright photos and neat facts that I didn't know. I always thought that Polka was just a Polish thing, but it's not. The way the author wrote this makes it fun and interesting. This inspired me to dust off Granny's record player and teach my children, and all the neighborhood children, some of the things that I loved about my childhood. We all ended up in my backyard twirling and hopping around.

 

Now, I want to point out the cover of this book. Bravo to the cover artist. This book screams "Pick me up!" 

 

Things of Interest:

 

-Queen Victoria prohibited polka dancing n her presence. No doubt that helped spark the polka craze!

 

-In 1829, Cyrillic Demian developed the Akkordeon.

 

-Polka and religion? A Polka Mass is a worship service that is the same basic worship service as the Roman Catholic tradition, but utilizing a unique mode of music-- polka! The first Polka Mass was held on May 5, 1973. 

 

Recommendation: 

 

People who want to learn more about the history of Polka, and especially people who have a love for it.