Eddie Korosa from Chicago was taught the button box accordion at the age of 8 by his father Joseph who was an accordionist. By the time Eddie was ten, he was playing in local taverns and at block parties. He formed the group “Merry Makers”.
In 1940, he joined the US Army’s 180th Infantry Division.
Although the war interrupted his musical career, Eddie and his accordion never stopped playing and he often gave impromptu performances.
Upon returning home, Eddie resumed playing at Club Irene in Chicago and soon his band was making personal appearances on polka radio shows. In 1952, Eddie was honored with the title “Prince of Polkas” by radio station WTAQ.
He composed and recorded “The Baby Doll Polka” in 1951. In 1954, Eddie built the Baby Doll Polka Club at 73rd and Western in Chicago where the band entertained polka fans for decades. The Baby Doll Polka Club became famous for Eddie’s ability to dance on the bar during his performances.
During the years 1954 to 1960, Eddie recorded five albums, including the album “Ron Terry’s Polka Party” and two albums recorded with his two sons. In 1964, Eddie composed and recorded “All I Need is You”, a hit with fans.
For over 30 years he entertained audiences with his own television program Eddie Korosa Polka Party on Channel 2 in Chicago and his own Baby Doll Polka Club polka show as well as regular appearances at the Ron Terry Polka Party on Channel 9.
Eddie has performed at a wide variety of events at many ethnic festivals, including the Chicago Bulls Championship Celebration at Grant Park.
In 1971 he received the Mr. Personality award. On July 5, 1998, Eddie celebrated his 80th birthday with friends and relatives and even joined the musicians playing his accordion. Unfortunately, a few days later, on July 8, 1998, Eddie passed away. He is survived by his five children.
Eddie was inducted into the International Polka Association’s Polka Hall of Fame in the pioneer category in 1998, posthumously.
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Wisconsin’s Dick Rodgers was the polka musician who in 1945 formed the International TV Recording Orchestra of high school students. Within a few years, the band was doing live radio broadcasts and its first recording in Chicago followed by television appearances promoting the band.
In 1955, the first live television broadcast was half an hour and later expanded to a full hour on WLUK, Green Bay, Wisconsin.
For 21 consecutive years, The Dick Rodgers Show has aired on television. The group has recorded 14 albums plus 8-track tapes and cassettes. The band, in 1969, traveled many miles playing at various events and festivals. In 1967, the Wisconsin bandleader was honored by the National Ballroom Operators Association and the Minnesota Ballroom Operators Association.
In 1976 Dick Rodgers was inducted into the International Polka Association Polka Hall of Fame and in 1996 he was inducted into the World Accordion Congress.
Dick died on January 22, 2004 at the age of 76.