John “Stanky” Stankovic celebrates 75 years as an accomplished polka musician.
While coming of age, Mr. Stankovic’s father, a European immigrant, encouraged him to practice the accordion for an hour per day. Mr. Stankovic later formed a polka band at the age of 9. He initially began and formed a band called the Tip Toppers. After graduating from high school, he established “Stanky and the Coal Miners,” a polka band that paid tribute to the anthracite workers like his father. The band began playing for weddings, birthdays and private celebrations.
Stanky and the Coalminers were soon invited to play throughout the world. Traveling to three continents in one week, they were invited to perform for the 50th anniversary of the Korea War in South Korea, the Bloomsburg Fair in Pennsylvania and a venue in Switzerland. Notably, they were the first Polka Band to perform in Russia, China and the World’s Fair in Australia. Adding to his performances have been at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, at the National Festival in Butte, Montana, and countless other venues and events, including church and charity events and entertainment festivals. In addition, the band was invited to perform on 56 cruises in such locales as Alaska and the Panama Canal.
Also adding to his credit, Mr. Stankovic produced a Televised Pa. Polka Show for 35 years and recorded 20 albums, and wrote a book about his world travels.
For his efforts throughout his career, Mr. Stankovic was inducted in the International Polka Association “IPA” Hall of Fame. He has maintained his professional affiliation with the International Polka Association. Mr. Stankovic will continue playing music for as long as he is able.