Home Featured News Circling around Wisconsin’s polka history

Circling around Wisconsin’s polka history

by Jan Schroder

In the late 19th century, a proliferation of Polish immigrants in the Badger State gave rise to the popularity of partnered dances including waltzes, schottisches and, in particular, polkas.

Just ask Steve Meisner, a polka virtuoso since age five and son of Verne Meisner of the eponymous orchestra who died in 2005 at age 67 after writing more than 60 original polkas. Steve ultimately followed in his fathers Cleveland-style footsteps, earning inductions to the Wisconsin Polka and International Polka Society Halls of Fame.

The father-son duo were the first polka musicians to win the Wisconsin Area Music Industry Award in 1988.

– Hannah Van Sickle, The Wisconsin 100

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The Wisconsin 100