Solid Proof The Hudson Valley Is the ‘Polka Capital of the World’
The month of June is National Accordion Month, so it got me thinking about how the Hudson Valley is connected to this fabulous instrument. Yes, the accordion wasn't invented in New York, it was invented in Germany in the early 1800s. The man behind the accordion's creation was Frederich Buschmann. So, what do the accordion and the polka have to go with the Hudson Valley?
Two names you might associate with the instrument of the accordion is Weird Al Yankovic and Jimmy Sturr. Think that I could be reaching with this one? Well, let's dig a little deeper about these two men and find out a few things about the accordion all at the same time.
Is the Hudson Valley, New York the Polka Capital of the World?
While Jimmy Sturr's main instruments were the clarinet and the saxophone, he hails from Warwick, New York (and still has an office there today). Jimmy Sturr is known as the "King of the Polka" and has earned more Polka-related Grammy awards than any other person. What instrument is synonymous with the Polka? Yes, the accordion. In fact, there are people that would argue that you can't have a Polka song without one.
So what does Weird Al have to do with the Polka? Or the Hudson Valley, NY?
If you are a Weird Al fan then you already know that with every album he releases and every concert that he holds, he always makes sure to bust out his favorite accordion and play the audience a "Polka Medley."
Where did Weird Al kick off his most recent world tour? Yep, Poughkeepsie, New York.
Does all of this prove that the Hudson Valley is the Polka Capital of the World?
Ok, it probably doesn't prove anything. If you have a chance to listen to any of Jimmy Sturr's Grammy award-winning music or a Weird Al Polka medley, it might not be your cup of tea, or Slivovitz, but it is entertaining.
Thinking about picking up the accordion or another musical instrument? Check out these famous musicians who started on one instrument, then changed to another, where they started to get success.