From an email dated 4/6/2006. Used by permission.
I became ecstatic when I discovered your web page in which you rate recordings as well as present all aspects of the world of polka. Your website shows an extraordinary dedication to polka as well as a colossal effort in compiling, listening, reviewing, researching and presenting the info.
I was amused by your iteration of a trial in which the sentence was 10 minutes (or was it two hours) of listening to Frank Yankovic records. I would accept a life sentence of listening to Eastern style polkas. To refresh your memory, you reviewed our GIANT Polkas album, a tribute to the big bands of the CT valley, of which you noted our Eastern style. The reason we are an "anachronism" is that we played polkas in the late 40's/early 50's, then retired to the mid 90's, and then took up where we left off. We missed a whole 50 years during which polka went through an evolution and the Eastern style disappeared . . . except to us.
Incidentally, concerning GIANT, you commented that it would have been nice if the songs were identified with the bands. Well, they were! The song composers listed were the actual bands; for instance R. Henry stands for Ray Henry (probably the most popular of the Eastern style bands), A. Soyka is Al Soyka, the 2nd most popular band, and Johnny Dyno, Joe Rock, The Aristocrats, Mitch Labuda, and the CT Twins (all Eastern style bands) are listed.
I really enjoyed your album critiques as well as your presentation of history and analysis of polka. Under literature, did you ever hear of the book Hoopi Shoopi Donna? I'm sorry I can't remember the author but it was published in the 90's and is the story of a Polish girl who immigrated to the US, and more specifically to the CT valley, during the 60's. I think it would fill in a few blanks for you.
I thank you for the nice comments you had about GIANT. Could I impose upon you to review our latest CD, Polka OLIO? It was released in January, 2005. By the way, how did you get a copy of GIANT? [Nos's answer: I bought it].
Thanks for your dedication to polka.