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Polka Heartland: Why the Midwest Loves to…
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Polka Heartland: Why the Midwest Loves to Polka

by Rick March

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A heartfelt tribute to the history and culture of polka music, graced with extensive photos of both polka dancing and the people who make the music, in America's upper midwest. A treat for polka fans and pretty darn interesting for the rest of us who prefer more mainstream sound too, believe it or not. ( )
  fionaanne | Jun 5, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I love Dance and anything I can read about the history of dance and the origins and different influences that exist is right up my alley. That being said, I still have a lot to learn as this book has shown me. I grew up in Texas dancing polkas. But they were Mexican-American/ Tejano polkas, with Texas-Germanic influences lol! I had no idea that another polka type existed in the Midwest, influenced mostly by Polish roots.This book is about that history and has beautiful photos as examples. It also gives very good discernments between the music for different types of polka styles. I think anyone looking for info on polkas in general will like this book as a source. ( )
  BeguileThySorrow | Apr 4, 2016 |
I bought this book based on reviews from the Early Reviewers program and am delighted that I did. Obviously written by a musicologist it gives the casual reader much information on the differing styles of polka. To those of us who grew up on that style of music it reminds us of our culture and similar Slavic cultures. I substituted "Pittsburgh" for "Milwaukee" in many parts and was home again. My only wish was to have a CD included that demonstrated the differing styles, possibly by having the bands play the same song, so that I could understand how different they were. I thought polka was synonymous with Frankie Yankovic. ( )
  book58lover | Jan 23, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Who knew that polka music was so popular, maybe not so much now but at one point it was incredibly popular in the rural Midwest and especially in Wisconsin. In this book we get to explore how Polka music influenced people living in rural Wisconsin and the rise and fall of polka dancing as well. Even though Polka is not as popular as it once was, there are still polka dances being held in the Midwest.

The photographs are beautiful and it gives us a look at this life, from the type of dancing to the clothes that people have worn over the decades. This is a fun book to behold and it makes you want to dance. ( )
  Galina98 | Jan 1, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is amazing tribute to Polka music.

It seems like my entire childhood was lived with Polka music playing in the backround. My mother's family is Polish on both her maternal and paternal sides. We listened to polka EVERYWERE. In the car, at family get togethers, on holidays, and Saurdays and Sundays. When we went out for fun we would always end up at some place playing Polka. I remember getting picked up from every Tuesday and Thursday by my grandmother who would have Polka blasting from her car speakers. I, being a teenager, was of course embarassed by this, but my friends thought it was just the neatest thing ever. I fund now that my family has all passed on that I miss that Polka backround music. For me, this was a fun reminder of so many memories.

This is an in depth look at the culture and history of Polka music. It is filled with bright photos and neat facts that I didn't know. I always thought that Polka was just a Polish thing, but it's not. The way the author wrote this makes it fun and interesting. This inspired me to dust off Granny's record player and teach my children, and all the neighborhood children, some of the things that I loved about my childhood. We all ended up in my backyard twirling and hopping around.

Now, I want to point out the cover of this book. Bravo to the cover artist. This book screams "Pick me up!"

Things of Interest:

-Queen Victoria prohibited polka dancing n her presence. No doubt that helped spark the polka craze!

-In 1829, Cyrillic Demian developed the Akkordeon.

-Polka and religion? A Polka Mass is a worship service that is the same basic worship service as the Roman Catholic tradition, but utilizing a unique mode of music-- polka! The first Polka Mass was held on May 5, 1973.

Recommendation

People who want to learn more about the history of Polka, and especially people who have a love for it. ( )
  JLynFox | Oct 21, 2015 |
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Book description
"Polka Heartland" captures the beat that pulses in the heart of Midwestern culture--the polka--and offers up the fascinating history of how "oompah-pah" came to be the sound of middle America. From the crowded dance tent at Pulaski Polka Days to an off-the-grid Mexican polka dance in small-town Wisconsin, "Polka Heartland" explores the people, places, and history behind the Midwest's favorite music.

From polka's surprising origin story as a cutting-edge European fad to an exploration of the modern-day polka scene, author Rick March and photographer Dick Blau take readers on a joyful romp through this beloved, unique, and richly storied genre. "Polka Heartland" describes the artists, venues, instruments, and music-makers who have been pivotal to polka's popularity across the Midwest and offers six full-color photo galleries to immerse readers in today's vibrant polka scene.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0870207229, Hardcover)

"Polka Heartland" captures the beat that pulses in the heart of Midwestern culture--the polka--and offers up the fascinating history of how "oompah-pah" came to be the sound of middle America. From the crowded dance tent at Pulaski Polka Days to an off-the-grid Mexican polka dance in small-town Wisconsin, "Polka Heartland" explores the people, places, and history behind the Midwest's favorite music.

From polka's surprising origin story as a cutting-edge European fad to an exploration of the modern-day polka scene, author Rick March and photographer Dick Blau take readers on a joyful romp through this beloved, unique, and richly storied genre. "Polka Heartland" describes the artists, venues, instruments, and music-makers who have been pivotal to polka's popularity across the Midwest and offers six full-color photo galleries to immerse readers in today's vibrant polka scene.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 24 Jul 2015 15:11:29 -0400)

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