German Beer Drinking Songs
The story of Walter Ostanek, “Canada’s Polka King” and winner of three Grammy Awards, begins in the small town of Duparquet, Quebec, where he was born Ladislav John Ostanek on April 20, 1935, of Slovenian heritage. When he was four, Walter’s family moved to the St.Catharines, Ontario area, and by the age of nine, Walter began playing polka music on the button diatonic accordion. At age 12, he received his first piano accordion, and only four years later, in 1951, he broadened his horizons and formed his own group, his first Country-Western/Polka Band.
At age 22, Walter felt he was ready to proceed further on his own, and on Sunday, January 26, 1957, his new band played its first engagement at the German Village in Niagara Falls, Ontario. A month Walter married Irene, his life-long partner, raised their family and still live in St.Catharines Ontario, Canada.
The Walter Ostanek Band plays Cleveland-style polka with a pared-down band of accordian, guitar or banjo, bass and drums, plus a a horn player who alternates on clarinet, tenor saxaphone, and flute. The Cleveland style draws heavily on the traditional polkas of Slovenia.
He has toured the world from Rio De Janiero to Slovenia and an invited guest on TV shows hosted by Johnny Carson and Phil Donahue. Walter has gone on to collect an impressive number of awards and credits and has gained a solid reputation as one of the most entertaining and crowd pleasing musicians in any musical format.
Musicians: Walter Ostanek, Vil Ciemitis, Ken Cenko, Roy Bice, Ron Podio & Murray McFadgen
Production: Greg Hambleton
Recorded at Toronto Sound Studios 1975
Engineer: Terry Brown & Greg Hambleton
CD Info: Walter’s German Beer Drinking Songs CD
ⓟ & © 2017 Greg Hambleton
Axe Records DL-A543