DJ Profile: Michael Bell & Patty Chmielewski
Husband and wife team Michael Bell and Patty Chmielewski host a polka radio show in their hometown of Apple Valley, Minnesota. The two also host a television show that features different polka bands called Funtime Polka Party. I had the chance to interview the dynamic duo.
TPN: How did Funtime Polka Party begin? PC: My father, Florian Chmielewski, had a band called The Chmielewski Bros, so polka music was always in my blood. I started singing with the band at age 7 and I even appeared on Th e Lawrence Welk Show. My father also hosted a local polka show called Polish TV Party. I stuck with performing polka music from then on and even released my own album called Patty and More. After I married Michael, we started hosting the Funtime Polka Party TV show and then also started hosting a radio show with same name out of our home and still continue to do so.
TPN: What is one thing you both love about hosting a polka radio and television show? MB: Patty and I enjoy doing it because it brings out our best personalities. If I need a little boost, Patty is able to push me into the driver's seat (so to speak). If Patty gets too high strung, I'm able to settle her down. The key is using our on-air talents to make our listeners and viewers smile while we are on the air.
TPN: Are there any fond memories you two can think of while performing your hosting duties? PC & MB: We feel like we will be making one this summer since we will be hosting a new show where we bring back footage of the old Chmielewski Funtime Show hosted by Florian in the 1950s. It will be nice to see a little nostalgia and to watch where our polka roots came from.
TPN: Do you two think it is important to keep the polka music tradition alive in today's society? PC & MB: Absolutely! The support and friendship from fans is a clear indication that we are moving in the right direction. They look forward to the opportunities to keep the polka music through generations and beyond.
Th e Funtime Polka Party radio show can be heard at funtimepolkaparty.com.