The Texas Polka News is pleased to announce that we are resuming monthly publication with this issue.
Texas Polka News managing editor Andy Behlen attended the National Polka Festival in Ennis on Memorial Day Weekend. This article also appeared in The Fayette County Record newspaper, where Andy works as a journalist and digital editor.
When Ronny Sacks and George Koudelka conceived the idea of starting a brass band in 1971, little did they realize, 50 years later this band would still be in existence. The Round Top Brass Band started with a nucleus of music students from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State) and supplemented with other area musicians. In the late 1960s George Koudelka was teaching percussion at Southwest Texas State and three of the original Round Top Brass Band members were enrolled in his percussion class at the university, Ronny Sacks, Larry Schmidt, and Herbert Cresswell.
On May 3, 2021, Fritz Hodde turned 78 years young. Fritz is a major staple in Texas Polka Music and has earned the title of Polka Legend. Born in the Taylor / Hutto area in 1943, music was in Fritz's blood from the beginning. "My interest in music came about by listening to the radio" Fritz recalled.
On any weekend in Texas, Czech polka music enlivens dance halls and drinking establishments as well as outdoor church picnics and festivals. The songs heard at these venues are the living music of an ethnic community created by immigrants who started arriving in Central Texas in the mid-nineteenth century from what is now the Czech Republic. Today, the members of this community speak English but their songs are still sung in Czech.