from "Czeck American Polka Music in Wisconsin." by James P. Leary, pg 33-53
Edited by Kip Lornell and Anne K. Rasmussen
August 25, 1946, Yuba, Wisconsin. Yuba Bohemian Band. Nick Rott-trombone; George McGilvery-cornet; William Tydrich-cornet; Alfred Stanek-baritone horn; Martin Rott-baritone horn; Wencil Stanek-clarinet; Otto Stanek-clarinet; and Anton Stanek-bass horn.

Founded in 1868 and in existence until the mid-1950s, the Yuba Bohemian Band–comprised entirely of wind instruments–favored an Old World style that Romy Gosz and others had rendered archaic two decades before this recording was made. Unburdened by a drum set or piano, the Yuba Band not only held forth in dance halls, but also led parades, particularly those of wedding parties walking from church to the place of celebration. This tune was sometimes known as "Samec Galop" (Men's Gallop), invoking a rollicking dance form pre-dating and eventually merging with the wildly popular polka by the mid-nineteenth century. Locally dubbed the "Wedding Polka," it was an essential part of such festivities, and features rollicking clarinets and ‘oompahing’ horns. In keeping with Czech brass band heritage, the dominant galop cum polka tempo is occasionally abandoned for bridges that assert march rhythms. Field recording for the Archive of Folksong, Library of Congress.

A polka band leads a wedding party down a road outside a church in rural Wisconsin.
Adolph Blahnik’s Orchestra leads the Pauline and Philip Plansky wedding party to St. John’s Church, Krok, Wisconsin, June 20, 1911. Courtesy Kewaunee County Historical Society.


Permission Information: The original recording is jointly owned by the University of Wisconsin (Mills Music Library) and the Library of Congress (American Folklife Center).