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Walter Ostanek - Clarinet Polka (instrumentaal)

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Published on Nov 6, 2010

Ladislav Walter Ostanek, CM (born April 20, 1935), is a well known accordionist from St. Catharines, Ontario where his family settled as a boy.

Young Walter received his first accordion as a gift in 1944. After several years, Ostanek became a popular entertainer in Southern Ontario, performing Cleveland-Style Polkas and Waltzes. He could be heard frequently on the radio in St. Catharines and Welland.

In 1963, Ostanek and his band, Walter Ostanek Band, would record their first of many albums. Over his career, Ostanek would become known as Canada's Polka King. He has received three Grammy Awards and he has been nominated thirteen times. His style has been compared to America's Polka King, Frankie Yankovic of Cleveland. As was the late Yankovic, Walter Ostanek is of Slovene descent.

Ostanek hosted his own television shows (one for fourteen consecutive years), radio shows, and polka tours. He has appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Phil Donahue, Tommy Hunter Show, Cleveland's Polka Varieties, and his own award-winning TV specials and telethons. He has appeared in concert with Roy Clark, the Oakridge Boys, Ronnie Milsap, Ray Price, Mel Tillis, Brenda Lee, Slim Whitman, Tom T. Hall, T. G. Shepard, Tommy Hunter, Lawrence Welk, Myron Floren, Frank Yankovic, Black Forest Band and Weiss Blau.

Walter Ostanek is a member of Canada's Walk of Fame as well as the Polka Halls of Fame in Cleveland and Chicago. Currently Ostanek does two main concert sets each year: one at Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ontario, the other during Oktoberfest in Kitchener, Ontario.

He is also the subject of the 2006 Bravo! network documentary The Cult of Walt: Canada's Polka King. Ostanek is also cited as the inspiration for the Second City Television polka parody, the Shmenge Brothers. [2]

Walter currently resides in St. Catharines, Ontario. He is the owner of the popular music store "Ostanek's". He still plays locally.

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