The Wisconsin Historical Society Press rolls out a barrel full of polka history and culture in a new book by polka radio host and folk music historian Richard March, Polka Heartland: Why the Midwest Loves to Polka.
From polka’s surprising origins as a cutting-edge European fad, to an exploration of the modern-day polka scene, Polka Heartland captures the beat that pulses in the heart of Midwestern culture, and offers up the fascinating history of how “oompah-pah” came to be the sound of middle America.
This history unites the dazzling images of photographer Dick Blau with the author’s cultural backstory to explain the polka phenomenon that plays out at Wisconsin wedding receptions and crowded festival dance tents. March explores the people, places, and history behind the Midwest’s favorite music and describes some of the venues, instruments, and music-makers who have been pivotal to polka’s popularity. Blau’s six full-color galleries color March’s prose with a vivacity sure to send readers’ toes tapping out on to the dance floor.
This joyful romp through the beloved and richly storied genre of polka music is also available as an e-book. Click for more information.