Check, John and The Three of Us - Pay Tribute to Polka Joe Wojkiewicz

International Polka Music Hall of FameĀ® Dr. John Check and The Three of Us!

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International Polka Music Hall of FameĀ® Dr. John Check was born near Rosholt, Wisconsin. When he was 14, he had saved a total of $15 from picking cucumbers on his father's farm and used this money to purchase his first single reed concertina. Within several days he had learned to play several simple melodies. Buying additional concertina music from the Vitak-Elsnic Company, he learned to play these new selections with the usual pattern of reading numbers instead of notes. Within a short while it became obvious to him that playing the concertina by numbers was not an adequate approach to becoming versatile on the instrument. Without the aid of an instructor, he mastered reading musical notes and transferring these to the music he had in his possession.

John's musical career really had its inception in 1935 when he entered the local high school. There he assembled three other boys and formed his first band. Soon after John joined his cousin in a small 4-piece group called Tom's Live Wires.

In 1939 John entered college at Stevens Point to work on his degree in teaching. That same year he organized his seven-piece polka band. Also at this time John had begun not only composing his own music but also writing simple arrangements for his orchestra. Throughout his undergraduate and graduate work he maintained his band. After receiving his Doctor's degree in June of 1959, he sold his band and moved to Flint, Michigan to accept a professorship with the University of Michigan. After several months had lapsed, Dr. Check prepared new arrangements for the seven piece band which he called the Michigan Dutchmen.

After an interview with the program director of WJRT-TV and an auditioning of a 20-minute show, the Michigan Polka Party had its debut over WJRT Channel 12. The show ran until September of 1966.

In 1966 Dr. Check left Michigan to accept a position as Chairman of the Educational Psychology Department at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. Soon after moving to Wisconsin John Check researched the field for competent musicians and by December had formed a new band. It is interesting to note that almost all of the band personnel had their Master's or Doctor's degrees.

On January 28, 1967 the premiere show of the Polka Festival was introduced over WLUK, Channel 11 in Green Bay. The show continued until December, 1971, after which the Polka Festival moved to WFRV channel 5 in Green Bay.

Dr. Check also composed many songs through the years. Enjoy the concertina sounds of Dr. John Check and the Three of Us. Check out this CD today.

Track listing:

1. The Three of Us Polka
2. Isabella Waltz
3. Steve's Polka
4. Mariechen Waltz
5. Shrine to Music Museum Polka
6. So ein Tag Waltz
7. Harvey and Carole's Polka
8. Stan and Max's Waltz
9. California Polka
10. Shrine to Music Museum Waltz
11. Honey Polka
12. Moonbeams Waltz
13. It's Time to Dance Polka
14. Innocense Waltz
15. Randy's Polka
16. I Love You Waltz
17. Neighborhood Polka
18. Bill's Waltz
19. Another Polka
20. Warren Waltz
21. Jolly New Ulmers Schottische
22. Apple Kuchen Waltz
23. If I Had You
24. Polka Joe Waltz
Artist: John Check and The Three of Us