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The Best of Frankie Yankovic

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Album Review

Frankie Yankovic holds nearly every accolade bestowed on a polka artist, from recording its first million-seller in 1948 to winning its first Grammy award in 1985 — 37 years later. His band, led by a double-accordion attack (another first), breathed fire into the polka during the '40s, just as Bob Wills and company sparked the birth of Western swing a decade later. Yankovic's blend of tight playing and light material thrilled audiences for decades, and the band even went Hollywood (briefly), backing Doris Day on a bright "You Are My Sunshine" from 1950 (included here). At 14 tracks, The Best of Frankie Yankovic isn't an exhaustive compilation, but Columbia/Legacy treats listeners to the cream of Yankovic's decades-long career, beginning with that 1948 million-seller, "Just Because." Most of the recordings come from the seven years after the initial splash of "Just Because," but the compilation closes with Yankovic's best-loved later hit, "Who Stole the Keeshka," from 1963. Other collections will include more songs than this one, but none will carry greater material or be easier to find.


Born: July 28, 1915 in Davis, WV

Genre: World

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

America's undisputed Polka King, Frankie Yankovic did more to popularize polka music than any other single performer, and remains the yardstick by which all other polka artists are measured. Yankovic was the first polka artist to score a million-selling single (1948's "Just Because"), the first to perform on television, and the first to win a Grammy for Best Polka Album when the category was created in 1985. Singing mostly in English, Yankovic modernized the folk-dance music of Central and Eastern...
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The Best of Frankie Yankovic, Frankie Yankovic
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, World, Polka, Vocal, Standards
  • Released: Jun 22, 2004

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