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The Polkaholics were born out of Chicago's alternative music scene of the 1990s. A multitude of influences ultimately converged in the formation of this unique punk polka group. Lead singer/guitarist and biostatistics professor Don Hedeker was the frontman of Bouncing Balls — a band dedicated to preserving the raw power of '70s punk rock — as well as the musical half of the poetry-music duet Algebra Suicide. Bassist George Kraynak hailed from the punk-pop outfit New Rob Robbies and drummer/graphic artist Mike Werner was part of the rhythm section of the acclaimed alt-country group Handsome Family. Out of this meeting of the minds came a new insurgent sound whose roots are equally attributable to polka legend Li'l Wally as the Ramones. Their self-titled debut was released in 1999 and contained mostly polka standards. Their 2001 follow-up, Polkas on Guitar, revolved around band originals performed in the Polkaholics inimitable punk polka style.