THE BALDWIN COUNTY POLKA BAND
MUSICS OF ALABAMA:
Frank provided recorded music for the resulting dance troupe and also began a weekly "Polka Party" on Radio Station WHEP in Foley, which continued for 27 years. The Prochazkas also saw to it that their son and daughter learned to play accordion from older musicians in the community. While the band is no longer together, James still plays the accordion as a hobby. He often travels to New Branfiels, TX to play with various polka bands during the town's "Wurstfest" held in the Fall. He also travels to Wilbur Nebraska to attend a large Czechoslovakian gathering each year.
The polka song "Cerzena Ruzicka," translated as "Red Rose," is a traditional Czechoslovakian folk song. Clara thinks the song comes from Czechoslovakia in the mid-1800s. Mrs. Prochazka relates that most Czech folksongs are pastoral in nature. Many tell about animals, rivers, flowers and things beauty. In this rendition, "Red Rose Polka" is linked together with "Baby Doll Polka," another Czech folksong. It tells a story of a child's doll. This polka example is performed as an instrumental.
The band at the time of this recording consisted of Mrs. Prochazka, her son James on accordion, her daughter Georgi Kichler on tenor saxophone and clarinet. James Boring on bass guitar emulates the traditional tuba sound of the Czech music. The piano accordion plays some additional bass lines. James states that when there is no other bass accompaniment, microphones are set on each side of the piano accordion. James then plays both the melody and bass.
"Red Rose Polka-Baby Doll Polka" Traditional Czech folksongs. Recorded by Dan Gainey at the Alabama Folklife Festival in Montgomery, May 1991