In 1986, EddieBlazonczyk Sr. won a Grammy for “Another Polka Celebration.”
Now, the song written by the man who was known as Chicago’s polka king is a step closer to becoming Illinois’ official state polka.
A House committee has approved adding the song to the list of 18 officially designated state symbols — including the state bird (cardinal), flower (violet), amphibian (eastern tiger salamander), dance (square dance) and snack food (popcorn). Other proposals would make sweet corn the state vegetable and pumpkin the state pie.
State Rep. Robert Martwick, D-Chicago, says a constituent with the International Polka Association — which Blazonczyk helped found — suggested honoring the song by the Chicago native, who died in Palos Heights in 2012 at 70 years old.
Blazonczyk founded the band the Versatones and the independent Bel-Aire Records in Bridgeview and was a 13-time Grammy nominee who spent his life working to get people to see polka as more than a novelty.