Died May 21, 2012. Born July 12, 1941.
Best known as the "Polka King", Blazonczyk was an EGrammy award-winning polka musician and founder of the band The Versatones. He ceased performing in 2002.
Eddie Blazonczyk was born in Chicago to Polish immigrant parents. His album, Another Polka Celebration won the 1986 Grammy in the Polka Category. He was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship in 1998. Before becoming a polka artist, and founding Chicago-based Bel-Aire Records in 1963, Eddie Blazonczyk recorded under the name Eddy Bell for Mercury Records and Lucky Four Records, both labels also based in Chicago. The records he made for these labels were rockabilly sides, and novelty songs. "The Great Great Pumpkin", released on Lucky Four #1012, is probably the most noteworthy of these recordings. This recording is still occasionally heard around Halloween and is highly sought by record collectors. Lenny LaCour, the owner of Lucky Four Records, encouraged Blazonczyk, at the age of 22, to specialize in polka music, rather than to continue as a rockabilly singer. Blazonczyk has said, "I took his advice, and never regretted it." Blazonczyk retired from performing in 2002. At that time, he turned over responsibility for his band, The Versatones, to his son, Eddie Blazonczyk Jr.
The Versatones played their last performance on New Year's Eve, 2011.