Polka Grammy outrage! 18-time winner Jimmy Sturr explains why the Recording Academy shouldn't have ditched his category

Jimmy-Sturr_l This week the Recording Academy announced that it’s dropping the Grammy award for Best Polka Album. Think that’s not big news? Tell it to polka king Jimmy Sturr, who has won an amazing 18 times in that category. After the jump he explains why the Grammys have made a mistake and why you’ll never see him wearing lederhosen. Trust us: it’s a lot more interesting than you think.

Entertainment Weekly: Were you surprised by the decision to drop the polka category?
Jimmy Sturr: Well, this has been in the wind for the last couple of years. I guess they dropped it because there was a lack of entries. I think last year we only had around 35.

That actually sounds like quite a lot. It has been suggested that they dropped the category because you nearly always win.
That had nothing to do with it. There’s a reason we won. I’m not saying our records are the best in the whole wide world. But we built a bigger audience than some of these other people. A lot of these musicians that are complaining they play strictly to the Polish, strictly to the Germans. I Americanized it. I mean, they didn’t knock out Sir Georg Solti and he won well over 20.

Damn you Solti!
But now they have to find a category to put us in. And I’m looking forward to finding out what that category is. They can’t just leave us out of the Grammys.

Do you think the Grammys looks down its nose at polka music?
Let’s put it this way: you’ve got a good point. Polka is really an international music. It’s enjoyed by millions of people around the world. Maybe the new powers that be have no idea what’s going on. And people in television don’t know anything about polka. Do you ever see any kind of music similar to ours on the Tonight Show? David Letterman? They don’t know how good the musicians are. These guys still think that everybody’s in lederhosen. That is a gripe that hurts me.

Oh, come on, you do have some lederhosen somewhere, right?
I’m Irish! No, I don’t have any lederhosen! You know, Willie Nelson started in a polka band.

That guy’s a total stoner, though. He probably didn’t know what kind of band he was in. So, tell us about your new album.
You ready for this? The CD is called Polka Cola: Music That Refreshes.

Are you hoping for corporate sponsorship?
Of course I am. And I’m hoping for a category!

Where do you keep all your Grammys?

I can’t tell you or everyone will come to my house and rob the things.

So, they’re at your house?
Yeah, they are.

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Comments (12 total) Add your comment
  • John

    You know, I give this guy a lot of credit. And really, if the Grammys want to claim to be a substantial music awards program (which, pff, let’s face it, they’re not), he needs to have a category. If you record, there’s gotta be a category. Plain and simple. I actually feel compelled to give him a listen on iTunes now.

  • polkadot

    I’d like to see Polkacide win a grammy. Now, where will they put Brave Combo? Do you see Carl Finch lip-synching? Never!
    polkadot

  • m

    The Grammys have no cred with me because they ignored rock, like, FOREVER. So, eh, whatever.

  • Anonymous

    ive seen his band twice in concert in linden, nj. they are all consummate musicians and deserve a category as much as anyone. the grammys claim polka dosent reflect the current musical landscape yet they have a zydeco category and a traditional native american music album category, because those categories are financial goldmines right?

  • Anonymous

    ive seen his band twice in concert in linden, nj. they are all consummate musicians and deserve a category as much as anyone. the grammys claim polka dosent reflect the current musical landscape yet they have a zydeco category and a traditional native american music album category, because those categories are financial goldmines right?

  • ward abronski

    Oh well. With the exception of Brave Combo, none of the really sweaty lunatic bands ever got a mention anyway.
    Plus, at this point in time, the entire idea of a recording “industry” is a bit out-dated.
    I guess we’ll just have to drink beer, play wild music and dance the polka.

  • We’re shocked! Six huge surprises on Grammy nominations « To Give and Share

    […] That Refreshes (Best Traditional Folk Album): Earlier this year, perennial Grammy winner Sturr was vocally disappointed by the Recording Academy’s decision to do away with the Best Polka Album category he had so often […]

  • Genie Faughnan

    What’s amazing to me is how this genre of music is being excluded to the amazement of millions of fans like myself. I enjoy good musicianship of all kinds, and Jimmy Sturr and his orchestra never disappoint. These guys and Metallica are the only two live concerts I attended in 2009 and I am here to tell you that they “rock the house”.

  • barbara dye

    Jimmy & his band are THE GREATEST!!!

  • MARK SCHMITZ

    JIMMY STURR IS GREAT!!! HE ALWAYS TAKES TIME FOR HIS FANS. ONE OF THE NICEST PEOPLE YOU’LL EVER MEET.

  • Donnak

    saw Jimmy Sur an his ban lst niht in Syracuse an they were fnA tastic!!!!!!

  • Marilyn Yeager-Johnstown, PA

    I agree with Jimmy Sturr-keep the Polka Grammy award, us older folks still love our Polka’s–I’m glad I have alot of CD’s including Jimmy Sturr—he always puts on a good show-

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