As you all know yesterday, August 24, was Ukrainian Independence Day (Day of the National Flag). It just so happens it was also the day that the Daniel Jan Walikis Collection was delivered here at the ARC.
This collection of more than 2000 LPs and 78s celebrates American Polka music, with about a quarter of the recordings devoted to Eastern European and Balkan national song, religious, brass band, folk and traditional music from Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Moravia, Germany, Austria, Russia, and of course, the Ukraine. The collection served as the basis for Mr. Walikis’ European Ethnic Melodies show on WHRW (Binghamton, NY, University’s radio station) from 1988 until Mr. Walikis’ death in 2012.
So in honor of this special day, both here and in the Ukraine, we hoisted a few glasses of Khortytsa (Хортиця) Vodka (made with “magic water’ from that southern Uke island) and listened to a few Uke LPs. The gem above, while not quite ELP, bills itself as “the first electronic Ukrainian album of its kind.” No argument there. You can hear Electro-Nova’s “Three Suggestions” (Go to the bottom of page and click)
Forgive us for always being drawn to the more unusual stuff, but geeze, how can you ignore a polka versions of “Hey Jude” by Larry Chesky?
Thanks to Ms. Rosemary Walikis for this generous donation and to Jason Isaac who got a crew together – Rebecca Spokony, Phil Hazen and Sarah Gager – to pack up everything for us! As we process the rest of the recordings look for an upcoming gallery of great covers and the entire collection cataloged and characterized on our Special Collections page.
I miss Dan Jan every day. What a wonderful human being and a very kind friend. Thank you for sharing what was once the precursor to my show every week – it brings back great memories.
As someone who had the privilege of knowing Mr. Walikis, (or as we called him, Dan Jan), Im sure he would be happy that his collection is going to a good home. There was few things Dan loved more than his music and time on-air, and he will be missed. As Dan Jan would say, “Party hardy”.
It’s great to know that this important collection is being preserved for posterity. Just for the record, Moravia was a region in Czechoslovakia, a country which ceased to exist on January 1st, 1993. The former Czechoslovakia split into Slovakia to the east, and the Czech Republic, whose three main regions are Bohemia, Moravia, and Lower Silesia (Upper Silesia is part of southern Poland).