Title: Band Leader, Musician
Company: Stanky and the Coalminers
Location: Naticoke, Pennsylvania, United States
John “Stanky” Stankovic, Band Leader and Musician with John “Stanky” and the Coalminers, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Artists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in polka music.
With 75 years of experience and memories in the performing arts, Mr. Stankovic has found much personal and professional success as the bandleader for Stanky and the Coalminers, a polka music group hailing from Pennsylvania, since 1959. Renowned as the “Gentleman of Polka Music,” he has recorded music for more than 20 albums published through Stella, Dyno and Stan-Dot Records over the years. He has additionally garnered an impressive 35-year tenure as a producer for polka television programs in Pennsylvania. Previously, Mr. Stankovic began his career as a musician in a three-person polka band, The Tip Toppers, between 1945 and 1959.
Having appeared in polka videos and documentaries as well, Mr. Stankovic has performed across the globe alongside the Coalminers. His appearances include commercials for Home Box Office, a USO Tour at Osan Air Force Base in South Korea, multiple World Fairs, Oktoberfests and Folk Festivals in such venues as the Playboy Club, the Waldorf Astoria, McCormick Place, Hunter Mountain and the Catskills, to name a few. A prolific composer, he was further active as a conductor of polka dances for polka weekends, television shows and travel venues around the world. Mr. Stankovic has excelled with his written works as well, having reached a new section of his audience through his autobiography, “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie: The Story of Stanky and the Coal Miners.”
In addition to his professional responsibilities, Mr. Stankovic has been incredibly dedicated to his loving family, which includes his wonderful wife, Dottie, and his two fantastic children, Debbie and Kim. Reflecting on his career accomplishments, he fondly recalls a time in 2000 in which Stanky and the Coalminers played in South Korea, Switzerland and Pennsylvania over the span of one week. Mr. Stankovic is also proud of his cruise ship performances, having had the opportunity to perform on more than 150 cruises while visiting such places as the Panama Canal and Alaska.
Raised by a European immigrant during his formative years, Mr. Stankovic fostered his talent under the tutelage of his father, who required him to practice accordion for one hour every day for five years straight. As a testament to his amazing impact on polka music, he was profiled by Times Leader in 2015 and inducted to the International Polka Association’s Hall of Fame in 2019. Despite his astounding longevity within his field, Mr. Stankovic’s spirit remains strong as he hopes to continue performing at retirement communities, nursing facilities and other public venues for as long as possible.
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