On-air Fund-raisingBack (L-R): Jim Ebner. Scott Koehn
Front (L-R): John Koss, Pam Koehn, Greg Drust
Top area bands donated their talent, bringing huge, happy throngs to dance, feast and enjoy. Marketing the show through commercial ads was successfully undertaken by Irene Ridosko. Her efforts brought advertising and underwriter accounts into play, and made the difference for Polka Parade to continue its ambitious three hour schedule. Mike Schneider composed a peppy new opening theme song, because Blue Chip Polkas was absorbed within the three hour block and consolidated to simply "Polka Parade".
In 2004 Polka Parade moved to WJYI 1340 AM bringing with it their weekly three hour package of happy music. This relationship has been a JOY to listeners who might otherwise have no other opportunity to enjoy polka music on their radio.
For a great many years Polka Parade released an annual album honoring current, outstanding recording musicians. A special committee selected more than two dozen polka bands from a much larger field of local, national and international artists who have released recordings during the course of a year. Winning artists were assembled into first a cassette and in later years compact disc to commemorate the year. These have come to be known as "The Best of Polka Parade." Volume One was issued in 1994, with new volumes being generated every year since. Best of CDs could only be secured through an annual Polka Parade Pal membership of $25 or more.
For 2012, Polka Parade celebrates a legacy of excellence with 30 consecutive years of broadcasting polka music on Saturdays throughout Southeast Wisconsin over the radio and throughout the world on the internet. Its remarkable roster of volunteer DJ hosts plus an administrative support team have made this possible. Each broadcaster is superbly qualified to provide the best in polka music. All have hosted polka shows elsewhere including the Internet. Southeastern Wisconsin and now the world is fortunate to hear these personable DJs as they all continue the 30-year tradition of Milwaukee Polka Parade.