Grammys Pull Polka

Grammys Pull Polka

The doomed U.S. recording industry continues its dance of self-destruction. After 22 years, the Recording Academy (aka the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences or NARAS) has discontinued the Polka category of the Grammy® awards “to ensure the awards process remains representative of the current musical landscape.” Polka was the only Grammy® category eliminated.

The exclusion of this authentic and vigorous Roots Music has not gone unnoticed in America’s heartland:

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Grammy pooh-bahs K.O. polka.” (the Polka is Wisconsin’s State Dance).

Buffalo News: “Grammy’s dropping polka is called ‘a slap in face.’”

Cleveland Plain Dealer: “”Horrors, Cleveland! Polka Grammy killed by National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.”

Akron Beacon Journal: “Grammys dump polkas.”

Springfield, MA Republican: “Dropping polka hits sour note.”

San Jose Mercury-News: “Polka tragedy — Sad day for accordions and tubas the world over.”

Warren, OH Tribune Chronicle: “Polka rolled out of the Grammys.”

Syracuse Post-Standard:“The Grammys ends ‘Best Polka Album’ category.”

Washington Co., PA Observer-Reporter: “Shame on Grammys for eliminating polka category.”

Youngstown Vindicator: “Polka community battles loss of Grammy category.”

Houston Press blog: “Defending the Polka: Mark Halata of Texavia.”

Fort Wayne News-Sentinel: “Grammys give polka music the boot.”

Why did the Recording Academy poleaxe Polka? The press release calls it an “Evolution of Grammy® Categories”:

Due to the increasing growth of traditional music, The Academy has split the category Best Contemporary Folk/Americana into two categories: Best Contemporary Folk Album and Best Americana Album. Additionally, the Folk Field has been renamed American Roots Music, which will now include the Best Traditional Blues Album, Best Contemporary Blues Album and Best Bluegrass Album categories. In the Latin Field, the Best Latin Urban Album will now be combined with Latin Rock or Alternative into Best Latin Rock, Alternative Or Urban Album. To ensure the Awards process remains representative of the current musical landscape, the Best Polka Album has been eliminated, which brings the total number of GRAMMY categories to 109.

Major media outlets have noticed this curious category cut:

Los Angeles Times: Is polka out of step? (Editorial)

New York Times: “Polka Music Is Eliminated as Grammy Award Category.”

USA Today:“Grammys axe polka album of the year award.”

Entertainment Weekly: “Polka Grammy outrage!”

Even the music industry wonders what Academy ax-wielders were thinking:

Pollstar:“Grammys Polka No More.”

Beat Crave:  “Last Waltz For Polka At The Grammys.”

CHARTattack: “Best Polka Album Grammy Axed.”

Idolator: “The Grammys Will No Longer Hippety-Hop For The Year’s Best Polka Recording.”

Polka fans aren’t just writing editorials, drinking beer and doing the Chicken Dance. There’s a petition drive, and blogger Matt Stopera suggests “Grammy Award Categories That Should Be Eliminated Instead Of Polka!!”


Special: World of Warcraft Chicken Dance.

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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One Response to “Grammys Pull Polka”

  1. Nate Trier Says:

    Thanks for the comment – you’re dead on, my friends in the midwest are outraged!

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