Joseph Sinkule

At the age of 18 years, Joseph Sinkule came to Prague, Nebraska from Czechoslovakia with his parents in 1906.  There they learned farming and Joe played for parties and house dances as he had learned to play the button accordion in Czechoslovakia.  Then in 1911 the family went to Holt County to work on Joe Fisher’s ranch. Joe also played for house and barn dances there.

In March of 1914, Joe and Rose Urban were married and farmed there the first year.  On March 2, 1915, their daughter Adera (Mrs. Victor Kaspar) was born.

In May of 1915 they went to Louisiana to a small Czech community called Kolin, where they had bought 80 acres through a Czech agent.  But after one and a half years they came back to Nebraska and lived on rented farms. Joe Jr. was born in 1917.  They rented a farm close to Liberty, Nebraska.  In 1925 Joe talked about having an orchestra, so he, along with two Krikaves brothers, Emil Beranek and William Dezort played together until 1929.  When they left the farm Joe then got other men who could travel.  They played all through the mid-west, mostly in Czech and German communities.

The Sinkule Orchestra played all the mid-west beginning in 1929 and then toured Texas from 1930 to 1932.  In 1933 they got a job on Radio station KGBC in York, Nebraska where they played for the Miller Brewing Company.  This lasted through 1936 when the station was sold to a company from St. Louis.

Joe Jr. and Adela (Mrs. Victor Kaspar) sang songs with the orchestra and Pete Janak played with the orchestra for six years, beginning in April 1934 at York.  Frank Vococil also was with the orchestra several years.  The orchestra leaders were Joseph Sinkule, Jim Hovorka, Jim Tourek, and Mr. Kovarek.  They have all passed away with only Mr. Kovarek living at the time of the Hall of Fame presentation.  After the York radio station was sold, they started playing at Omaha Station WAAW Grain Exchange for Peets Flavor and Extract Co. of Council Bluffs, and played there until the station was sold to the World Herald.

Joe Sinkule, Jr. started playing with his father’s orchestra when he was 14 years old.  The group played together until 1942.  Joe Sr. retired and Joe Jr. ran the orchestra until it disbanded.  Since late 1974 or early 1975 he has been playing with the Vern Luddington orchestra.

Under the headline “Two Beat a path to Hall of Fame” the Omaha World Herald printed this story on November 19, 1979: Joe Sinkule and Milo Palensky have heard millions of feet slip and skid across wooden dance floors with a “step, shuffle, shuffle.”  They are drummers- polka drummers.  They’ve laid down the bottom for thousands of polka tunes played in dance halls across the west.  For their many years of work in helping to promote polka music, they have been inducted into the Sokol Omaha Polka Hall of Fame. They were honored Sunday night during a dance at Omaha Sokol Hall.

Source: Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony