Mark Vyhlidal was born in 1961 and attended District 14 Elementary School in Morse Bluff, Nebraska and District 92 Jr/Sr High School in North Bend, Nebraska. He graduated in 1980 with High Distinction Honors.
His music career began at age 8 playing polka music on the drums and has continued playing this music for over 42 years. Mark has played with several Nebraska Polka Bands such as: The Vern Belik Band, The U-Neta Orchestra, Adolph Nemetz Orchestra, Johnny Kucera Combo, Harvey Kucera Band, Ernie Kucera Orchestra, Al Grebnick Orchestra, Frank Kucera Orchestra, The Czechlanders Orchestra, Moostash Joe Polka Band, Jim Bochnicek Orchestra, Math Sladky Band, The Red Raven Orchestra, Duffy Belhorad Orchestra and other bands.
He started his own band as a Combo in 1973 at the age of 12. By 1976, the band grew to 6 members and is still performing and promoting polka music today. This talented musician plays several instruments: accordion, trumpet, valve trombone, tuba, keyboards, drums and bass guitar. He also arranges most of the music for the band which totals over 400 polkas and waltzes. Mark has to his credit “composed” several tunes: The Mountain Air Polka, Golden Years, Polka, Peaches and Cream Polka, Forever Yours Waltz, Danny’s Laendler, Warm Up Polka, Rosa Jean Polka, Long Live The Music Polka, Hey Ho Polka, Dance With Me Sweetheart Forever Waltz, Sunset Polka, A Little Wish Waltz and The Maryann Polka. The Maryann Polka was selected as the number one song in the country in May, 2000 on Chuck Stastny’s Polka Countdown Radio Show. Mark has also arranged music charts for several bands in Nebraska.
Since 1982, the Mark Vyhlidal Orchestra produced twelve recordings that include all of his compositions.
The Mark Vyhlidal Orchestra was selected to perform on the Garrison Keillor “Prairie Home Companion Show” in May, 1993, playing for a live broadcast on National Public Radio with over 1 million listeners. The group was selected by Microsoft For Music on the Travel Page in 1996 and 1997. This talented band was chosen by the Smithsonian Institute that featured four songs on their Folkways National Recording: “Deeper Polka” in 2001.
Mark’s band has performed extensively throughout the Midwest and has traveled to: Texas, Colorado, Ohio, Michigan, Canada and the Grand Polka Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Several polka videos have been made of the Mark Vylidal Orchestra by Big Joe Productions, Joe Cerveny Productions and the latest DVD recording on the “Mollie B Polka Party” recently seen on RFD TV.
Awards include the Ennis, TExas National Polka Festival Recognition of Czeh Heritage Award in May, 2003. Mark was honored and inductted into the Sokol Omaha Polka Hall of Fame in September, 2004 and was awarded the Frankie Award from PAC (the Polka America Corporation) in March 2012. Mark was also inducted into the Nebraska Music Hall of Fame in November, 2017 and was inducted into the Musician’s Hall of Fame in January, 2022.
Mark has hosted the All Star Polka Show as a polka disc jockey promoting polkas and waltzes to his listening audience since 1989 when he started this show on Radio KJSK AM 900, Columbus, Nebraska, playing music from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM every Sunday. Every year in July, Mark hosts he “All Star Polka Show” Anniversary party and dance. This event is an anniversary dance to celebrate the number of years he has been a Polka Disc Jockey at KJSK Radio in Columbus.
In addition to that, in January 2021, Mark also started a second All Star Polka radio show every Sunday afternoon broadcasting from 1:05 PM to 4:00 PM on Radio Station KHUB 1340 A and on Big Dog Radio 98.9 FM from Fremont, Nebraska. In November 2022, both polka shows became available on the Internet being “livestreamed” at www.allstarpolkashow.com.
Retiring as a Street Superintendent after almost 42 years with the City of Fremont, Mark is now able to devote more time to his family, the band, the radio shows and to gardening.
Mark’s family include his wife Tammi, 4 children and several grandchildren. Two of his sons, Jacob and Jeffrey continue to follow in Dad’s footsteps by playing polka music and helping keep the heritage and music alive for future generations.
Source: Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony