Rudy Dvorak was born on July 25th, 1955. His first instrument was a trumpet at the age of 7 years old when he attended Madison School. At the age of 12, Rudy switched to baritone. 2 years later, he finally decided on sousaphone. This was around the time when he attended Omaha South High School. He did this for two reasons: 1. The high school band had too many trumpet players, 2. The band director at the time hated Polka music. Rudy stood his ground and in 1973, his senior year, he made 1st chair in the All-City Band, out of 14 tuba players.
Rudy’s first dance job was at the age of 16, when he played at Vocelka’s in 1971. This happened to be around New Years Eve. Around this time, he started with the Eddie Janak Orchestra, and played for a duration of two years.
In December 15th, 1973, Rudy decided to join the U.S. Marines. The Vietnam War was going on and he joined on a USMC open contract. Two months into boot camp, the Vietnam War was over. He then decided to audition with the USMC band. He was told he was good enough for the drum & bugle corp, but not the band. Rudy was then sent to P.I.S.C. for 8 weeks of drum & bugle school. They also had a band there, but the corp and band don’t get along very well. There was one day during band warmups where one of the tuba players was having valve problems. One of the band officers knew Rudy was a instrument repair man, so they called him in and he fixed it on the spot. As a result, Rudy got asked to try out for the band, and he made it!
After this, Rudy was sent to the Norfolk School of Music for 8 weeks. He then returned to P.I.S.C. to play in the band. Rudy was then assigned to the east coast to do instrument repair which he worked for one year.
On December 15, 1975, Rudy left the service and returned to Omaha. Two years later, he joined the Frankie Remar Band for a period of two years. He also joined the Frank Kostka and the Boys band in 1978, which was a blockbuster group at the time. He spent a total of seven years with the band until they folded in 1985.
In 1987, Rudy teamed up with Jeff Janda to form the Jeff Janda Band and has been playing with the band since.
Source: Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony