Born in Poland, John Gora emigrated to Hamilton, Ontario with his family in 1974, and began playing music at Orchard Park Secondary School in Stoney Creek, Ontario. In 1979, Gora formed a trio, playing local Canadian Legion halls and catering to "continental" music crowds.
John Gora and Gorale (Mountaineers), a six-piece band, was established in 1990 and recorded their first polka CD, Ready for Takeoff, with a Polish/polka version of "Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" becoming their first hit. Take a Spin with John Gora and Gorale, their second studio production, was released in 1993, and their 1997 recording, Duty Free Polkas, was nominated for a Grammy in the polka category. "Love Don't Get Better," a polka cover of Vancouver country artist Rick Tippe, quickly became the hit single.
The band consists of five Canadians and one U.S. citizen and performs throughout both countries. Dynamic, crowd-pleasing stage performances have become a trademark of this group. John Gora, his wife Dianne, and their children reside in Burlington, Ontario.