b. 12 February 1902, Elberfeld, Germany, d. 21 November 1989. This European accordionist-band leader, in conjunction with his Musette Orchestra, had a big hit in the USA in 1939 with ‘Beer Barrel Polka’. The song was based on an original Czechoslovakian melody, ‘Skoda Lasky’ (‘Lost Love’), by Jaromir Vejvoda and Wladimir Timm, with an English lyric by Lew Brown. It sold over a million copies for Glahe, who followed it in the USA with other hits such as ‘Hot Pretzels’, ‘W.P.A. Polka’, ‘Woodpecker’, ‘Bartender Polka’ and ‘You Can’t Be True, Dear’. It was almost 10 years before Glahe, with his orchestra and chorus, made the US charts again, with ‘Liechtensteiner Polka’ in 1957. The number also had some success in the UK, along with ‘The Crazy Otto Rag’, which was credited to Will Glahe And His Sunshine Quintet.
Share this page