Great sidemen rarely get the attention they deserve. It’s long overdue that we pay tribute to Faustyn Langowski, whose career on clarinet and sax establishes him as one of the premier sidemen of Texas music.
Texas polka fans know Faustyn as the entertaining man on clarinet and sax with Harry Czarnek & the Texas Dutchmen since 1999. Or perhaps they remember him performing with Brian Marshall & the Texas Slavic Playboys, wearing a black hat and making wisecracks that kept the band in stitches. Friends may recall him as the heavy smoking “conversationalist,” who has many stories and the ability to tell them well.
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August 25, 1925 – November 4, 2009
There is no doubt that Sigmund was an Icon in Texas Polish history! He was loved and will be missed, but it is up to us to remember the legacy that he has made for Polish Texans and celebrate the impact he has made on each of us. I personally know that he loved seeing all of us get together and celebrate our Polish culture and heritage. He knew that our music and customs, of which he help preserve, would be safe and passed down to another generation for others to enjoy. Read the full article →
John was born in Chappell Hill Texas, Washington County June 11, 1897. He moved to Houston, Texas in 1921 at the age of 24, with his young Chappell Hill bride, Nora Meleski. They eventually had two children Victoria and Florian, and settled on Aurora Street, in the then suburbs of Houston. John worked and retired from Humble Oil Company in downtown Houston.
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Steve Okonski, born August 29, 1916 in Bremond, Texas was a lifelong resident of Bremond and was a farmer and musician. Steve was a fiddler for over 70 years and played in many towns for many weddings, family reunions, and community events throughout Texas (Houston, Dallas, Bremond, Brenham, Chapel Hill, New Waverly, Westphalia, and many others). His band usually included the instruments that were readily available in the small country town — violin, base, guitar, and accordion. They played the old time Polish favorite traditional fiddle based music. Many of the Polish family immigrants listened and enjoyed the music that connected them to their villages in Poland. Some of Steve’s favorites were: Steve’s Special, Steve’s Celia, Flat Lake Special, Village OBerek, Westphalia Waltz and others. Steve received a plaque for playing a fiddle for 70 years in Texas at the Ft Bend County Fair.
Steve supplemented his small farming income with many various jobs such as bus driver, painter, his band and others. He also served in the infantry with the US Army during World War II.
-Bio from Okonski Family Website
Listen to Music By Steve Okonski
Daniel Cendalski has been playing fiddle for 60 years, starting Dec. 17, 1947 when he was seven years old. He learned from his father Mitchell Cendalski, also a fiddle player, who in turn learned from his father, Stanley, who was an immigrant from Poland. Stanley Cendalski formed a band in Texas, bringing the music of Poland to Texas, and playing for the Polish and German immigrants around the Brenham and Washington County area. The music evolved into “Texas Polish” and was handed down through four sons (including Mitchell) to Daniel. Daniel now represents the 3rd generation Cendalski family band in Texas. Daniel played his first performance with his father at age seven, and has been fiddlin’ Texas ever since.
-Bio from Texas Polka News