"Browns Polka" is a Thing That Exists

Cleveland-Style Polka legend Johnny Pecon recorded this banger in 1963.

Cleveland-Style Polka icons Johnny Pecon and Frankie Yankovic, in 1949.
Cleveland-Style Polka icons Johnny Pecon and Frankie Yankovic, in 1949.

In 1963, Cleveland-Style Polka icon Johnny Pecon released "Browns Polka," a festive two-minute track that appeared on his record "2/4 and 3/4 with Johnny Pecon."

The journalist Timothy Burke — whom readers may recognize as the lead journalist on the Manti Te'o story at Deadspin, recently featured in the Netflix Untold documentary series —  shared a recording of "Browns Polka" in a Thursday Twitter thread to commemorate the start of the NFL season.  Burke believed that the recording existed nowhere else on the worldwide web, and if that's the case, it got nowhere near enough attention.

Cleveland polka lovers, perhaps especially those ambivalent about the Browns, can enjoy this nostalgic, upbeat tune in spite of the franchise's recent addiction to scandal. (Burke, whose father's family emigrated to Cleveland from Macedonia, noted at the top of the thread that he had renounced his own Browns fandom.) 

The track appeared on the compilation album Polka Souvenirs.

Johnny Pecon (1915-1975) was inducted into the Cleveland Polka Hall of Fame in 1988 and remains a legend in the local polka world for his musicianship and otherworldly dexterity on the chromatic accordion.

If you're not watching the Browns this year and are looking for weekend activities, the Polka Hall of Fame and Museum in Euclid could be a fun family excursion, although be apprised that the in-person hours are limited. It's only open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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About The Author

Sam Allard

Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...
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