Photo of the grave of "Whoopee" John Wilfahrt, in New Ulm Cemetery, Minnesota

Weekly Gem #71 Happy music, happy dance, happy man. Whoopee!

Published 5/14/2016

Location:  This 'hidden gem' is located in the New Ulm Cemetery in New Ulm, MN (see Clue Me! Map).

This past week, Polka players and dancers everywhere celebrated the birthday of Whoopee John. While he's been gone for many years, his legacy lives on in over 1000 recordings, most of which contain his trademark whoo! whoo! whoo!  Just try to sit still while listening to the Clarinet Polka. And whoo could forget the 'good health' polka?

To get into the groove, maybe you need a Polka Lesson. This is worth the price of admission by itself.

A Polka Haiku:

Whoopee John, Polka

King. Hops, steps, půlkas (halfs), turns.

Dancing, smiling, fun

Půlka is Czech for ‘half.' Perhaps this will be our last Haiku. Gesundheit!


Here's the hidden gem entry from our Clue Me! map.


The final resting place of "America's polka king"


The grave of Whoopee John Wilfahrt

Why It's Interesting

Have you ever listened to Whoopee John playing the Clarinet Polka? If you haven't, look it up on YouTube. You'll be tapping your toe within seconds. Whoopee John was born in New Ulm. With all the polka-loving Germans in town, there was probably no better place to learn to play the accordion! He was wildly popular on the polka circuit in the 40's and 50's.

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