|The Bernie Roberts Orchestra began in 1944 and their recording career began in 1949 when they hit it very big with their first recording of the Jolly Musicians Polka. The Bernie Roberts band had an illustrious run in personal appearances and in the polka recording world. "Honey Bee Waltz", "Schatzie", "Pretty Dancing Girl", "The West A Nest & You" and "Rockin Rhythm" are large sellers and their most recent entry is the CD "Pleasant Memories with the Bernie Roberts Orchestra". Bernie is a member of the Polka Hall of Fame.
The Bernie Roberts Band began as a family band with Bernie and 2 brothers and 2 sisters. Bernie on the accordion, Blondie on 1st trumpet and featured vocals; Marcella on piano; Johnny on trumpet, sax and clarinet; Oscar on drums and Howard Haase on bass horn. Other bass players were Gary Johnson and Erwin Gassner. Other piano players were George Freeman, George Flint and Carol Neumann.
Back, from left. George Freeman, Howard Haase, Oscar Feilbach, John Feilbach. Front from left. "Blondie" Roberts, and Bernie Roberts.
Bernie Roberts. circa 1950
It has been said that they were ahead of their time as their music is still relevant and very popular today. The Bernie Roberts Orchestra once had a recording contract with Decca Records. They were a "hot" band and they were deeply into the dance business for 28 years. Some of the large towns for them were Sheboygan, Appleton, Wausau and Milwaukee. They once drew a crowd of 2,500 people in Hartford, WI on a Wednesday night in 1950. They also played a lot in Iowa and Minnesota. The Bernie Roberts Band had a Saturday Night sustaining show on KXEL (clear channel) out of Waterloo, Iowa for 10 years.