The Friday Night Polka—One-On-One Sports with the Bulldog, WBEN

       By Steve Cichon
       steve@buffalostories.com
       @stevebuffalo

I don’t remember exactly how it started on the air, but I know that back in the early/mid-90s, when I was the producer of One-On-One Sports with Chris “The Bulldog” Parker on WBEN, I was buying up as many obscure albums as I could from Salvation Army and AMVETS thrift shops—including polka albums with interesting cover art of great song titles.

Chris “The Bulldog” Parker, mid 90s at WBEN.

At some point, with me going through these albums, Chris must have said—we should have a Friday Night Polka—so we did.

The show closed with a polka every Friday night, and we eventually had a good rotation of songs about drinking and about Buffalo.

Heard here for the first time in more than 20 years—a medley of the Friday Night Polkas from WBEN’s One-On-One Sports with the Bulldog.

We’d only play a minute or so from each selection at 10:59pm to close out the show—these are the minute long clips we’d play.

Chris and I really enjoyed the music– but we’d get side eye from the lovely call screeners Monica and Rose (which is really how most of the show went most nights anyway.)

One-on-One Sports with the Bulldog Friday Night Polka Medley

On this track:

  • “Bulldog Talking Sports” theme
  • Bulldog welcomes you to a Friday night, 1996
  • Ice Cubes & Beer, Ray Budzilek & The Boys
  • Buffalo Polka, Krew Brothers Orchestra
  • No Beer in Heaven, Li’l Wally
  • Bartender Polka, Walter Solek
  • Meister Brau Polka, Li’l Wally
  • Why don’t you people give the ball scores?— from a complaining voicemail
ME! Steve Cichon, producing One-On-One Sports in the WBEN control room, 1995

The Bulldog theme is taken from an aircheck… and you can hear the ancient WBEN delay system folding back on itself as the theme music plays.

One of my personal all-time favorite moments in music came when the late, great Tony Krupski of the Krew Brothers played the Buffalo Polka on demand– and grinned from ear-to-ear when I sang along with him, knowing all the words because of this great Friday night tradition in Buffalo radio.

Na zdrowie and sto lat!

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.