When local radio celebrity George Pavelka stopped by the Czech Heritage Museum recently, he asked if we would be interested in a few record albums. As in vinyl? You bet! His trunk was full of his amazing collection of polka and Czech music on vintage vinyl.
For decades, Mr. Pavelka hosted “Polka Time” and “Czech Melody Hour,” on Sunday mornings at KTEM. It was just one of several side gigs that he worked after his full-time job as a construction supervisor. He also played in his family’s multi-generational band, was the announcer for Temple High School football games and coached T-ball.
Mr. Pavelka’s great-grandfather immigrated from Czechoslovakia at age 12 and brought with him a love of music. He started the Pavelka Orchestra, which became a family legacy. “My great-grandpa started it. He taught my grandpa and in turn, Grandpa taught all his kids. All my aunts played in the band at one time. They all stayed and married my uncles. My great-grandpa had a pretty good education in music. We all read music or played without it. It didn’t make any difference,” said Mr. Pavelka.
The Pavelka family’s music legacy has been celebrated by this Museum for many years. A 1901 brass tuba, is a featured instrument in our Czech music exhibit. It belonged to his grandfather.
When Mr. Pavelka came back in this week to bring some 8-track and cassette tapes (remember when those were new tech?), he sat down for a video interview.