In the early 1950′s, a three piece band consisting of all brothers began playing polka music throughout the thumb area of Michigan. This was the birth of “The Lackowski Brothers Orchestra”, featuring oldest brother, Clarence, on drums & vocals, middle brother, Bill, on sax & clarinet, and the youngest brother, Marshall, (Big Daddy) on accordion and vocals. Many years of hard work and dedication kept this trio quite busy and in popular demand. As time went on, each brother started individual careers and families of their own. By the early 1960′s the group had retired. Big Daddy Marshall Lackowski persevered in the field he so loved and continued to perform not only as a soloist, but formed “The LaDeeDas Orchestra”.
In early 1964 Marshall entered St. Mary’s Seminary in Orchard Lake, Michigan bringing with him his love of music and, of course, his accordion. During the next seven years in seminary, Marshall was fortunate enough to continue entertaining for various events. He was featured on national television and radio performing his popular “Everybody Does the LaDeeDa” Oberek. Marshall soon met Mary Ann Finelli, and they were married in August 1971. At this point, Big Daddy left the seminary to continue his career in music and pursue life as a newly-married man. They quickly began raising a family, passing on their deep roots in Polish heritage and a mutual love for music. As their family increased in size, each of the children began displaying an interest in either taking up an instrument or singing on stage with mom and dad. Over 50 years have now passed since the birth of “The Lackowski Brothers Orchestra” and Big Daddy Lackowski still continues to entertain.
As in the beginning, the band now has three Lackowski brothers performing together along with their father (Big Daddy). The present LaDeeDas perform at various events in the Detroit, Michigan area. After many years of marriage and seven children, Marshall and Mary Ann are proud to give to you a special part of them: their immediate family and extended family, a new and continuing generation of polka music. May God bless each and every one of you for all the love and support you have shared with us throughout the years. May a part of our hearts be connected with yours through the love we send you in our music.
Big Daddy (Marshall) Lackowski – Leader, Accordion, Vocals
Mark Lackowski – Drums
Jack Wolak- Trumpet, Vocals
Joshua Lackowski – Guitar
RICHARD N. KUCIEMBA – Clainet, Saxaphone, Composer, ArrangerBorn in the greater Cleveland Ohio area, Dick’s early beginnings started with piano lessons at age nine. He began clarinet/saxophone studies with the late Frank Hruby (principal clarinetist, Cleveland Symphony) during his junior high and high school days. This led to playing in dance bands for high school dances, weddings, parties, etc.Dick spent two years in the military service with U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division Band in Kentucky and the 2nd Army Band in Maryland . He toured the mid-south and eastern states performing for many public and military events. One highlight was appearing monthly with the 2nd Army’s Stage Band in New York City on a coast to coast television show “Stars on Parade”.After returning to Cleveland from military service, Dick performed with many bands including Ed Buehner, Chuck Smith, Ray Budzilek-(3 Albums on Capitol Records plus TV shows), Eddy Stampfl-
(7 years on TV Variety shows), Johnny Pecon-(TV shows & 1 Album on Dana Records), & Ernie Benedict-(TV shows). Always seeking a new genre, he was found working at the Aragon Ballroom in Cleveland with The Phil Nelson Orchestra and also the country club and convention/show circuit with the late Art Broze. This was a fantastic experience which came to an end when a move to Michigan with the family became necessary because of a GM job transfer.
In Michigan , Dick quickly found his way to being a member of the house band at Russelville Ballroom, playing weekends. He then joined the Andy Nester Orchestra-(1 record album), for several years. From there he spent several years with the Eddie Adamic Band-(3 trips to Europe ). He also was a member of the Gaylord Klancnik Orchestra-(1 recording project). Performed and recorded six Grammy Nominee projects with the Walter Ostanek Orchestra and three Grammy nominee projects with Ron Sluga . He is currently with the Big Daddy Lackowski Orchestra-(3 recording projects).
Other musicians he has worked with are Al Nowak (backing up Myron Floren shows). Also backed up Frankie Yankovic when he performed in MI and Canada . Performed with the Jimmy Sturr Orchestra when he appeared in MI. Jimmy Sturr recorded one of Dick’s original compositions “Speedline Polka” which is on one of Jimmy’s Grammy Award winning CD’s.
In 1992, Dick was inducted into The Michigan Polka Music Hall of Fame and The Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame-Lifetime Achievement Trustees Honor Roll. He is a life member of The American Federation of Musicians.
Dick and his wife Helen look forward to “shifting gears” from MI to AZ for the winter months. He will be performing with Sylvia & Fjordsong, Sam Pecorilla Trio, and Ron & Barb Krainz in the East Valley area. In Jan. ’07 he can be found appearing with The Brian McCarty Band-( Kansas ) at the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas for the “Valley of the Sun Polkafest”. In Feb. ’07 once again in Las Vegas, this time at the Orleans Hotel for the “Southwest Polka Party” appearing with Sam DeFazio’s Good Time Band-(CA).