by Jeff Niesel
Known for founding Cleveland International Records, the label that launched Meat Loaf’s career, Steve “Pops” Popovich died on June 8, 2011. In 2012, the Beachland began honoring the guy with Polka Pandemonium, a concert featuring the polka/rock band Brave Combo — the group’s Polkasonic record came out on Cleveland International and won a Grammy in 2000. This year’s annual event will take place on Friday, July 4 at the Beachland. The music starts at 8:30 p.m. but at 6 p.m. there will be a pre-show picnic with specials on sausage and burgers and a special dedication to Popovich, who was famous for giving random awards to Clevelanders he thought were carrying on Cleveland’s musical legacy.
He always wanted the club to dedicate its green room to his Cleveland International’s Marty Mooney, who passed away in 2003. This year, the Beachland will make that wish come true and will dedicate its green room to Mooney and Popovich with a framed display of the both of them. In addition to the July 4 festivities, the annual Steve Popovich Memorial Golf Scramble takes place on Sat. June 28 at the Blackbrook Golf Course in Mentor. It’ll raise funds for the Steve Popovich Cuyahoga Community College Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to a worthy music student in their Regional Arts and Technology program. Call Dale Trusko at 216-849-6240 for more info on the golf outing. Popovich will also be honored on Sunday, July 6, the date that would have been his 72 birthday, as part of a summer polka series at SNPJ Farm in Kirkland. This Slovenian institution is celebrating its 75th anniversary with a special dinner from 2 to 4 p.m. and music from 3 to 7 p.m. When the farm first opened in 1939, polka icon Frankie Yankovic played the first picnic. For more info on this event call Joe Valencic at 216-481-1439.