Lenny Gomulka began playing drums at the age of four. During his early childhood, he eagerly looked forward to playing along with the Sunday radio programs at home. Following his mother's wishes, he began taking trumpet lessons in parochial school at the age of 11. The youngest of four children, he grew up in a predominantly Polish neighborhood on Chicago's Southwest side, near the stockyard district. One of Gomulka's first public appearances occurred at the age of twelve when his band, the Happy Go Luckies, took first place award on Chicago's WGN-TV amateur show. He recorded his first record album as a sideman in 1964 on Ridgemoor Records with Jerry Pietranczyk and the Polka Sharps.
Gomulka became the youngest person ever to garner a membership in the Chicago-area Musician's Union. Membership age requirement was 16 at that time; being only 13, parental consent was required along with a mandated audition in front of a panel of judges and peers, playing the song "Tea for Two." This began Gomulka's performances with many well-known Chicago-area bands; however, prior to Gomulka taking the stage, one or both of his parents were required to be in attendance.
Gomulka made a mark as a studio musician in Chicago from the '60s through '80s. He formed his own band, the Chicago Push, in January of 1980 and has been recording since that time as Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push. Gomulka is a representative of the Polish form of polka music; however, he has developed a distinctive style which is known as "Push-Style" polka music. They have made a breakthrough into the music mainstream by adapting fresh and original songs penned by Gomulka. The band's creation was inspired by Gomulka's heritage, while the style was a progression from the traditional to one of the most progressive sounds ever featured in polka music.
Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push have received awards from various radio stations clubs, promoters, and organizations such as the International Polka Association and the United States Polka Association. In 1988, Gomulka was inducted into the International Polka Music Hall of Fame & Museum in his hometown of Chicago.
In 1985, Gomulka was nominated for a Grammy Award, the first year a polka category was implemented. As of 1998, he has captured a total of eight Grammy nominations. Gomulka has recorded on over 100 albums throughout his career. He is a BMI writer and owns the Orland Publishing Company and Push Records.
Noted for his unique arrangements and innovative musical techniques, Gomulka has had many popular hits within the polka field including "Money Can't Buy Everything," "Oh Baby Mine," "It's Reminiscing Time," "For Old Time Sake," "Doodle Lee Doo," "Irresistible You," and "Say Hello to Someone in Massachusetts" (the official Massachusetts state polka song).
Gomulka has been a sideman and recorded with many bands in the polka industry, including Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push, Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones, Marion Lush, Li'l Wally, the Tones, Wanda & Stephanie, Richie Gomulka, Frankie Yankovic, Casey Siewierski, Stas Golonka, Paliga's Polka Dots, Li'l Richard, Jerry Pietranczyk & the Polka Sharps, the Dynasticks, Jersey Polka Richie, Wesoly Stas, the Chicago Polka All-Stars, Billy Belina's Bay State IV, the Sounds, Bill Czerniak's Polka Soul, Frankie Liszka & the Brass Connection, Gibby Mono, the Polish Carolers, the Mark IV, the Chi-Town Express, the Polka Family, the Imperials of Toledo, and Mark Janson & the Brass Express.
In 1990, Gomulka and his wife Estelle, relocated to Indian Orchard, a small town in Massachusetts. He continues to entertain and record as Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push. ~ Steve Litwin, Rovi
© 2014 Rovi Corporation.