Artist: Sasha Polinoff and His Russian Gypsy Orchestra
LP: Fastest Balalaika In the West
Song: "Gaida Troika—Proschay (Go Troika—Farewell)"
[ listen ]
And you thought YOUR balalaika was fast! Born in Manchuria in 1906, Sasha Polinoff was brought to the USA by his aunt when he was just a tot. A traveling musician heard Sasha playing his balalaika one day and asked him if he wanted to hit the road with the troupe of musicians he was traveling with. Sasha did, which really irked his aunt and she refused to speak to him for years. You can learn what happened next and find out if Sasha's aunt ever forgave him at Polinoff's Balalaika and Domra Association of America Hall of Fame page here. The liner notes by musician and playwright Gene Raskin on the back of this terrific 1962 Elektra LP highlight the nostalgic memories Polinoff's music brought to the minds of Russians who had fled their beloved homeland for the relative safety and freedom offered by The United States of America.
[ Sasha Polinoff: 1906 — 1999 ]
[ seen here with fellow balalaikaist Sasha Ressetar of Harrisburg, PA ]