Hall of Fame – 2020
Jerome (Jerry) Schmidt of New Ulm, Minnesota started playing the concertina in bars and dance halls in 1955 and enjoyed playing in dance bands from 1962 until he retired in 1993. He recorded four albums with the Jolly German Band.
He played on the radio and television numerous times in Mankato and St. Paul, Minnesota and for Big Joe Show in Omaha, Nebraska. His radio appearances included KNOJ in New Ulm and KSTP TV. Over the years, he played with 20 different bands including the Six Fat Dutchmen, The Kirk Kalz Band, The Elmer Scheid Band, Harold Nissel’s Concertina Band, and The Country Gentlemen to name a few. His composition, Randy’s Polka, is still played today by many bands.
Always a sideman, Jerry played for over 50 years and still makes occasional appearances at nursing homes and parties. His letters of recommendation replicate his musical career and at 84, he still has a deep passion for his old thyme music and is always ready to play his concertina when asked.