\ Brueggen Family Polka Bands

Please pause and listen to Jerry and the gang play "a kjore vatten aa kjore ve"

Jerry Gilbertson Dec 08 1925-Oct 15 1998

Jerry and Me, by Bob Selbrede

This is the spot where I get to talk about my relationship with Gerald Elmore
Gilbertson.  I knew Jerry when we were still in grade school.  At that time,
he had been given the nickname of "Sonny".  His younger brother, and only
sibling, Vernon Gilbertson, was given the nickname of "Bud", which he proudly
carries to this day.  I was not aware at the time that Jerry had a propensity
for making music.  I just thought he was a normal, but spoiled kid.  Jerry was
an outgoing guy, and he made friends easily.  I don't know what prompted it,
but early on, his parents, Edwin and Gylda Gilbertson, bought Jerry a guitar
and his brother an accordion.  Keep in mind that Edwin played the fiddle
rather well.  Also, Ed could Hop Waltz with the best of them. I'll swear to

Obviously, something happened along the way, as Jerry picked up on the
accordion, kept the guitar, and brother Bud got interested in playing the
drums.  While Jerry was in high school (1939 and up) he already had a
recording made of his music, made by the school principal (I have a copy) at
the time.  It was a steel record and, contrary to present custom, it was
recorded from the inside out.  This resulted in his starting his first musical
group, which was then called, "Gilbertson's Crackerjacks", most members of
which were yet to enter high school.  Their repertoire was extremely limited,
as Jerry had earlier joined a travelling troupe called the "Yodeling Ropers,
and he claimed that he only knew how to plays two tunes, "Comin' around the
Mountain", and "San Antonio Rose".

Jerry's band made a total of three of those inside-out steel records.  Next, as
I recall, his band made about six of those 78-RPM records.  He also made at
least a couple of 45 RPM records.  For some reason, Jerry's band missed doing
any LP's.  But, later he made four cassettes.  One of them was a repeat of his
previous 78 RPM and 45 RPM recordings.  Next, Jerry made a cassette of his
favorite songs from his TV days, those being between 1958 and 1964 on a La
Crosse station, one in Eau Claire, and one in Madison.  His next two cassettes
were recorded in the enclaves of one Ralph Proksch, an extremely accomplished
accordion player, who actually played with the Whoopee John band for a couple
of years.  The last two, produced by Richie Yurkovic, an accomplished
accordionist in his own rite.  I was priveleged to have played on the last two
recordings, soloing on one tune.

Time and space doesn't allow us to recall all of the fun we had while
travelling to and from our dance jobs.  On the road, we discussed the talents
of various musicians, and, thanks to a very talented reedman, Marlin Schneider,
we also argued the politics of the day.  It was FUN!

For information, additions or corrections, send message to Bob Selbrede
Copyright 1999-2014 Gary Brueggen

Brief History of the Band
Recordings; LP's, cassettes, CD's
Songs Jerry Composed
Photo Gallery of the Band