"Mollie B" - Mollie Busta Lange - mollie@squeezeboxband.com

Mollie B (Mollie Busta Lange), an International Polka Association Hall of Famer, plays a variety of instruments and sings with SqueezeBox, in addition to taking care of many “behind the scenes” things for the band.  Though she has been building her career as a musician nearly all her life, she is most well-known for the national TV program: “Mollie B Polka Party.”  Mollie B hosts and performs on the show regularly.

 

Mollie has loved music for as long as she can remember.  Music always filled the Busta house between the Jim Busta Band (her father’s band) practices and recording sessions, her sister and Dad playing piano, her brother practicing drums, and the records that were played nearly non-stop.  Mollie had the beat in her at a very early age.  Her mother always says, “Mollie was dancing the polka before she could walk.”  Before Mollie started school, she started plunking notes on the piano.  And by time she was 8 years old she had enough music knowledge that her Dad put her on stage to chord along on the keyboard with the Jim Busta Band. 

For the next ten years, Mollie played several instruments both in the high school band and her dad’s polka band.  She also composed songs for the piano (some compositions were award-winning), arranged songs for her high school choir and band, and arranged songs for the "Jim Busta Band."  In addition, she served as the student-director for her high school band both in rehearsals and in concerts.  She also held roles in musicals at the Ye Olde Opera House in Spring Grove, Minnesota (her home-town).  Her favorite role was “Maria” in the Sound of Music.

 

The summer Mollie graduated from high school, she joined "Karl and the Country Dutchmen" out of Trempeleau, Wisconsin, while still playing full-time with the "Jim Busta Band" and taking on any additional gigs as vocalists for ceremonies, receptions, etc.  While attending college, she continued performing music of many genres in the jazz bands, the concert band, the orchestras, the choirs, and in the traveling polka bands on the weekend.  Before graduating from college, Mollie wrote her senior paper on polka music.

Mollie received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music (trumpet and voice) from Luther College and a Master of Arts degree in instruction from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. 

 

In 2007, Mollie relocated to Ohio and joined "SqueezeBox" formerly known as "The Bratwurst Boys."  She continues playing and recording with SqueezeBox, showcasing her versatility on several instruments, complimented by her talented vocals.   

 

Mollie took on the position as host and co-producer of the “Mollie B Polka Party” on RFD-TV in March of 2011.  The show had its first taping in June of 2011 and the show aired for the first time on July 2, 2011.  The show airs 2 different episodes every week.  The “Mollie B Polka Party” airs on RFD-TV on Wednesday at 6:30 pm EST and Saturday at 10:00 pm EST.

Mollie’s talents have also been showcased in front of a live audience during The Mollie B Christmas Shows both at RFD-TV the Theatre and the Jim Stafford Theatre in Branson, Missouri; as well as the CAL Center in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. The holiday special took place in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017.  Mollie has performed, directed, wrote, produced, choreographed, and hosted these 2+-hour live performances. Mollie’s cast has featured up to 33 renowned musicians and artists in front of audiences up to 1300.  Portions of the earlier shows are aired during the holiday season on RFD-TV and the complete shows are available for purchase on DVD and CD by clicking HERE.

Mollie has won the title of the “Favorite Female Vocalist” award numerous times, both from the United States Polka Association and the International Polka Association.  She has also won multiple awards from the Polka America Corporation for her polka recordings with Ted Lange.  Additionally, Mollie has won the "2013 Polka Promoter of the Year" award from the Wisconsin Polka Hall of Fame, she was inducted into the Iowa Polka Hall of Fame in 2015, and in 2018 she was inducted into the International Polka Association Hall of Fame.

 

Since Mollie’s mid-teen years, she has enjoyed performing with many music ensembles; some of those include the Rhythm Cats, Maggie Mae & the Heartland Country Band, Toledo Symphony, Karl and the Country Dutchmen, Jimmy Sturr Orchestra, Gordy Prochaska's Little Fishermen Orchestra, Bruce Bradley Band, Gary and the Ridgeland Dutchmen, Music Connection, Brian and the Mississippi Valley Dutchmen, the Out-of-Town Czechs, the Polka Nuts, Nordic Choir, & John Gora and Gorale.  In addition, Mollie has been a guest vocalist with award-winning bands, such as Toledo Polkamotion, Polka Family, Klancnik & Friends, Don Wojtila Band, Rhythm City Playboys, and Kevin Solecki.

 

Awards & Honors

 

September 2018 - International Polka Association Hall of Fame

2017 - International Polka Association - Favorite International Female Vocalist

2017 - International Polka Association - Favorite Polish CD: “Dance all Night” 

2017 - Bavarian Blast Parade, New Ulm, Minnesota - Co-Parade Marshall

2016 - Polka Lovers Club in Texas (La Grange) Wall of Fame

2016 - International Polka Association - Best International Polka CD song: "North Shore" from "SqueezeBox by Request"

2016 - International Polka Association - Best International Polka CD: "SqueezeBox by Request"

2016 - International Polka Association - Favorite Female Vocalist

2015 - International Polka Association - Favorite Female Vocalist

2015 - Iowa Polka Hall of Fame - Promoter Category 

2015 - Polka America Corporation - Best Variety Polka CD of the Year: "2014 Mollie B Christmas Special"

2015 - Polka America Corporation - Best Polish-Style Polka CD of the Year: "Polkas On My Mind" (Emily Bizon)

2014 - Polka America Corporation - Best Variety Polka CD of the Year: "2013 Mollie B Christmas Special"

2014 - International Polka Association - Favorite Female Vocalist

2013 - National Polka Festival Parade, Ennis, Texas - Parade Marshall

2013 - Polka America Corporation - Best Variety Polka CD of the Year: "2012 Mollie B Christmas Special"

2013 - Wisconsin State Polka Hall of Fame - Promoter Category

2013 - International Polka Association - Favorite Female Vocalist

2012 - Polka America Corporation - Best Variety Polka Cd of the Year: "2011 Mollie B Christmas Special"

2012 - International Polka Association - Favorite Female Vocalist

2011 - United States Polka Association - Favorite Female Vocalist

2011 - International Polka Association - Favorite Female Vocalist

2010 - Polka America Corporation - Best Contemporary Polka CD of the Year: "Freshly Squeezed" by SqueezeBox

2010 - United States Polka Association - Favorite Female Vocalist

2009 - United States Polka Association - Favorite Female Vocalist

 

Noteworthy Performances

 

Some of Mollie’s most note-worthy polka music performances include: "Mollie B Christmas Concert" at the Jim Stafford Theater, (Branson, MO, 2016), “Mollie B Christmas Special” at RFD-TV The Theatre (Branson, MO, 2011-2014), Wurstfest (New Braunsfels, TX 2009-2016), “Big Joe Polka Show” (RFD-TV, 2005-2008), Iowa Governor Culver’s Inauguration Gala (Iowa City, IA, 2007), American Folk Arts Festival (Bangor, ME, 2006), Library of Congress (Washington, DC, 2002), Kennedy Center of Performing Arts (Washington, DC, 2002), Caribbean Cruises (many years), and “Polka Passion” (National PBS special, 2001).

 

Mollie’s love of music goes beyond polka music.  She was a guest artist with Maggie Mae (Wisconsin, 2015-2018). She was a guest artist with the Rhythm Cats at the Silver Star Theater (Mesa, AZ, 2017).  She was a guest vocalist with the Toledo Symphony (Bryan, OH, 2010 & 2016).  She arranged, sang, and led the music for a Mass featuring the vocal talents of Daniel O’Donnell (Moline, IL, 2010).  She led “Our Christmas Story” (Caledonia/Spring Grove, MN, 2007).  She played the role of “Maria” in the Sound of Music (Spring Grove, MN, 2003), performed at the President’s Palace in the Dominican Republic (2000) with the Luther College Jazz Band, and sang as a soprano soloist both in Handel’s “Messiah” & Mozart’s “Requiem” soprano soloist (Decorah, IA, 2000).  

 

Mollie has performed in eleven countries, and in 29 states. She was in Japan in November of 2008 with Karl and the Country Dutchmen.   Their mission was to expose the Japanese to polka music.   By time they left, kids had polka music playing in their I-pods and others were dancing polkas even when there was no music.

 

Discographyclick on any underlined title to learn more about the recording and/or to order the discs

 

2018 - "Positively Polka" CD - Tom Brusky

2017 - "Enjoy Yourself" CD - Kris & the Riverbend Dutchmen

2017 - "Dance All Night" CD - DynaBrass

2017 - "Making Music" CD - Ryan, Karl, & Denny

2017 - "POLKA!" - Documentary DVD - Wisconsin Public Television

2016 - "2016 Mollie B Christmas Concert" CD/DVD

2016 - "Mollie B LIVE with Kenny, Tony, and Dana" CD

2016 - "SqueezeBox by Request" CD - SqueezeBox

2016 - "The Little Fishermen Orchestra featuring Mollie B" CD - Gordy Prochaska's Little Fishermen

2016 - "The Holidays through Music" CD - Tom Brusky

2016 - "Power of Polka" DVD - Alaska Polka Chips (live)

2015 - "Ave Maria" CD (single)

2015 - "Jim Busta Band LIVE on the Mollie B Polka Party" DVD

2015 - "40th Anniversary" CD - Karl & the Country Dutchmen

2014 - "2014 Mollie B Christmas Special" CD/DVD

2014 - "Polkas On My Mind" CD - Emily Bizon

2013 - "2013 Mollie B Christmas Special" CD/DVD

2013 - "Kris & the Riverbend Dutchmen LIVE" DVD

2012 - "2012 Mollie B Christmas Special" CD/DVD

2012 - "Partners, Brothers, and Friends" CD

2011 - "2011 Mollie B Christmas Special" CD/DVD

2011 - "Enjoy Yourself" CD - Marty Nachreiner

2010 - "Well... It's About Time" CD - Jim Busta Band, Vol. 5

2009 - "Freshly Squeezed" CD - SqueezeBox

2008 - "Polka Playin' Fool" CD - John Gora & Gorale

2007 - "Squeeze Me" CD - SqueezeBox

2006 - "Solecktive Sounds" CD - Kevin Solecki

2002 - "Come, Let's Sing Joyfully to the Lord" CD - Jim Busta Band

2000 - "Polka Passion" - Documentary Video & Audio CD - National Public Television

2001 - "Have a Jolly Mollie Christmas" CD

2001 - "West Coast Tour" CD - Luther College Nordic Choir 

2000 - "Handel's Messiah" CD - Luther College

2000 - "Just Playin' Round" CD - Jim Busta Band, Vol. 4

1999 - "Boys Day Out" CD - Karl & the Country Dutchmen

1998 - "Mollie B.  A Song for Everyone" CD

1997 - "Golly Gee... Mollie B" CD - Jim Busta Band Band, Vol. 3

1992 - "Jim Busta with Family & Friends" CD - Jim Busta Band, Vol. 2

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