Hungarian Slovak Gypsies in America
by Steve PIskor
The First of the Gypsies settled in Braddock, PA around 1888 in the area of Braddock Ave. and Tenth St. This would become the first of the Braddock yards as the Roma called them, the real name of the yard was "Hands Court". A Roma by the name of Vongood Pohlatko purchased an entire block of houses making the Gypsies of Braddock, Pa the largest population of settled Roma in the United States. The first yard was sold to a developer. All the Roma of Hands Court had to do was move from 10th and Braddock to 10th and Talbot Ave. The last of the Hungarian Slovak Gypsies moved out of Braddock in the late 1960s, today there are no Roma living in Braddock, Pa. In Homestead, PA, the first of the Roma moved there about the same time as Braddock. Today a handfull of Roma still live in the Homestead area.
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This book is about the Hungarian - Slovak Gypsies that immigrated to America in the 1880s. They brought to America the traditional Hungarian Gypsy music they and their ancestors played in Europe for hundreds of years.
They are directly linked to Europe's finest Hungarian Gypsy musicians such as Janos Bihari (1764-1827) whose descendants are the Lakatos family, woman Gypsy violinist Czinka Panna (d.1772), Pista Danko 1848-1903), Jansci Rigo, Imre Magyari and Racz Laci.
Some of the famous Gypsy Primas from these Gypsies were, Willie Horvath, John Brenkacs, Maxie Fransko, Frank Richko, Rudy Balog, Rudy Ziga, Tony Ballog, George Batyi, John Ziga, Alex Udvary (cimbalom), Bella (Bendy)Ballog, Ziggy Bela, Ed Chicko, Arthur Rakoczi, William Hullup (cimbalom), Max Bandy, Albert Duna, Ed Duna, Ed Garber, and many more.
They are from the same Gypsies that influenced such composers as, Joseph Haydn, Franz Liszt who wrote 15 Hungarian rhapsodies, Johannes Brahms who wrote 21 Hungarian Dances, Antonin Dvorak, Pablo de Sarasate who wrote Zigeunerweisen, George Bizets who wrote Carmen, Maurice Ravel and many more.
These Gypsies settled in the cities of Braddock, Pa, Cleveland, Oh, Youngstown, Oh, Homestead, Pa, Detroit, MI, Chicago, IL, NY,NY, Gary, IN, and Johnstown, Pa.
These Gypsies were all fine musicians an were proud of their heritage.
They played many events and in all the best restaurants across the country. If you heard Gypsy music, you heard these Gypsies play.