"Whoopee" John Wilfahrt

John Anthony Wilfahrt, (May 11, 1893 – June 15, 1961), the eldest son of John Wilfahrt and Barbara Portner, was a professional polka musician who recorded with Vocalion and from 1934, Decca. He went by the moniker "Whoopee John."

Wilfahrt was born in New Ulm, Minnesota and got his start playing the concertina at local gatherings and concerts in and around his community. In the 1920s Whoopee John and his band relocated to Saint Paul, Minnesota where they became regulars at live shows and on the radio.

Wilfahrt first began recording commercially in the 1920s and signed with the newly formed U.S. division of Decca Records in 1934 as the label's second act. (The first act signed to the label was Bing Crosby.) "Whoopee John" Wilfahrt and his band enjoyed popularity through the 1940s and 50s on the polka circuit. Over the course of his professional career Wilfahrt recorded nearly 1,000 songs, the most popular being “Mariechen Waltz” and “Clarinet Polka.”

He died in 1961 at age 68 years of a heart attack.

Birth and Death Data: Born May 11th, 1893, Died 1961

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1927 - 1941

Roles Represented in DAHR: leader, concertina, composer

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 32 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
OKeh W81328 10-in. 9/8/1927 Mariechen valzer (Valzer) Hans Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader, instrumentalist, concertina  
OKeh W81329 10-in. 9/8/1927 Gruss aus Minneapolis (Polka) Hans Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader, instrumentalist, concertina  
OKeh W81330 10-in. 9/8/1927 Das fidelen Ulmer (Schottische) Hans Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader, instrumentalist, concertina  
OKeh W81331 10-in. 9/8/1927 St. Paul valzer (Valzer) Hans Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble instrumentalist, concertina, leader  
OKeh W81332 10-in. 9/8/1927 Röslein valzer (Innocence waltz) (Valzer) Hans Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader, instrumentalist, concertina  
OKeh W81333 10-in. 9/8/1927 Kinder polka (Polka) Hans Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader, instrumentalist, concertina  
OKeh W400904 10-in. 6/19/1928 Das weiss kein Mensch (Ländler) Hans Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader, instrumentalist, concertina  
OKeh W400905 10-in. 6/19/1928 Hanserl polka (Polka) Hans Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader, instrumentalist, concertina  
OKeh W400906 10-in. 6/19/1928 Warren walzer (Valzer) Hans Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader, instrumentalist, concertina  
OKeh W400907 10-in. 6/19/1928 New Ulm polka Hans Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader, instrumentalist, concertina  
OKeh W400908 10-in. 6/19/1928 Chicago walzer (Valzer) Hans Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader, instrumentalist, concertina  
OKeh W400909 10-in. 6/19/1928 Elen polka (Polka) Hans Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble composer, leader, instrumentalist, concertina  
OKeh W400914 10-in. 6/20/1928 Ich liebe dich (Valzer) Hans Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader, instrumentalist, concertina  
OKeh W400915 10-in. 6/20/1928 Hanswurst polka (Polka) Hans Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader, instrumentalist, concertina  
OKeh W400916 10-in. 6/20/1928 Kleine Freundin (Valzer) Hans Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader, instrumentalist, concertina  
OKeh W400917 10-in. 6/20/1928 Kikiri (Polka) Hans Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader, instrumentalist, concertina, composer  
Brunswick MP1 10-in. approximately Mar. 1929 Jolly lumberjack (March) John Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader  
Brunswick MP2 10-in. approximately Mar. 1929 Tyrolian (Waltz) John Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader  
Brunswick MP3 10-in. approximately Mar. 1929 Helena (Polka) John Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader  
Brunswick MP4 10-in. approximately Mar. 1929 Isabella John Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader  
Brunswick MP5 10-in. approximately Mar. 1929 Martha (Polka) John Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader  
Brunswick MP6 10-in. approximately Mar. 1929 California polka John Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra Instrumental ensemble leader  
Decca 93799 10-in. 11/18/1941 No! No! polka Whoopee John Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra leader  
Decca 93800 10-in. 11/18/1941 Repeat polka Whoopee John Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra leader  
Decca 93801 10-in. 11/18/1941 Evergreen polka Whoopee John Wilfahrt Concertina Orchestra leader  
(Results 1-25 of 32 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Wilfahrt, "Whoopee" John," accessed January 22, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105018.

Wilfahrt, "Whoopee" John. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 22, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105018.

"Wilfahrt, "Whoopee" John." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 22 January 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105018

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