Longtime Mankato polka show host loses battle with cancer


The longtime emcee of Mankato's "Bandwagon" music television program passed away Monday after a hard battle with cancer.

Dick Ginn, 68, of New Ulm was co-host of the polka show for nearly 40 years, the New Ulm Journal Reports.

"Bandwagon" airs Sunday mornings on KEYC and FOX in Mankato, and claims to be one of the longest running, locally produced, entertainment programs in the history of Minnesota television.

“He lived and breathed polka music,” former KEYC TV General Manager Dennis Wahlstrom tells the Mankato Free Press.

Ginn grew up on a farm in Faribault County until moving to Mankato then New Ulm. He attended Cathedral High School, where he met his wife, Jan Mielke, and graduated in 1962. The high school sweethearts married in 1965.

In addition to hosting "Bandwagon," Ginn played the banjo in several bands and played a role in forming the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in New Ulm.

Ginn died of throat and lung cancer. He made is final appearance on "Bandwagon" in January.

Video of the show is on YouTube.

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