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Ray Sands and the Polka Dots recently played at the annual Southwest Polka Party in Las Vegas. Sands, the band leader, has been a part of Polka Dots for 65 years.

Still polka-in’ around

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When Ray Sands was a boy, all he wanted was an accordion. His parents told him to play the piano. Finally, when Sands was 9 years old, his father bought him a used accordion for $25.


Despite some major bellows leakage, enough to be able slick his own hair back, Sands recalls, he was the happiest kid in the country.

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Stacy Bengs-Silverberg
Stacy Bengs has been a photojournalist at the Red Wing Republican Eagle since 2010. She holds a bachelors degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota.
(651) 301-7880