Moostash Joe wasn’t always called Moostash Joe (you kinda have to grow into a name like that!)
He grew up in Dodge, NE as just plain ol’ Joe Spellerberg, a small-town Nebraska kid who loved music. Joe eventually came to have his own Polka band and played for dances all around the world. Also, each Sunday, he had a radio show consisting of Polka and Big Band music called The Polka Show (up until 1965!) airing in Eastern Nebraska.
One Saturday night in 1965, Joe was running late leaving his home in Dodge, NE to one of his dance jobs. Sure enough, just outside of West Point, NE, Joe saw the flashing lights of a patrol car in his rear view mirror. The patrolman asked the usual questions and after a couple of Joe’s responses, recognized his voice as Joe Spellerberg from The Polka Show. He noticed Joe’s small mustache and said, “You know, you need a better name. You should be called Moostash! Not mustache, but Moostash!” Joe obliged, thinking it’ll help him get out of the speeding ticket!
They parted ways and the next day on the radio, Joe started The Polka Show as the Moostash Joe Polka Show. The monikur for Joe stuck, and ever since then, Joe Spellerberg was just known as Moostash Joe.
That night, Joe gained more than a speeding ticket and a new name. He and the patrolman who wrote the ticket, Clarence Mayhew, kept in contact and became fast friends until Mayhew’s death in 1993.
In 2010, Joe celebrated 50 years as the personality on the Moostash Joe Polka Show. He also was the inaugural winner of the Midwest Music Master Award. This award is presented to an individual every year who has dedicated his or her lifetime to promoting, performing, and being an ambassador for music in the Midwest.
The same passion, hard work, fun and dedication Moostash Joe put into his music, he applied to the tour business.
Joe started Moostash Joe Tours in 1975. Before a tour was ever offered to the public, it was first scouted out and put together by Moostash Joe and/or one or two of the tour directors.
“Moostash” Joe Spellerberg (83) passed away on May 17, 2017. He will be remembered for sharing so much joy, happiness and laughter with so many lives.