Spring Grove’s Mollie B schedules performance in hometown

Mollie Busta Lange, also known as Mollie B, will perform with SqueezeBox and the Jim Busta Band in Spring Grove in May.

It has been a very busy and successful year for Mollie Busta Lange, better known to the polka community as Mollie B.

It was a year in which she performed on Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises, her band SqueezeBox bought their first official tour bus, they played in Texas, North Dakota, Georgia, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and she was inducted into the International Polka Association Hall of Fame in September. 

But the most exciting thing that happened to Mollie B and SqueezeBox might have been when they got the call from Warner Brothers, asking them to perform in the Clint Eastwood movie, “The Mule.”

This will be a special year for all the citizens of Spring Grove and the surrounding area because Mollie B, SqueezeBox and the Jim Busta Band are returning to Mollie’s hometown for a polka party on May 11 at the Fest Building.  Ticket information is available by calling 507-450-1373.

Mollie is teaching free dancing lessons at the Spring Grove school on May 10, and her associate, Patsy Linehan, will be teaching dance lessons from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Fest Building on May 11.  Children 12 and under get in free on May 11, and teenagers, when with an adult, pay $5.  “I really want this to be a family event,” Mollie said.

Excitement is still in the air from Mollie’s movie-making adventure, which stemmed from her polka television show, “Mollie B Polka Party” on RFD-TV. Through this show she has developed quite a following, and one of her biggest fans happens to be Clint Eastwood.

“You never know who is watching. And it is a nice pat on the back when a distinguished musician, actor and director watches your show and considers himself a fan,” said Mollie.

Mollie got the call from Warner Brothers in March 2018, but she didn’t tell her public until after the movie wrapped. This was Mollie B’s first time performing in a movie.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” she said. “I actually did not say much to anyone. It wasn’t until after the movie was shot that I actually said something from stage.”

In the movie, “The Mule”, Eastwood wanted to include Mollie B and her band, SqueezeBox. So, there is a scene where Mollie B and Squeezebox perform at a VFW grand opening following the renovation, which Eastwood’s character pays for with some of his earnings as a mule.

In the scene, Eastwood’s character dances with Mollie B, something that was not in the original script. “When we were shooting it, it really felt like a normal dance in many ways. From what I understand, that is Clint’s style to let you shine where you shine and play your character the best you can (which was easy for me since I played myself). And the cameras, well, due to the Mollie B Polka Party, I have gotten used to them. So, the thought of being nervous or feeling weird was never really there.”

Mollie B and Squeezebox were on scene for approximately one minute and 40 seconds. Mollie B and Ted Lange were even asked to write a song for the movie. They co-wrote, “A Day to Say Thank You” and performed it in the movie.

“Writing songs actually is very natural for both of us. But to have it make a Clint Eastwood movie is neat to say the least. I am simply honored that Clint Eastwood liked it! And then to have it in a major motion picture adds even more sweetness to it,” said Mollie B.

Another neat thing about the movie was that Mollie’s parents, Jim and Mary Lou Busta, got to be in the film as well.

“This wasn’t odd,” she said. “My parents got me going on my career. And when they can be around, they are. Casting directors wanted true Mollie B fans that are polka dancers. And my parents fit that mold, no doubt. They applied and were accepted in the cast of dancers.”

Mollie B got invited to the premiere and got to have an experience that most people don’t get.

“The premiere was a neat experience. Several people were in attendance. When the crowd laughed — they really laughed. When they gasped, it was like the air was gone in the theatre. It was neat to be around so many people that were that ‘into’ the film, not to mention, when actors like Diane Wiest were on the screen and knowing she was literally three seats down from me was pretty neat.”

Polka bands are very rarely featured in a major film, so there were a lot of people that got to experience polka music that never usually do.

“It was neat knowing this movie will reach audiences that have never seen a polka band,” she said.

The past year was quite a year for Mollie B and her popularity is growing and it will only continue to grow after participating in “The Mule.”

“I am very thankful for all my opportunities that I get, especially making people happy with our music. I am blessed,” she concluded.