20 ORIGINAL HITS! 20 ORIGINAL STARS!

If you have ever found yourself surfing through television infomercials in the early hours of the morning and wound up with a novelty blender in the mail four to six weeks later, you have Philip Kives to thank. The Canadian entrepreneur pioneered the long- (and short-) form sales pitch on TV, peddling everything from Teflon pans to fishing lures to what may have been his crown jewel—the K-Tel series of compilation record albums, a brilliant way to market catalog music that acted as a vinyl version of Spotify and turned Kives and K-Tel from a success into a sensation.

And it all began with polka.

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