Saturday, May 29, 2010

On, Wisconsin!

The few. The proud. The Wisconsin natives who crawled out of their holes long enough to make a mark in the music biz.

Hey, there’s not that much to sing about around here. Or so it would seem. Not that “Mockingbird Hill” isn’t a great song. Or “Tennessee Waltz.” If those chestnuts written and performed by two of our favorite sons don’t send you down memory lane then nothing will. But we don't need much to get our feet tapping around here.

Growing up we thought the Rhythm Playboys were the cat's meow, especially when Dewey hammered the ivories for a vigorous rendition of "From a Jack to a King."  Polka bands were the rage in our neck of the woods and nobody brought it like Ernie Reck, whose "Arcadia Polka" was the best dance song this side of the Mississippi.  Make that both sides.

Wisconsin became the 30th state on this date in 1848 and we can't let the day pass without acknowledging some of our favorite home-bred musicians and songs that gave them at least some degree of acclaim.  Think of the barn dance you could have with this lineup:

BoDeans, Waukesha, “She’s a Runaway”

Woody Herman, Milwaukee, “Woodchopper’s Ball”

Pee Wee King, Milwaukee, “Tennessee Waltz”

Al Jarreau, Milwaukee, “We’re In This Love Together”

Violent Femmes, Milwaukee, “Blister in the Sun”

Les Paul, Waukesha, “Mockingbird Hill”

Patty Larkin, Milwaukee, “Me and That Train”

The Chordettes, Sheboygan, “Mr. Sandman”

Liberace, West Allis, “I’ll Be Seeing You”

1 comment:

  1. Minnesota, you would have something to talk about.

    A few weeks ago some callow youth wrote on the internet that Fl doesn't have much of a music pedigree.

    Well, except for:

    Ray Charles
    Allman Bros
    Fred Neil
    Stephen Stills
    Tampa Red
    The Tropics
    Tom Petty
    Gary Stewart
    Gram Parsons
    Skynard and all Southern Rock wannabees from FL including Outlaws, Cowboy, 39 Special, Hatchett, Grinderswitch, i'm gonna puke now
    stuff recorded at Ocean Blvd. studios aka Clapton
    Gloria Estefan and S FL salsa / pop

    and the No. 1 reason FL is king of rock: Keith Richards wrote "Satisfaction" in Clearwater FL in 1965.