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Odd Wisconsin Archive

Bad Badger Musicians

Today (May 16th) is the birthday of two legitimate Wisconsin musical prodigies, Big Band leader Woody Herman and pianist Liberace (read about them at This Day in Wisconsin History). But for every true artist there must be dozens who have their brief 15 minutes of fame and are properly never heard from again. To meet some of them, check out the musician profiles in our online collection of Local History & Biography Articles.

You'll find the first band in Fort Atksinson, the 1880s "Ladies Brass Band" of Onalaska, and German 48'er Hans Balaska, who we're told evolved from a revolutionist into the "musical Nestor of Chicago." You can also find many photos of forgotten musicians at Wisconsin Historical Collections. As you browse and poke around, you may be greatful that we haven't digitized any music yet.

:: Posted in Odd Lives on May 15, 2005
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