Back in 2005, I reported on living Milwaukee jazz legend, pianist Claude Dorsey's final performance, at Panache.
Dorsey was 91 then and had not long before that release his long, long, long overdue debut disc, "What A Wonderful World." I'm proud to have played a small part in that project, having designed the sleeve for it.
Turns out Dorsey only quit playing publicly back then. Moving into an assisted living place, Claude has continued to tickle the ivories -- playing for his neighbors.
Now, I'm well pleased to report that Claude -- who is the oldest living recipient of the WAMI Hall of Fame Award -- turns 96 on Sunday.
Barbara Wagner, who has worked with Dorsey over the years sent out an e-mail saying, "He'd love a lot of cards; chocolates, optional. Claude is doing well and appreciates hearing from old fans and friends. Even if he didn't know you well, he'd still love to receive a card (even if it's late!)."
If you want to send a card -- or chocolates -- you can mail them to Dorsey at Golden Living Center, 1300 W. Silver Spring Dr., Glendale, WI, 53209.
If you want a copy of Dorsey's CD, contact Wagner via e-mail.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.