By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 16, 2016 at 9:22 AM

To you, Julius La Rosa was the guy who was famously fired on the air by Arthur Godfrey. To me, he's that guy singing "Eh, Cumpari" and "Mama Rosa" on 45s I inherited from my grandmother. La Rosa died last week at age 86 ... in Crivitz.

I'm no expert on the Italian-American singer, so I'll suggest you read the obituary in The New York Times. It also has the story of his humiliating firing.

La Rosa was born in Brooklyn and went to high school in Queens, and spent 42 years living in Westchester County, N.Y. But he died at home in Crivitz, which makes me think...

1. Julius La Rosa died in Crivitz?!


2. I've driven through Crivitz on a number of occasions. You mean I could've met Julius La Rosa?

Apparently not, because La Rosa moved there just recently, according to

"'He and his wife moved to Crivitz, a small town in northeastern Wisconsin, only last November,' said Smith, who added that her mother was originally from Wisconsin. She said the La Rosa family vacationed in Wisconsin every summer and spent every other Christmas with her mother's family. Smith also said her brother, Christopher, lives in Crivitz.

"'It's a different way of life but he was ready for that,' she said. 'He didn't need the hustle and the bustle at 86 years old. He loved Wisconsin'."

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

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 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.