When the 57th Grammy Awards were presented Sunday night in sunny California, at least three Milwaukee-area folks claimed the coveted prizes.
Ex-pat record producer Cheryl Pawelski won, along with her colleagues from Omnivore Recordings, nabbing the Grammy for Best Historical Album.
Pawelski and her co-producer Colin Escott were named on the award, along with mastering engineer Michael Graves, for Hank Williams’ "The Garden Spot Programs, 1950."
"After four nominations, it sure was great to win," says Pawelski the morning after. "It was even better that the Grammy was awarded to our label, Omnivore Recordings. My first three nominations came for projects I did for other companies. The difference is huge.
"When I had jobs at various major labels, we were usually working with repertoire that they owned. This comes with more weight as it is entirely independent. The Hank Williams release is comprised of recordings owned by his estate and released by this company my partners and I built ourselves. It's really meaningful to have our work recognized by the Recording Academy."
This marks the first time a Present Music ensemble member has won a Grammy.
Milwaukee native Dave Cooley – a member of influential Milwaukee bands Citizen King and Wild Kingdom – also took home a Grammy for his work co-producing Ziggy Marley's album "Fly Rasta."
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.