Milwaukee Day falling on a Sunday this year leaves a fastball hanging over the plate for 32-year Milwaukee radio veteran Steve Palec, whose show runs three hours every Sunday morning from 9 until noon.
For the April 14 "Rock & Roll Roots" show on WKLH, 96.5 FM, Palec will play music by Milwaukeeans like Steve Miller, Ruby Starr, Jerry Harrison, Violent Femmes, Liberace, The Robbs, Trapper Schoepp, BoDeans, Greg Koch and others and will talk to local shakers like Bob Barry, Damian Zak and – wait, what? – Giannis Antetokounmpo.
I have the distinct feeling you’re also going to get to hear the late Mayor Henry Maier sing. Why should today’s kids miss out on this Brew City tradition, right?
"I figured 414 Day on a Sunday would be a natural to focus on Milwaukee and over the past 32 years I’ve had many opportunities to play songs and tell stories about music and memories that have ties to my hometown," says Palec.
"I’ve never focused an entire show on Milwaukee. Thinking about all the talent here and asking various artists about their memories of playing here now has me nervous. I’m not sure three hours is enough time to get all these great stories on the air."
You can listen live to Palec’s show at wklh.com or, of course, on one of those old-fashioned receivers of radiophonic waves.
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 an episode of TV's "Party of Five," 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 can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.