By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Apr 15, 2021 at 7:10 AM

After 34 years digging, and digging into, classic rock and roll on Milwaukee radio, DJ Steve Palec is hanging up his microphone.

This Sunday’s "Rock 'n' Roll Roots" show, from 9 a.m. until noon, April 18, will mark his last show on WKLH.

“I am grateful and frankly amazed at the freedom and opportunity I was afforded back in 1987,” says Palec.

“I’m proud of telling stories, sharing music, having fun, interviewing legends and informing an audience over the course of wars, tragedies, births, bulletins, weather issues and seven U.S. President, while never once ‘mailing it in.’ I prepared for each and every show for hours on end.”

Palec – who in late 2019 published a memoir called “IN AWE: Beatles, Baseball & Bourbon, Appreciating Spectacular and Simple Stuff,” which can be ordered via Amazon – continues to be active in commercial real estate, which has long been his “day job.”

He is currently the chief marketing officer for Irgens.

“As far as the future,” Palec says, “I’m really enjoying my CMO role at Irgens, and as much as my wife would like me to curtail my constant pontifications about music and many other subjects, who knows what’s next?”

There have been numerous changes at WKLH this year, including the elimination of Marilynn Mee’s position and the departure of Karen Dallessandro, who is headed to Phoenix.

Palec may become one of Dallessandro’s listeners there as he plans to spend part of the year in Arizona, where Irgens has an office.

“We own a place there,” he says. “The combination of having it, spring training, decades of shoveling snow, etc. definitely weigh in on not wanting to be tied to the studio every Sunday.”

Best of luck, Steve, and rock on!

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.