FolkLib Index - WAMI Hall of Fame Biographies
      [WANTED: WAMI Awards Show programs 1981-2002]

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      This page reprints the Biographies of Inductees into the Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) Hall of Fame as published in the annual WAMI Award Show program booklet, and their Web site. I have never seen a copy of the 1981-1996, 2001 or 2002 programs, but the 2003-2007 programs have no biographies.

| WAMI Hall of Fame | WAMI Site Map |
   | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2008 #1 / #2 |
   | BoDeans | Manty Ellis | Rick Jaeger | Sam McCue | Clyde Stubblefield | Hubert Sumlin |

BoDeans - 2008
      The BoDeans were formed nearly three decades ago in Waukesha by Sammy Llanas and Kurt Neumann, who have played together since high school. The roots rock band released its first album, "Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams" in 1986, which quickly propelled the group into the national spotlight. The BoDeans' 1987 release, "Outside Looking In," broke into the Billboard Top 100; at that same time, the band was touring with U2 and named "Best New Band" by Rolling Stone magazine.
      In 1996, several Top 100 best-selling albums later, the band's song "Closer To Free" garnered national attention as the theme song to Fox's "Party of Five." "Closer To Free" earned the BoDeans an ASCAP award for being one of the most played songs on radio that year.
      In 2004, the band released "Resolution." The album's single, "If It Makes You," quickly jumped into the Top 10 and stayed there for several weeks. A live album and DVD were released in 2005 called "Homebrewed: Live from the Pabst." The BoDeans' eighth studio album "Still" was released in March 2008.
    Found on the WAMI Web site on 4-21-2008.

Manty Ellis - 2008
      Manty Ellis is widely regarded as the cornerstone of Milwaukee jazz. He was born in 1933 and began playing piano in bands around the Milwaukee area at the age of nine under his musician father's guidance. After hearing noteworthy guitarist Oscar Moore on the Nat King Cole Trio record "Prelude in C-Sharp Minor," Ellis quickly became focused on the guitar. It wasn't until 1961, during an impromptu meeting with Wes Montgomery at the Sutherland Hotel in Chicago, that he was introduced to the jazz guitar.
      Ellis has worked steadily to build appreciation for jazz in his hometown. He was the musical director for "The Black Scene," a local NBC affiliate public affairs television show, for three years in the late 60s and early 70s. Ellis also co-founded the jazz program at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music along with Tony King and taught there for 12 years. During that time, he directed a government-funded Model Cities program that provided Conservatory scholarships for underprivileged students. Ellis also owned a music store, Ellis Music, and many famous jazz musicians, such as Freddie Hubbard, George Benson, and Frank Foster, visited when they were in town.
      He has taught master classes and held clinics in college campuses around the region since 1977, in collaboration with bassist Richard Davis. Ellis was a recipient of the 1997 Arts Midwest Jazz Masters award, and in 1999, he recorded a CD, "In His Own Sweet Way." He currently serves as the Artistic Director of the Wisconsin Jazz & Heritage Festival.
    Found on the WAMI Web site on 4-21-2008.

Rick Jaeger - 1997
      Rick Jaeger spent the 70's basking in the glow of success with the Dave Mason Group. As the original bandleader for the group, Rick auditioned and helped make the final selection for the pop band that gave us such greats as "We Just Disagree". As one of L.A's top session drummers, he recorded with such notables as Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan and Harvey Mandel. As a percussionist, his style is also heard on Norman Greenbaum's "A Spirit In The Sky". For eight years he toured with Crosby, Still and Nash. He also played on the Pointer Sister's hit version of Springsteen's "Fire". Rick Jaeger currently resides and performs near Elkhart Lake, WI.

Sam McCue - 1998
      In Wisconsin rock history, Sam McCue is the legend to beat. As any aging greaser can tell you, In the pre-Beatles '60's, rock 'n' roll in Milwaukee was spelled "L-E-G-E-N-D-S". The Legends, with front man McCue, were the first band to truly rock Beertown. Their singles "Say Mama", "Bop-A-Lena" and "Lariat" went to the top of the charts in Milwaukee. They were the first local rock band to nail a national record contract, getting signed by Capitol. Every weekend they held court over the spacious dance floor at Muskego Beach. And they helped inspire a generation of local musicians to make music their living. By any reasonable standard, Sam McCue is the godfather of Milwaukee rock. The son of a "semi-pro" trumpet-playing dad and a singing, fiddling mom, McCue started out with ukulele at age 6 and graduated to guitar.
      In 1964, McCue left to take an opportunity as lead guitarist and band leader for the Everly Brothers. The Everlys turned out to be a memorable experience. McCue traveled all over the world, worked on a national musical variety TV series, and met and played with such rock royalty as Carl Perkins, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Frankie Avalon and Bobby Vinton.
      Excerpted from a March 12, 1998 article by Dave Tianen Journal Sentinel Pop Music Critic WAMI Nominee for Music Journalist of the Year.

Pee Wee King - 2016
      Julius Frank Anthony Kuczynski (February 18, 1914-March 7, 2000), aka Pee Wee King, is best known for co-writing "The Tennessee Waltz" in 1946. Born and raised in Abrams, Wisconsin, he was touring with Gene Autry by the time he was in his 20s. He joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1937, recorded extensively for RCA and other labels, and went on to become inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970, followed by the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1974.
      From a WAMI email received 3-23-2016.

Lyle Mays - 2016
      Acclaimed jazz pianist and composer Lyle Mays hails from Wausaukee, Wisconsin. He's best known for his piano/keyboards/synth work as an integral member of the 11-time-Grammy Award winning Pat Metheny Group. With Metheny, Mays has also been co-composer and arranger for most of the group's music during its 40+ year success.
      From a WAMI email received 3-23-2016.

Dave Steffen - 2016
      Widely recognized for his guitar prowess and signature style of blues rock, Wisconsin native Dave Steffen has experienced continuing success with his band, the Dave Steffen Band, since the band's inception in the '70's. He's been signed to both RCA and Mercury Records, with 11 albums released to date. His songs have been featured in movies and TV shows, and he's toured extensively, working with Robin Trower, Huey Lewis, members of Santana, Journey and many others.
      From a WAMI email received 3-23-2016.

Clyde Stubblefield - 2000
      Clyde started his musical career as a child in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Since then Clyde ha played all over the world and recorded with some of the greatest funk, soul and R&B performers including James Brown, Otis Redding, and Clayton Fillyau. While working with James Brown, Clyde recorded "Funky Drummer", one of the most sampled drum tracks in the world.
      Clyde moved to Madiosn in the 1970's where he continues palying, recording, and leading drum clinics.

Hubert Sumlin - 1999
      Born November 16, 1931 in Greenwood, Mississippi. Sumlin was born in Mississippi but raised in Arkansas, just outside West Memphis. He learned to play the drums before he picked up a guitar. In 1954, after a brief stint with James Cotton, Sumlin joined Howlin' Wolf's band and moved to Chicago. He played guitar in Howlin' Wolf's band for twenty-five years. His guitar playing was a integral part of Wolf's sound, and was as much a trademark as Wolf's growling vocals. Sumlin played on all of Wolf's classic Chess recordings, including "Spoonfull", "I Ain't Superstitious", "Smokestack Lightnin'", "Back Door Man", and "The Red Rooster". Sumlin has played and recorded with James Cotton, Eric Clapton, Eddie Taylor, Willie Dixon, Sunnyland Slim and Muddy Waters.
      Sumlin is an acknowledged hero to many famous guitarists including; Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and Jimmy Page (LedZeppelin) who said "Sumlin is one important person...I love Hubert Sumlin." In 1989, Sumlin moved from Chicago to the northwest side of Milwaukee. Now approaching his seventies, he has no intention of slowing down and his live shows are the proof.

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