Wisconsin History Day By Day


Related Web Sites:
Yahoo Music

New York Times obituary

Big Bands Database Plus


Read More About It

"Famous Wisconsin Musicians" by Susan Masino

"Woody Herman: Chronicles of the Herds" by William D. Clancy


Vocabulary:

prodigy
vaudeville
Grammy


Interesting Fact:

Woody Herman was born Woodrow Charles Thomas Herrmann. When he was performing and touring as a youngster, he dropped the two letters in his last name.


Study Questions:

  • What is the definition of a big band? Why was Woody Herman consider such an excellent big band leader?
  • What was the nickname given to Woody Herman's bands?
  • What is Woody Herman's "signature" song?


    Search these newspaper databases for additional stories about Woody Herman:

  • Wisconsin State Journal/The Capital Times
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • BadgerLink Wisconsin Newsstand
  • Wisconsin Historical Society


    U.S. historical events that occurred on May 16:

    1905: Actor Henry Fonda is born.
    1929: The first Academy Awards are held.



  • May 16

    May 16, 1913: Big band leader Woody Herman was born in Milwaukee on May 16, 1913. Herman was a child prodigy in Milwaukee, singing and dancing in vaudeville acts beginning at age six. While in high school, he began touring with various big bands and finally formed his own band in 1936. In 1986, the year before he died, Herman celebrated 50 years as a band leader. Shortly before his death, Herman received the Lifetime Achievement Grammy.


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