Play that Milwaukee tune

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Marquette memorializes Jean Cujé in a way the bassoon player, who died in 1992, would’ve loved — with an archive dedicated to Milwaukee music, musicians and concerts. It has grown, nurtured lovingly by archivist Bruce Cole, who maintains the trove of 2,000 cataloged recordings or memorabilia related to artists ranging from the Bo Deans to The Violent Femmes to Jim Spencer to the Symphonic Chamber Orchestra to Les Paul to Pee Wee King and the Cowboys, who wrote the haunting Tennessee Waltz.

Who knew the ode to lost love was penned here? Or that the world’s first, yes, first, million-selling piece of sheet music, After the Ball, published in 1892 by Charles K. Harris and Co., was produced in Milwaukee?

Another 1,000 items stand cued, awaiting Cole’s cataloging attention. “You think ‘Milwaukee, how much can there be?’” Cole posits. “But each decade has its wonderment.” The Jean Cujé Milwaukee Music Collection is held at Raynor Memorial Libraries.

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