2001 WAMI HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES

Claude Dorsey

Dorsey built his legend and legacy by gripping audiences with his jazz across decades at pianos in Milwaukee.

Claude was born in Gainesville, GA, on January 10, 1914 and moved to Milwaukee at age 14. The son of a Baptist minister, his musical training started in church. He began playing the piano at age 3 and by 12, he was playing professionally.

He became infatuated with jazz while attending Lincoln High School.

Dorsey build his notoriety at the Clock Bar in downtown Milwaukee, where he played six nights a week for nearly 40 years beginning in the 1940s. Claude met or performed with artists including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Bob Hope, Louie Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Liberace and Tony Bennett.

His piano work made fans among the famous including Lou Rawls, Tony Bennett and Bob Hope. Dorsey has also played at Café LeBoheme, The Wheelhouse, The Estate and Caroline's Jazz Club

At the age 89, Claude recorded his first CD, "Claude Dorsey: What a Wonderful World" featuring Gary Christensen and Scott Van Domelen.

He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Musician's Union and received proclamations from Milwaukee County, the City of Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin.