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Ah, yes. Those were the days … when Big Red regularly hosted the Big Bands. And Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra were one of the biggest (and the best) of that era. According to an article published in a 1946 edition of Wisconsin Alumnus Magazine (the precursor to On Wisconsin), Tommy Dorsey headlined UW-Madison’s 1946 Homecoming Weekend, November 8 and 9, 1946. The story went on to say, “Dorsey will play a swing concert in the Field House on Friday night and will play for the annual Homecoming Ball in Great Hall of the Memorial Union the following night.” The concert event was also chronicled in the 1947 Badger Yearbook (pictured). Read the yearbook’s recap.

UPDATE: After initially responding directly to Kamerling with the answer to his question, he wrote back with some follow-up information and a story that we here at Ask Abe thought would be nice to share.

Kamerling says, “Many thanks for the information. My wife Barbara and I have little memory of that (Tommy Dorsey) weekend. It was 66 years ago. We were married in 1952 and recently celebrated our 60th anniversary.

I have another story for your archives (about when Kamerling attended the UW): With all of the GI’s returning after the war, housing was very tight around campus. I spent my first year in a private home out in Nakoma. During the fall of ’47, I was accepted in to the dorms. But that semester I ended up living with five other guys … in the (Camp Randall) stadium! A few rooms were created under the stands on the second floor. We survived though. With all of us having been in the military, that was no big deal. Thanks again.”

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