In our MKE Music Rewind series, we revisit notable Milwaukee music that was released before Milwaukee Record became a thing in April 2014.

Milwaukee radio station WQFM 93.3 went through numerous format changes during its nearly four-decade run. It played classical. It played big band. It played jazz. It’s probably best remembered, however, as the city’s number-one ROCK station throughout the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. (Today it’s the adult contemporary B93.3.) Hell, it was so popular that someone recreated the hard-rockin’ 93QFM as an online stream. Is it any good? You bet your babushka, mama!

93QFM showed its love for Milwaukee rock throughout the ’80s with its Hometown Music Project series. Three of these vinyl compilations were released during the Reagan decade—the first in 1980, the second in 1982, and the third in 1988. All three featured a hand-picked sampling of some of the city’s then-biggest groups, some exciting up-and-comers, and more than a few since-forgotten footnotes. The Milwaukee music scene of the ’00s can be found on WMSE’s local compilation CDs. The Milwaukee music scene of today can be found on Spotify playlists. The Milwaukee music scene of the ’80s can be found on 93QFM’s Hometown records.

So let’s talk about the third one! The one with the totally sweet jean jacket drawing on the cover (by Kathy Hetzel)! Here’s the tracklist:


1. Ruby Star – “Secrets Of The Heart”
2. F.L.A. Banshee – “Fugitives”
3. London U.S.A. – “Dance Like A Villain”
4. L.P. The Band – “Baby’s Treatin Me Right”
5. Spanic Boys – “Long Gone Daddy”
6. Robert Lucksted II – “Spooie”


1. Steve Grimm Band – “Soldier Of Fortune”
2. Richard Wiegel – “Everyday Livin Is Tough”
3. Pat McCurdy & The Confidentials – “The Good Life!”
4. Source – “Sudden Samba”
5. Art Sound – “Love Is Timeless”
6. Oceans – “Fire” (Jimi Hendrix cover)

You can listen to the whole thing via this handy YouTube playlist:

Meanwhile, the back cover of Hometown III has a few messages:

With all the wealth of talent in the Milwaukee area, it was very difficult to narrow down the field from over 200 entries to the final 12 which made this disc.

With these 12 bands we feel that we have attained a good cross section of Milwaukee talent—talent that is becoming more and more of a factor in the music industry around the world.

And this one…

The final 12 were selected by a Committee made up of representatives from A&M, Reprise, Electra, Virgin and Warner Brothers Records. It was no easy task, taking better than four hours of listening and relistening. However, in the end everyone felt that the best of the best were picked. The judges made every effort to be totally unbiased and eclectic as possible. Our goal was to create a record reflecting a variety of styles and music, to produce a good example of what a great music community Milwaukee is.

93QFM thanks everyone who entered the Project and we hope to hear from you again in ’89 for Hometown 4.

Hometown 4, sadly, never appeared. And yeah, calling an overwhelmingly rock-oriented record “eclectic” and “a good cross section of Milwaukee talent” needs to be understood through an ’80s perspective. Still, Hometown III is a fantastic collection of artists who came close to ’80s stardom…

…artists that still play out to this day…

…a few wonderful oddballs (Robert Lucksted II’s “Spooie”)…

…and Spanic Boys, who ruled/still rule. (R.I.P. Tom Spanic.)

It should also be mentioned that Milwaukee music legend Mike Hoffmann is listed as producer on four of the album’s 12 tracks (R.I.P. Mike), and that Waukesha’s once-iconic Breezeway Studios is listed as the recording site of six songs (it’s now a coffee shop). Thanks to 93QFM’s Hometown records—many of which can be found by poking around the city’s antique stores—these names, places, and bands won’t be forgotten. Keep rockin’!

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What can a Milwaukee music compilation from 1980 tell us about the scene of today?

“MKE Music Rewind” archive

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.