ELY – The local music scene is mourning the loss of Earl Bulinski this week. Word of his death, at age 72, swept over this community last weekend.Earl and his wife, Sharon, spent their winters …
ELY – The local music scene is mourning the loss of Earl Bulinski this week. Word of his death, at age 72, swept over this community last weekend.
Earl and his wife, Sharon, spent their winters in their home away from home on South Padre Island, Texas, and returned to their Pattison Street home in Ely every summer.
In recent years, Bulinski played with Jef Cerniak and Andy Messerschmidt in the Tru Blu North Trio, and were regulars at various live music venues around the city as well as the Boundary Waters Blues Festival in Winton.
The Electras were formed when brothers Bill (lead guitar, vocals) and Earl Bulinski (rhythm guitar) came together as a duo in 1962, soon after moving to Ely and enrolling at Ely Memorial High School.
The Electras, described as an American garage rock band, recorded between 1965 and 1967 during their musical career, including their most-known tune, “Dirty Old Man.” Past members included Earl and Bill Bulinski, Gary Omerza, Fred Godec, Len Erickson, Kaye Spalj, Jerry Fink, Tim Elfving and Harvey Korkki.
Additionally, the band hired Chuck Novak (Ely’s current mayor) as their manager, and in the fall of 1965, Novak put the Electras in contact with songwriter and record producer Warren Kendrick of Dove Recording Studio to pen and record the group’s debut single. The band’s first release, “Bout My Love,” was issued in late 1965.
The Electras were best known as a “cover band,” playing songs recorded by acts including The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Animals, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and The Young Rascals.
In 2010, the Electras were inducted into the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame, which saw original group members reconvene in Ely for a reunion concert at Dee’s Bar.