May 16 Fundraiser to Support ‘Boogie Bugle Boy’ Sculpture in Muskegon

A fundraiser to create a memorial sculpture in downtown Muskegon honoring Muskegon native Clarence Zylman, the inspiration behind the famous 1940s song, “The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” is set for Tuesday, May 16, from 6-7 p.m. in the Lakeshore Museum, 430 Clay Ave.

The event, which features music and is free and open to the public, includes a presentation by Muskegon artist and MCC alumnus Ari Norris and MCC Social Sciences Instructor Kurt Troutman. Contributions for the project will be accepted by the Community Foundation for Muskegon County (CFFMC).

Norris will share the “lost wax process” of turning mere lumps of clay into a beautiful life-sized bronze sculpture. Troutman will discuss the story of the Boogie Woogie Bugler and introduce the public sculpture project, which is in its early stages. Planners hope to hold a public dedication on Memorial Day in 2018.

Born in Muskegon, Zylman toured the country helping to lead a music revolution of “boogie woogie” music. Drafted into the Army, the bugler got the troops jitter-bugging to his unique style of reveille. Stars & Stripes Magazine, The London Times and more than 30 U.S. newspapers acknowledged U.S. Army Pvt. Clarence Zylman as the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.

The Downtown Muskegon Arts Committee is co-sponsoring the project with Muskegon Community College, Community Foundation for Muskegon County, Muskegon Museum of Art, Lakeshore Museum Center, USS LST 393 Veteran’s Museum, USS Silversides’ Submarine Museum, and West Michigan Dock & Market Corporation.

For more information about the event, contact Kurt Troutman at (231) 777-0639 or at