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Tuesday, December 11th, 2007 -- 11:52 AM

During his career in radio and as a successful bandleader, Howie Sturtz never seemed to be at a loss for words. He's finally decided to write some of those words down in book form.

Howie's new book "Thanks For The Memories" is available here at the Wisconsin Pavilion.

It's about 200 pages that will take you from his childhood in Loyal, through his professional successes and failures and, of course, his life on the road with the Howie Sturtz Orechestra.

"When I was very young, my dad was janitor at (Loyal) High School. He knew all about the music going on. He knew I had a talent for music, so he arranged to buy me a used cornet," Sturtz remembers. "He bought me that cornet for $64.50."

"It took him two years to pay for it, and I better darn well learn how to play it."

It wasn't too difficult for Howie, who was blessed with a good "ear" for music. Over the years, he never really learned how to read music.

"People that play by ear don't know why they can play by ear, but I learned so easily, if I heard a song a few times, I could play the whole thing by memory," Sturtz. "As the years went on, I expanded that: I not only can play from memory, I can play in the key of A-flat, B-flat, C, D-flat, F and maybe G a little bit."

Music took Howie all over the place, playing over 7,000 gigs during the Orchestra's 56 years.

He lives in Eau Claire now. You can hear more from Howie during In Depth on Thursday morning at 9:03 a.m.

By the way, we do have the books for sale here at the Wisconsin Pavilion and Howie will be at the Neillsville Public Library Monday night from 6 to 8 p.m. to sign copies of the book.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.