Bunny Berigan

Birth Name:
Roland Bernard Berigan
Birth Date:
November 2, 1908
Birth Place:
Hilbert, Wisconsin
Death Date:
June 2, 1942
Place of Death:
Polyclinic Hospital, New York, New York
Cause of Death:
Cirrhosis of the liver
Cemetery Name:
Annunciation Cemetery
Claim to Fame:
Bunny Berigan was an American jazz trumpeter and bandleader who rose to fame during the swing era of the 1930s and early 40s. Although he composed some jazz instrumentals such as "Chicken and Waffles" and "Blues", Berigan was best known for his virtuoso jazz trumpeting, successfully fuse the nuanced tonal palette of Bix Beiderbecke with the bravura power of Louis Armstrong. A tall handsome dark-haired Irishman, Berigan was a charming, popular and charismatic performer deeply adored by his fans and admired by fellow musicians. The road to fame was long and hard for Berigan. He labored in less than stellar ensembles during his early years, grinding out distracted dance music in hotel orchestras at uninspiring residencies. But starting around 1930 there was growing demand for his gifts from the Dorsey Brothers, the Boswell Sisters, Paul Whiteman, Red Norvo, Artie Shaw, Bing Crosby, the CBS and NBC radio networks and the Columbia, Vocalion, Decca, Victor and Brunswick record companies. More than 600 surviving records, transcriptions and airchecks are evidence of Berigan’s brilliant gift for making a song his own. Playing the trumpet equally well from the bottom to the top of its range, his horn soared above the finest bands of the Swing era, gracing the biggest hits of Glenn Miller, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey. His 1937 classic recording "I Can't Get Started" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1975 and he was inducted in the ASCAP Jazz Wall of Fame in 2008.

Fun Facts

Starting in 1974, Fox Lake, Wisconsin held an annual Bunny Berigan Jazz Jubilee originally organized by Berigan’s daughter, Joyce Hansen, until she was incapacitated by Alzheimer’s disease, and then by Julie Fleming. The final Jubilee was held in 2018. Most of Berigan’s recordings are available, and two full-length biographies of him have been published.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Annunciation Cemetery

Breezy Point Road

Fox Lake, Wisconson, 53916


North America

Grave Location:

Berigan Family Plot

Grave Location Description

As you drive into the cemetery you will find three sections. Bunny is buried in the middle section, about 250 feet from the entrance and 7 spaces from the road under a tree, partially hidden by a bush and behind the Burns monument. Please note this cemetery is also referred to as St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Grave Location GPS

43.53116532678, -88.8658660603



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