Iowa Bandleader Kenny Paulsen has died

Kenny PaulsenDavenport Iowa based bandleader Kenneth R. “Kenny” Paulsen passed away on July 10th, he was 82. He had a career in law enforcement, working for the Davenport Police Department and serving two terms as Scott County Sherriff. He also owned a pup that over the years went by several names, most recently the Firehouse Bar and Grill. In 1966 he started a polka band with his father, Arnold, called Paulsen’s Dutchmen.

The band had roots in his family going back to 1917 when his grandfather, father, and uncles traveled by horse and wagon playing dances before his father settled in Waterloo in 1934 to play with Moeller’s Accordion Band. In 1970 the nine piece band was renamed the Ken Paulsen Orchestra, with a focus on vintage big band and ballroom music. Familiar to generations of Iowans they released a number of albums and traveled nationally after 1988.

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Joe Bebco is the Associate Editor of The Syncopated Times and Webmaster of

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