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Northern Lights Theater's "Rockabilly Circus 2" will bring out rockabilly legends both old and new.
Northern Lights Theater's "Rockabilly Circus 2" will bring out rockabilly legends both old and new.

Rockabilly lives on with Northern Lights concert event

The nine lives of Rockabilly continue with "Rockabilly Circus 2," a multi-generational concert event Friday night at the Northern Lights Theater. Legends Jack Scott, Narvel Felts and Huelyn Duvall will be joined by their successors Marti Brom, Chris Casello Trio and Slim Jim Phantom.

When he began performing in the 1950s, Jack Scott said there were no labels for the music. "I was raised on the Grand Ole Opry, country and Western and hillbilly music," he said. "We’d play a square dance and then some rock and roll.

"In the ‘70s, I did a tour of Europe with Warren Smith and Charlie Feathers, and it might have been Charlie who came up with combining hillbilly and rock and roll as the name Rockabilly. Before that, it wasn’t really labeled. They didn’t fine tune it like they do today."

Scott says he never looked for a hit record, but success followed. He was later discovered by a new generation when The Cramps covered his song "The Way I Walk." He is working on a book about his career in music.

Marti Brom said she always directs fans to the legendary acts.

"I tell them, ‘If you have a choice, see the older performers.'" Brom said. "It is amazing to the see the originals while they are still around."    

Slim Jim Phantom agreed, "Jack Scott is an artist who’s had an impact. When your songs are covered all these years later, it means you’re the Real McCoy. Narvel Felts recorded on Sun Records; to me, that is the official stamp of rockabilly royalty."

Brom grew up influenced as much by Chrissie Hynde and Billie Holliday as much as The Porter Waggoner Show and Hee-Haw. As a performer, she found her niche with roots music.  "I always gravitated toward older styles of music," she said.

Her energy and style strikes a chord with the Rockabilly fanbase. Brom is currently working on a new album that focuses on her original material.

"These shows are important both to show a connection to past and show appreciation to the classic artists who have inspired …

The allergic Matt Mueller was not thrilled  with "Take Your Cat To Work Day," but he was a very good sport.
The allergic Matt Mueller was not thrilled with "Take Your Cat To Work Day," but he was a very good sport. (Photo: Molly Snyder )

Video: Take Your Cat To Work Day

Welcome to OnMeowaukee Cat Week, a meowsome bunch of articles, photos, videos and an Instagram contest celebrating all aspects of Milwaukee cats. Sponsored by Bark N' Scratch Outpost, the next seven days are dedicated to those creatures with nine lives who make our lives more paw-sitive.

For most people, Tuesday was just another work day, but for employees at OnMilwaukee, ahem – OnMeowaukee – it was "Take Your Cat To Work Day." For some, this was a joyous occasion featuring heavy purring and on-the-job pet therapy. For others, it was a seemingly-endless shift littered with crumpled tissue and Claritin tablets.

At the end of the day, we could (almost) all agree that the most important goal was achieved: neither Oscar, Isa nor Princess Pom-Pom were traumatized in any way. Nor did they pee in our plants.

Most likely, "Take Your Cat To Work Day" will never happen again at OnMilwaukee, so we documented it with a video. 

The U.S. Federal Courthouse is just one of the city-full of places to check out at this weekend's Doors Open Milwaukee.
The U.S. Federal Courthouse is just one of the city-full of places to check out at this weekend's Doors Open Milwaukee. (Photo: Bobby Tanzilo)

Doors Open Milwaukee: Thanks for the feedback

The fifth annual Doors Open begins tomorrow. I truly believe that this two-day celebration of Milwaukee’s architecture and built environment was created "by the people and for the people." Doors Open is part of the larger worldwide Open House/Doors Open movement that started in London more than 20 years ago.

Longtime Historic Milwaukee, Inc. member George Wagner presented the concept to HMI’s board of directors and got the green light to proceed. Since the first Doors Open Milwaukee in 2011, attendance has climbed by 20 percent each year. We expect more than 25,000 visitors this year.

One of the best parts of Doors Open is reading the feedback shared by attendees. I encourage everyone to complete our Doors Open survey after the event. It will be available on our website, linked to our Facebook page and hard copies will be available at most sites. Here’s what you had to say last year:

  • "It was my niece’s 12th birthday, and my gift to her was spending an afternoon doing whatever she wanted to do. Movies have always been her choice, but this year I told her about Doors Open Milwaukee and her eyes lit up. She lives in Sussex, and although they occasionally make it into 'the big city' for school sponsored field trips, those excursions don't allow much time for exploration and appreciation of the city, its architecture and inhabitants. We went to MIAD, The Riverside, The Plankinton Arcade, The Apartments at The Grand Wisconsin, walked east down Wisconsin Ave. and then north on The Riverwalk to The Marcus Center, and then finally onto the US Bank Building (she's terrified of heights, but at the last minute, she conquered her fears and said, 'Let's do it!'). Seeing her eyes open to a new world, and her realization that she too can live in a vibrant community full of diversity and beauty was, and is, priceless. Thank you, EVERYONE involved, for the amazing day that I got to have with my niece because of you!"
  • "I took my 80-year-old mom. She told me a cute story …
Hillary Clinton spoke at UWM during a campaign stop Thursday.
Hillary Clinton spoke at UWM during a campaign stop Thursday.

Hillary talks issues at Thursday UWM campaign stop

UWM’s Wisconsin Room was packed for Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton on as she tackled hot button issues such as gun control, minimum wage and women’s rights at her campaign stop Thursday. 

She took the stage amongst chants of "Hillary! Hilary!" There was such a high turnout that the speech was also screened at the Union Cinema since a significant amount of people weren’t able to fit in the Wisconsin Room. 

She began her speech by talking about traveling to Wisconsin as a young woman and how she admired the natives of the dairy state because of their "can do," "progressive" and "pioneering" spirit. What turned into an admiration flipped when she uttered the phrase, "What happened?"

She pointed out that we are still recovering from the recession and that the minimum wage is nowhere near enough for families to get by. She went to say that we have to "roll our sleeves up" to get this state, and more importantly this nation, back on track. She has been open with the media in recent months in support of raising the minimum wage to $12 which would help to kick start the economy. "I believe that raising incomes and supporting families is the defining economic challenge of our time," she said. "I’ve made that the focus of my campaign, and I will make it the mission of my presidency."

She criticized the trickledown economics approach to the economy and proclaimed it isn’t working. She declared "the rich need to pay their fair share." She informed the crowd that individuals who are working hard and making minimum wage won’t ever be able to rid themselves of their low economic status alone.

She fired shots at Gov. Scott Walker saying he’s "rolling back women’s health and rights." She referred to Walker’s defunding of Planned Parenthood, how he repealed protections for equal work for equal pay and signed a bill that bans abortions after a 20-week period. "It looks like he just gets his marching orders from the Koch brothers and just goes down …