By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 18, 2012 at 8:54 AM

It's been a sad week for music of all varieties.

The passing of Stax bassist Duck Dunn leaves a mark on soul music. Dunn and his cohorts in Booker T and the MG's backed pretty much everyone that recorded at Stax, at least in its heyday: Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Rufus Thomas, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas and on and on.

Dunn and his cohorts created a simple music that was both down home grits and gravy and cosmopolitan at the same time, offering a counterpoint to the slicker Motown sound emerging simultaneously from Detroit.

Maybe it's because I was in Brooklyn when I heard the news about Donna Summer, but I was immediately transported back to the '70s, when Summer's influential collaboration with Giorgio Moroder, "I Feel Love," was ubiquitous on the Brooklyn side (and maybe in Milwaukee, too) and helped create synthesized dance music and even inspired the British synth pop explosion that followed.

But the real hit to someone in the Milwaukee music scene was the passing of Mark Shurilla, who we all called "Dog" back in the day. I was out of town when I heard, hence this delayed post.

First with The Blackholes – sh*t, they even got to play on the field at County Stadium thanks to their awesome tune "Warren Spahn"! – and later with his Buddy Holly show and his work mentoring and managing young local talent, Shurilla was a force on the local scene.

And that doesn't even take into account those years he spent at the helm of The Express – which later merged with The Shepherd – chronicling and supporting local music.

Remember his passion for punk rock polka? Dog was a Milwaukee boy through and through.

All three will be missed, but on the mean streets of the East Side, we'll miss Mark Shurilla the most.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.