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Kitty Dunn

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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Breese Stevens Field

With the big concert with the Avett Brothers and Brett Dennen coming up at Breese Stevens Field in October, I did a little digging to find out more about the facility that was just put on the National Register of Historic Places last year.

1. I always thought it was named after 2 people named Breese and Stevens, but it actually pays homage to Breese Stevens, who was mayor from 1884-1885. His widow sold the land for $35,000 and the naming rights.

2.  The original brick grandstand was built in 1925, and the stone wall was built in 1934 by workers from the Civil Works Administration, using quarry rock from Madison's Hoyt Park.

3. The field has been used as a location for professional baseball and football games, boxing matches, prayer services and even marble competitions. n 1946, the New York Yankees held a 3-day tryout camp there.

4. In 1938, Olympic gold medalist sprinter Jesse Owens ran three races at an exhibition following a Madison Blues baseball game.

5. Some really scary looking clowns have hung out there. Check out this picture from the Wisconsin Historical Society.
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Topics : Sports
Social :
People : Breese StevensBrett DennenJesse OwensStevens Field


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Dancing, Romance, Laughter, Tears: Dirty Dancing the Musical

I got a chance to go see Dirty Dancing The Musical at Overture Center last night. Before I tell you what I thought of it--here's the deal. I am not a fan of sappy love stories that seem like really long MTV videos (Sleepless In Seattle, I'm looking at you!)

While this was a love story with a lot of music like an MTV video, I didn't like it--I loved it!

I hadn't seen the movie since the 1980s and had completely forgotten the story. So I was sucked in by the plot, the amazing singing and dancing, fantastic costumes, and elaborate staging. I actually cried a litle at the end.

But will folks who know the movie by heart love this version? If my friend Wendy is any indication, YES they would! She said it stayed true to the movie and didn't cut much out--and she says she would go back every night if she could.

It's at Overture Hall thru Sunday. More info here.


 
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Topics : Entertainment_CultureHuman Interest
Social :
Locations : Seattle
People : Wendy


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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know about the Late, Great B.B. King

When B.B. King passed away May 14th, he left behind a legacy that's impossible to measure, influencing everybody from John Lennon and Eric Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Here are a few things you may not have known about the man born Riley B. King in a sharecropper's shack.

1. Before he was a famed bluesman, King was a DJ in Memphis, hosting a show called the Sepia Swing Club on radio station WDIA.

2. His songs have been sampled by many artists in varying genres, including Ice Cube and Christina Aguilera.

3. B.B. King was an FAA certified pilot, but he stopped flying at the age of 70.

4. He had a bunch of hits on the Rhythm and Blues charts, but he had a few hits that crossed over to the pop charts in the United States. "The Thrill is Gone" went to #15 in 1969.

5.  He made guest appearances on many TV shows, including The Cosby Show, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Young & The Restless, General Hospital, Sanford and Son, and Sesame Street.

 

Photo courtesy Getty Images.
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Kitty's Picks for Madison Craft Beer Week

Madison Craft Beer week is once again upon us, and the hopheads and malt minions rejoice and say "Hallelujah!"

Starting May 1st and running through May 10, hundreds of bars, restaurants and liqour stores are celebrating the goodness known as beer with a lot of fun (and tasty) events. You could spend hours scrolling through the events list here, or you could take my word for it and go with my picks!

Friday May 1st  3pm-9pm Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona 
It's opening night of the brewery's "back yard," with free live music from the Stringdusters, and Triple M's Marshall Pierce broadcasting live. While you're there, try the Common Thread, which was brewed by brewers from WBC as well as Wisconsin Dells Brewery, Thirsty Pagan, Pearl Street, Capital Brewery, The Vintage, Mob Craft, Potosi, The Great Dane, Titletown, Alt, Grumpy Troll, New Glarus, Next Door and Tyranena as well as some folks from Gorst Valley Hops and the Wisconsin Brewer Guild.

Friday May 1st  Craftsman Table and Tap in Middleton 6-9pm
Remember the old Pinewood Derby? Boy Scouts would build race cars out of pine and race them. Well this is like that--only the cars are made with beer cans. Note: only American craft beer cans allowed.

Saturday May 2nd at the VFW on Highway CV  Noon-5pm
Join Triple M for the wrap party for Ale Asylum "Hummmane" beer, plus learn more about Badger Honor Flight. There will be beer to drink, brats to eat, and fun for the kids as well. Pay it forward while tipping one back!

Monday May 4  Malt House on East Washington Avenue all day
"May the Fourth Be With You" It's a day of space themed beers, with a costume contest at 9pm. Beer discounts of you are dressed as a character from a Star Wars film or "Spaceballs."

Wednesday May 6 High Noon Saloon on East Washington 8-11pm
Ignite Madison "Life With Beer"  Some of the best stories are told over a pint or two. At this event, 10 people will share a variety stories about their life with beer (and slides!)  It's a benefit for the Wisconsin River Alliance.

Friday May 8th Echo Tap on West Main Street 5-8pm
Compete in beer-related challangers and win the first Ultimate Beer Geek title!  There will be special release beers from New Belgium. Last year I tried a curry beer which was really unusual..can't wait to find out with New Belgium will have this time around.

Saturday May 9th (a variety of locations) 11:30am-4pm
Madison Brewery Bike Tour with Hope Head Brewery Tours. Start and finish at Machinery Row Bicycles and make stops at Karben 4, Next Door, and One Barrel Brewery. Bike rentals are available.

Is there another super-cool event that you think I should know about? Tell me in the comments section! Enjoy, and please drink responsibly.


 
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Tags :  
Locations : DerbyEast WashingtonTitletownVerona
People : Marshall Pierce


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Kitty's Day with Badger Honor Flight

On Saturday, I was honored to take part in a Badger Honor Flight to Washington D.C. with an awesome group of veterans and volunteers.

We got on the plane bright and early (actually dark and early) and took off at 7am for Washington, and then made stops at Arlington National Cemetery, The Marine Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial), the World War II, Korean, Vietnam, and Lincoln Memorials, and finally the Air Force Memorial. We didn't get back until around 10pm. It was a long day, but well worth it.

I went there in honor of my dad, who served in WWII and passed away 11 years ago. Saturday would have been his 96th birthday. I didn't realize how sad this trip would make me. I was proud and happy to represent my dad, but didn't realize how much it would make me miss him. Everywhere we went, the vets were greeted with so much love and respect, and my father deserved to experience that as well.

In addition to the veterans, I would like to salute the volunteers that put this project together.I can't even imagine how much hard work went into making everything come together without a hitch. From snacks on the bus, a tour guide to point out Washington D.C. sites as we went from place to place, to lunch and snacks and a really cool surprise that happened on the flight home, everything was covered! They even had doctors and other medical personnel along to help, just in case.

One thing they didn't plan was the lucky surprise encounter with Badger basketball star Frank Kaminsky. That was just a happy coincidence..for me and many of the veterans who thanked him for a great season, much as everyone else was thanking them for their service. (Pictured below).

If you know someone who is a veteran of either the Korean War or World War II, you really should let them know about this amazing opportunity. There are three more coming up this year. More information here.




 
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Local Musician Needs Our Help--Sunday Benefit for Robert J's family

What are you doing this Sunday (April 19th)? Head over to the High Noon Saloon to hear some great live music, and at the same time help a local musician.

Robert J. Conaway, who usually just goes by Robert J., has been a friend to 105.5 Triple M for a long time. The first time I met him he filled in for another artist who canceled on us last minute at the Taste of Madison. Since then, he's been a guest on Jonathan & KItty in the Morning numerous times, as a solo act and with the Moon Gypsies.

Robert's family is going through a rough patch. Earlier this year, his 12-year-old son Jacy became very ill and was diagnosed with a bacterial brain infection. He recovered, but has a long road ahead of him.

Robert J's buddy and bandmate Chris Wagoner has put together a stellar lineup for a benefit to help defray medical costs for the family. The show gets going at 6pm this Sunday at the High Noon Saloon. The suggested donation is $10 to see the Stellanovas, the Lucas Cates Band, the Beth Kille Band, Boys Town featuring the O'Bros, and the Moon Gypsies with special guests.

You can get tickets for the show here, or at the show this Sunday.

Check it out! I found a video of the Robert J. and the Moon Gypsies playing for us in the Triple M studio a few years ago!


 
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Kitty's Record Store Day Picks.

Record Store Day is this Saturday and it's kind of a big deal, especially if you love vinyl.

Independent record stores all across the country will be offering some pretty cool stuff created especially for that day--or available for the first time on Record Store Day.

Here in Madison, record stores taking part include Ear Wax, B-Side Records, Strictly Discs, Mad City Music and Sugar Shack.

The Record Store Day website lists all the releases--but here's my list of picks for Record Store Day 2015. You might want to call your favorite record store ahead of time to make sure they'll have a copy of what you're looking for.

1. The Animals "We're Gonna Howl Tonight" LP This is a mono recording of live performances of the Animals that were broadcast in 1964. This was their first successful year and I bet they sound amazing doing old blues classics.

2. The Decemberists "Picaresque."  This is a LP on red vinyl marking the album's tenth anniversary.

3. Brian Eno "My Squelchy Life" LP. This is a legendary "lost album" from 1991. I just like it because of the word "squelchy."

4. Foo Fighters "Songs from the Laundry Room" 10 inch. Reportedly recorded in Dave Grohl's laundry room this includes four songs--two demos, a cover, and a previously unreleased song.

5. Garbage "The Chemicals" 10 inch record with 2 original tracks. On flourescent orange vinyl!

6. Gram Parsons/The Lemonheads "Brass Buttons" 7 ".  There are several Record Store releases that feature two very different bands or artists playing the same song. Gram really brings the melancholy to this song. I'm curious what the Lemonheads will do with it.

7. Paul McCartney "The Family Way Soundtrack."  When Paul was still in the Beatles, in 1967, he and George Martin did the musical score for this movie staring Hayley Mills and her dad John Mills.  It's all instrumentals and probably only for the Beatles completionist.

8. Mumford & Sons "Believe/The Wolf" 7'. This is the first chance to get a physical copy of these two songs from the album "Wilder Mind" which comes out next month.

9. St. Paul and The Broken Bones "Live from Alabama, Tennessee." Two songs on a transparent crimson record shaped like the state of Albama!  How cool is that?

10. Violent Femmes "Happy New Year" 12" EP.  Four new songs from the revamped Femmes. The Milwaukee band is on tour this summer with Colin Hay (of Men at Work), and Barenaked Ladies.

 

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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know about Eric Clapton

There's a lot about Eric Clapton this is pretty much an open book. He stole George Harrison's wife. He's battled many demons, including drugs and alcohol. He got the name Slow Hand because he was terribly slow at changing broken guitar strings.

But as the guitar icon turns 70, I thought I'd share some other tidbits that you may not have heard before.

1. Eric Clapton went to school to study stained glass art before he took up music full-time.

2. He's not too cool to wear shorts on stage. I witnessed this in person at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2010. It was a very hot day and he was not about to be a slave to rock star fashion.

3. Clapton collects Ferraris.  He says he loves the "music" made by a 12 cylinder engine.

4. He has a minor planet named for him.  You'll need a telescope to spot 4305 Clapton  between Mars and Jupiter.

5. In one of his more bizarre charity gigs, Clapton dressed as a clown and got a pie in the face. He also hit Shirley MacLaine in the face with a pie as well.  And the proof is on youtube!

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Summerfest and Lolla announce headliners

There may be snow on the ground again in Madison--but it's time to start thinking about the summer festival season!

Both Summerfest and Lollapalooza have announced headliners.

Headliners at Summerfest will include Kings of Leon, Ed Sheeran, Kongs, Phillip Phillips, Sheryl Crow, Bastille, the Flaming Lips, and Walk the Moon. Classic rock fans will get their retro fix with the Doobie Brothers, Sammy Hagar, Pat Benatar, and Kansas. Jam band fans can enjoy music from Trampled by Turtles, Keller Williams, and Dark Star Orchestra.  We're not sure why, but for some reason Paris Hilton will be a headliner as well!  Summerfest starts June 24th in Milwaukee. More info here.

Lollapalooza happens July 31-August 2 in Chicago, with headliners Paul McCartney, Metallica, and Florence and the  Machine. Other acts include TV on the Radio, Tame Impala, Sam Smith, Alabama Shakes, and Gary Clark, Jr. More info here.

 

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The cool thing about Coastal Carolina's coach

This won't be enough to make you root for them, but Coastal Carolina's Coach has some pretty cool musical stuff on his resume.

Back in the 1960s, when Cliff Ellis was in college, he was in a garage band called the Villagers, and they cut a record on the Fame label.

He's supposedly singing lead on this song, a cover of a tune by The Tams that few of us remember.



And according to Cliff Ellis's autobiography, and this news story, he had another link to rock and roll history. He was reportedly in the studio when Etta James recorded "Tell Mama," and even played tambourine. Supposedly you can hear his tambourine stylings at :35 in.

 

Oh..one more thing.

Go Bucky!
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