While many know the Reading Airport as the home of World War II Weekend, the regional hub also served numerous military roles during World War II.
In September of 1944, German prisoners of war started arriving at the airport. About 250 POWs remained at the Reading Regional Airport where they were put to work and forced to help local farmers harvest produce.
The airport, however, also served a role in training air force members. In June 1943 the Reading Regional Airport transformed into the Reading Army Airfield where it served as a training camp for tactical reconnaissance units.
After World War II ended, the airport served as a training facility for a handful of reserve bombardment groups until 1950, when the airport returned to commercial uses.
While the airport has shifted back to a commercial transportation hub, the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum’s World War II Weekend keeps the area’s historical Importance alive with their yearly celebration, featuring actual airplanes from the 1940’s.
Jim Hurst’s unique picking style and mastery of bluegrass guitar wows audiences and is revered by both novice guitar players and his musical peers. His eclectic career has made him a remarkable performer, an experienced instructor and a highly sought after session musician. His affability and gregariousness make him one of the most approachable musicians of his caliber.
The product of a musical family, Jim honed his musical style after being influenced by the likes of Tony Rice, Clarence White and Jerry Reed. He got national exposure with Holly Dunn’s Rio Band playing acoustic guitar and mandolin, and singing harmonies; followed by several high profile television and radio appearances while touring with Trisha Yearwood playing acoustic and electric guitar, and harmony vocals. Jim also experienced performances with Travis Tritt, and Sara Evans.
Itching to play more bluegrass, Jim joined the Grammy-nominated Claire Lynch and her Front Porch String Band in 1995 where he teamed up with kindred spirit bassist Missy Raines. While with Claire Lynch, Missy and Jim formed a duet, creating ground-breaking arrangements. They earned IBMA Guitar and Bass Player of the Year for 2001 and 2002.
Wanting to pursue greater artistic freedom, Jim left the Claire Lynch Band in 2010 to embark on a solo career. With three solo works to his credit, Open Window, Second Son, A Box of Chocolates,Intrepid, and his latest 2014 release Looking Glass, Jim’s virtuosity shines as he consistently sways audiences with his deft finger work and smooth vocals. Jim performs his show full time and teaches at guitar workshops and music camps in North America and Europe. While he occasionally collaborates with other bluegrass greats, his solo performance is what keeps audiences mesmerized.
What began as a studio session turned into a live touring band.
Dave Lewis, and later Amy Tomaszewski, recorded Lewis’ brainchild: a full-length, 15-song debut album Hate Mail From A Love Child in late summer of 2014. A total of 19 musicians, from both southeastern PA and around the world, including New York, Tokyo and Nashville, are featured on the album.
Now, Lewis and Tomaszewski – known as Mo7s – are currently performing live shows both as a guitar/vocal duo and as a four-piece band with drums and bass. Performing throughout southeastern PA, Mo7s has played venues as varied as Musikfest, FirstEnergy Stadium, Kutztown University and Parx Casino. They pull their live repertoire from their own catalog of originals as well as 1950s and 1960s rock, country, rockabilly and R&B.
The Ultra Kings are a rockabilly/rock & roll act hailing from the northeastern Pennsylvania. The Ultra Kings are Steve Zoot on the double bass, Carl Von Ehst on the drum kit, and Rick Kay on the guitar and lead vocals.
The Ultra Kings’ live performances are infused with a high-energy blend of rockabilly, rock & roll and honky tonk.
Flamin’ Dick and the Hot Rods is a ’50s and ’60s rock & roll party band, playing a variety of music from the years of 1955 to 1968, the “golden years of rock & roll.” The classic songs played by Flamin’ Dick and the Hot Rods have the soulful sound and feel of the original artists; Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eddie Cochran, Bill Haley, Elvis, The Righteous Brothers, Gene Vincent, Dion and more.
Entertaining crowds from the resorts in New York’s Catskill Mountains and the Meadowlands of New Jersey to the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds in Pennsylvania, Flamin’ Dick and the Hot Rods have played many national events.
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