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Homegrown Rock Group Will Appear For BenefitHomegrown Rock Group Will Appear For Benefit

By Staff | Aug 3, 2011

The Secrets, Middlebourne’s homegrown rock and roll band from years gone by, will be ‘rockin’ the house’ when they return to their roots this August, performing for the first time in 27 years at a benefit concert for Tyler County Public Library.

The band, comprised of Dan Fisher, Kathy Fisher, Steve Markle, and Doug Ebert, combines their diverse talent for a one time only show Aug. 6 at the Middlebourne Senior Center.

These talented people, who began their successful careers in Tyler County, have gone on to achieve major success in their chosen field, according to a press release issued by the group.

Dan Fisher is the bass guitarist and contributing vocalist for The Secrets. He grew up in Middlebourne, where he was obsessed with comic books, monster movies, television, and rock and roll. Playing trumpet for the Tyler County High School marching band, Dan made All State Band his senior year.

Graduating TCHS in 1982, he then attended West Virginia University, where he studied acting and playwriting. He performed in many productions there, including Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors” and Pinter’s “Homecoming,” and staged his own original plays “State Trooper’s Song” and “Four Baptist Girls.” He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1986.

After a summer of working and performing in Theater West Virginia’s “Hatfields and McCoys”/“Honey in the Rock,” Dan got his first job working on the film set of the motion picture “Matewan,” filmed in Beckley, W.Va.

He then moved to New York City, where he has continued to work as a prop master in film and television. Some of his credits include “Men In Black,” “Mississippi Burning,” the long-running “Law and Order,” and “Black Swan.” By his reckoning, he has worked on over 200 film and television productions in the past 25 years.

Dan and his wife Helene have been married for over 18 years, proud parents to their son Augustus, 14, and daughter Phoebe, 11. They currently live in Rockland County, N.Y., a suburb of New York City.

In his spare time, when he has any, Dan writes screenplays and short stories, is perpetually at work on his prop master’s memoirs, “Chaining Naked Ladies to the Walls of Hell”, and is thoroughly addicted to the internet and everything Mac. He is also still obsessed with comic books, monster movies, television, and rock and roll.

Secrets lead singer Kathy Fisher began her musical career at the tender age of five by singing a solo in a Christmas play at the Stealey Street United Methodist Church. She continued to cultivate her skills there over the years under the wonderful guidance of Rene Wilcox, often performing in duos, trios, quartets, and choral groups with such childhood friends as Dixie Farhatt, Cathy Eastham, Sherry Wilcox, Susan Woofter, and many others.

Kathy was also very fortunate to have had another great mentor in Sally Conklin, choral director at Arthur I. Boreman Middle School, who recognized her passion for singing and encouraged and challenged her along the way.

After graduating from TCHS, Kathy spent two years at WVU as a theatre major, but left after her sophomore year to follow her first passion of music. She moved to Los Angeles with big dreams and a small budget, living through years of varied degrees of success and failure, until she met her musical soul mate–and now husband–Ron Wasserman.

Together, as the duo Fisher, their original song “Breakable” was featured on the soundtrack to the feature film “Great Expectations,” which was eventually certified Gold. They released several CD’s of their own afterward, including “True North,” “The Lovely Years,” and “Water.” Kathy and Ron also appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno (performing “I Will Love You”) as well as performing “Beautiful Life” on “Live! With Regis and Kelly.” They performed at Lillith Fair with Sarah McLachlan and toured both nationally and internationally. Their songs have been featured on commercials for Toyota, Hyundai, Bob Evans, and on numerous television shows.

Currently her song “True Love” with George Acosta is #15 on the Billboard Dance/Club Play Songs.

Since settling into the domestic bliss of parenthood, Kathy no longer tours, but has found a greater joy in music as a worship leader at her church in Camarillo, W.Va. Singing in church again; living in a small farming community. It seems life has come full circle for Kathy. What better time to put the Secrets back together?

“I’m at a point in my life where I want my performances to have a purpose, not just for the fun of it or to stoke my ego . . . so the fact that we have an opportunity to help raise money for the library is the main allure for me,”

Kathy says. “I get to do that with my amazing brother and lifetime friends, Doug and Steve,” which Kathy says is “the gravy and a cherry on top.”

Regarding growing up in Middlebourne and moving to California, Kathy says, “I loved the freedom of being in a small town where you could stay out after dark with your friends and know you were safe; of going home for dinner by the sound of the town clock. But there were a lot of restrictions for someone with my interests. I have no regrets leaving. My family has remained closed in spite of the distance and I’ve been able to pursue a career here that I could not have nurtured ‘back home.'”

Steve Markle studied Music at West Virginia University, graduating with a BFA in 1992. During that time, he played drums for the reggae band Rasta Rafiki, entertaining crowds in Morgantown then touring nationally for over 10 years. At its peak, Rasta Rafiki performed over 250 shows a year.

In 1996, Steve went back to school in Davenport, Iowa, to work with computers, eventually ending up as a Web and Database Developer for Simonton Windows in Parkersburg. During his time at Simonton, he received his Masters Degree in Software Engineering.

In 2007, Steve began working at Woodcraft as a Web Developer, a position he holds to this day. He has also taught Computer Science classes (Database Theory and Design, Software Engineering) at WVU-Parkersburg for the past two years.

Steve has two children, Alanna and Hyland. Alanna attends West Virginia University as a double major in Political Science and International Studies. Hyland will be a Junior at Parkersburg High School and is in the drumline.

In his spare time, Steve enjoys keeping fresh and saltwater aquariums, camping, hunting, and motorcycle riding. He still plays in bands, most recently an Americana/country band called 600 Pounds of Sin, based in Charleston, W.Va.

New Martinsville native Douglas Ebert is a self-taught guitar player whom folk legend Livingston Taylor once described as “entirely at one with the instrument.”

In the late 1970s, Ebert co-founded a schoolboy rock band that clanked and rattled until it became The Secrets in the spring of 1982, fronted at the time by future Interscope recording artist Kathy Fisher. In the mid-1980s, while an English major at West Virginia University, Ebert played electric guitar for three Morgantown-area bands at the same time, performing country, doo-wop, and rock before becoming primarily an acoustic guitar player and songwriter, schooled in open tunings and double capos, and joining a deranged ensemble that covered everything from bluegrass standards to hot-rod folk favorites after moving to Washington, D.C., in 1987.

During the 1990’s, his acoustic duo signed with the Independent Songwriters Group (ISG) label and sold 15,000 hideously mangled records at more than 200 shows across the U.S., performing on CBS News’ 48 Hours, NPR’s Roots and Branches, and at the U.S. Capitol for former First Lady Hillary Clinton.

Ebert spent 10 years working in live television; three years managing the technical departments for an industrial manufacturing company; and is currently an analyst for the Federal government, where he has won numerous awards and accolades for his technical writing and contract administration acumen. Ebert’s children, Kyle, Sarah, and Matthew, have attended institutions of higher learning in Virginia and Pennsylvania, and each has creative and artistic abilities that far exceed their father’s.

When asked what triggered this upcoming reunion, Ebert said, “Appropriately, like everything else with this band, the reunion began with Danny. He decided to do the show, Kathy took up the cause, and I was the next telephone call.”

Ebert wonders if they’ll somehow reconnect with the way they used to improvise. “It just happened. We were just one-upping each other, and somehow we always landed on our feet,” Ebert adds. “I know that was a product of working together as much as we did–we rehearsed constantly–but I also wonder if it was a little touch of Secrets magic.”

Ebert remembers the first time he heard Kathy sing, at the Sistersville Oil & Gas Festival, on Sept. 11, 1980. She was 14 years old. “And, you know, who am I, but I knew she was going to do something special,” he notes.

While he knows the “staggering odds against it,” Ebert hopes there are more shows to come.

What better way to spend a Saturday evening in August?

Plan to attend The Secrets reunion show–reconnect with old friends, make new ones, enjoy the good food and the good vibes, and donate generously to Tyler County Public Library. The Secrets perform 5-8 p.m. at the Middlebourne Senior Center. Great food, raffles, and other “fun stuff” will be on hand for one and all to enjoy.

According to Rosanne Eastham, librarian at the Tyler County Public Library, two dinner choices will be available: pulled pork BBQ, coleslaw, baked beans, roll, and drink; or grilled chicken breast, corn on the cob, baked potato, roll, and drink. Advance tickets for the meal choices are $10 and tickets are available at the library, Middlebourne Witschey’s, and Middlebourne Union Bank.

Crafters and vendors are encouraged, and must bring their own table/setup. Cost for setup is $10 crafter/vendor, and one item for auction.