Oklahoma Rock and Roll: Show #11 – Nervous Breakdown

Oklahoma Rock and Rollabilly! This week’s show focuses on Rockabilly Okies. A few you’ll know like Wanda Jackson and The Collins Kids. Some, maybe not… Do you know about Dave and Lee? Also managed to slip in a little Rockabilly Johnny Cale. baby baby baby (say a bunch of times with lots of slap back echo)

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Oklahoma Rock and Roll: Show #10 – SINGERS AND DANCERS:Pt.2

Big show: Singers and Dancers Pt. 2. Wanda Jackson’s original record recorded when she was 16. James Brown gets funky. Leon does a track with Martin Luther King. Tales of the Magic Duffle Bag. Red Dirt Rangers & Blazers. Freddy Fender speaks some kind of cajun that you can’t understand. George Harrison speaks cosmic something or other than you can’t understand. Nancy Sinatra sings and dances and looks good in boots.

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Oklahoma Rock and Roll: Show #9 – SINGERS AND DANCERS

Show #9 (number 9 number 9) Singers and Dancers: Oklahoma stars Jim Edgar & The Roadrunners and The 5 Americans! Dwight Twilley and Billie Holiday. Fats Waller, Bob Wills, and James Brown. Oh Baby!

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Oklahoma Rock and Roll: Show #7 – Ain’t Nobody’s Business But Our Own

Oklahoma Rock and Roll: Show #7 – Ain’t Nobody’s Business But Our Own

This week’s radio show is a bit of a free-for-all with no real specific theme – just a lot of our favorite music. All with the all-powerful Oklahoma connection, of course.

The show kicks off with a band originally from Norman called The Disciples. They went to L.A. and made a couple of albums with the Blue Thumb label. We’re playing one of my very favorite songs of all time called Boogie Woogie Country Girl (originally by Big Joe Turner). Southwind had a real west coast hit with their version, opening a sold out Forum show for Credence Clearwater, and touring with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. There’s a great tune by one of our favorite ok r&r regulars, Joe Liggins, from Guthrie. Joe’s record this week is called The Shuffle Boogie, which I love to the absolute maximum amount allowed by law. Slipping a bit sideways, we play a record by Tennessee Ernie Ford and Oklahoma’s own Kay Starr – the title song for this week’s show: Ain’t Nobody’s Business. The record also features Oklahoma steel player Speedy West. As I say on the show…. “Somebody stack up all the awards in the world and give them to Speedy West!” And then (grab your butts and hold on)… a Leon Russell record before he was Leon Russell. Don’t miss it, kids. Leon kicks off a segment of Okies & Limeys with Elvis Costello and The Rolling Stones, mixed up with the Taj Mahal Band, featuring Chuck Blackwell and Gary Gilmore (both from Tulsa) and Jesse Ed Davis from Norman. Also, the amazing Chet Baker. Roger Tillison makes his ok r&r debut with his song called Nobody’s Lover, and J.J. Cale does a Roger Tillison song: One Step Ahead of the Blues. John Lennon with Tulsa drummer Jim Keltner and guitar player Jesse Ed Davis. Other great stuff as well, including Count Basie with Jimmy Rushing, and some Johnnie Lee Wills featuring Curly Lewis on vocals. Country super star, Ronnie Dunn, with a tale of R&B icon Rudolph Isely from The Isley Brothers. The show closer is a never-before-heard recording by Leon from the Muscle Shoals Sessions in 1974.

Join us for the fastest hour of the week.

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Oklahoma Rock and Roll: Show #5 – Oklahoma POP pt. 2

Oklahoma Rock and Roll: Oklahoma POP pt. 2 – On this week’s show, we continue our look at rock & roll’s pop side – Pop Music and Pop Culture. Our favorite R&B piano player, Joe Liggins, from Guthrie, Oklahoma, returns with his 1952 pop hit, “Pink Champagne,” which kicks off a segment on overindulgence, with “Bottle of Wine” by the Fireballs, and “The No No Song” by Ringo, written by Duncan, Oklahoma songwriter, Hoyt Axton. We also talk to Elvis Presley’s guitar player, Scotty Moore, about Hoyt’s mother, Mae Boren Axton, and the song she wrote for Elvis: “Heartbreak Hotel.” And look out kids… we take a new listen to our state song “Oklahoma” as performed by Bonnie Raitt’s dad (with a little Beatles mixed in), and then go back a couple of decades to our first official state song, “In Ole Oklahoma,” written by Oklahoma songwriter Pinky Tomlin. Somewhere along the journey, we have Dick Tracy, The Little Rascals, George Harrison, and an explanation and demonstration of the wah wah guitar pedal. J.J. Cale tells us about recording Blue Cheer’s out of control version of “Summertime Blues.” And of course, as always, our fearless leader, Leon Russell. B.J. Thomas, born in Hugo, takes our POP journey home with his amazing record, “Rock and Roll Lullaby.” It’s a trip.

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Oklahoma History Center
2401 N. Laird Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK

June 29, 2009 – For Immediate Release

Contact: Michael Dean (405) 522-5241


The Oklahoma Historical Society, in partnership with the state’s public
radio stations, is sponsoring a weekly radio show featuring the history of
Rock and Roll in Oklahoma.

The show is produced and narrated by noted Oklahoma recording artist and
record producer Steve Ripley.

“Oklahoma Rock And Roll with Steve Ripley” is a 20-part radio series that
explores the music of Oklahoma artists and song writers and their influence
on Rock and Roll. “We will look at not just Rock and Roll in Oklahoma,” said
Ripley, “but also the roots of Rock and Roll such as Woody Guthrie, Bob
Wills, and Charlie Christian.”

The radio show is being produced in conjunction with a major new museum
exhibition at the Oklahoma History Center called “Another Hot Oklahoma
Night: A Rock and Roll Exhibit.”

“We gave the show a trial run on two public radio stations, KOSU at Oklahoma
State University and KGOU at the University of Oklahoma,” said Dr. Bob L.
Blackburn, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Historical Society. “The
public response was overwhelmingly positive.”

Over the July 4th weekend, KOSU and KGOU will restart the show beginning
with the first hour. The same show will air on KCCU at Cameron University
and KWGS at the University of Tulsa. The first two shows, “Home Sweet
Oklahoma” (parts 1 and 2), are basically an Oklahoma Music Revue that sets
the stage for what lies ahead in the weeks and shows to come.

Ripley guides the listener through the music of Oklahomans such as Leon
Russell and J.J. Cale and their direct links to people like Dylan, Clapton,
and Joe Cocker. He explores the roots of Rockabilly and Oklahomans such as
Wanda Jackson and The Collins Kids.

“The picture starts to emerge of an art form that owes its heart to a
mixture of hillbilly, gospel, blues, rhythm & blues, and jazz,” said Ripley.
“Interwoven are Native American and African American influences.this is
America’s music.Oklahoma Rock and Roll.”

KOSU, Oklahoma State University, broadcasts the show on Fridays at 7:00 p.m.
The first episode will air on Friday July 3rd. KOSU broadcasts on 91.7 in
Stillwater and Oklahoma City, 107.5 in Tulsa and Northeast Oklahoma, and
101.9 in Okmulgee.

KCCU, Cameron University, will broadcast the first show at 9:00 p.m.,
Friday, July 3rd on 89.3 in Lawton and Fort Sill, 95.9 in Woodward and
Northwest Oklahoma, 88.7 in Wichita Falls, 90.3 in Ardmore, 90.1 in Altus,
89.3 in Duncan, 100.1 in Chickasha and 89.1 in Weatherford, Clinton and Elk

KWGS, University of Tulsa, will air the first show on Sunday, July 5th at
6:00 p.m. and broadcasts on 89.5 in Tulsa.

KGOU, University of Oklahoma, airs the show on Sunday afternoons at 12:00
p.m. and broadcasts on 106.3 in Norman, Moore and Oklahoma City. KROU is
on 105.7 in Spencer and Oklahoma City, 103.1 in Seminole, and 97.9 in Ada.

“We really appreciate the support the four university-related public radio
stations have given us,” said Blackburn. “This is the first time all four
stations have broadcast an Oklahoma produced program on a continuing basis.
This shows their support for Oklahoma history, music and programming.”

Michael Dean
Public Relations Director
Oklahoma Historical Society
2401 N. Laird Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73105-7914
(405) 522-5241
“Another Hot Oklahoma Night”
the history of Rock n Roll in Oklahoma

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FIFTY YEAR OLD TAPES! Jimmy Markham entrusted me with the master tapes from his first ever recording sessions, recorded at Gene Sullivan’s Hi-Fi Studio in OKC. Markham informs me that on this particular song, he’s singing with David Gates on both guitar and piano. Not sure if Tommy Crook is playing guitar. Carl Radle is playing bass. The drummer is still a little bit of a mystery. Maybe Chuck Blackwell, or perhaps Jimmy Karstein. These old masters, which are treasures, will make their way to the radio show in the weeks ahead.

Fifty years ago. The tapes sound great. Try that with a hard drive in 2059.

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Oklahoma Rock and Roll with Steve Ripley

To quote me:

“We’re gonna take a look at not just rock and roll in Oklahoma, but the roots of rock and roll, and we’re gonna follow those roots wherever they take us and let them tell us how we got to this place today… how we got to this thing we call Oklahoma Rock and Roll. As the weeks go by, we’re gonna try to dig deep into the details of the music, and the artists and the musicians that made that music, and how it all ties together. But for the first couple of shows, what I want to do is to try to present the overall picture. I think you’ll find some surprises, and I think at times – I hope at times – you’re gonna be stunned just like we have been each time we find that extra special thing, and that direct link to Oklahoma.”

The first two shows, “Home Sweet Oklahoma” (parts 1 and 2), are basically an Oklahoma Music Revue, with the aim of trying to paint the big picture, and also set the stage for what lies ahead in the weeks and shows to come.

Covered in the first shows, and featured in more detail on future shows, are what might seem obvious: Leon Russell, J.J. Cale, and the whole Tulsa culture of musicians with direct links to people like Dylan, Clapton, Joe Cocker and the Mad Dogs and Englishmen; Wanda Jackson, The Collins Kids, and rockabilly (Oklahoma style); Moon Martin, Dwight Twilly, and 20/20 – the LA Power Pop scene. But we’re also taking a good look (and listen) to the early roots players and bands that changed music around the world: Charlie Christian, blues man extraordinaire Lowell Fulson, the Oklahoma City Blue Devisl, and Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. As with any adventure, there are surprises… like the probable first ever Rhythm and Blues record – a smash hit in 1945 by a piano player and singer from Guthrie.

The picture starts to emerge of an art form that owes its heart to a mixture of hillbilly, gospel, blues, rhythm & blues, and jazz. Intertwined with all of that are the Native American and African American cultures. This is America’s music – Oklahoma Rock and Roll.

“Don’t forget… Family is what’s important. Tell your mama you love her. Kiss your babies. We’re all in this together. Bye bye kids…”

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