2005 HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCEMENT: Present at the Hall of Fame announcement at the Cain’s Ballroom are Jim Rodgers, Owner, Cain’s Ballroom; Tommy Allsup; Alice Rodgers, Owner, Cain’s Ballroom; and Billy Parker.
RENEE TETZLOFF for GTR Newspapers
The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame recently announced that five music legends along with the historic Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa have been selected for induction into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame this year.
The Class of 2005 inductees include Tommy Allsup, Billy Parker, Bob Bogle and Nokie Edwards of the Ventures and Toby Keith. Each will be inducted at the annual Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Concert and Induction Ceremony in Muskogee, Oct. 27.
The inductees were announced at a news conference at the historic Cain’s Ballroom by Jim Halsey and John Wooley. Halsey is a Tulsa-based music and entertainment impresario who was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2000. Wooley was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003 and is a music historian and writer for the Tulsa World.
Country music legend and superstar Toby Keith was born and raised in Oklahoma. His grandmother owned a night club on the Arkansas-Oklahoma border and it was there that Keith first performed country music he had heard in his father’s record collection. In 1993, Keith became a household name singing “Shoulda Been a Cowboy” and that success paved the way for more hits–“Wish I Didn’t Know Now,” “A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action” and “He Ain’t Worth Missing.” Keith’s recent hits have earned triple platinum sales.
Billy Parker grew up in country music, playing guitar and singing since he was 11. His professional career took off at age 14. Parker has performed with the best of the best—Bob Wills, Red Foley and Ernest Tubb. He’s appeared on the Grand Ole Opry, Hee Haw and on the Nashville Network’s Nashville Now. His radio career began in 1959 in Tulsa at KFMJ and he worked in both radio and TV with stops at stations in Wichita and Oklahoma City. He left Tulsa once to become the front man for the Texas Troubadours. In 1971, Parker joined KVOO Radio. Three years after he started his radio show, the Country Music Association awarded him a Disc Jockey of the Year award and the Academy of Country Music recognized him as its Disc Jockey of the Year in 1975, 1977, 1978 and 1984.
Tommy Allsup is perhaps best known as the second guitarist in the band organized by Buddy Holly after his split with the Crickets. Allsup was the first guitarist to play a solo on a Buddy Holly recording. He began his career in Claremore in 1949 with a high school band called the Oklahoma Swingbillies. In fact, the Swingbillies purchased an old bus used by Leon McAuliffe. In 1953, Allsup joined the Johnnie Lee Wills Band. He also had his own band, The Southernaires in Lawton. On a 1958 trip to New Mexico, Allsup met Buddy Holly and started playing lead guitar with the Crickets. It was Allsup who won—or lost—the coin toss in that ill-fated airplane trip one winter night that killed Holly and members of his band.
After Holly’s death, Allsup moved to California and joined Liberty Records as a session guitarist. At the studio, he made a quick rise and began producing and working with such greats as Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, Willie Nelson, Bobby Vee and Vickie Carr. He has produced records for Hank Thompson and Leon Rausch.
Paul McCartney calls him one of the finest guitar players in the world.
Bob Bogle, the co-founder of The Ventures, was born near Wagoner, Okla. He got into music when he was about 12, when his older brother purchased an acoustic lap-steel guitar. He soon learned to play chords and accompany himself singing simple songs with only three chords—like most country songs of the time.
Nokie Edwards, born in Lahoma, Okla., is a world-renowned instrumental guitarist and former lead guitarist of the Ventures. He’s credited with inspiring and launching the careers of young guitarists for six decades. Edwards learned how to play the guitar at age five and he turned professional at age 12.
In the 1960s he was asked to join Buck Owens band and played with Owens at clubs and on radio and television. It was about this time that Edwards was approached by Bogle and asked to become part of a new band—the Ventures. Of course, the Ventures went on to be one of the most popular instrumental rock bands in history.
Cain’s Ballroom is one of the most well known music venues in the nation, if not the world. This facility is a piece of rock ‘n’ roll history and is the undisputed ‘cornerstone’ of western swing music. The Cain’s is where western swing matured.
People from all over the country traveled to the Cain’s to hear legends such as Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, Hank Thompson and Hank Williams, who played there not long before he died.
Cain’s Ballroom was built in the heart of a burgeoning oil-boom Tulsa in 1924. Originally built as a garage, it was converted into a popular facility where two-steppers could buy a dance for a dime. History shows that Madison W. “Daddy” Cain bought the building in 1930 and christened it Cain’s Dance Academy, where dance lessons were also 10 cents.
The music folks were dancing to what wasn’t yet called western swing and wouldn’t be for many years. Instead, people came to hear that “hot hillbilly music” or “hot string-band music.”
The ninth Annual Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Induction Concert and Ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005, at the Muskogee Civic Center. Tickets to the concert event go on sale Friday, Sept. 2 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased online at starticketplus.com; on the phone at 1-800-585-3737, or in person at any participating Albertson’s store.
For information on VIP ticketing, which includes a black-tie optional reception and buffet, induction and concert seating, please call the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame offices at 1-918-687-0800.
The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame & Museum is a 501©3 nonprofit and is the producer of all OMHF events.