Western Swing: September 2007 Archives

One of the greatest singing cowboys of all time is just six weeks older than the great State of Oklahoma, and this weekend the town named for him is hosting a big celebration in his honor, the Gene Autry Oklahoma Museum Film and Music Festival.

Gene Autry (the town) is a little ways north of Ardmore in south-central Oklahoma, about seven miles east of I-35 on OK-53.

The big party, featuring screenings of Autry's films and performances by cowboy singers and poets, began on Wednesday and winds up on Sunday.

The high point of the celebration is today, the actual centennial of Autry's birth on September 29, 1907. Riders in the Sky, who have been upholding the tradition of cowboy music for over a quarter of a century, will give two performances, at 3:10 and 8:30. They'll be preceded on stage by Steve Mitchell, the Les Gilliam Trio, and Johnny Western. Riders in the Sky put on a great show for the whole family -- a mix of comedy and beautiful western harmonies.

Tickets are $20 each for the matinee show and the other events, except for the evening stage show, for which tickets are $35 for reserved seats, $25 for general admission. Check the festival page for all the details and contact information.

Tulsans will be able to catch Riders in the Sky a little closer to home on Sunday -- they'll perform at the Bartlesville Community Center at 2 pm on September 30. There are still a fair number of tickets available, ranging from $15 to $43 for adults, $5 to $20 for students.

(I've seen the Riders perform at the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, at the Poncan Theatre in Ponca City, at the fair in Springfield, Missouri, and at the Walton Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas. As far as I know, they have never performed in Tulsa, even though their radio show used to air on KWGS and KVOO.)

Eldon Shamblin sings

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Via Tyson Wynn, a wonderful clip of legendary western swing guitarist Eldon Shamblin playing and singing "Changes Made," following a bit of banter with steel guitarist Leon McAuliffe. This appears to be from a performance by The Original Texas Playboys (the drumset you'll see in the background is on display at Cain's Ballroom). According to YouTube user jsham66 (a relative of Eldon's?), the clip is circa 1986.

And, posted by the same user, here's the tribute video from Eldon Shamblin's 2006 induction into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame:

If you don't know much about him (or even if you do), you should read this tribute to "The Greatest Texas Playboy: Eldon Shamblin," by Buddy McPeters.


About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Western Swing category from September 2007.

Western Swing: August 2007 is the previous archive.

Western Swing: November 2007 is the next archive.

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