Oklahoma History: December 2006 Archives

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About the only brick-and-mortar shopping I do any more is around gift-giving season. I found several books that got me to stop and thumb through them for a few minutes:

Tulsa architect and author John Brooks Walton, who has published a series of books on Tulsa's Historic Homes, has several new books out. One is called The Artwork of Tulsa, photos and articles about pieces of public art (pieces that aren't in museums) around town, everything from that weird hunk of metal on City Hall Plaza ("Amity"), to the terra cotta designs on the exterior of the Tulsa Fairgrounds Pavilion, to the Ten Commandments on the exterior of Temple Israel, to "Appeal to the Great Spirit" on the grounds of Woodward Park.

Walton also has a book on historic homes in Ponca City and a new book on the work of architect John Dilbeck, who designed homes in Dallas and Tulsa, as well as several notable commercial buildings. You know that pretty cottage at 19th and Peoria, the one that looks like it was transplanted from Elizabethan England? That's a Dilbeck.

(Steve's Sundries at 26th & Harvard is a great place to browse and buy books by and about Tulsans.)

The Oklahoma Centennial Committee commissioned music columnist John Wooley to write a book on the history of Oklahoma's distinctive music. It's called From the Blue Devils to Red Dirt: The Colors of Oklahoma Music. In addition to the two bookends in the title, the book has chapters on Bob Wills and western swing, Woody Guthrie, Tulsa-based impresario Jim Halsey. A chapter traces the development of the "Tulsa Sound" that flourished in the '70s -- it all started with a band that took over for Johnnie Lee Wills at Cain's Ballroom in 1959. (Some kid named Johnny Cale played with them.) The bits I read were quite interesting. The back of the book has a listing of the membership of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. The chapter on western swing is excellent, and not only tells the story of Bob Wills and his brothers and their years in Tulsa, but of the many other acts that emerged in their wake.

The Stratocaster Chronicles
tells the story of Leo Fender's solid-body guitar, which debuted in 1954, the technical advances that made it different, and the musicians who made the instrument famous. There's a great full-page photo of Eldon Shamblin posing in front of Cain's Ballroom with the demonstrator model that Fender gave him. The caption spells out how Shamblin modified it to make it his own.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Oklahoma History category from December 2006.

Oklahoma History: November 2006 is the previous archive.

Oklahoma History: March 2007 is the next archive.

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