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Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Inducts Class of 2011
MUSKOGEE, Okla. (November 10, 2011) - The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame inducted 8 outstanding individuals who have made lasting contribution to our nation’s culture.
Glee Emmy nominee Kristin Chenoweth; the late Jesse Ed Davis who played with Leon Russell, Jackson Browne, George Harrison and John Lennon; the late jazz musician Wayman Tisdale; entertainment writer Gene Triplett, the late composer, lyricist and performer Ralph Blane; multiple Grammy nominee Cheevers Toppah; Nokie Edwards and the late Bob Bogel of The Ventures were inducted during ceremonies on Nov. 10.
“We are thrilled to induct such a prestigious group of individuals who have enhanced our lives and whose music and entertainment contributions leave a lasting legacy across the globe,” said Andrea Chancellor. Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Board President.
The 2011 Class of Inductees join a growing list of prominent musicians, composers and performers who have entertained generations, including past inductees Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith, Jean Shepard, Claude “Fiddler” Williams, Ronnie Dunn, David Gates, The All American Rejects, Leona Mitchell and dozens of others. The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame inducted its first members in 1997.
The inductees were honored in Muskogee Nov. 10 during a gala celebrating their careers and to recognize them as ambassadors for the Great State of Oklahoma across the world’s stage.
For more information, go to www.omhof.com or contact the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and Museum at 918-687-0800.
About the 2011 Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Inductees
Kristin Chenoweth, from Broken Arrow, Okla., is a singer and actress. She attended college at the Oklahoma City University where she earned a BFA in musical theatre and a master’s in opera performance. After moving from Oklahoma City to New York City, her career took off in theater, television, film, and recordings. Many remember her show-stealing, Tony-winning performance in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and her triumphant star turn when she originated the role of Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked, which earned her a leading actress Tony Award nomination. In 2003, her career carried over to television where she won an Emmy for role in the comedy, Pushing Daises. This fall, Chenoweth will star in the new ABC show, “Good Christian Belles” as Darlene, as she continues to stay involved with Broadway. After being featured in the in numerous Disney movies such as “Tinkerbelle and the Lost Treasure,” and “You Again”, Chenoweth recently wrapped up a Matt K. Turner film, “Ed Zwick's Family Weekend.” Chenoweth’s interest in music stays strong as she has released three CDs, with her fourth debuting September 13. In addition to music, movies, and theater, in April of 2009, Chenoweth released her comedic chronicle of her life, “A Little Bit Wicked.” Released by Simon & Schuster, it debuted at #12 on the New York Times Hardcover Non Fiction Best Seller List.
Jesse Ed Davis, a full-blooded Kiowa Comanche, was born in 1941 in Norman, Okla. At the age of 16, he fell in love with guitar and two years later dropped out of the University of Oklahoma, joining Conway Twitty on his tour. His two recordings with Twitty lead him to become a prominent pianist, organist, and guitarist for the Taj Mahal band. In 1970, Davis recorded his first solo album with Native American Art inspiration, not to mention a wide array of talented musicians playing on his tracks. These connections led him to even more opportunities in the music world with musicians such as Leon Russell, Jackson Browne, George Harrison and John Lennon, to name a few. On June 22, 1988, Davis died due to a drug overdose on heroin.
Wayman Tisdale was raised as a pastor’s kid in Tulsa, Okla. Tisdale had a love for music at an early age, but his love for basketball came later in life. Tisdale graduated from Booker T. Washington and went to play basketball at the University of Oklahoma. Many know Tisdale for his successful basketball career, but few know just how talented he was as a jazz musician. In 1995, Tisdale released his first jazz album. Eight albums and a number one hit followed in the next years. However, what set Tisdale apart was not his extreme talent in basketball or jazz, but his zest for life. After being diagnosed with cancer in 2007, Tisdale’s joy and optimism was so apparent that Governor Brad Henry appointed him to the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Commission. Tisdale died in Tulsa two years later and now has numerous memorials around the city and state honoring his talent and personality.
Gene Triplett was born in La Jolla and has lived most of his life in Oklahoma City. Today, he is a highly respected writer for the The Oklahoman. Triplett has written thousands of music and movie articles and reviews as the Entertainment Editor. His unique and engaging writing style has been used to describe the alternative flavor of music. As a member of the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists, Triplett is professional, yet truthful about the critiques he gives to local and national music groups. His writing is one that The Oklahoman is proud of and many people value. The name Gene Triplett doesn’t just mean a journalist, but an established, esteemed, and knowledgeable writer; any music group would be lucky to have their worked reviewed by him, regardless of the outcome.
Ralph Blane was a composer, lyricist, and performer from Broken Arrow, Okla. After graduating Tulsa Central High School, Blane was hired as a radio singer for NBC. By the mid-1930s, Blane was introduced to the Broadway world where he was featured in various shows and wrote lyrics for Best Foot Forward and Lyrics for Jamie. His knowledge came in great use as he collaborated with Harry Warren, Harold Arlen, and Kay Thompson. One collaboration in particular with Rodger Edens earned them an Oscar nomination for the well known song, “Clang, clang, clang went the trolley," Blane is also very well known for his holiday hit “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Blane died in 1995 in his hometown of Broken Arrow.
Nole “Nokie” Edwards is undoubtedly best known as lead guitarist for The Ventures, but Nokie Edwards’ early history also included being guitarist for country greats Buck Owens, Lefty Frizzell and Ferlyn Husky. Nokie’s recent continuing accomplishments include: 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, GPA 2009 Guitar Legends Award, 2006 Grammy Hall of Fame, 2008 Ambassador to Arkansas, 2010 Native American Music Award – Best Instrumental Recording, “Hitchin’ A Ride” and 2010 The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette “Emporor of Japan Award.” Edwards is a Native American Indian born in Lahoma, Okla.
Robert Lenard "Bob" Bogle was a founding member of the legendary instrumental combo group The Ventures. He began as the lead guitarist and later became the bassist of the group. In 2008, Bogle and other members of The Ventures were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the Performer category. Born near Wagoner, Okla., Bogle worked as a bricklayer in California from the age of 15. A self-taught guitar player, Bogle met Don Wilson in Seattle in 1958, where they worked together on construction sites. They went on to form a band, The Versatones, which evolved into The Ventures.
Cheevers Toppah is a native Oklahoman from Weatherford. As a Kiowa/Navajo, Toppah embraced his culture as one of the best Pow-Wow singers. From a young age, Toppah was involved in and enjoyed his Native American roots around the Pow-Wow drum. As he grew up, he became involved in his high school choir, which led to his strong pursuit of Pow-Wow singing. His first album, “Intonation” was nominated for multiple awards and was a finalist at the 2005 GRAMMY Awards in the Best Native American Album category. His previous recording with Kevin, First Light, was a finalist for the 2008 Indian Summer Music Awards and 2008 Native American Music Awards.
About the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame
Oklahomans have always had a rich and profound impact on the world’s music culture. In 1995, recognizing the need to educate the public about the influence Oklahomans have had in the music industry, the vision for the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame was born.
On an annual basis since 1997, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame has been honoring some of the world's most notable talents whose gifts and musical styles are as breathtaking and diverse as the Oklahoma landscape. The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame & Museum is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, visit www.oklahomamusichallofame.com.