SOMETHING POSITIVE FOR THE COSMOS

Stoney LaRue has long been one of the leading lights of the Stillwater-brewed musical concoction known to the world as Red Dirt. Recently, he and I visited about the current state of the Red Dirt scene as well as his new disc, which includes a bonus track featuring Stoney’s friend, the late Brandon Jenkins. It’s all in my latest column for OKLAHOMA Magazine, which you can find HERE.

Pryor Obsessions

My friend Jimmie Tramel, a fine writer and big-time comic-book fan, puts on a great comics-related event in what to some may seem an unlikely place: Pryor, Oklahoma. It may indeed be held in a small town, but, over the past few years, the Pryor Creek Comic Convention has become a favorite destination for pop-culture aficionados from all over the state — and beyond.

Hope to see you there this year. Meanwhile, you can read all about it in my latest OKLAHOMA Magazine column, right HERE.

TWO OKLAHOMA MAGAZINE ARTICLES

I’m happy to say that I’ve got a couple of pieces in the December OKLAHOMA Magazine that both deal with very talented friends of mine. NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author and longtime Tulsan P.C. Cast tells us about some big developments with her wildly successful HOUSE OF NIGHT series of novels, while veteran Tulsa blues-rocker Danny Baker shares the story of his musical road back following the death of his wife.
You can find the P.C. Cast story here I’m happy to say that I’ve got a couple of pieces in the December OKLAHOMA Magazine that both deal with very talented friends of mine. NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author and longtime Tulsan P.C. Cast tells us about some big developments with her wildly successful HOUSE OF NIGHT series of novels, while veteran Tulsa blues-rocker Danny Baker shares the story of his musical road back following the death of his wife. You can find the P.C. Cast story HERE, and the Danny Baker story HERE.

A ‘Playboy’ Prescription

Millions of baby boomers, myself included, grew up with the rock ’n’ roll hits of Gary Lewis and the Playboys rolling out of our car speakers and transistor radios. Such enduring oldies as “This Diamond Ring,” “Save Your Heart for Me,” and “She’s Just My Style” (all arranged and sometimes co-written by Leon Russell) will forever be important parts of the soundtracks of our lives.

Lewis’s induction into the Army, coming in the midst of his musical successes, was well known to his fans at the time. Less well known, however, is what he did after he got out of the service and began actively trying to better himself as a musician and performer, a quest that took him to Tulsa and a band called Medicine.

Gary himself gives us the scoop on his Medicine days in my latest column for OKLAHOMA Magazine, which you can find right here.

Getting to Know a Monster

Hayden Rorke is undoubtedly best known for his role as the blustery Dr. Bellows in the baby-boomer favorite TV show I DREAM OF JEANNIE. He was, however, a fine character actor who did a lot more than that — including a turn as a ghostly presence in one of my all-time favorite horror movies, THE NIGHT WALKER. 
       

In 1971, thanks to my friend Steve Olim, I got to talk to Hayden about THE NIGHT WALKER, and that visit is the subject of my Halloween-themed column this month in OKLAHOMA Magazine. You can find it HERE.

Nice People for Friends

If you can indeed measure a person’s wealth by the number of friends he has, then the longtime Oklahoma music figure Ray Bingham is an exceedingly rich man. In my latest column for OKLAHOMA Magazine, Ray talks about how friendship has informed his life as a booking agent and talent manager over the past decades, emphasizing his relationship with several country-music legends.
   

As one of Ray’s friends for many years, I’m especially happy to be able to share his story. You can find it HERE.

Oklahoma-based agent, producer and manager Ray Bingham has booked some of country music’s biggest stars.

A Black Hole… in a Good Way’

I have no idea how many stories I’ve written about the Red Dirt Rangers, the trailblazing band that continues to show the world what Red Dirt music is all about. I do know my first Rangerspiece came out in the TULSA WORLD in 1991, when they first brought their act from Stillwater to Tulsa. I also know that my latest can be found HERE, straight from the pages of the August OKLAHOMA Magazine.

Going Solo in the Red Dirt

I’ve been enjoying Brad James’s work as a guitarist, singer, and songwriter for many years, so I was happy to see that Horton Records was bringing out a new disc — in both CD and vinyl — that brings him into the spotlight with his band. For my latest OKLAHOMA Magazine column, I spoke to Brad about the record and his years in the business. You can find the store HERE.

A Racial Separation of Paths/Neighborhood Influences

As many of you know, I was honored and privileged to work with the great New York Yankees pitcher Ralph Terry on his as-told-to autobiography, RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE (available on amazon.com in a variety of formats). This month in OKLAHOMA Magazine, I get to tell the story of one of his boyhood friends from Chelsea, Oklahoma, Gerome Riley, who played in those segregated days not only in pickup games with Ralph, but in a semipro black team called the Claremore Clowns. You can read the column HERE.

Plus, in the same issue, my interview with screenwriter and producer Micah Fitzerman-Blue, the former Tulsan who’s one of the main movers and shakers behind one of the most anticipated features of the year, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. Find it HERE

A Musical Testament to Steinbeck

Drummer, composer, and bandleader Jared Johnson’s affinity for John Steinbeck’s work isn’t just a fan thing. He’s actually created a full-blown jazz concert inspired by Steinbeck’s GRAPES OF WRATH. To find out more about Jared and his GRAPES OF WRATH PROJECT, check out my newest OKLAHOMA Magazine column, HERE.  

Inspired by one of John Steinbeck’s books, musician Jared Jordan created the Grapes of Wrath Project with local musicians.