Oklahoma Historical Society
Bob Wills @ the OKPOP
The Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OKPOP) will host Bob Wills @ the OKPOP on April 10th at 7:30pm at the Oklahoma History Center. The event will feature musical entertainment by The Red Dirt Rangers and Byron Berline. Bob Wills's biographer, Dr. Charles Townsend, will be on hand with a special OKPOP announcement. The evening's highlight will be At Home with Bob Wills, a conversation with Carolyn Wills, daughter of Bob Wills. The event is open to the public. Admission is free, but seating is limited, please RSVP to 405.522.5202.
The event will honor the recently digitized WWII-era Bob Wills radio recordings. These rare glass recordings have been restored thanks to a grant from the Grammy Foundation. In 2011, the Bob Wills Family donated the Bob Wills Collection to the OKPOP Museum. The collection, which will serve as a cornerstone of the museum, features more than 350 photographs, hundreds of letters, documents, and promotional pieces, and numerous objects including fiddles, clothing, awards, and personal items. The Bob Wills Heritage Foundation donated the rare and unique collection of 130 WWII-era glass recordings, which were restored by the Grammy Foundation grant, and 35 reel to reels of Bob Wills live performances. This collection was assembled and preserved by Casey Dickens.
Wills and the Texas Playboys had a repertoire of some 3,000 songs in more than 50 years in the music industry, including classics such as "Take Me Back to Tulsa," "Faded Love," and "San Antonio Rose." In 1935, KVOO and Tulsa became the voice of Western Swing, and the band made Cain's Ballroom headquarters for their daily radio show. Wills became known as the "King of Western Swing." The OKPOP museum will be a 75,000-square-foot, four-story building dedicated to the creative spirit of Oklahoma’s people and the influence of Oklahoma artists on popular culture around the world. The underlying theme of this innovative and interactive museum will be "Crossroads of Creativity," whether it is in the field of music, film, television, theatre, pop art, comic books, literature or humor.
With approval of the bond issue, the OKPOP Museum could open as early as 2017.