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Press Release

September 16, 2014

Contact: Larry O'Dell
Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 405-522-6676
Cell: 405-213-7521

History Center to Host "Music of the Dust Bowl" Event

OKLAHOMA CITY -- On Tuesday, September 30, the Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS), with the help of the Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre (CityRep) and Oklahoma City University (OCU), will present "Music of the Dust Bowl." Performers will include Monica Taylor, Dr. Harold Aldridge and Shelby Eicher's band. The event is free for OHS members. Nonmembers may purchase a membership by calling 405-522-5202 to receive two reservations for this concert.

The doors will open at 5:45 p.m. and the concert will start at 6:30 p.m. Additionally, OHS members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to the CityRep play The Grapes of Wrath at a discounted price. CityRep will perform the first professional production in the state of The Grapes of Wrath to mark the 75th anniversary of John Steinbeck's Dust Bowl epic about an Oklahoma farm family driven from its homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. The play will be performed on the weekends of September 26 and October 3 and will feature a cast of 40 performing at OCU's Burg Auditorium, making it one of the biggest endeavors in CityRep's history. Both the play and the concert are official parts of the National Steinbeck Center's 75th anniversary of The Grapes of Wrath.

The concert at the Oklahoma History Center will feature Monica Taylor performing southern gospel from the 1930s and 1940s, such as Oklahoman Albert Brumley's "I'll Fly Away." Harold Aldridge will play regional blues music from that era, and Shelby Eicher and his band will play Bob Wills' music, which was prevalent in Oklahoma as KVOO broadcasts could be heard statewide at the time. In between the music will be readings from actors involved in the CityRep/OCU play. 

Native Oklahoman Harry Parker, now chairman of the Texas Christian University theater department, will direct the play. Well-known professional actors Pam Dougherty (Ma Joad), Cameron Cobb (Tom Joad) and David Coffee (Pa Joad) will star in the production at OCU. Tickets can be obtained for the play at OCU box office by calling 405-208-5227. More information about CityRep or other information on the play can be learned by calling 405-848-3761. To RSVP or buy memberships to attend the concert contact Nicole Harvey at 405-522-5202 or nharvey@okhistory.org.

The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains 31 museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information visit www.okhistory.org.

(photos or poster available on request)

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