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Press Release

May 11, 2015

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

The OKPOP Museum Announces the Release of a New Bob Wills Album

Oklahoma City, Okla.—On Monday, May 18, at 6:30 p.m., the Oklahoma History Center will host a release party for a new album by Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. The evening will include a documentary film on the making of the album, the public's first opportunity to purchase the album and a concert and dance by the critically acclaimed Jason Roberts Band. You can RSVP for the event by phone at 405-522-6676 or by email at nharvey@okhistory.org.

The evening culminates the end of a years-long project that has included the Oklahoma Historical Society and the OKPOP Museum creating a new record label, 46 Star Records, to release the limited edition, 180 gram collector's vinyl recording titled "Let's Play, Boys!: Rediscovered Songs from Bob Wills' Personal Transcriptions."

The original transcriptions came from Bob Wills' personal collection and were recorded in January 1949. Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys recorded songs for a radio series sponsored by the Crosley Automobile Company. Not a lot is known about the specifics of these particular recording sessions.

During the 1960s more than 100 sixteen-inch aluminum acetates were given to former Playboys drummer Casey Dickens for safe keeping by Bob and his wife, Betty Wills. Drawing from influences such as folk, blues, Dixieland, traditional Mexican and jazz, the music represents the Western swing style Bob is so famous for helping to create.

In 2010 Dickens gave the Bob Wills Master Transcription Collection to the Bob Wills Heritage Foundation. The following year the foundation donated the collection to the OKPOP Museum. The OHS then hired Grammy-nominated musician/engineer Steve Ripley to digitally restore and remaster these songs.

46 Star Records, a new endeavor of the Oklahoma Historical Society, will produce and release albums related to the history and culture of the Sooner State. "Let's Play, Boys!" is its inaugural release. In conjunction with OKPOP, 46 Star Records will release more historically important records from Oklahoma artists and other historical recordings from the OHS collections.

"The OKPOP will be presented in a 40,000-square-foot building dedicated to the creative spirit of Oklahoma's people and the influence of Oklahoma artists on popular culture around the world," said Dr. Bob Blackburn, executive director of OHS. "Bob Wills embodies the spirit, art and influence of these Oklahoma artists."

The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr. in Oklahoma City. 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 about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org

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