January 16, 2023
New Exhibit at Cherokee Strip Museum Focuses on the Godfather of Oklahoma City Rock and Roll
PERRY, Okla. — On Tuesday, January 17, the Cherokee Strip Museum (CSM) in Perry will open its new exhibit focusing on a man considered the Godfather of the Oklahoma City rock and roll scene.
The exhibit is called “Jim Edgar and the Roadrunners.” It follows Edgar’s life as a musician and the success of his musical group. The exhibit contains some of the group’s memorabilia, albums, clothing, guitars and photographs. All items in the collection belonged to Edgar. They were donated to the CSM by his daughter, Kathy Edgar Lough, after her father passed away in August 2022.
In the mid-1960s, the group’s most successful era, the band consisted of Jim Edgar, Sam Edwards, Farland Stanley, Larry Marcum and Jimmy Driskol. In 1966, Edgar and his band were the first to appear on the new program by Ronnie Kaye titled “The Scene.” It was a popular television show featured on WKY-TV from 1966 to 1974.
James (Jim) Franklin Edgar was a 1957 graduate of Perry High School. He participated in football, baseball and wrestling. Edgar received a full scholarship to wrestle for the University of Oklahoma. He completed the first semester and, much to his mother’s displeasure, left his studies to pursue music. Although he did not read music, Edgar learned to play guitar at age 11 with help from a neighbor who recognized his ability to play by ear. Edgar started playing sock hops and clubs while in school and soon rose to the top of the local rock and roll scene. After the group dissolved, Edgar settled back in his hometown of Perry and became an employee of The Charles Machine Works, Inc, better known as Ditch Witch. He worked there for 25 years. Edgar continued to give concerts for many years while employed at Ditch Witch.
The Cherokee Strip Museum is located at 2617 W. Fir St. in Perry. For more information about activities and exhibits at the museum, please call 580-336-2405.
The Cherokee Strip Museum and Rose Hill School is an affiliate of the Oklahoma Historical Society, operated in partnership with the Cherokee Strip Historical Society. 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 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.
Editor’s Note: Photos of the Cherokee Strip Museum and Rose Hill School are available upon request.