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Voices of Oklahoma Podcast

Listen to the incredible interviews and behind-the-scenes stories of Oklahoma's most influential people even when you're on the go!


Latest Episodes

Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Leona Mitchell

Apr 12, 2024 • 1 hr 24 min

The tenth of fifteen children, Leona Mitchell began her musical journey by singing in her father's church choir. She received a scholarship from Oklahoma City University in 1971, earning a bachelor's degree in music.

Leona debuted with the San Francisco Spring Opera Theater in 1972, and on December 15th, 1975, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Micaela in Bizet's Carmen, the same role she had sung at her San Francisco debut. This marked the beginning of her many performances in opera houses all over the world, including Geneva, Paris, Madrid, and Sydney.

Mitchell performed for eighteen consecutive seasons at the Metropolitan.

Well-known for her performances in operas by Puccini and Verdi, she also sang Bess with the Cleveland Orchestra in the London Records recording of the George Gershwin classic Porgy and Bess.

Mitchell has received numerous awards, including induction into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2004.

In Leona’s oral history interview, you will hear her talk about a special teacher in her life, and about singing with Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti on the oral history website and podcast VoicesOfOklahoma.com.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Robert J. LaFortune

Apr 2, 2024 • 1 hr 3 min

Tulsa civic leader and oilman Robert LaFortune was born at St. John Medical Center in Tulsa, January 24, 1927. In 1920, his father Joseph Aloysius LaFortune and his mother Gertrude Leona Tremel LaFortune, had moved to Tulsa from South Bend, Indiana. Joseph LaFortune worked for Warren Petroleum Company for approximately 30 years, retiring as executive vice president. Before and after retirement, he maintained a significant community presence and funded the development of LaFortune Park in Tulsa. Among his many gifts to the University of Notre Dame, he donated funds to renovate the Science Hall into the school’s first student center.

Robert (Bob) LaFortune served as Tulsa’s commissioner of streets and public property (1964–70) and as mayor (1970–78). As commissioner, he participated in the development of the Port of Catoosa through purchasing land for the port and working with engineers on its design. As mayor, he played a significant role in developing Tulsa’s freeway system and securing public-private funding for construction of the city’s Performing Arts Center.

Among his service to many executive boards, LaFortune has been a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America. He was a 1982 recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award from the Boy Scouts of America.

Robert LaFortune and his wife Jeanne Morse LaFortune, a native Tulsan, raised six children, Suzanne Bynum, Kathleen Phoenix, Annette Murray, Robert J. LaFortune, Jr., John M. LaFortune, and Phillip T. LaFortune.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Cyrus Avery - Oklahoma Leaders

Apr 1, 2024 • 19 min 41 sec

Cyrus Stevens Avery was a businessperson, oilman, and highway commissioner. He created the U.S. Route 66 while being a member of the federal board appointed to create the Federal Highway System, then pushed for the establishment of the U.S. Highway 66 Association to pave and promote the highway. As such, he is known as the "Father of Route 66". And by the way, Cyrus chose the numbers 66 for the famous highway. He was 57 when the book Oklahoma Leaders was published in 1928.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Ray Bingham

Mar 26, 2024 • 1 hr 31 min

Ray Bingham was an agent, producer, and manager for some of country music’s biggest stars.

Music has made Ray’s world go around since he was nine and started listening to western swing bands at local ballrooms.

Music was popular entertainment in Claremore, and where Patty Page, Tommy Allsup and Stone Horse started out.

His life story is the history of country music from Oklahoma roots to far beyond. Bingham has been the man behind the scenes promoting and booking top talent for more than four decades, including Garth Brooks’ first gig and his mother Colleen Carroll for years before him, the Tulsa Playboys, Peggy Rains, Vince Gill, Reba McEntire, Willie Nelson, Alan Jackson, and Tim McGraw.

A deep love of music and friendship with two men – Billy Parker and Red Steagall – eventually led him to start Ray Bingham Productions.

Listen to Ray tell you stories about Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, Ray Stevens, Patsy Cline and more on the Oral History Website and podcast VoicesofOklahoma.com.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Peggy Dow Helmerich

Mar 18, 2024 • 1 hr 20 min

When Peggy Josephine Varnadow was signed by Universal Pictures in 1949, the public relations staff whittled down her name to the barest essentials, and thus Peggy Dow was born. Born in Columbia, Mississippi, her family eventually settled in Louisiana where she attended Louisiana State and Northwestern University in Illinois.

Local modeling and radio opportunities captured the attention of a talent agent who cast Peggy in February 1949. This resulted in additional TV exposure that led Universal to offer her a seven-year contract. She made her 1949 debut in the thriller Undertow followed by 1950’s Woman in Hiding. She hit her peak when she co-starred as the lovely nurse in the classic James Stewart farce Harvey (1950). Peggy appeared opposite Arthur Kennedy in the touching war drama Bright Victory (1951).

Peggy retired after only three years in the business to marry Walt Helmerich and relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Despite a promising Hollywood forecast she never looked back and raised five sons in the process. Avid charity work has her interest in Tulsa with health and library issues at the top of her list.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

John Massey

Mar 18, 2024 • 1 hr 41 min

Oklahoma native John L. Massey grew up in Boswell, Guthrie, and Durant and graduated from Southeastern State University (now Southeastern Oklahoma State University) in 1960. While a senior in college, he won his first race for the State House of Representatives, serving two terms in that body and two additional terms in the state Senate. Mr. Massey left the Senate in 1970 to devote full attention to business interests.

He has owned and established over 20 businesses, operated Holiday Inns and other motels in southeastern Oklahoma and north Texas, and developed apartment complexes in both Durant and Oklahoma City.

In 1966, he joined the Durant Bank and Trust Company as a director and was appointed chairman of the board in 1986.

John contributed $1 million to establish four John L. Massey Endowed Chairs in the School of Business at his alma mater as well as the landmark Durant Bank and Trust Building in Durant to the university to establish its Mainstreet Campus. In May of 2005, the business school was renamed in his honor.

John was 86 when he died June 24, 2022.

You can hear John talk about his hard work, which led to business success, on the oral history website and podcast VoicesOfOklahoma.com.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Dr. Herb Lipe

Mar 5, 2024 • 1 hr 29 min

Centenarian Dr. Herb Lipe was born February 10th, 1924, in Claremore, Oklahoma, growing up during the Depression and Dust Bowl. His Father, Clark, and Mother, Virginia, owned a grocery store in Claremore and were proprietors of acreage near Oologah, where they had a pecan orchard.Herb joined the Navy in 1943 during World War II, serving in the Pacific Theatre.

Shortly before completing his military service, he read an advertisement for the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee. After earning his Doctor of Optometry degree, he began his practice in Drumright, Oklahoma, before moving to Tulsa, where he treated thousands of patients for over 50 years. Herb has voted in every election since he left the Navy. He said: “That is what we fought for, that is what America should believe in, but it is not free, you have to keep it up”.

More advice from 100-year-old Herb Lipe: “Respect and love your country, the flag, and the military for what it does”.

Listen to Herb talk about his life and his concerns for future generations on the oral history website and podcast VoicesOfOklahoma.com.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

W.G. Skelly - Oklahoma Leaders

Feb 29, 2024 • 23 min 12 sec

Voices of Oklahoma presents Oklahoma Leaders, a book featuring stories of influential men written in 1928. You'll be introduced to names you'll recognize and we will learn about interesting details of their lives. Notably, these men lived many years beyond the publication of this book to make even more contributions to our society. Listen to another episode in the series Oklahoma Leaders.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Scott Petty

Feb 16, 2024 • 1 hr 30 min

Petty’s Fine Foods was a specialty food store in Tulsa, Oklahoma's Utica Square. It closed in February 2016 after more than 70 years of being a staple of Tulsa shoppers.
The grocery store was established in 1945 by L.G. Rowan and Robert Petty. The business, which was then called Rowan & Petty, opened at the corner of East 21st Street and South Wheeling Avenue.
The store quickly became known as the best purveyor of meats and groceries in Tulsa.During the 1940s and 1950s, Rowan & Petty established itself as a specialty food store offering charge accounts, delivery services, quality meats, and outstanding service. In 1972 it moved to its recent location in Utica Square.
The last owner of Petty’s Fine Foods, Scott Petty, talks about his life prior to his involvement with the store and the growth of the store up to 2016 in his oral history interview for Voices of Oklahoma.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Harry Kaiser

Feb 9, 2024 • 1 hr 6 min

In 2011, Harry Kaiser’s World War II medals were finally issued to him. An Army corporal during the war, Kaiser served with the 60th Infantry Regiment attached to the 9th Armored Division and saw combat during the Battle of the Bulge, including the defense of Bastogne, then across central Europe, and finally at the firefight over the Remagen Bridge.
It was at Remagen in March 1945 when the force of a German artillery shell blew him off a second-floor balcony, sending him crashing to the ground, dislocating a bone in his right leg. He spent the next six weeks in a French hospital, and by then, the war in Europe was coming to a close.
The six medals he was given when he was 90 years old included the Bronze Star.
Listen to Harry and his wife Patricia talk about the war years and how Harry came to know Amelia Earhart and observe Howard Hughes on the Oral history website and podcast VoicesOfOklahoma.com.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Denny Cresap

Jan 31, 2024 • 2 hr 4 min

Through strong friendships, hard work, and pure salesmanship, entrepreneur Denny Cresap grew a one-truck, one-employee beer distributorship in Bartlesville into one of Anheuser-Busch’s top 20 distributors in the United States.
Premium Beers of Oklahoma became a large, multi-location company providing services to 27 counties in the state prior to its sale in 2012.
With proceeds from the sale, Cresap and his family established the Cresap Family Foundation, awarding over $10 million to more than 90 nonprofit agencies focusing on animal welfare, arts, culture and humanities, city/county government agencies, community development, education, health and wellness, human services and religious institutions.A native of Chicago, Illinois, Cresap moved to the state in 1952.
He enrolled at the University of Oklahoma and, during his junior year, joined the United States Army, serving three years overseas before returning to the state to begin his business career.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

N. Scott Momaday

Jan 30, 2024 • 1 hr 13 min

N. Scott Momaday, an internationally acclaimed poet, novelist, playwright, storyteller, artist and teacher, was born in Lawton, Oklahoma. He grew up in various communities in the Southwest. His parents, who were teachers, moved among reservation schools.
He is enrolled in the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma but also has Cherokee heritage from his mother. Momaday’s novel House Made of Dawn led to a writing renaissance for Native American literature and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969.
He is also the author of The Way to Rainy Mountain; The Ancient Child; The Names: A Memoir; In the Bear’s House and other collections of poetry and articles. Momaday’s poetry reflects his concern for Kiowa culture, history, song, ceremony and myth. In the Bear’s House reveals his deep fascination with the bear figure and his watercolor illustrations are included in the book.
He holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and has taught at Stanford, UC-Berkeley and the University of Arizona. In 2007, he was awarded a National Medal of Arts by President George W. Bush. Momaday is the Oklahoma Centennial Poet Laureate.
P.S. Billy the Kid was denied a pardon. Listen to Chapter 10.
“I simply kept my goal in mind and persisted. Perseverance is a large part of writing.” ~ N. Scott Momaday

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Peter Mayo

Jan 24, 2024 • 1 hr 52 min

There is a distinguished Tulsa family that is associated with several downtown Tulsa real estate properties. The Mayo family was responsible for building the Mayo Building, the Petroleum Building, the Mayo Hotel, and the adjacent Mayo Motor Inn parking garage.
Today, a fourth-generation Mayo family member, Peter Mayo, follows this heritage in restoring and improving Tulsa’s former Municipal Theatre which was once known as the Brady Theater and is now called the Tulsa Theatre.
In 1925, Peter’s Grandfather, John, and his brother Cass Mayo completed construction of what would become a destination for many notable guests throughout the hotel’s first life, including President John F. Kennedy, Babe Ruth, and Elvis Presley. The 18-story, 600-room hotel exemplified modern luxury during Oklahoma’s oil renaissance; ceiling fans were outfitted in every room and the hotel boasted Tulsa’s first running ice water.
The Tulsa Municipal Theater was completed in 1914 and remodeled in 1930 and 1952. It was one of only 16 theatres in the U.S. equipped to host a full Metropolitan opera production.
It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
When the Tulsa Performing Arts Center was built, the city put the old theatre up for auction in 1977. Peter bought the theater for $35,000, saving it from demolition, and made major improvements to what was once known as the “Ole Lady on Brady”.
Peter’s parents, Alene Oliphant Mayo and John Burch Mayo were very prominent in the Tulsa community, promoting many good causes, including the Tulsa Symphony and opera productions at the Municipal Theatre. Burch was known for his operatic voice. So, when the Mayo name became attached to the theatre, it seemed only fitting.
In Peter’s oral history, he talks about his musical background, how he came to buy the theatre, and reflects on the many concerts since his ownership.
And he talks about the legend of Enrico Caruso.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Montie Box

Jan 22, 2024 • 1 hr 11 min

Montie Box, known as “Mr. Sand Springs,” was a real estate developer, civic leader, and philanthropist.After graduation from Sand Springs High School, he joined the Navy Reserve and soon began attending Oklahoma A&M College, now Oklahoma State University.
After service during the Korean War, he returned home to begin a 68-year career in real estate development, joining his father-in-law, Ray Brown, in his insurance and real estate business. He eventually purchased the Ray Brown Agency and went to work promoting Sand Springs.
He served the community in many capacities, including the founding of the Sand Springs Education Foundation with his wife Betty.
Montie also served on the board of the Tulsa County fair board and was a member of the Tulsa Metro Chamber. He was a regent and chair of the Board of Regents for Tulsa Community College.He was named the city’s Hometown Hero and was awarded the John Hess Municipal Award for Outstanding Citizenship.
When asked how he would like to be remembered, he said: “As a good man that cares for our country and for people like Sands Springs.”Montie Box died January 2, 2024. He was 93.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Charlie Soap

Jan 15, 2024 • 1 hr 32 min

Charlie Soap has dedicated his entire career to strengthening many Cherokee communities in northeastern Oklahoma. Serving under three chiefs, he was community service group leader for the Cherokee Nation, overseeing a $100 million budget dedicated to many projects including public transit services, roads, bridges, and infrastructure.
Following his career with the tribe, Mr. Soap worked with business education and political leaders to establish the Boys and Girls Club of Tahlequah and served as its founding director.
Under Mr. Soap’s leadership, the club operated a comprehensive summer enrichment program and, working with Tahlequah Public Schools, developed the first after-school program in the school system.
The collaboration between the Boys and Girls Club and the Tahlequah Public Schools has served as a national model. For seven years, Mr. Soap was the Oklahoma area director of the Christian Children’s Fund.
In his oral history interview Charlie talks about the Bell Water Project, which not only produced water but also produced long lasting relationships he reflects upon on the oral history website and podcast VoicesOfOklahoma.com.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Mollie Williford

Dec 20, 2023 • 42 min 40 sec

Mollie Blansett Williford is a native of Houston, Texas, where she attended Stephen F. Austin State College. Her marriage in 1957 to Galveston native Richard Williford, who was in the oil industry, meant the couple would move to various communities.
When they moved to Tulsa, Mollie began volunteering.
Her work at Key Elementary would be the beginning of a remarkable volunteer career dedicated to education and service to Tulsans.Richard’s tragic death in 1996 created a leadership vacuum in the Tulsa community and Williford Energy.
Mollie assumed leadership of the company while continuing her public service.Over the years, she made a significant imprint on the lives of Tulsans through her financial support and diverse board memberships, and now you can hear Mollie tell her story on the oral history website and podcast Voices of Oklahaoma.com.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Steve Turnbo

Dec 8, 2023 • 1 hr 19 min

As a public relations man, Steve Turnbo was a fixture in local Tulsa business and civics for more than five decades, helping clients and nonprofits tell their stories in the media, at community gatherings, and wherever decision-makers congregated. His behind-the-scenes work over the years helped build toll roads, construct stadiums and arenas, pass bond elections, and manage crises.
He established Turnbo and Associates and, after a year, he joined his mentor Chuck Schnake to form Schnake Turnbo & Associates, which in time became Schnake Turnbo & Frank.
His many recognitions include: The University of Tulsa College of Business Hall of Fame, The Public Relations Society of America’s Paul M. Lund Public Service award, and he was named to the prestigious College of Fellows of the Public Relations Society of America.
In his oral history interview, Steve will tell you about his love for baseball, people he knew in the community, and Will Rogers’ quotes -- on VoicesOfOklahoma.com.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Sonic Drive-in

Nov 17, 2023 • 1 hr 28 min

In 1953, Troy Smith purchased an old root beer stand on the outskirts of Shawnee, Oklahoma.
Within the next six years, he perfected a simple but memorable menu and added controlled parking, canopies, music, a carhop, and an innovative system for ordering food over an intercom speaker system. Most importantly, he formed the first of many partnerships that would define a formula for success—shared responsibility and shared profit.
Today, that formula is still at the heart of a dynamic chain of restaurants called Sonic, America’s Drive-In.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Nancy McDonald

Oct 27, 2023 • 1 hr 52 min

Community volunteer Nancy McDonald’s service to Tulsa has touched the very soul of the state of Oklahoma. A graduate of the University of Nebraska, Nancy began her career as a medical technologist. While her children were growing up in Tulsa, her interests turned to education and youth development. She was very active as a PTA volunteer and became a leader in the voluntary integration of Tulsa Public Schools. She helped recruit students and parents to Burroughs Elementary, the beginning of voluntary integration, which led to the integration program at Carver Middle School and Booker T. Washington High School. Nancy was on the board of the Magic Empire Girl Scout Council, when in 1977, three young girl scouts were raped and murdered at Camp Scott. Gene Leroy Hart the chief suspect was acquitted. Years later, DNA testing was conducted, but the samples were too old to prove conclusive. In this interview she talks about the aftermath of the murders and how it affected the parents of the children, the members of the Council and the policy changes put in place as a result of this horrendous crime. When her own daughter revealed she was gay, Nancy founded the Tulsa chapter of PFLAG-Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays and went on to serve on the national board. This interview spotlights just a few of the many areas of our community Nancy has served. She has received many honors for her work. We thank the founding underwriters for their support of VoicesofOklahoma.com

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Becky Dixon

Oct 27, 2023 • 2 hr 10 min

Becky Dixon, president and owner of AyerPlay Productions, began her career in broadcasting at KTUL-TV in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she was both a news and sports anchor. In just six years, she was hired by ABC Sports and became the first woman to host a network sports show when she joined Frank Gifford as co-host of ABC’s Wide World of Sports.
Dixon served as a broadcaster for the Super Bowl, Winter Olympics, World Gymnastics Championships, college football, and the Triple Crown of Horse Racing. She also co-hosted the Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones Show.
Dixon later returned to Tulsa and founded Dixon Productions, launching the television special Oklahomans. The show was statewide, promoting and celebrating the achievements of many well-known Oklahomans.
In 1994, Dixon joined forces with communications pioneer Ed Taylor to form AyerPlay. The company broke new ground on the Internet with one of the first live webcasts when Dixon co-hosted a World Aids Day Symposium in conjunction with Harvard University.
Becky was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2016.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Carlton Pearson

Oct 17, 2023 • 3 hr 9 min

Carlton D'metrius Pearson, born on March 19, 1953, is an American minister and gospel music artist. He gained recognition as the pastor of the Higher Dimensions Evangelistic Center Incorporated, later known as the Higher Dimensions Family Church, located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His church flourished during the 1990s, attracting an average attendance of over 6,000. However, his theological beliefs in universal reconciliation led to a significant shift in his ministry's trajectory.
Due to his convictions about universal reconciliation, Carlton Pearson faced challenges within the Joint College of African American Pentecostal Bishops, and his peers eventually labeled him a heretic in 2004. Despite this, Pearson remained steadfast in his beliefs, taking on various roles throughout his career. He served as the senior minister of Christ Universal Temple, a prominent New Thought congregation in Chicago, Illinois, and later became involved with a new Higher Dimensions fellowship in Chicago. Furthermore, he worked as an affiliate minister at Tulsa's All Souls Unitarian Church.
Additionally, Pearson is a gospel vocalist who has received accolades such as two Stellar Awards and a Dove Award nomination. Despite the challenges and shifts in his religious journey, Carlton Pearson's impact on both the gospel music scene and the realm of ministry remains noteworthy.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Sherman Ray

Sep 27, 2023 • 59 min

Sherman Ray survived WWII Nazi death camp, Auschwitz, by sewing German uniforms. He was targeted by the Germans not once, but twice to be transported to the infamous Auschwitz. The first time, as a young man, was with his family. Sherman had heard rumors of the camps and wanted his family to jump from the train with him to escape, but they refused, so he jumped alone. That was the last time he saw his parents, sister, and younger brother. They were among thousands of Jews rounded up after Hitler’s army stormed through Poland.
After leaping from the moving train, he hid in the woods and lived by whatever means available. Eventually, he was captured a second time by German soldiers and transported to Auschwitz—this time, he was not lucky enough to escape. After arriving at the concentration camp, Sherman was saved by his tailoring skills and the soldiers put him to work making Nazis uniforms. For four years, he made his captors clothing while he watched many other Jews die of starvation and disease, and heard the screams of those in the death chambers.
Sherman was liberated in 1945 and eventually came to Oklahoma City and then Tulsa where he continued his work as a tailor and became the owner of Ray’s Tailor Shop.
The number B2526 was tattooed on his wrist by the Nazis. Sherman had the constant reminder of his past covered with a butterfly tattoo to help him forget.
His fondness for America is apparent when he says, “If I have to give my life for this country, I will.”

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

King Kirchner

Sep 26, 2023 • 1 hr 48 min

King Kirchner was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Tulsa-based Unit Corporation from 1963-2001.
Following retirement, he continued to serve as a director of Unit Corporation, the fourth largest onshore drilling contractor in the United States. Kirchner grew up in Perry and graduated from Perry High School in 1945. At age sixteen, he began working as a roughneck in the oilfields.
Kirchner received his degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Oklahoma State University (1950) and in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Oklahoma.
He served in Germany during the Korean Conflict and, between 1954 and 1963, was an engineer and then vice president of the Unit Drilling Division of Woolaroc Oil Company in Bristow, OK. Kirchner and his partner invested $10,000 each, and then borrowed $140,000 to buy three rotary drilling rigs, along with the Unit Drilling name in 1963, thus founding Unit Drilling Company which later became Unit Corporation.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Scooter Seagraves

Sep 8, 2023 • 1 hr 27 min

During its halcyon days dominating the Northeastern Oklahoma radio market, KAKC gave the world several memorable disk jockeys — it was the era of personality DJs and Top 40 radio. Happy Harry Wilson. Roger Rocka...

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Jenkin Jones Jr.

Aug 31, 2023 • 1 hr 39 min

The grandfather of Jenkin “Jenk” Lloyd Jones Jr., Richard Lloyd Jones, bought the Tulsa Democrat from Charles Page (the founder of Sand Springs, OK) and turned it into the Tulsa Tribune. The Tribune was an afternoon ...

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Drs. Joe & Carol Conner

Aug 29, 2023 • 1 hr 31 min

Killers of the Flower Moon is the story of serial murders of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation which took place mainly in Fairfax, Oklahoma. Joe Conner, an Osage, lost a family member to the greed...

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

David Bernstein

Aug 21, 2023 • 1 hr 30 min

David Bernstein was the Executive Director of the Tulsa Mental Health Association from 1969-1973 and was instrumental in developing the first 24-hour telephone suicide prevention hotline in the Southwest, which ...

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

David Grann

Aug 16, 2023 • 32 min 21 sec

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Yancey Red Corn

Jul 31, 2023 • 46 min 44 sec

A Norman, Oklahoma resident, Yancey Red Corn plays a former Osage chief in “Killers of the Flower Moon.” He traveled to Cannes Film Festival for the movie’s premiere. Yancey’s ancestry includes a great-grandfather...

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear

Jul 14, 2023 • 2 hr 13 min

Geoffrey Standing Bear is the Principal Chief of the Osage Nation. He is the great-grandson of Osage Principal Chief Fred Lookout.Before his election, Chief Standing Bear practiced law for 34 years. He concentrated ...

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Willard Stone

Jun 12, 2023 • 57 min

Artist Willard Stone was born and raised in Oktaha, Oklahoma, and was best known for his wood sculptures carved in a flowing Art Deco style.Willard had an early interest in drawing and painting, but at the age of 13 ...

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Joseph Williams

May 3, 2023 • 1 hr 27 min

While Joe Williams is primarily known in Tulsa as an oilman, his friends and family speak of him as a bird hunter and conservationist, and then an astute businessman and oilman. It is Williams’ work ...

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

14th Anniversary

Apr 10, 2023 • 36 min 25 sec

April 10th, 2010 the oral history website Voices of Oklahoma was launched. We began collecting stories in 2009. So, on this, our 14th anniversary, we would like to share the history of Voices of Oklahoma ...

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Bob McCormack

Apr 5, 2023 • 57 min 28 sec

Bob McCormack was one of Tulsa, Oklahoma’s premier photographers. A native of Pompey, New York (just a few miles east of Syracuse), Bob’s family moved to Lathrop, Missouri, while Bob was still a child.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Jimmy O'Neill

Mar 16, 2023 • 54 min 59 sec

For those who remember the television show “Shindig!” but may have forgotten the host, this story will remind you of the very talented Jimmy O’Neill, who was from Enid, Oklahoma. He started his radio career at 16 ...

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

James C. Leake

Mar 7, 2023 • 1 hr 3 min

James C. Leake was a Television pioneer along with his wife Marjory Griffin Lake and brother-in-law John “J.T.” Griffin. In the 1940s, they applied to the FCC for licenses to put television stations in Little Rock...

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Ernestine Dillard

Feb 27, 2023 • 1 hr 35 min

Ernestine Dillard of Bixby, Oklahoma is perhaps best remembered for her April 23, 1995 performance when she electrified 11,000 mourners and a national television audience with her “God Bless America” vocal arrangement...

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

J. Paul Getty

Feb 23, 2023 • 29min 41sec

A Man’s Perspective on Business and Life was a film prepared for the employees of Getty Oil Company and Skelly Oil Company shortly before J. Paul Getty’s death on June 6, 1976, at age 83. James C. Leake and journalist Bob Gregory...

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Nancy Sevenoaks

Feb 21, 2023 • 1hr 32min

Oklahoma native James C. Leake, Sr., grew up on the farm his grandfather homesteaded in 1891.He worked the soda counter at Rickner's Bookstore and Restaurant in Norman while attending college at the University of Oklahoma...

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Mary Helen Stanley

Feb 6, 2023 • 1hr 12min

In the late 1930s, women basically had four career choices -- nurse, secretary, hairdresser, or teacher. Mary Helen Stanley decided to follow in her aunt's footsteps to become a teacher. She began her career as a high school speech...

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Marina Metevelis

Jan 27, 2023 • 1hr 8min

Marina Metevelis answered the call to defend the United States as one of the iconic bandanna-clad Rosie the Riveters. Marina was sixteen when Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941—an event that inspired her to apply for a job at the...

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George Krumme

Jan 13, 2023 • 1hr 53min

George Krumme was born and reared in rural Oklahoma, about five miles northeast of Okemah. His early education took place in a rural school. He finished high school at age 16 in Bristow and then attended Oklahoma A&M...

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Warren Spahn

Jan 6, 2023 • 1hr 4min

“The greatest game ever pitched” was an event that may best describe the baseball story of Warren Spahn. For in that game, he displayed the strength and the stamina that earned him the title of the greatest major league...

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Julius Pegues

Jan 4, 2023 • 1hr 34min

Julius Pegues was the first Black varsity basketball player at the University of Pittsburgh, and went on to serve in the U.S. Air Force as a weather forecaster and later as an advisor to the Federal Aviation Administration. ...

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JV Haney

Dec 5, 2022 • 1hr 40min

He’s a small-town guy who charmed the big city. He was merely a name who coached high school sports before he became the face of Oklahoma high school athletics. Through his appearances on radio and television, J.V. Haney became the state’s most significant voice of high school sports...

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Jim Goodwin

Nov 28, 2022 • 1hr 40min

James Osby Goodwin was one of eight siblings who grew up next door to Tulsa’s St. Monica Catholic Church. His father purchased a 150-acre farm in the community of Alsuma at East 51st Street and South Mingo Road. Nearby railroad tracks separated whites and blacks...

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Joyce Jackson

Oct 27, 2022 • 2hr 9min

Joyce Jackson was in Junior High School when she became part of the Katz Drugstore sit-in in 1958, the beginning of a movement that contributed to race relations reform in Oklahoma. Joyce was the first black woman on television in Oklahoma at KOCO 5...

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Governor David Walters

September 13, 2022 • 1hr 57min

David Walters was the 24th governor of Oklahoma from 1991 to 1995. Born in Canute, Oklahoma, he was a project manager for Governor David Boren and the youngest executive officer working for the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. In 1986, Walters was the Democratic nominee for governor of Oklahoma, but...

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Dr. Jim A. Rodgers

August 29, 2022 • 1hr 38min

Dr. James A. Rodgers, a neurosurgery specialist in Tulsa, Oklahoma, completed his medical school prerequisites at the University of Tulsa in 1972. He then graduated with honors from the University of Oklahoma medical school in 1976. After completing his...

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Frank Riesinger

July 25, 2022 • 1hr 33min

Riesinger’s Jewelry was a mainstay in Utica Square for over fifty years with a heritage that dates back to the fourth floor above the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Tulsa. That was where Frank Riesinger’s father, Otto, presided for many years over a jewelry repair store...

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Joe Cappy

May 16, 2022 • 2hr 41min

Joe Cappy had a front-row seat to a strange episode in U.S. car manufacturing history: the 1987 sale of American Motors Corp. to Chrysler-the deal that gave the Jeep brand to Chrysler and made Joe Cappy the last American Motors Corporation CEO.

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John Hughes

April 21, 2022 • 1hr 50min

The Hughes Osage County ranch started as a land purchase in 1938 by John Hughes’s father, an oil industry pioneer with Phillips Petroleum Co. John Hughes was a junior in high school when he purchased his first cattle — at $100 a head for strays he had gathered ...

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Dale McNamara

Mar 22, 2022 • 1hr 18min

Dale McNamara wanted to play golf, but there was no team at the University of Tulsa, so she entered tournaments on her own and became the first woman to win an athletic letter at TU. In 1974, when Tulsa decided to start a women’s golf team and McNamara ...

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Robert Henry

Mar 16, 2022 • 2hr 25min

Robert Henry is a former United States circuit judge and was the 17th president of Oklahoma City University. He formerly served as the attorney general of Oklahoma from 1986 to 1991, before resigning early in his second term to become the dean of the Oklahoma ...

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Church Studios - Leon Russell & Steve Ripley

Mar 2, 2022 • 10 min 57 sec

As the Church Studios in Tulsa get ready to open after a major refurbishment, we share the stories of Steve Ripley, who owned the historic studio for many years. Steve knew Leon Russell well, and worked hard to preserve thousands of recordings and the equipment to play them.

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Bill Atherton

Feb 22, 2022 • 2 hr

Upon graduation from Oklahoma State University, Bill Atherton worked with Core Laboratories, Inc. in the Texas Gulf Coast and South America, and served as an officer in the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. After his time with Core, he operated his own petroleum reservoir engineering company in Trinidad ...

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Clarence Oliver

Feb 15, 2022 • 1 hr 31 min

Clarence G. Oliver, Jr., Ed.D., Emeritus Professor and former Dean of the College of Education at Oral Roberts University and retired Superintendent of Schools for Broken Arrow Public Schools, has enjoyed success in three distinct career fields—Journalism, Military, and Education. He has been a teacher ...

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Jay O'Meilia

Feb 6, 2022 • 1 hr 48 min

Philip Jay O’Meilia was born in 1927 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Between military stints during WWII and Korea (serving as a Navy artist), he attended the Art Students League in New York and the Chicago Academy of Fine Art.

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Randy Foutch

Jan 12, 2022 • 1 hr 36 min

Randy A. Foutch fits the bill as an entrepreneurial oilman. Born in Oklahoma and raised in Texas, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Geology at the University of Texas and a Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Houston.

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Clifton Taulbert

Nov 30, 2021 • 1 hr 45 min

Clifton Taulbert was born in 1945 in Glen Allan, Mississippi, a small town in the Mississippi Delta. He graduated valedictorian from O’Bannon High School in Greenville, Mississippi, in 1963. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History and ...

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David Easton & Jimmy Steinmeyer

Oct 28, 2021 • 2 hr 26 min

David Easton was one of the world’s most sought-after interior designers and architects. He was noted in the ’80s for his English-style houses, catering to a clientele with a taste for grandeur. David was named to the Interior ...

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Jeannie McDaniel

Jul 21, 2021 • 1 hr 40 min

A longtime Tulsan, Jeannie McDaniel has worked to better her city for more than twenty-five years. She worked at the Citizens Crime Commission from 1981 to 1991—serving as director from 1986 through 1991—coordinating programs like Alert ...

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Maxine Zarrow

Jun 18, 2021 • 53 min 39 sec

Maxine and her family are known for their active and generous commitment to the Jewish community, mental health, homelessness, and social services.Maxine’s husband, Jack Zarrow, joined his father and brother Henry in the family business...

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Oklahoma Voices - Race Massacre

May 27, 2021 • 26 min 28 sec

Over the past twelve years, Voices of Oklahoma has been collecting stories of the 1921 Race Massacre. As we observe the centennial of the event, we are presenting the oral histories of eleven people who shared their memories and their ...

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Voices of Sports Legends - Gary Ward

Apr 30, 2021 • 51 min

Voices of Sports Legends is a collection of events and interviews which sports historian Wayne McCombs has collected and recorded. He has donated this material to the oral history website ...

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Voices of Sports Legends - Bill Connors

Apr 28, 2021 • 55 min

Voices of Sports Legends is a collection of events and interviews which sports historian Wayne McCombs has collected and recorded. He has donated this material to the oral history website ...

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Voices of Sports Legends - Jerry Webber

Apr 26, 2021 • 1 hr 1 min

Voices of Sports Legends is a collection of events and interviews which sports historian Wayne McCombs has collected and recorded. He has donated this material to the oral history website ...

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Voices of Sports Legends - Glenn Dobbs

Apr 24, 2021 • 1 hr 4 min

Voices of Sports Legends is a collection of events and interviews which sports historian Wayne McCombs has collected and recorded. He has donated this material to the oral history website ...

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Voices of Sports Legends - A. Ray Smith

Apr 22, 2021 • 1 hr 7 min

Voices of Sports Legends is a collection of events and interviews which sports historian Wayne McCombs has collected and recorded. He has donated this material to the oral history website ...

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Oklahoma Voices - ORU Golden Eagles Basketball

Mar 23, 2021 • 12 min

With the Golden Eagles basketball team in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA basketball tournaments, we look back to when Oral Roberts University basketball came into its own in the seventies. ...

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Harry Stege

Mar 22, 2021 • 1 hr 51 min

As Chief of Police, from 1977 to 1983, five of the officers recognized at the Tulsa Police Officers’ Memorial, fell during Harry Stege’s term as chief. One of the more tragic incidents was the ...

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Keith Ballard

Mar 18, 2021 • 1 hr 53 min

Dr. Keith Ballard’s education career started in Coweta, Oklahoma in 1972. Two years later Keith moved to Oologah, Oklahoma where he was a teacher, administrative assistant, assistant high ...

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Oklahoma Voices - Women's History Month

Mar 12, 2021 • 18 min

Every year, March is designated Women’s History Month. It is a time for observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. As we dig into the stories from our 12 ...

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Bill Lobeck

Mar 5, 2021 • 1 hr 6 min

William E. Lobeck Jr. began his career in the 1960s at Norfolk Pontiac and Chevrolet dealerships, Norfolk, Virginia, cultivating daily rental car companies as his largest customers ...

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Oklahoma Voices - Black History Month

Feb 24, 2021 • 25 min

While Black History Month celebrates the accomplishments of African Americans nationwide, we can point to those who deserve recognition in our state of Oklahoma ...

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David Morgan

Feb 16, 2021 • 1 hr 9 min

On March 9, 1967, Tulsa, Oklahoma native David Morgan went to the Corvette Assembly Plant in North St. Louis, Missouri to take delivery of a new Corvette. It was a special-order L88 bought by ...

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State Senator Maxine Horner

Feb 10, 2021 • 1 hr 24 min

Maxine Horner was one of the first two African American women to serve in the Oklahoma Senate. While working for Congressman James R. Jones she became interested in politics, which prompted her to run for an open seat in 1986. She termed out in 2004. Maxine’s focus was on economic development and education. Of the many bills she sponsored, her highlight piece of legislation was the OHLAP bill known as Oklahoma’s Promise. She introduced the idea and saw it through to passage. Some of the students receiving financial aid from this bill went on to serve in the Oklahoma legislature. All of this from a woman who was not allowed to shop in many downtown Tulsa stores and was asked to move to the back of the bus when using public transportation. Her legislative career included serving as the first female chair of the Democratic Caucus and the chair of the Business and Labor committee. Maxine is also credited with founding the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and was inducted in the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame in 2007. Maxine was 89 years old when she died on February 7th, 2021.

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Oklahoma Voices - Carrie Dickerson

Feb 5, 2021 • 22 min

Our news is filled with protests, some of it is “good trouble”. There was a protest that took place in Oklahoma in the seventies, led by activist Carrie Dickerson, which resulted in the cancellation of the proposed Black Fox Nuclear Power Plant, near Inola, Oklahoma. In our library of oral histories, we have the Carrie Dickerson story as told by her daughter, Patricia Lemon, for VoicesofOklahoma.com It all started when Carrie saw a newspaper headline, in 1973, about the Public Service Company of Oklahoma announcing plans to build the Black Fox Nuclear power plant. This is a profile in courage story! Individuals can make a difference! You can explore more about Carrie Dickerson on our website: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/dickerson-carrie/

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Ramona Reed

Jan 28, 2021 • 45 min

In episode 3 of the Ken Burns documentary “Country Music,” a picture was used featuring the stage of the Grand Ole Opry from 1949 which included Ramona Reed. Ramona was working for WSM Radio as Martha White representing the Martha White Flour Company. Hank Williams is seen in the background. Ramona went on to work for WSM during the summer of 1949, performing on a morning radio show each weekday and then appearing on the Grand Ole Opry on Friday and Saturday. Ramona grew up on a farm near Talihina, Oklahoma and by the time she was 15, she was singing for a Saturday morning radio show in McAlester, Oklahoma. She sang on the Grand Ole Opry for the first time when she was 17. After college in Denver, Colorado, and then two years in Nashville, she moved to Dallas, Texas where the Bob Wills Ranch House had just opened. She auditioned for Bob which led to two years of touring and performing with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. She performed at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa many times with Bob Wills and sang with Johnnie Lee Wills at county fairs. Of her many hit songs, she sang and yodeled “I want to be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” which was produced by Oklahoma’s Tommy Allsup. She was voted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2009. The induction class included Rocky Frisco and Carrie Underwood. The Grand Ole Opry paid tribute to Ramona in 2020 as she celebrated the 70th Anniversary of her time on the Opry while observing her 90th birthday.

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Billy Parker

Dec 30, 2020 • 1 hr 39 min

While Billy Parker was a mainstay on country radio, his claim to fame was as an influential disc jockey, not as a performer. Ironically, for all of the Top 40 hits he spun over the course of his decades on the air, not one of them was his own. Born July 19, 1939, in Tuskegee, OK, he began playing guitar as a child and by the age of 14 had made his professional debut on the Tulsa radio program Big Red Jamboree. A few years later, he began performing in clubs and in 1959 landed his first job as a DJ. By 1963, Billy was the regular daytime disc jockey on Wichita, Kansas’ KFDI and also hosted a Tulsa television program. In the same year, he cut his first single, “The Line Between Love and Hate,” and was named “Mr. DJ U.S.A.” in a nationwide poll, which helped land him at Nashville’s WSM. After releasing another record, “I’m Drinking All the Time,” in 1966, Parker began playing with Ernest Tubbs Troubadours in 1968 and stayed with the group for three years, until he joined Tulsa’s KVOO. Billy was named Disc Jockey of the Year by the Academy of Country & Western Music in 1975; he won the award again in 1977, 1978, and 1984. In 1976, he scored his first chart hit with “It’s Bad When You’re Caught (With the Goods),” from the album Average Man. He scored his biggest success in 1982 with the title track from the LP (Who’s Gonna Sing) The Last Country Song. He was inducted into the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame in 1992. See more on our website: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/parker-billy/

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Oklahoma Voices - Jim Thorpe Medals

Dec 21, 2020 • 15 min

“Seeking to Restore Thorpe’s Gold Medals, More Than 100 Years Later.” That headline caught my attention because of course Jim Thorpe is a Native American from the Sac and Fox Nation in Oklahoma. He was known as the greatest athlete from the first 50 years of the 20th century. I interviewed Jim Thorpe’s son, Bill Thorpe, August 3rd, 2015 at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame museum in Oklahoma City. When I asked Bill who is father was, he said “Jim Thorpe, greatest athlete in the world”. Listen to Bill talk about growing up as the son of this “greatest athlete”. Once again, our Oklahoma Voices are relevant to the headlines of the day. You can hear the full interview with Bill Thorpe on our website: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/thorpe-jim/

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John Hausam

Dec 16, 2020 • 1 hr 10 min

Then he stepped off the path. In his oral history, John F. Hausam talks about his military service in the Korean conflict and how he unwittingly avoided death by stepping off a path. His platoon leader stayed on the path and lost his life because he stepped on a land mine. John was allowed to live 89 years, dying September 15, 2020. He studied and worked as a draftsman but later received his real estate license and established John Hausam Realtors. The company went on to become one of the largest real estate companies in Tulsa while giving back to the community through various charitable organizations. John served as a National Director for the National Association of Realtors and was appointed to many committees of the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors and was the past president of the local Multiple Listing Services. Many John Hausam real estate agents have lived very successful lives because John stepped off that path. Explore more about John on our website: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/hausam-john/

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Oklahoma Voices - Sherwin Miller Holocaust Museum

Nov 24, 2020 • 18 min

The Sherwin Miller Holocaust Museum has expanded its holocaust exhibit. The museum has been home to a holocaust exhibit for 14 years and while effective in telling the story, the addition makes the overall exhibit even more impactful. This podcast features an interivew with Mickel Yantz, Director of Collections and Exhibits, and you will hear powerful testimony from Holocaust survivors Eva Unterman and Sherman Ray. They will give you their reasons for telling the story. Be sure to visit the museum and share the story. You can hear the full interviews with Eva Unterman and Sherman Ray on our website. Eva Unterman: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/unterman-eva/ Sherman Ray: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/ray-sherman/

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Joy Harjo

Nov 22, 2020 • 50 min

It has been announced that Tulsan Joy Harjo will continue as the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States for a third year, becoming only the second laureate to serve more than two years. Joy was born in Tulsa and is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Nation. Growing up she was surrounded by artists and musicians: her mother wrote songs, her grandmother played the saxophone, and her aunt was an artist. Joy is a Tulsa Artist Fellow.

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Oklahoma Voices - Kidnapped

Oct 27, 2020 • 21 min

And one more thing! From the oral history website Voices of Oklahoma, we have one more true crime story. In this episode the victim tells the story. Walt Helmerich was kidnapped June 3rd, 1974 on his way to work in Tulsa, Oklahoma and was told to “Do what I say or I am going to kill you”. He was blindfolded, bound and kept on the floorboard of a car that zipped from one phone booth to another as his abductor arranged for a ransom payment of $700,000. Walt will tell you in great detail about the hours leading up to his release.

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Frederick Drummond

Oct 20, 2020 • 56 min

“Come trade with me.” Those are the words that brought the Drummond family to Oklahoma and Osage County. Frederick Drummond (1864–1913) came to the former Osage Nation, Indian Territory, at age twenty-two in 1886. The Drummond name runs thick in the vast ranch lands of Osage County. The branches of the family tree–cousins, brothers, uncles–are extensive and storied. No one understands the family legacy more than Frederick Ford Drummond, a third-generation rancher, who walked among pioneers as a child. Later, he paid homage to his father, Fred Gentner Drummond, and his grandfather in the only way he knew how–by carrying on the family business and by becoming one of many Oklahomans who strove to keep the state’s heritage alive. Frederick Ford Drummond earned degrees from Oklahoma State and Stanford universities. After graduating from Stanford, he joined United Missouri Bank of Kansas City. Frederick Drummond’s education and banking experience equipped him to operate the family ranch. A member of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association since the age of seven, Fred began training his son, Ford, in 2002 to become a fourth-generation Drummond rancher. In addition to many honors he was inducted as a member of the Oklahoma State University Hall of Fame. Fred Drummond died on October 18th, 2020. You can hear Fred's full interview and find more information on our website: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/drummond-frederick-f/

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Dave Whitlock

Oct 15, 2020 • 1 hr 13 min

Dave Whitlock is a world-renowned fly fisherman and contributor of many articles, photos, and illustrations to the world’s top outdoor sports magazines. His first published piece was in Field & Stream in 1968. Dave resigned his position as a research chemist and pooled his talents in painting, illustrating, writing, photography, fly fishing, fly tying and lecturing to embark on a new career as a full-time professional in the art of fly fishing. He has written and illustrated six books—several of which are considered “bibles” by fly fishermen—and co-authored or contributed to dozens of others. Dave is the best-known and most talented international figure in Oklahoma who is often not recognized in his home state of Oklahoma. He has been inducted into five halls of fame and was named by Fly Fisherman Magazine one of its “50 Most Influential Fly Fishers in the Last 5 Decades”. Dave’s wife Emily is an accomplished fly fisher and edits all of Dave’s work. They live beside a trout stream in Welling, Oklahoma. You can find the full interview on our website: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/whitlock-dave/

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Oklahoma Voices - More True Crime

Sep 21, 2020 • 21 min

The largest reaction to our podcasts came with the last episode: True Crime. Several wrote about encountering Whitey Bulger but also many wrote about bank robber Pretty Boy Floyd and family stories of Floyd encounters. He did grow up Oklahoma and robbed banks in our state. So we continue with more True Crime for this 10th episode - stories taken from our oral history website VoicesofOklahoma.com We have two murder stories that took place in 1977. The first story is about the murder of Kendal Ashmore and Kathy Brown in Tulsa and the second story features the Girl Scout murders near Locust Grove, Oklahoma.

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Dr James Buskirk

Sep 15, 2020 • 1 hr 34 min

Dr. James B. Buskirk was Senior Minister at First United Methodist Church in Tulsa, for twelve years beginning September 1984. Prior to his First Methodist ministry he was the founding dean of the School of Theology at Oral Roberts University. Dr. Buskirk is the originator of two local church programs in creative ministry called “Motivation for Ministry” and “Affirmation Evangelism.” Dr. Buskirk has been “Conference Preacher” at several annual conferences, spoken at jurisdictional conferences and at national conferences, and taught at several “Pastors’ Schools” in annual conferences and at “Ministers’ Week” in seminary settings. He has ministered in numerous churches in almost every state and preached and taught abroad. Dr. Buskirk served over thirty years as a pastor. He served eight years as the chair-person of the Oklahoma Conference Board of Evangelism, four years on the Conference Board of Education, plus years of service on many other boards and in many other agencies. Dr. Buskirk’s experiences as a husband, father, pastor, evangelist, professor, dean of a seminary, and administrator have all contributed to his effectiveness in ministry.

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Oklahoma Voices - True Crime

Aug 27, 2020 • 21 min

Name change!  We have changed the name of our podcast because it is easier to remember!  Just that simple!  Oklahoma Voices! Do you remember the TV show Columbo, starring Peter Falk?  He was famous for saying “Oh, just one more thing.” I was watching it recently as he was solving another murder case. True crime holds a fascination for us. True crime books are big sellers and true crime TV shows are highly watched. I thought of the true crime stories we have in our Voices of Oklahoma library and I thought of three murder cases, one is unsolved. Even Columbo couldn’t solve this one.

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Dobie Langenkamp

Aug 18, 2020 • 1 hr 59 min

Both of R. Dobie Langenkamp’s, grandfathers were Oklahoma pioneers in the 1920s in oil development. The younger Langenkamp worked as an oilfield roustabout, a pump station operator, and a refinery laborer while he was attending school. After Stanford and Harvard Law School he practiced oil and gas law in Oklahoma and twice was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Gas for the Department of Energy, where one of his responsibilities was to supervise the Naval Petroleum Reserve. After service in the government he founded and ran his own small independent oil and gas exploration company for 15 years. Later he was appointed Professor of Energy and Director of the National Energy Law and Policy Institute at Tulsa University Law School. Dobie Langenkamp has also served as energy consultant for the State Department and Department of Energy in Kazakhstan, the Republic of Georgia, and Iraq. He has lectured on international oil and gas law in Ghana, Angola, Uganda, Egypt, and Argentina. Additional content for this interview is available on our website: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/langenkamp-dobie/

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Eskimo Joe's and Stan Clark

Aug 11, 2020 • 2 hr 3 min

Voices of Oklahoma recalls the story of two graduates of Oklahoma State University, Stan Clark and Steve File, and their dream of opening a bar in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The bar opened July 21, 1975 and took on the name Eskimo Joe’s which came from their desire to have the coldest beer in town. Originally, Eskimo Joe’s was only a bar, but when the drinking age was raised from eighteen to twenty-one in 1984, the business became a restaurant as well. In 1990, during his commencement speech, President George H. W. Bush endorsed Eskimo Joe’s cheese fries. In 2006, during his commencement speech, President George W. Bush followed his father’s footsteps and mentioned both the restaurant and the cheese fries. Stan Clark, a native Tulsan, has built one of Oklahoma’s most recognized brands. The Stan Clark Companies, known as the “Three Amigos” includes the flagship Eskimo Joe’s as well as other restaurants and Eskimo Joe’s Promotional Products Group. From the most humble beginnings, Clark built a restaurant and retail brand that has gained national and international notoriety. Eskimo Joe’s branded clothing has been seen in most countries around the world.

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Allan Trimble

Jul 27, 2020 • 1 hr 18 min

Allan Trimble won more state high school football championships in 22 seasons at Jenks than any head coach in Oklahoma history.  But his first state title as a head coach was with the Jenks girls track team in 1995. Tremble had a 242-41 overall record and his Jenks teams made 17 state finals appearances. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and was No. 15 on MaxPreps’ 50 Greatest High School Football Coaches of All-Time.   Since 2016 he battled ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, which caused his death on December 1, 2019.  He was 56. Don King, Jenks Trojans football play-by-play broadcaster, conducted this interview with Coach Trimble in April 2018 for Cox Communications.  The recording was never released until now on Voices of Oklahoma. You will hear Coach talk about his early coaching days, his best Jenks team, the Jenks community, his ALS diagnosis, and you will hear his Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame speech. You can find more about Allan Trimble on our website: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/trimble-allan/

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Stories Behind the Voices - Teachers

Jul 22, 2020 • 23 min

COVID 19 is the impetus for this episode of Stories behind the Voices. The current news story is about sending our students back to school this fall.  Teachers and administrators are grappling with the issue of class sizes, social distancing, and the wearing of masks.  As I have been reading about this issue I started thinking about the teachers who were so influential in the lives of some of our storytellers on Voices of Oklahoma. Teacher names like Les Lang, Arthur D. Harrison, Sister Mary Andrews and more. This podcast is about those teachers and the lives they affected. As you listen, think of the teachers who took an interest in you and if you can, thank them. They would be happy to hear from you! Full interviews are available on our website.

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Russell Myers & Broom-Hilda

Jul 20, 2020 • 55 min

Russell Myers is best known for his newspaper comic strip “Broom-Hilda”. He was born in Pittsburgh, Kansas but the family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma when he was 7. He was sketching and drawing while attending Lanier Elementary, Wilson Middle School, and Rogers High School. Russell attended the University of Tulsa, where his father was a faculty member.   Broom-Hilda was first published on April 19, 1970 and was carried by the Tulsa Tribune. And now, fifty years later, the Tulsa World continues its publication in 2020.   Russell talks about his first comic strip, his job with Hallmark cards, Dick Tracy and of course how Broom-Hilda was created. Additional information and the full interview are available here: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/myers-russell/

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Wayne Creasy

Jul 2, 2020 • 1 hr 9 min

If you want to know the story of the Wayne Creasy Insurance Agency, you must listen to Wayne tell you about selling vacuum sweepers. While waiting to go back to school for his PHD, he answered an ad for a sweeper salesman and went to Kansas City, Missouri to be trained. He eventually made a sale in the home of an insurance agent who thought Wayne would be perfect for the insurance business, which in time led to the Wayne Creasy Insurance Agency. Before moving to Tulsa Wayne met Jim Halsey in Independence, Missouri and helped Jim in his music promotion business. When they were both living in Tulsa, Jim Halsey convinced Roy Clark to think about moving to Tulsa. After staying in the Oakwold home of Wayne Creasy, Roy said “If you can find me a home like this, I will live in Tulsa”. Over the years, Wayne along with partners Roy Clark and Jim Halsey owned and operated two radio stations and a large apartment complex, built several office buildings, and purchased a large ranch south of Tulsa. It was real estate entrepreneur Jim Thomas who introduced Wayne and Roy to the concept of an entertainment venue in Branson, Missouri, suggesting that Branson would be a good place for Roy to open a theatre. In 1983, the Roy Clark Celebrity Theatre opened, becoming known as the “birthplace of Branson celebrity theatres.” But it was the selling of vacuum sweepers that sent Wayne on a very interesting life as told by Wayne and his wife Martha in this oral history interview. See more about Wayne Creasy on our website: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/creasy-wayne/

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Stories Behind the Voices - Vice Presidential Selection

Jun 24, 2020 • 14 min

Vice President Joe Biden will soon select a woman as his running mate. Today, America is accepting of females in leadership positions at all levels of government and many businesses. But of course, it hasn’t always been that way. All across America women faced the so-called glass ceiling. As they did in Oklahoma. Wilma Mankiller, Norma Eagleton and Stephanie Seymour are three examples of overcoming the prejudice of their male counterparts. History reminds us of the way it was and helps us appreciate present day attitudes. We invite you to listen to the oral history interviews of these accomplished women and enjoy their full story on VoicesofOklahoma.com Full interviews: Wilma Mankiller - https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/mankiller-wilma/ Norma Eagleton - https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/eagleton-norma/ Stephanie Seymour - https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/seymour-stephanie/

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WWII Veteran Paul Andert

Jun 9, 2020 • 1 hr 54 min

World War II veteran Paul J. Andert enlisted in the U.S.Army in 1940 at the age of 17. Paul served as an infantry platoon sergeant in the 41st Armored Infantry, Company “B” during most of his five-year Army career. Mr. Andert served in Africa, Sicily and Europe while participating in seven major campaigns, plus making two major landing invasions. Oklahoman Paul Andert has vivid memories of General George Patton and General Dwight Eisenhower among others and remembers listening to Axis Sally. He was wounded twice and received the Silver Star, three Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts. Mr. Andert’s war stories are filled with blunt honesty and include the horror of war as he talks about the bravery of the infantryman. World War II vets and those who study the war years will appreciate his attention to detail as he talks about the instructions to “kill or be killed”. It is Paul Andert’s way of telling these stories which will make you feel like you were there. Paul is from Tulsa and is the author of the book Unless You Have Been There, which you may find in our bookstore. The full interview is presented on this podcast. Additional information, including a transcript can be found here: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/andert-paul/

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Stories Behind the Voices - Startups

Jun 8, 2020 • 21 min

Sometimes it is difficult to believe that large businesses started with a simple idea and a whole lot of hard work. On a national basis, two teachers and a writer got together to start up a Seattle coffee bean seller with their own money in 1971, which became known as Starbucks. Nike started out of founder Phil Knight’s green Plymouth Valiant trunk. In our sixth episode we feature three Oklahoma companies, Hobby Lobby, Bama Pie, and Greenleaf Nursery. You will hear David Green, Lilah Marshall and John Nickel tell their remarkable stories. They started simply with a piece of pie, a small box and a plant container. We want to hear from you! If you know of other Oklahoma business startups let us know at info@voicesofoklahoma.com Full Interview - David Green: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/green-david/ Full Interview - Lilah Marshall: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/marshall-lilah/ Full Interview - John Nickel: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/nickel-john-t/

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Clayton Vaughn

Jun 4, 2020 • 2 hr 20 min

Clayton Vaughn was born in Kansas and raised in Cushing, Oklahoma where he began his broadcast career. He moved to Tulsa and KAKC radio in 1958 and joined KOTV in 1964. In 1969, he moved to Los Angeles to work for KABC but returned to KOTV in 1971, where he served as news director. In 1979, he went to work for WNET-TV in New York City and the New Jersey Public Television System. He returned to KOTV in 1981. During the course of his career he reported from nine national political conventions, traveled to Vietnam to report on area military servicemen and women, anchored from the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing site, presided over scores of political debates, and interviewed people from all walks of life. His work at KOTV after his return from the west coast included five years as News Director and anchor of Oklahoma’s first and, to date, only 6 pm News Hour, which brought magazine-style reporting and news commentary to Tulsa television. Clayton Vaughn’s broadcast journalism career spanned nearly half a century. He retired from broadcasting in 1999 and became Executive Director of the Tulsa Historical Society until 2006. Vaughn is a member of the Oklahoma Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Heartland Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Tulsa People Readers’ Choice Award for “Best Anchor of the 1990s,” and was named among the first “Tulsa Television Icons” by the Tulsa Press Club. Full interview here: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/vaughn-clayton/

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Coach Eddie Sutton

May 25, 2020 • 1 hr 46 min

With 36 years of Division 1 coaching experience, Coach Eddie Sutton became the first coach to take four schools to The NCAA tournament. He is one of only eight major college men’s basketball coaches to have more than 800 (804) career wins. Coach Sutton played basketball at Oklahoma State University under the legendary coach Henry Iba. In 1959 he became head coach at Tulsa Central High School. His college coaching career began in 1967 when he founded the men’s basketball program at the College of Southern Idaho. He moved on to Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska where he made his first coaching appearance in the NCAA tournament in 1974. He made his next NCAA appearance with the University of Arkansas in 1978 while compiling a record of 260-75 in 11 seasons. He coached the University of Kentucky Wildcats for four years, leading them to the Elite Eight of the 1986 NCAA tournament. Coach Sutton returned to Oklahoma State University in 1990 and in his 17 years in Stillwater the Cowboys reached the post season 14 times including 13 NCAA tournament bids and two Final Four appearances. Eddie is the second-winningest coach in OSU school history, behind only his mentor, Henry Iba and is a four-time national Coach of the year. Coach Eddie Sutton was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on November 20, 2011. The full interview with transcript and notes can be found here: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/sutton-eddie/

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Rabbi Charles Sherman

May 12, 2020 • 2 hr 5 min

Rabbi Charles P. Sherman retired in 2013 after serving Temple Israel for nearly 40 years. Temple Israel is Tulsa’s only Reform Jewish congregation. Reform Judaism is the nation’s largest branch of Judaism, with about 1.5 million members in some 900-plus congregations in North America. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Rabbi Charles P. Sherman was educated at the University of Pittsburgh and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio where he was ordained in 1969. Rabbi Sherman has been an Adjunct Instructor at the Phillips Theological Seminary and has taught in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Tulsa. Rabbi Sherman has served as President of the Southwest Association of Reform Rabbis, the Tulsa Ministerial Alliance and the Tulsa Police and Fire Chaplaincy Corps. He is the only person to serve as president of both the National Conference for Community and Justice, Tulsa Region and the Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry. Since his retirement Rabbi Sherman became a Cruise Rabbi and a mediator in our court system. He has received many awards, including the Community Interfaith Understanding award.

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Stories Behind the Voices - Inventors

May 6, 2020 • 12 min

Thomas Edison is known as America’s greatest inventor and was responsible for 1,093 patents. His friend Henry Ford was the founder of the Ford Motor Company and chief developer of the assembly line for mass production. There is a museum dedicated to these two icons which includes their winter estates in Ft. Myers, Florida. When touring their properties, I thought about inventors from Oklahoma. This podcast features three who were pioneers in our state. Ed Malzahn of Ditch Witch, Ed Taylor with cable television & CNN, and Dean VanTrease, who helped create Tulsa Community College. We are proud to have their entire oral histories in our library of stories. You can listen to the full interviews here: Dr Dean VanTrease https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/vantrease-dean/ Ed Malzahn https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/malzahn-ed/ Ed Taylor https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/taylor-ed/

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Judge Lee Roy West

May 4, 2020 • 2 hr 16 min

Judge Lee Roy West 1929 - 2020 Lee Roy West has made several thousand friends in over 40 years of public service as a law teacher, state court judge, member of the Civil Aeronautics Board, federal judge and breeder and trainer of national champion bird dogs. Born in Clayton, Oklahoma, Judge West graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree and a law degree. He was a Marine Corp Lieutenant and earned his Master of Laws Degree from Harvard. Even though the West family was poor economically, they were wealthy in many important areas, including humor, wisdom, and friendships. West’s major contribution to Oklahoma and the nation may be his teaching that life is supposed to be fun. It’s not just okay to have fun–it’s required. Many say West’s most endearing trait is to teach those with whom he deals, how to be a good friend. Since taking senior status in 1994 from the federal bench he has remained active hearing cases at both District and Circuit levels and serving as a settlement judge in complex and protracted cases. Judge West is a wonderful storyteller as you will hear in this oral history account of his life, made possible by our founding sponsors and listeners who believe in preserving our state’s legacy…one voice at a time on VoicesofOklahoma.com.

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Voices of Oklahoma podcast, an Oklahoma Oral History podcast available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Gathering Place - A Riverfront Masterpiece

Apr 24, 2020 • 1 hr 19 min

Gathering Place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is an award-winning 100-acre park located on the banks of the Arkansas River. After years of planning, the park broke ground in September 2014 and the first 66.5 acres opened in September 2018. The main attractions are the Chapman Adventure Playground, the Williams Lodge, a boathouse, splash playground, great lawn, outdoor sports courts, a skate park, a wetland pond and garden, and many trails, among other locations. Voices of Oklahoma felt it was important to have an oral history recording detailing the overall construction, its challenges, description of materials used, and the emotional connection to the city. We did this so future generations using Gathering Place could hear the voice of Jeff Stava, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the project, describe the planning, preparation, and opening of the park, so they could understand the reason for such an enormous commitment by the George Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Stories Behind the Voices - Celebrating 11 Years

Apr 15, 2020 • 18 min

The month of April is always a nice milestone for Voices of Oklahoma for it is the anniversary month of recording the oral histories of many Oklahomans. It was April 10th, 2010 that we launched our website with the oral history of Wilma Mankiller. Wilma passed away on April 6th, 2010. We were in the finishing stages of building our website, so we scrambled to make her our first storyteller. We consider it a great honor to have the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation as our first oral history. But how did Voices of Oklahoma come about? In this episode I will tell you how the idea came to me, and the interesting details leading up to the launching of the site, which would become the only website in Oklahoma dedicated solely to oral history. We would not have reached this milestone were it not for the foundations and individuals who have faithfully supported our mission. So, on behalf of our 233 storytellers, I say thank you for listening to their stories and listening to this podcast as we salute our 11th anniversary.

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Chief Wilma Mankiller

Apr 10, 2020 • 1 hr 11 min

The first woman elected as Chief of the Cherokee Nation was Wilma Pearl Mankiller. She was born November 18, 1945 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Her father was a full-blood Cherokee and her mother was of Dutch and Irish ancestry. Wilma served as Principal Chief from December 1985 – 1995. Wilma Mankiller was motivated to become active in Cherokee tribal affairs due to several life events that she discusses in detail in this interview recorded in 2009. Wilma was inducted into the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame in 1986, The Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1994 and received the Presidential Medal of Honor in 1998. Up until her diagnosis with pancreatic cancer in late winter/spring 2010, she continued to write, speak and teach American Indian Culture proudly living on Mankiller Flats, in rural Adair County, Oklahoma, on her grandfather’s land.

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Stories Behind the Voices - Former Governor Frank Keating

Apr 2, 2020 • 21 min

This month of April we observe the 25th anniversary of the OKC bombing, which took place April 19, 1995. You, no doubt, remember where you were when you heard of the bombing. Former Governor Frank Keating had been in office for just three months when the attack took place. I asked Frank to visit with us here on Stories behind the Voices to get his reflection on that day. And to talk to him about the Coronavirus in relation to his personal life and to our state. We have recorded Frank’s oral history and the full interview is available at: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/keating-frank/ Listen now to Stories behind the Voices and an interview with former Governor Frank Keating.

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Stories Behind the Voices - When we faced Polio

Mar 26, 2020 • 23 min

With Coronavirus bearing down on our population and occupying so much of our minds, I am reminded of another contagious disease the world faced many years ago. Polio frightened humanity and carried with it much the same symptoms as COVID-19. Leading to death and paralysis in so many, the spread of Polio caused the world to upend their everyday lives in hopes of avoiding the illness. In our library we have two storytellers who will set the scene for you from the late 1940's and early 1950's. Those over 70 will be reminded of the fear they experienced and how humanity dealt with this horrible epidemic. We would like to hear from you concerning your memories. Please send them to us at info@voicesofoklahoma.com Thank you for listening, please share with your friends and family! You can hear the full interview with Betty Boyd here: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/boyd-betty/ You can hear the full interview with Dr. C. T. Thompson here: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/thompson-dr-c-t/

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Introducing Stories Behind the Voices - Gilcrease

Mar 7, 2020 • 9 min

Today we are introducing a new feature to our ongoing Voices of Oklahoma podcast. An addition to our regular interviews, Stories Behind the Voices will be unique episodes crafted to share with you interesting insights about the people who have recorded their history for our collection. By sharing these details not available in the main interview, our goal is to help you discover our great storytellers and their personal journey. The first of these new segments highlights our interview with Gene Fulsom Gilcrease, grandson of oilman and avid art collector Thomas Gilcrease. The Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa will soon be torn down to make way for a new building to house and exhibit the massive collection which art historian Richard Saunders once called “a kind of Smithsonian Institution of the American West.” You can listen the full interview with Gene Gilcrease here: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/gilcrease-thomas/

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Charles Ward

Feb 28, 2020 • 1 hr 35 min

Charles W. Ward is an award-winning architect who received the inspiration for his profession as a soldier in WWII while viewing the Reims Cathedral from a window in an attic. As an infantry officer with the 5th Division, he infiltrated the German-occupied city of Reims to confirm rumors that the enemy was evacuating. After the war, he received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Oklahoma and gained attention for his work on many public projects. Some of his work includes The Tulsa City-County Library, The master plan for the Oklahoma State Library, Oklahoma City, LaFortune Football Stadium, the Tulsa Civic Center Plaza, South minster Presbyterian Church, and the First Methodist Church sanctuary. He taught himself to sketch and became known for sketches of cathedrals and other houses of worship in Italy, England, Mexico and elsewhere. And he is known by OU alumni and friends for detailed pen and pencil drawings of many of the most historic and beautiful buildings on the Norman campus. Following his military service, he was awarded the Silver Star from General Patton himself, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge and the French Croix de Guerre. His architectural work has been recognized by many organizations including the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture with a Lifetime Achievement Award. You can see more about Charles Ward, including a full transcript of this podcast at here: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/ward-charles/

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Sister M. Therese Gottschalk

Feb 25, 2020 • 1 hr 30 min

Sister Mary Therese Gottschalk was born in 1931, in a tiny village in Bavaria, Germany, the second of 14 children. Sister Therese entered the Order of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother in 1952 and came to the United States the following year to finish her religious education at the Motherhouse in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1960, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from Creighton University and in 1970, a Master’s degree in Hospital Administration from St. Louis University. Between her years at college, she served as Director of the pharmacy and purchasing departments at St. Mary’s Hospital in Roswell, New Mexico. Sister Therese first came to St. John’s Hospital, now St. John Medical Center, as an Assistant Administrator in 1970 before going back to Roswell two years later to serve as Chief Executive Officer of St. Mary’s Hospital. She returned to St. John in 1974 as the hospital’s President and was named CEO of the St. John Health System in 1982. While President and CEO, Sister Therese oversaw building renovations and expansion, as well as advancements in technology, billing and information systems. On January 1, 2011 Sister Therese stepped down as President & CEO. She continues to serve on its board of directors, as continues her role with St. John’s mission integration services and her responsibilities as President of Marian Health System. St. John Health System is a sponsored Marian Health System, one of the nation’s largest Catholic healthcare networks. Under Sister Therese’s leadership, the St. John Health System has grown into a fully integrated healthcare system serving northeastern Oklahoma, southeastern Kansas and northwestern Arkansas.

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Judge Stephanie Seymour

Feb 4, 2020 • 1 hr 35 min

Judge Stephanie Kulp Seymour, who joined a historic class of women judges in 1979 when she was appointed to the Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, was encouraged early on by her parents to be an independent thinker. While a youngster, she and her sister received the same encouragement as their two brothers. Seymour attended integrated public schools in Battle Creek, Michigan, but was home-schooled during long family trips around the country and overseas. Seymour had hoped to attend Harvard or Yale, but those Ivy League colleges did not accept women as undergraduates in the 1950s. Seymour believes now that Smith College, an all-women’s school in western Massachusetts, better prepared her to compete among men after her graduation. She graduated from Harvard Law in 1965 where a recruiter told her he had no interest in hiring women. She later became his firm’s first female lawyer. When she moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1966, there were only five practicing female lawyers. Upon her appointment to the Tenth Circuit U.S. Appeals Court in 1979, Judge Seymour became its first female judge, and later its first female chief judge. She assumed senior status in 2005.

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Dr G Calvin McCutchen

Jan 10, 2020 • 1 hr 26 min

During the civil rights era of the 1950s and ’60s, Dr. G. Calvin McCutchen established himself as a leader among black pastors, coordinating efforts locally in the push for desegregation. Along with the late Rev. B.S. Roberts, he helped organize youths for sit-in demonstrations at whites-only restaurants, including Borden’s Cafeteria in north Tulsa and Piccadilly’s downtown. Dr. McCutchen served in the Marine Corps, then attended American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville and Tennessee State University. It was his first job offer out of college that brought him to Tulsa. Then three years later, on October 4, 1957, he was named pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church. Dr. McCutchen retired in 2007 after 50 years as senior pastor. His late wife, Adelene, was one of Tulsa’s first black female police officers. The couple was married 59 years until her death in 2014. Dr. McCutchen died March 30, 2019.

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Ed Taylor

Jan 3, 2020 • 1 hr 23 min

Ed Taylor grew up in Camden, N.J., the son of an RCA executive making the Taylor Family the first on the block to have television. After Taylor graduated from high school, he enrolled in Lehigh University where he majored in civil engineering. When he finished his degree, AT&T Corp. offered him a job in its management training program. Ed spent the next 16 years of his life working for AT&T. It would be in his work for the telephone company where his desire to chart new territory would begin. While at AT&T, he helped build a satellite uplink station, the first to transmit calls between London and the United States. The company spent over $100 million on the technology that allowed 90 people to talk all at once. It was Dec. 27, 1976, that Taylor began distributing Ted Turner’s WTBS in Atlanta to cable systems via satellite. That created the first superstation. Ed helped Turner get the station’s signal on satellite, then paid $1 for the right to sell that signal to cable systems around the country. He made millions from those sales, and Turner made millions from the advertising dollars generated by that larger audience. Turner called it “one of the greatest $1 investments in American business history.” Ed also started a channel with news photographs and announcers reading stories about those pictures. Ted Turner first said, “nobody was interested in 24-hour news,” but after seeing the results, he started Cable News Network (CNN). Ed Taylor is a pioneer and a philanthropist. A pioneer in the communication business and a philanthropist for many good causes in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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Ted Owens

Dec 13, 2019 • 1 hr 32 min

From surviving the Great Depression and Dust Bowl eras to driving a Model A Ford, hearing and watching news footage of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and serving in the Korean War, Ted Owens’ life is full of stories in and out of sports. In 1956, Ted Owens got his start in coaching basketball at Cameron Junior College in Lawton, Oklahoma, where he also helped lead the baseball program to a national title in 1958. After that, he went on to match wits with basketball coaching legends Henry Iba, Adolph Rupp, Dean Smith, Bob Knight and John Wooden and traveled to Japan, China, Spain, Italy, Belgium, France, Switzerland, the Philippines, Korea, England and Israel to teach the game he loves. Ted Owens guided the University of Kansas basketball team to six Big Eight conference championships and seven times to the NCAA Tournament. He was also a five-time Big Eight Coach of the Year and 1978 National Coach of the Year. Under Owens, the Jayhawks reached the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet Sixteen five times and the Elite Eight three times. His 1971 team was the first undefeated team in Big Eight history (14-0), winning both conference and tournament titles, and finished with an overall record of 27-3. Owens finished his career at Kansas with nine Big Eight Tournament titles. “I had some time to dream while I was hoeing cotton back on that farm in southwest Oklahoma,” said Owens of his small-town beginning in Hollis, OK. “But my dreams were never so great as to imagine what I have been privileged to do during my lifetime.”

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Tom Clark

Dec 6, 2019 • 1 hr 14 min

Oklahoma University Regent Tom Clark was appointed by Governor Frank Keating in March 2001 for a seven-year term and was reappointed by Governor Brad Henry in March 2008. Clark graduated from Tulsa’s Edison High School in 1959 and from The University of Oklahoma in 1963 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. He served as a flight instructor for five years in the U.S. Air Force, where he flew the supersonic T-38 jet. In 1968 he joined the family business, Tulsair, and, in 1986, he became the sole owner and President and Chief Executive. The company has two Aircraft Sales and Maintenance facilities covering a six-state region. Clark is also the owner of Tulsa’s landmark White River Fish Market and Restaurant. In addition to serving the Tulsa community as President of the Tulsa Boy’s Home, a Board member of the The Salvation Army and as a patron of numerous civic and charitable events, Clark helps shape the aviation industry through several committees. He previously served on the Oklahoma Film Commission and is a member of the Oklahoma Business Roundtable and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Tulsa Aerospace Alliance. Clark is a strong supporter of the University and is a member of the Seed Sower Society, which recognizes donors contributing in excess of $1 million to OU. He and his wife, Hilary, reside in Tulsa and have one daughter and three grandchildren.

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Doug Campbell

Nov 25, 2019 • 1 hr 36 min

Doug Campbell was born in Galveston, Texas, but moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the age of five with his family in 1952. The Campbells remained in the area and Doug graduated from Edison High School, after which he attended Oklahoma State University and earned a degree in interior design. After college graduation, he immediately found employment in his chosen field in Tulsa. In 1977, he began Campbell Design Associates of which Carolyn Fielder Nierenberg has been part of since the beginning. Doug’s career has taken him to projects all over North America, but no matter where he works his design philosophy remains the same—“less is more.” His work has been published in many magazines and not only was he involved in the beginning of the American Society of Interior Designers, but he served as state president and on the national board. Doug also served for many years on the boards for both Gilcrease and Philbrook Museums, as well as the board for 108 Contemporary Gallery. He is the proud father of two sons and four granddaughters with a grandson due in January 2017.

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Johnnie Coe

Oct 31, 2019 • 1 hr 17 min

Joan Agnes “Johnnie” Coe lived her whole life in Tulsa, Oklahoma, graduating from Central High School and the University of Tulsa. Her parents lived in the downtown area and she would ride the streetcar to TU. While at TU she joined the Phi Mu Sorority and was active in the local alumni group until her death. Upon graduation, Johnnie began her career with Stanolind Oil and Gas Company. This company was sold many times during her 30 years there, eventually being bought by Amoco, then British Petroleum. She retired in 1972 to care for her mother. By then she had been promoted to the position of Senior Clerk in the Controllers Department. She worked part-time an additional six years for a private, local company and then retired for good. Upon retirement, Johnnie became very active in her beloved First Presbyterian Church, holding the honored position of the longest living member, serving as a Deacon, on the History and Archives Committee, Christian Fellowship Sunday School Class and the Presbyterian Women Circle of Lydia. Johnnie was born on March 10, 1915 and was 98 1/2 when she recorded this interview. She died just over two months later on December 19, 2013. https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/coe-johnnie/

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Gene Rainbolt

Oct 21, 2019 • 1 hr 28 min

H.E. (Gene) Rainbolt acquired his first bank, the First American Bank in Purcell in 1962. In 1965 he acquired Federal National Bank in Shawnee, and two years later he and a group of investors began acquiring banks in Oklahoma, which led in 1985 to the formation of United Community Corporation, the State’s first multi-bank holding company. In 1989 BancFirst was founded, which is now the largest state-chartered bank in Oklahoma. Gene Rainbolt was born and raised in a single-parent home during the Great Depression in Norman, Oklahoma, near the University of Oklahoma campus. He could have enjoyed a promising career in academia but instead left for Army service in Korea and Japan. He is best known for revolutionizing Oklahoma’s outdated and backward banking system, a feat that took nearly 30 years to achieve. As Gene was building the largest state-chartered bank in Oklahoma he also helped dozens of overlooked-yet-promising children attend university while adopting a mission to create a state in which every child could have the opportunity to succeed. Gene is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with both undergraduate and graduate degrees. His alma mater has honored him on multiple occasions, including the Distinguished Service Award and an Honorary Doctorate. In 1999 he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and has received Honorary Doctorates from Oklahoma Baptist University, Oklahoma City University, and Oklahoma Christian University. And he hired Willie Nelson to play his birthday party, twice.

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George Matson "Golf Shop George

Oct 17, 2019 • 1 hr 8 min

For fifty-five years George Matson answered the phone at Southern Hills Country Club as “Golf Shop George”. George painted houses in Ireland until 1955, by which time he had saved $400, enough for passage on the SS America to New York City and a train ticket to Tulsa, where an aunt had previously immigrated. After placing a small ad in the Tulsa World he received a call from Southern Hills Country Club and began work as a maintenance man. In 1955 he was asked to work in the golf pro shop where he spent fifty-five years with the nick name “Golf Shop George.” Six national championships produced many fans including Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Jack Nicklaus. While you can’t help but smile when Matson begins a story, there have been serious times, such as May 17, 1981. That’s when Matson heard the gun shots that killed business man Roger M. Wheeler. Matson was the first on the scene. George had a simple philosophy—greet people with a smile and a handshake. Matson’s philosophy paid off at Southern Hills. As good as he was for the club, it was good for him. The club commissioned an artist to make a bronze bust of him.

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Henry Kravis

Sep 26, 2019 • 55 min

Tulsa native Henry R. Kravis co-founded the global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and is the Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer. The firm pioneered the development of the management buyout. The Kravis name is embedded in Tulsa, Oklahoma history. Philbrook Museum of Art’s Kravis Wing was named in honor of Henry’s father, Raymond F. Kravis, and Gilcrease Museum houses the Kravis Discovery Center. Henry’s mother, Bessie Roberts Kravis, was founder of the Tulsa Urban League, a member of the Tulsa Jewish Federation, and a promoter of the arts. Raymond F. Kravis was an oil and gas consultant and philanthropist. He was a board member of the St. John Medical Center foundation and was on the executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America. Radio station KRAV FM was founded by his brother George Kravis, who died in February 2018. Drawing on the example of his parents, Henry Kravis is known as a major New York City philanthropist for several cultural and educational institutions.

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Wanda Jackson

Sep 24, 2019 • 1 hr 42 min

Wanda Jackson was only halfway through high school when, in 1954, country singer Hank Thompson heard her on an Oklahoma City radio show and asked her to record with his band, the Brazos Valley Boys. By the end of the decade, Jackson had become one of America’s first major female country and rockabilly singers. Jackson was born in Maud, Oklahoma, but her father Tom – himself a country singer who quit because of the Depression – moved the family to California in 1941. He bought Wanda her first guitar two years later, gave her lessons and encouraged her to play piano as well. In addition, he took her to see such acts as Tex Williams, Spade Cooley and Bob Wills, which left a lasting impression on her young mind. Tom moved the family back to Oklahoma City when his daughter was 12 years old. In 1952, she won a local talent contest and was given a 15-minute daily show on KLPR. The program, soon upped to 30 minutes, lasted throughout Jackson’s high-school years. It’s here that Thompson heard her sing. Jackson recorded several songs with the Brazos Valley Boys, including “You Can’t Have My Love,” a duet with Thompson’s bandleader, Billy Gray. The song, on the Decca label, became a national hit, and Jackson’s career was off and running. When Jackson first toured in 1955 and 1956, she was placed on a bill with none other than Elvis Presley. The two hit it off almost immediately. Jackson said it was Presley, along with her father, who encouraged her to sing rockabilly. Jackson cut the rockabilly hit “Fujiyama Mama” in 1958, which became a major success in Japan. Her version of “Let’s Have a Party,” which Elvis had cut earlier, was a U.S. Top 40 pop hit for her in 1960, after which she began calling her band the Party Timers. A year later, she was back in the country Top Ten with “Right or Wrong” and “In the Middle of a Heartache.” In 1965, she topped the German charts with “Santa Domingo,” sung in German. In 1966, she hit the U.S. Top 20 with “The Box It Came In” and “Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine.” Jackson’s popularity continued through the end of the decade. Jackson toured regularly, was twice nominated for a Grammy, and was a big attraction in Las Vegas from the mid-’50s into the ’70s. She married IBM programmer Wendell Goodman in 1961, and instead of quitting the business – as many women singers had done at the time – Goodman gave up his job in order to manage his wife’s career. In 1971, Jackson and her husband became Christians, which she says saved their marriage. She released one gospel album on Capitol in 1972, “Praise the Lord”, before shifting to the Myrrh label for three more gospel albums. In 1977, she switched again, this time to Word Records, and released another two. In the early 1980s, Jackson was invited to Europe to play rockabilly and country festivals and to record. More recently, American country artists Pam Tillis, Jann Browne, and Rosie Flores have acknowledged Jackson as a major influence. Jackson embarked on a major U.S. tour with Flores in 1995. Jackson returned to the studio in 2010 to begin work on a new album. “The Party Ain’t Over” arrived in early 2011 and while in her seventies she was still touring in 2012.

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T. Boone Pickens

Sep 13, 2019 • 1 hr 14 min

Hard work, intuition and the nerve to take a chance describe T. Boone Pickens. A household name to the nation, Pickens is first an Oklahoman. His story ranges from earning a penny a paper as a young boy to making millions, and then billions. And then major losses. Many counted him out. But Pickens was far from out. His modest upbringing provided the background for a work ethic that turned his remaining investment funds of $3 million into $8 billion in profit in just a few years. In 2008 The Pickens Plan was announced, designed to break America’s dependency on foreign oil. Boone invested $62 million to get the attention of the nation. And in 2010, America and Boone are waiting for a national energy plan. Pickens’ gift to his alma mater, Oklahoma State University remains the largest donation to a university’s athletic program in collegiate history. His total contributions to OSU amount to more than $400 million. Major academic gifts have also been made to the school, particularly to the School of Geology.

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Dr Bruce Howell

Sep 12, 2019 • 1 hr 21 min

Dr. Bruce Howell’s career as an educator began in a one room country school in Southwest Iowa when he was 18 years old. Over the next forty-two years he was a teacher, coach, Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools twice, and Dean of the College of Education at the University of Tulsa. During his first term at TPS from 1973-1976, he played a role in desegregation and developed magnet programs. During his second term, 1990-1993, he led in the passage of bond issues, decentralized administration for more site-based management, and established both the Mayo Demonstration School and Eisenhower International School. In 1969 Bruce heard Tulsa Tribune publisher/editor and historian, Jenkin Lloyd Jones, make a history presentation that he never forgot. And so, upon retiring as an educator, he took up the role of historian for Northeast Oklahoma. His books include: 1806: Settling the Cherokee Nation, Pathfinders: 19th Century Pioneers of Cherokee Territory, and Cherokee Echoes: Tales of Northeastern Oklahoma.

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Enoch Kelly Haney

Sep 3, 2019 • 1 hr 50 min

The only full blood American Indian to serve in the Oklahoma Legislature, Enoch Kelly Haney was elected as a state legislator and a senator. He became the Vice Chair of Appropriations his second term in the House before becoming the Chairman of the Appropriations committee in the Oklahoma State Senate. After over twenty years in the state legislature from 1980 to 2002, Kelly became the Principal Chief of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma in 2005 and served a four-year term. Kelly Haney is an internationally recognized artist who has exhibited throughout the United States, England, Austria, and Asia and has received the title of Master Artist of the Five Civilized Tribes. In addition to decades of success as a painter, Kelly became the creator of the 22-foot bronze sculpture, The Guardian, that was chosen to top the Oklahoma State Capitol Dome. He was also commissioned to create the Chickasaw Warrior at the Chickasaw Nation Headquarters in Ada, Oklahoma. This comes from an artist who was never formally trained in sculpting and started at age six using the red clay from his front yard.

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Wes Watkins

Aug 28, 2019 • 1 hr 33 min

Congressman Wes Watkins was raised on a small cattle and peanut farm near Bennington in southeast Oklahoma. As a young boy, Watkins was involved in 4-H and FFA and later became state FFA president. Wes found time for leadership positions in school despite working three part-time jobs, playing basketball and baseball, and earning the title of salutatorian of his graduating class. Wes’s determination and success followed him to Oklahoma State University, where he worked on the college farm and lived in a converted chicken house. Wes again showed his leadership skills as president of the OSU student body. He was an honor student and selected as the Outstanding Agriculture Senior. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Agricultural Education from Oklahoma State University. In 1974, Wes was first elected to public office when he won a seat in the Oklahoma State Senate. Two years later, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He ran for governor in 1990 and 1994. In 1996, Wes again won election for the Third District Congressional seat, which he had previously held from 1977 to 1991. He was re-elected by wide margins in 1998 and in 2000. In total Wes represented Oklahoma’s 3rd congressional district for fourteen years as a Democrat and six years as a Republican. One great testament to Wes’s support of CareerTech is that the Wes Watkins Technology Center in Wetumka bears his name. And The Wes Watkins Center for International Trade & Development is located on the north side of the Oklahoma State University campus. Founded by Congressman Wes Watkins in 1990, the building serves as the hub of international activities for the university. More here: https://www.voicesofoklahoma.com/interview/watkins-wes/

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Wess Young

Aug 19, 2019 • 48 min

Wessley Hubert “Wess” Young Sr., was a Tulsa Race Massacre survivor, World War II veteran and longtime Tulsa activist. Wess was four years old in 1921, when he, his mother and older sister were told to run for cover during the devastation. His family lost everything in the Tulsa Race Massacre and lived in a camp at the fairgrounds for months. Since Wess was so young in May and June of 1921, his memory is filled with the stories told to him by his parents and relatives. Wess traveled around the country during his life speaking about the event. Along with fellow survivors, Wess gave his personal account of the historic race massacre at a briefing before members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other leaders on Capitol hill, May 10, 2005, in Washington. He was founder and first president of the Brady Heights Neighborhood Association, and served on numerous municipal boards, including ones involving city planning and criminal justice. Wess was 93 years old, August 21, 2009, when he recorded this oral history interview and was 97 years old when he died September 30, 2014. His wife Cathryn J. Young, who participates in this interview, was 88 when she died December 1, 2013.

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Jana Jae

Aug 2, 2019 • 1 hr 37 min

Musical talent runs through the family of Jan Jae. Her parents studied at the famed Juilliard School of Music in New York, and Jana was introduced to the classical study of the violin, on an eighth-size instrument, at the age of two. Then, thanks to the direction and inspiration of her grandfather–an accomplished champion fiddler in his own right–Jana also learned to love playing by ear. She honed her skill of fiddling into a fine art and won the Ladies National Championship several times. She also continued her classical training, winning scholarships to Interlochen and the International String Congress. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in music and studied abroad at the Vienna Academy of Music. Jana got her big break at a Buck Owens concert in Redding, California when she was invited to play “Orange Blossom Special.” Buck offered her a job as the first female member of his Buckaroos band. She later became part of the regular team of performers on the television show Hee Haw.

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Sam P Daniel

Jul 18, 2019 • 1 hr 9 min

Longtime lawyer and nature preservationist Sam P. Daniel died July 14, 2019. While living in Oklahoma City during his grade school days, Sam P. Daniel was a neighbor of Federal Judge Alfred P. Murrah. Sam’s parents traveled frequently, so he spent many nights at the Murrah home. Sam loved the judge like a father and decided at an early age to follow in his footsteps. It was the Alfred P Murrah federal building that was the target of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995. Sam graduated from the University of Oklahoma law school and eventually joined the law firm of Doerner, Saunders, Daniel & Anderson. Sam had more than 50 years of experience in matters of oil & gas law, family law and general civil litigation. He enjoyed fly-fishing and bird hunting for many years. His collection of 37 species of North American migratory waterfowl, each one hunted by Sam, is on display at Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve near Bartlesville. His many honors include the Nature Works Wildlife Stewardship Award. In his oral history interview for Voices of Oklahoma Sam talks about his meeting with then Senator John Kennedy, his participation in President Dwight Eisenhower’s inaugural parade, some of his interesting legal cases and, of course, hunting stories.

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Astronaut Bill Pogue

Jul 17, 2019 • 1 hr 28 min

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the landing on the moon, Oklahomans should know that a young man who was born in Okemah, Oklahoma and grew up in Sand Springs was on the support crew for Apollo 11. The support crew maintained the flight plan, checklists and developed procedures for emergency situations for the prime and backup crews. The support crew consisted of Ken Mattingly, Ronald Evans and Bill Pogue. Bill Pogue was ten years old while standing in an Oklahoma cotton field when he observed a DC-2 fly over and at that moment he “got the urge to be a pilot”. Of course, the prime crew for Apollo 11 consisted of the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, along with Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. In chapter nine of our oral history interview with Bill Pogue, Bill talked about his relationship with Neil Armstrong. You can hear Bill’s story from his days in Sand Springs, to a combat tour in Korea, his life with the Thunderbirds and his selection to be on the support crews for Apollo 7, 11, and 14.

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Phil Kennamer

Jul 5, 2019 • 1 hr 16 min

In 1935, the American Justice system was on trial as much as Phil Kennamer, who was the son of a prominent federal judge in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Despite having a high-powered former state attorney general leading his defense, and prominent psychiatrists testifying that he was insane at the time of the murder, Phil Kennamer was convicted of manslaughter in the killing of his friend, John Gorrell Jr., shortly after Thanksgiving Day 1934. He was 19 when sentenced to 25 years in prison. Kennamer claimed to have killed in self defense and to protect the wealthy debutante Virginia Wilcox—the object of his affection. Virginia was the daughter of Tulsa oil man H.F. Wilcox. The murder took place in the Forest Hills residential area, the wealthiest part of the Oil Capital of the World, Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Ford sedan of John Gorrell Jr., the son of prominent physician John Gorrell Sr., came to rest at the triangular median of Victor Avenue and Forest Boulevard. When a key witness in the murder was found dead in his car under similar circumstances, it turned Tulsa upside down and became a national sensational story. Our storyteller, Jim Freese, is the grandson of Virginia Wilcox Snedden Hagar. Jim was staying with his grandmother in Tulsa one weekend, when in a closet he noticed a small cardboard box filled with newspaper articles from 1935. His curiosity led to researching the story for the book Murder in the Name of Love: The Phil Kennamer Trial.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield

Jun 24, 2019 • 1 hr 27 min

The Oklahoma plan for Group Hospital Services of Oklahoma opened its doors in the Tulsa Loan building at 4th and Main, March 15, 1940. The plan would soon adopt the Blue Cross name and logo. The interest in pre-paid hospital care had actually started in 1929 with a group of 1,500 school teachers in Dallas who contracted with Baylor Medical Center. These plans evolved as a result of the Great Depression. In 1939, Oklahoma doctors went to Dallas to investigate this new form of paying for health care costs. The following year, Group Hospital Services of Oklahoma was born. The state headquarters was established in Tulsa since it was the first Oklahoma city to come up with $5,000 in seed money. By the end of 1949, Blue Cross of Oklahoma membership stood at 300,000 individuals and Blue Shield membership had reached over 169,000. For more history of Blue Cross/Blue Shield, you are invited to listen to two former Blue Cross Chief Executive Officers, Ralph Rhoades and Ron King, on Voices of Oklahoma.com

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Judge Joe Morris

Jun 17, 2019 • 1 hr 47 min

Judge Joe Morris was formerly Vice President and General Counsel of Shell Oil Company, General Counsel of Amerada Petroleum Corporation and Dean of the College of Law at the University of Tulsa where he taught arbitration law for more than twenty years as an Adjunct Professor of Law. He is a former United States District Court Chief Judge for the Eastern District of Oklahoma. Joe Morris has been with GableGotwals law firm in Tulsa for over thirty years. The last twenty years, he spent the majority of his time as an arbitrator in significant commercial arbitrations, both domestic and international. He is also a former regent of the State of Oklahoma’s higher education system. Reared on the family farm, he rode his horse to the same country school his father attended, graduated from high school in Nickerson, Kansas, a junior college in Hutchinson, Kansas, Washburn University with a Bachelor of Administration, and a doctorate of Juris Prudence and a master of laws from Michigan University. His career was launched at Michigan when he met a fellow graduate student who had worked for Shell Oil in Tulsa. His signature look came about as the result of a challenge by two law school classmates that he didn’t have the guts to wear a cowboy hat on a trip to London. He has worn a Stetson hat ever since.

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Jim Hewgley - Former Tulsa Mayor

Jun 7, 2019 • 42 min

Jim Hewgley Jr. was an independent oilman who served two terms as Tulsa’s mayor from 1966 to 1970. In his first mayoral-election victory, he defeated incumbent Mayor Jim Maxwell, who was seeking a fifth consecutive term. And Jim defeated Maxwell again in 1968. Hewgley had been a registered Democrat until 1956, when he became a Republican and was the first Tulsa Republican mayor to be reelected. Hewgley was mayor when the city was governed by the Tulsa City Commission. Shortly after Hewgley’s election in 1966, the city doubled in area by annexing 100 square miles of county land. During his time as mayor, the city passed its first 1-cent sales tax and established the Port of Catoosa following the passage of a $20, million bond issue to fund it. He was also instrumental in the start of the Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority and Tulsa Housing Authority. After leaving city office, he ran in 1972 for Oklahoma’s U.S. House District 1 seat but lost to James R. Jones. His son, Jim Hewgley III served three terms as street commissioner. Jim Hewgley Jr. was named to the Tulsa Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1984. He served on many local boards, including those of the Tulsa Opera, the Tulsa Chapter of the American Red Cross, Children’s Medical Center, Hillcrest Medical Center, Holland Hall, and Southern Hills Country Club. This oral history interview was recorded May 19, 2009. He was 94 when he died May 17, 2011.

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Tulsa Race Massacre - Otis Clark

May 31, 2019 • 35 min

The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 is considered to be the worst race riot in U.S. history. The actual number of black citizens killed by local, white, militia men and others as a result of the riot was estimated by the Red Cross to be approximately 300. The circumstances leading up to the riot are in question. But late in the afternoon of May 30, 1921, a black teenager, Dick Rowland, used the elevator in the Drexel building in downtown Tulsa. As Dick Rowland exited the elevator, an employee of Renberg’s clothing store heard what was thought to be a scream. The clerk reached the conclusion that Sarah Page, the white elevator operator had been assaulted. Newspaper headlines supported the account and a race riot broke out on May 31, 1921. Otis Clark was 19 years old on May 31, 1921. Otis was 106 years old at the time of this interview November 23, 2009. While not an eyewitness to the lynch mob–he and his friend were the target of rifle shots. He chose to leave Tulsa to escape the encampments setup for blacks. Otis moved to California where he became an evangelist. In 1998 he returned to Tulsa where he lived for a few years before retiring to Seattle, Washington.

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Bob & Diane Borlase

May 24, 2019 • 1 hr 11 min

Bob and Diane Borlase’s service to our nation and to our state came in the form of the US Navy, the US Coast Guard, and the Oklahoma County sheriff’s office. Bob enlisted in the Navy in 1952 during the Korean War. He was chief radioman using international Morse code as his ship patrolled the coast of Korea. In 1953 Bob and Diane had a one-week honeymoon before he was sent to the island of Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands for a year’s worth of isolated duty. Following the Navy, Bob worked while attending a technical school in downtown Detroit. One night he heard an advertisement on the radio which said if you were an ex-serviceman the Coast Guard could use you. By this time Bob and Diane were raising a family which had grown to three of ultimately five daughters in 1959. So, in 1959 Bob joined the US Coast Guard with duties as a radioman on an ocean station near Honolulu. And then, during the Vietnam War, the U.S. Coast Guard played a vital role where Bob’s service was as a chief radioman. The ship assignment limited coastal infiltration by the Viet Cong into South Vietnam. As Bob and Diane served the Coast Guard, they moved their family to many military bases including Oklahoma City where they retired from the Coast Guard after twenty-eight years. After that, Bob’s service continued in the Oklahoma City Sherriff’s office serving in various capacities for eighteen years and then finally retiring, for good. As of this recording on November 14, 2017, Bob and Diane had been married sixty-four years and would like to be remembered as an average American couple who served their country and their community.

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Dr Tom Coburn

May 13, 2019 • 1 hr 32 min

Tom Coburn is a physician, a former congressman and senator from Oklahoma, and is a member of the Republican Party. Coburn was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994 as part of the Republican Revolution. He upheld his campaign pledge to serve no more than three consecutive terms and did not run for re-election in 2000. In 2004, he returned to political life with a successful run for the U.S. Senate. Coburn was re-elected to a second term in 2010 and pledged not to seek a third term in 2016. In January 2014, Coburn announced he would retire before the expiration of his final term. After leaving Congress, Coburn worked with the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research on its efforts to reform the Food and Drug Administration, becoming a senior fellow of the institute in December 2016. Coburn also serves as a senior advisor to Citizens for Self-Governance, where he has been active in calling for a convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution.

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Dr Mouzon Biggs

May 8, 2019 • 2 hr 2 min

The Reverend Dr. Mouzon Biggs, Jr. came to Boston Avenue United Methodist Church in 1980 from Beaumont, Texas, where for seven years he was pastor of the Trinity United Methodist Church. He served Boston Ave. Methodist Church for thirty-three years, retiring in 2013 after fifty-four years in ministry. A native of the Carthage, Texas oilfields, Rev. Biggs earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Centenary College of Louisiana and a Master of Divinity at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He also holds a Doctor of Divinity degree from Texas Wesleyan University and a Doctor of Humane Letters from Oklahoma City University. Rev. Biggs led the development of an endowment fund to maintain Boston Avenue’s building. The structure was completed in 1929 and is a designated National Historic Landmark. Today, the endowment totals $26 million and has allowed the church to maintain its grounds and building—without requiring special finance campaigns. In 2004 the church completed a 38,000 square-foot addition to relieve overcrowded classrooms and provide new recreational and meeting facilities. Influenced by two Jewish college professors who escaped Hitler’s Germany, he was led to create positive dialogue and cooperation among Jewish and Christian communities. He served twice as board president for the Oklahoma Center for Community Justice and in addition, was a board member of Downtown Tulsa Unlimited. Rev. Biggs is a well-known speaker, having addressed churches, colleges, conventions, chambers of commerce, and similar groups across a 28-state area. He is the author of Moments to Hold Close, and co-authored the best-selling book, When You Graduate, with Dr. Charles L. Allen of Houston, Texas.

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Clara & Marilyn Luper - Oklahoma Lunch Counter Sit-Ins

Apr 22, 2019 • 55 min

In 1958, Clara Luper and her students from the Oklahoma City NAACP Youth Council were invited to New York City to perform the play she wrote, Brother President, about Martin Luther King Jr. It was that trip that became the catalyst for the beginning of the sit-in movement in Oklahoma City and the country. One of Clara’s students was her daughter Marilyn Luper Hildreth. It was seven-year-old Marilyn who in a meeting suggested the group go down to the Katz Drug store to order a Coke and some burgers. The date was August 19, 1958, and it became the nation’s first nonviolent lunch counter sit-in. On the third day, Katz staff served the group burgers and Cokes. The Katz chain soon ended its segregation policy in all thirty-eight of its stores in four states. Adults were not used for the sit-in for fear of violence. But it was the thirteen children of the youth council ranging in age from seven to fifteen who endured insults, threats, and even spit from angry white customers. Clara Luper was eighty-eight when she died in 2011. Her daughter, Marilyn, is our storyteller who says the legacy of her mother inspires her every day.

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Ken Trickey

Apr 6, 2019 • 1 hr 15 min

After the death of basketball coach Ken Trickey in 2012, the Tulsa World called him “one of the most influential and colorful characters in this state’s basketball history”. He played basketball at Middle Tennessee State College, where he was an Ohio Valley All-Conference player for three years. He is still one of the top ten scorers for Middle Tennessee and was elected to the university’s Sports Hall of Fame. He returned to Middle Tennessee and became the head basketball coach in 1964. Ken recruited the first African American athletes to play basketball at Middle Tennessee during the height of the Civil rights movement in the south. In 1969, Ken was hired by Oral Roberts to coach the ORU Basketball team. He took ORU to the NCAA Final Eight as an independent in 1974. His ORU teams during that time also led the nation in scoring and made two NIT appearances in New York City. Upon leaving ORU in 1974, Ken coached at Colorado State University, Iowa State University, Claremore Junior College, Oklahoma City University, and Oklahoma Junior College before returning to ORU where he finished his coaching career in 1993. He was especially remembered for ORU’s high-scoring “run and gun” teams of the early 1970s, which helped the young, small school attain national attention and competitive success, including a spot in the Elite Eight in the 1974 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. During the early 2000s, Ken became a supervisor/evaluator of officials for the Big 12 Conference. In 2010 he was inducted into the Oral Roberts University Sports Hall of Fame. Ken was 79 when he died on December 4, 2012. Ken Trickey: “I never understood why everybody wanted to be like everybody else.”

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Carson Attractions

Apr 5, 2019 • 1 hr 12 min

Carson Attractions in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was the foremost ticket facility for events at the Maxwell Convention Center (now Cox Business Center) for over forty years. The story begins with the manager of famed Irish opera singer John Francis McCormack, who is given credit for the beginning of Carson Attractions in 1916. John McCormack was going out on tour for the first time in the United States and his manager wanted someone on the local scene to handle the promotion. The manager knew of Robert Boice Carson who was the music director at Kendall College (which later became the University of Tulsa). Robert Carson said, “We don’t know anything about presenting or promoting events,” and the manager said, “We will teach you.” Eventually, over the years, Robert and Beatrice Carson became involved in promoting many opera singers and choruses who were on tour. The events were held at Convention Hall, 105 West Brady, which became the Tulsa Municipal Theatre, and when the Mayo family bought it, it became the Brady Theatre or “the ole lady on Brady.” Richard (Dick) Carson, the grandson of Robert and Beatrice, spent many days in the 1940s as a youngster in Convention Hall while his parents also became involved in the business. And it is Dick Carson who becomes the storyteller of Carson Attractions—which includes Elvis, James Brown, Hello Dolly, ticket scalping, stock car racing, and hard work.

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Jim Halsey

Mar 7, 2019 • 1 hr 35 min

The original star maker, legendary music impresario Dr. Jim Halsey has set the standard in the music industry for over 60 years. In his honored career, he has guided; and in many cases discovered – world famous household names such as The Oak Ridge Boys, Roy Clark, Hank Thompson, and Reba McEntire, to name but a few. He founded The Jim Halsey Music Business Institute with educational programs at universities in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma. He continued to develop the program in Nashville and beyond, collecting and curating interviews and information from leaders throughout the entertainment and music business. Halsey has represented and guided the careers as a manager or booking agent – for nearly thirty members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, of whom countless ACM, CMA, GRAMMYs and number one singles and platinum albums have been awarded. In 1990, he sold his agency and founded the Jim Halsey Music Business Institute, wanting to focus on helping others pursue their dreams and being successful in the music industry.

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Mike Samara

Mar 4, 2019 • 46 min

The son of Lebanese immigrants, Michael Samara was born in 1924 in Oklahoma City. He started working in restaurants for his brother, Jake, at the age of twelve. He managed the Jamboree Supper Club in Oklahoma City and moved to Joplin, Missouri, to open and manage Mickey Mantle’s Holiday Inn for six years. Mike opened the Celebrity Club in Tulsa at a location which was then “way out east” at 31st and Yale Avenue in 1963. Beyond the Celebrity Club, Mike owned or had an interest in the Hilton Habana Inn, Big Mike’s Hamburgers, Utica 21 Club, and Sleepy Hollow among others. He was also part of the team that brought the first Burger King fast-food restaurants to Tulsa. In 1984, Mike successfully campaigned for Oklahoma to pass liquor-by-the-drink. The Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission issued Samara the state’s first permit for liquor by the drink on June 19, 1985. Even though his eyesight was failing, he would continue to put on a suit and tie every evening and go into his restaurant to greet his patrons until he was ninety-one years old. Mike was ninety-four when he died on November 1, 2018.

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Kenneth (Ken) Renberg

Feb 26, 2019 • 1 hr 15 min

Born Günter Renberg on November 30, 1920 to Anna and Herman Renberg in Delmenhorst, a city in Northwest Germany, he immigrated to the United States in June 1937, leaving behind his parents and brother, because Jewish males were unsafe under the Nazi regime. Invited by his father’s sister, Ina Herzberg and her husband, Abraham and son, Leroy, he came to Enid, where he finished high school in 1939. Ken’s departure from Nazi Germany came four years after Chancellor Adolf Hitler had taken power and ordered the boycott of stores owned by Jews in 1933, during which Renberg witnessed his father being forced to close his bicycle and sewing machine store. He enlisted in the Oklahoma National Guard’s 45th Division to “get back at Hitler”. He settled in Tulsa, attended the University of Tulsa for a degree in petroleum engineering and eventually formed Lee Keeling and Associates in 1957. He was nearly 98 when he died November 3, 2018.

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Robert (Bob) Jones

Nov 30, 2018 • 1 hr 21 min

Born in McAlester, Oklahoma, Robert (Bob) Lawton Jones received one of the more elaborate educations in modernist design. It started when he decided to head out to Chicago, reasoning that an aspiring architect should make his way to the “most exciting city in architecture.” In 1949, he studied at the University of Notre Dame in nearby South Bend, Indiana, while working for Chicago firms such as Perkins + Will. In 1951, he began graduate school at the Illinois Institute of Technology, learning from the dean of “less is more,” Mies van der Rohe. And if that weren’t enough, he then earned a Fulbright scholarship and studied in Germany under Egon Eiermann, one of Germany’s most prominent postwar architects. He came back to Tulsa in 1954 to design a civic center master plan. In 1957 he joined two local partners to open the architectural firm known as Murray Jones Murray. Their work includes the Cox Business Center, First National Bank Tower, Center Plaza Apartments, Bishop Kelley High School, the terminal at the Tulsa International Airport and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Oklahoma City. The firm reached its peak in the early ’80s. Soon after, Jones began an eleven-year teaching professorship at the University of Oklahoma. He also served as campus planner for the University of Tulsa and retired from architecture in 1997. Bob Jones was ninety-three when he died September 14, 2018.

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LaDonna Harris

Nov 30, 2018 • 1 hr 32 min

“What is it like to live in a tent?” asked Robert F. Kennedy’s five-year-old daughter, Kerry, when she met Ladonna Harris for the first time in 1965. This exchange between Harris and the Kennedy family resembled many of LaDonna’s experiences with the media, the public, and government leaders as she rose to national prominence as a leading advocate of Native American rights. LaDonna Harris is a Comanche Native American from Oklahoma. She founded the Americans for Indian Opportunity and was a vice presidential candidate for the Citizens Party in the United States presidential election in 1980 alongside Barry Commoner for president. LaDonna was given access to power in Washington, DC, because of her marriage to Oklahoma US Senator Fred Harris. To understand what took Harris from the poor farm community where she grew up to the national spotlight, it is necessary to listen to LaDonna talk about the formative years of her childhood. In 2000, Harris published her autobiography, LaDonna Harris: A Comanche Life She serves on the advisory boards of the National Museum of the American Indian, American Civil Liberties Union, Delphi International Group, and National Institute for Women of Color.

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Bill Anoatubby

Nov 30, 2018 • 1 hr 9 min

Governor Bill Anoatubby’s childhood was spent in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, where he graduated from Tishomingo High School in 1964. He attended Murray State College and graduated from East Central State College before serving in the Oklahoma National Guard. He began working for the Chickasaw Nation as director of tribal health services becoming lieutenant governor in 1979 and governor in 1987. Governor Anoatubby has been instrumental in the development of numerous businesses owned and operated by the Chickasaw Nation. Under his leadership, the tribe was the first to compact successfully for its own health system. Anoatubby has been a member leader of the inter-tribal council of the Five Civilized Tribes since 1978, remaining active in a wide range of organizations, including the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission and the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail Advisory Committee within the U.S. Department of the Interior. He is also the longtime chairman of the Native American Cultural and Educational Authority

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David Boren

Nov 30, 2018 • 2 hr 1 min

David L. Boren has served Oklahoma as governor and U.S. Senator and became the thirteenth president of the University of Oklahoma. He is the first person in state history to have served in all three positions. To begin his political career Boren served four terms in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. His campaign for governor became known for the “Boren Broom Brigade” to demonstrate his pledge to “Sweep out the Old Guard.” At age 33, he was the youngest governor in the nation. In 1979 he was elected to the U.S. Senate where he was the longest serving chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Boren led the way in organizing the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence which recognizes students and teachers and helps establish private local foundations. Since his inauguration as president of the University of Oklahoma in 1994, he has initiated twenty major new programs while increasing the donor base from 18,000 to over 100,000 friends and alumni. The Boren family has produced three generations of public servants, David Boren’s father, Lyle Boren, and his son, Dan Boren, have both served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Oklahoma.

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Oral Roberts

Nov 30, 2018 • 1 hr 10 min

Granville Oral Roberts was an American Pentecostal televangelist. He was the founder of Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and Oral Roberts University. His ministries reached millions of followers worldwide for more than six decades. Roberts was born in Pontotoc County, Oklahoma, the fifth and youngest of Rev. Ellis Melvin Roberts and Claudia Priscilla Irwin. Roberts began a life in poverty and nearly died of tuberculosis at age 17. After finishing high school, Roberts studied for two years each at Oklahoma Baptist University and Phillips University. In 1938 he married a preacher’s daughter, Evelyn Lutman Fahnestock. Oral Roberts had a vast impact on the Protestant community. According to one authority, in conservative Protestant culture, his ministry had a worldwide impact second only to Billy Graham. Oral Roberts (January 24, 1918 – December 15, 2009)

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L. Francis Rooney III

Nov 30, 2018 • 1 hr 33 min

L. Francis Rooney III is the fourth generation of his family to own Manhattan Construction Company. Manhattan was founded by Laurence H. Rooney in Chandler, Oklahoma Territory, in 1896. As the first company to incorporate in 1907 in the new state of Oklahoma, Manhattan played an important role in building the Southwest. Manhattan Construction, headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has built Cowboy Stadium in Texas, the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center at the United States Capitol, the Oklahoma State Capitol, the George Bush Presidential Library, and the George W. Bush Presidential Library. Manhattan is the only construction company to work on two presidential libraries. Francis Rooney is a former United States Ambassador to the Holy See having served from 2005-2008.

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Johnny Bench

Nov 30, 2018 • 1 hr 13 min

Johnny Lee Bench was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on December 7, 1947 and grew up in the small town of Binger, Oklahoma. His childhood dream was to become a major league baseball player and, under the guidance of his father, decided that the position of catcher was the most direct route to the majors. Taking that advice, he was selected and signed in the 1965 amateur draft by the Cincinnati Reds. After two seasons in the minors, Bench made Cincinnati’s Major League roster for the 1968 season. This marked the beginning of one of the most successful careers in baseball history. Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in January 1989, Bench is considered “Baseball’s Greatest Catcher” and was named the starter behind the plate of the All-Century Team. His successes include National League Rookie of the Year (1968), National League Most Valuable Players (1970, 72), back-to-back World Series Championships with the Big Red Machine (1975, 76), World Series MVP (1976), 14-time All-Star, and 10 Gold Gloves. In 1980, Bench set an endurance record by catching 100 or more games for 13 consecutive seasons.

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Lynn Schusterman

Nov 30, 2018 • 1 hr 10 min

Lynn Schusterman was born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in Oklahoma City. She first learned about philanthropy from her father. As she listened and watched him she was impressed with the importance of helping others help themselves. Lynn is the widow of Charles Schusterman, founder of Samson Investment Company, a Tulsa gas exploration and production company. Charles died in 2000, at the age of 65, from complications of leukemia. Lynn Schusterman is chair of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation headquartered in Tulsa with offices in Washington, D.C. Through the Foundation as well as personal endeavors she has become a world-renowned advocate for the Jewish community. Founded by the Schusterman couple in 1987, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is dedicated to advancing causes important to the Jewish people by supporting programs throughout the world that spread the joy of their culture, heritage, and values. With emphasis in the areas of education, child advocacy and youth leadership in and around Tulsa, the Foundation also provides assistance to non-sectarian charitable organizations dedicated to enhancing the quality of life throughout Oklahoma.

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Roy Clark

Nov 30, 2018 • 1 hr 51 min

The son of two amateur musicians, Roy Clark began playing banjo, guitar, and mandolin at an early age. By the time he was 14, he was playing guitar behind his father at local dances. Within a few years, he won two National Banjo Championships–with his second win earning him an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry. In the 1970s, Roy symbolized country music in the U.S. and abroad. Between guest hosting for Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show and performing to packed houses throughout the United States, he sold out 18 concerts in the Soviet Union. Roy used his talent to bring country music into homes around the world. As one of the hosts of TV’s Hee Haw for more than 20 years, he picked, sang, and offered “country corn” to 30 million people weekly. Among his many vocal hits are “Yesterday, When I Was Young, “Thank God and Greyhound” and “Wichita Lineman.” Instrumentally, he won awards for both guitar and banjo. He became an Oklahoman in 1974 and four years later an elementary school in the Union School District was named in his honor. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.

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James L. Gallogly - University of Oklahoma President

Sep 27, 2018 • 1 hr 59 min

Jim Gallogly is the fourteenth president of the University of Oklahoma. He is a 1977 alumnus of the OU College of Law, and is the first CEO from a Fortune 500 company to lead the University. Jim was former chairman and chief executive officer of LyondellBasell, a company he joined while it was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. He and his team guided the company out of bankruptcy in record time and successfully repositioned it as one of the world’s largest petrochemical, polymers, and refining companies. He also served for twenty-nine years in executive roles with ConocoPhillips, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, and Phillips Petroleum Company, beginning his career in the energy business in Northeast Oklahoma with Phillips in 1980. Prior to that, Gallogly practiced law with a private firm in Denver, Colorado. The Gallogly Family Foundation has been a major benefactor for which the OU Gallogly College of Engineering and Gallogly Hall are named. The Foundation chose the OU College of Law as the pilot school for its selective Public Interest Fellowship Program, which supports graduates pursuing public interest work. Gallogly was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, on September 1, 1952. He is one of ten children of Tom and Margery Gallogly.

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Steve Ripley - The Tractors

Aug 9, 2018 • 3 hr 11 min

Steve Ripley grew up in Oklahoma graduating from Glencoe High School and Oklahoma State University. He went on to become a recording artist, record producer, songwriter, studio engineer, guitarist, and inventor. Steve worked with Bob Dylan, playing guitar on the Shot of Love album and on the Shot of Love tour. Dylan listed Ripley as one of his favorite guitarists. The term Red Dirt was first used by Ripley’s band Moses when the group chose the label name Red Dirt Records. Steve founded Ripley Guitars in Burbank, California, creating guitars for musicians like Ry Cooder, J.J. Cale, and Eddie Van Halen. In 1987, Steve moved to Tulsa to buy Leon Russell’s recording studio called The Church Studio. He formed the country band The Tractors and was the co-writer of the country hit “Baby Likes to Rock It.” The first Tractors album sold over two million copies. Steve Ripley was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Awards Red Dirt Hall of Fame along with Bob Childers and Tom Skinner. Ripley currently is Music Archivist and Curator of the Leon Russell collection for OKPOP.

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About

VoicesofOklahoma.com is dedicated to the preservation of the oral history of Oklahoma. Voices and stories of famous Oklahomans and ordinary citizens are captured forever in their own words.

Oil and gas, ranching, politics, education and more are all visited in these far-ranging interviews. Students researching any of these areas can listen to first-person accounts of the way life was and draw from knowledge that may guide and shape their future. In addition to students, any visitor will feel close to history as they listen to these personal reflections.


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