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Certificates OBHOF 2017


ROY CLARK picker and humorist extroadinaire who started on TV in Hee Haw has a surprising history of playing blues! He recorded with Gatemouth Brown, and also is said to have recorded “The Thrill Is Gone” before BB King recorded it. This was BB Kings greatest hit.

Roy lives in Tulsa; he is a Virginia born, multi-award winning virtuoso, actor, vocalist, philanthropist and all ’round great human being! He has headlined some of the world’s most prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Grand Palace in Brussels and the Rossiya Theatre in Moscow! “…Clark is highly regarded and renowned as a guitarist and banjo player, and is also skilled in classical guitar and several other instruments. Although he has had hit songs as a pop vocalist (e.g., “Yesterday, When I Was Young” and “Thank God And Greyhound”), his instrumental skill has had an enormous effect on generations of bluegrass and country musicians. He is a member of the Grand Ole Opry, since 1987[1][2] and The Country Music Hall of Fame.” (Wikipedia) “…In 1969, Clark and Buck Owens were the hosts of Hee Haw. The show was dropped by CBS Television in 1971 but continued to run in syndication for twenty-one more years.”

ROY CLARK In the ’70s, Roy Clark symbolized country music in the U.S. and abroad. Between guest-hosting for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show and performing to packed houses in the Soviet Union on a tour that sold out all 18 concerts, he used his musical talent and his entertaining personality to bring country music into homes across the world. As one of the hosts of TV’s Hee Haw (Buck Owens was the other) for more than 20 years, Clark picked and sang and offered country corn to 30 million people weekly. He is first and foremost an entertainer, drawing crowds at venues as different as Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and the Opry. His middle-of-the-road approach has filled a national void, with Clark offering country that was harder-edged than Kenny Rogers but softer and more accessible than Waylon Jennings. Among his numerous vocal hits are “Yesterday, When I Was Young” and “Thank God and Greyhound.” Instrumentally he has won awards, for both guitar and banjo. Clark has also co-starred on the silver screen with Mel Tillis, in the comedy Uphill All the Way.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 had won two National Banjo Championships, with his second win earning him an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry.

Despite his success as a musician, Clark decided to pursue an athletic career, rejecting baseball for boxing. At the age of 17, he won 15 fights in a row before deciding that he would rather be a musician than a fighter. Clark found work at local clubs, radio stations, and television shows. By 1955, he was a regular on Jimmy Dean’s D.C.-based television show, Country Style. Once Dean left Washington for New York, Clark took over the show, and over the next few years he earned a reputation as an excellent musician and entertainer. In 1960, he decided to leave the East Coast to pursue his fame and fortune out West. That year, he became the leader of Wanda Jackson’s band the Party Timers , playing on her hit singles like “Let’s Have a Party,” as well as touring with the singer and playing concerts with her in Las Vegas. Once Jackson decided to break up her band, Clark continued to play regularly at the Frontier Hotel in Vegas and through his new manager, Jackson’s ex-manager Jim Halsey, he landed spots on The Tonight Show and the sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies, where he played both Cousin Roy and Big Mama Halsey.

In 1963, Clark signed to Capitol Records, and his first single for the label, “Tips of My Fingers,” became a Top Ten hit. Over the next two years, he had a handful of minor hits for Capitol before he switched labels, signing with Dot in 1968. At Dot, his career took off again, through covers of pop songs like Charles Aznavour’s “Yesterday, When I Was Young” (number nine, 1969). However, what really turned Clark’s career around was not records, but rather a television show called Hee Haw. Conceived as a country version of Laugh-In, Hee Haw began its run in 1969 on CBS. Roy Clark and Bakersfield country pioneer Buck Owens were picked as co-hosts. Over the next two years, it was one of the most popular shows on television. In 1971, CBS dropped the show because its corny country humor didn’t fit the network’s new, urban image, but Hee Haw quickly moved into syndication, where it continued to thrive throughout the decade. While Hee Haw was at the height of its popularity, Clark had a string of country hits that ranged from Top Ten singles like “I Never Picked Cotton” (1970), “Thank God and Greyhound” (1970), “The Lawrence Welk — Hee Haw Counter-Revolution Polka” (1972), “Come Live With Me” (1973), “Somewhere Between Love and Tomorrow” (1973), “Honeymoon Feelin'” (1974), and “If I Had It to Do All Over Again” (1976) to a multitude of minor hits.

Though he didn’t consistently top the country charts, Clark became one of the most recognizable faces in country music, appearing on television commercials, Hee Haw, and touring not only the United States but a number of other countries, including a groundbreaking sojourn to the Soviet Union in 1976. Frequently, he played concerts and recorded albums with a wide variety of musicians from other genres, including the Boston Pops Orchestra and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. In 1979, the momentum of his career began to slow down, as he left his longtime label ABC/Dot for MCA. Over the next two years, he had a number of minor hits before leaving the label. He recorded one inspirational album for Songbird in 1981 before signing to Churchill in 1982.

Hee Haw’s audience was beginning to decline in the early ’80s, but Clark diversified his interests by investing in property, minor-league baseball teams, cattle, publishing, and advertising. None of Clark’s recordings for Churchill were big hits, and his brief stays at Silver Dollar in 1986 and Hallmark in 1989 also resulted in no hits. Nevertheless, Clark had become a country icon by the mid-’80s, so his lack of sales didn’t matter — he continued to sell out concerts and win awards; he even made the comedy Western Uphill All the Way in 1986 with Mel Tillis. In 1987, he was belatedly made a member of the Grand Ole Opry. During the ’90s, Clark concentrated on performing at his theater in Branson, MO, sporadically releasing re-recordings of his big hits on a variety of small labels, though 2000’s Live at Billy Bob’s Texas marked his first live release in nearly a decade. Christmas Memories followed that same year. 2005 saw the release of two albums, Hymns from the Old Country Church on Wonder Disc and Bluegrass: It’s About Time, It’s About Me, a collection of his bluegrass-oriented tracks, on Varese. ~ David Vinopal, Rovi


WALL HOMER J 2017 0mOBHOFHomer had had years of playing the Tulsa Scene. He ran a  music Club called B+ there, fronted his own band, moved to New Orleans to play for a spell, worked with Dues Paid many years, Selby Minner and more recently Leon Rollerson.


Butch Russell head shot

james russell

James is the brother of Butch. He is a true blues man who played and toured out of Oklahoma City and Wichita for many years. More info soon.

Frank Ray in PurpleFrank has been playing blues and rock guitar in and around Tulsa; as well as, the surrounding areas since 1980. He started out in a little country band that didn’t last very long back in 1980, but it wasn’t long and he found his nitch and an audience for it, playing through the 80’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s at popular nightspots in Tulsa, such as Joey’s Home of the Blues and Sunset Grill. He was the guitarist for Tulsa Blues Legend the beloved Flash Terry Band for many years. He was also Selby Minner’s guitarist in Blues on the Move together with Rudy Scott on Keyboard for 3 years or so.

Within these years he had the privilege to participate in many memorable occasions such as the very first “live” broadcast of John Henry’s “Smokehouse Blues” radio program, recording from Joey’s. He’s been a consistent staple at the first of 23 Rentiesville Blues Festivals and most of them since.


OK Ollie Best shotOklahoma Ollie was born in 1931, in Muskogee Oklahoma.
He grew up in Reeves Edition, named after famous lawman Bass Reeves.
He lived in Tulsa, Wichita KS and Omaha NB , finally settling on the West Coast in California in 1958. Ollie played bass for many years and his brother Johnny Thompson played guitar, He worked with Larry Johnson in the New Breed, as did D.C. Minner. He also played bass for Phillip Walker, OBHOF inductee, Flash Terry and Sam Franklin (OBHOF inductee from Okmulgee Sam toured with Albert Collins) when he had his own band. He was bassist form Etta James, Lowell Fulson and Ronnie Stewart.

Later Ollie switched from Bass to Guitar in 2010 or 2011, singing and fronting his own band. He has played the Rentiesville Dusk til Dawn Blues Festival many years, bringing in a band from LA. Recently he has been playing the Festivals in California as the sound of his guitar work has matured.


CHURCH OF WESTERN SWING  Keeping the Blues Alive

Doris Baker BIO   Henry Baker BIO

Henry and Doris Baker WALL photo

Musicians Entertained Crowd At Shoshonean Reunion
Fri, 09/26/2014 – 2:17am Scott Rains

Tom Ware Blues
Many oorahs to the Comanche Nation for their choice of entertainment Sunday night for the opening reception to the 15th Annual Shoshonean Reunion here in Comanche Country. The tribe booked a truly legendary group to entertain the visitors to the Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center.

Tom Ware & Blues Nation brought their renowned blues/rock and soul show and made sweet musical love to the all ages audience in attendance. Although they’re an Anadarko-based band, they have worldwide renown for their interpretation of the blues. You know, they say real blues is best played by people who know hardships and have survived. The all American Indian band Ware, vocals/guitar; Terry Tsotigh, drums/harmonica; Sonny Klinekole, bass; Kyle Reans, guitar; Obie Sullivan, keyboards; and Richard “Dickie Joe” Hunter, saxophone painted red the soundscape formally known as blue. They closed one set with a double shot of the songs “Sleepwalk” and “It Was A Good Thing” and I felt fortunate to be there. Their original 2000 album, “Blues Nation,” earned nomination for the Native American Music Award for best blues album. There’s a reason for that. They make good music.

On his own, Ware is renowned throughout several genres of the music world. He made several recordings of Plains Indian flute music in the late-1970s as well as a host of memorable endeavors into putting powwow and 49 songs to English lyrics in a way that is both reverent and original. A descendent of Bello Cozad, a well-known Kiowa flute player, and the son of Wilson Ware, a well known powwow singer, Ware continues that tradition of transcendence. From spiritual to playful, Ware is a master at his game. It comes from a lifetime of performing under a range of circumstances that’s he’s learned to master his audience and mesmerize with his music.

Last Sunday night, more members were added to this “Blues Nation.”
Check out a rowdy blues performance from a few years back: • Blues Nation “Empty Tipi”

* * *

For Immediate Release
Tom Ware Makes His Final Journey Home

Oklahoma City, OK – On Tuesday, November 3rd at 10:20am, Thomas Ware III announced on Facebook that his father, Tom Mauchahty-Ware, made his final journey home. Instead of grieving and turning it into a sad occasion, Tom Ware III asked that we celebrate the life his father lived. “Everyone has at least one good Tom Ware story, and those are how he would want everyone to remember him. No one could ever say Dad didn’t live a full life, and I’m proud to say I spent a good deal of mine with him, on the road” he stated
Tom Mauchahty-Ware was a Kiowa Comanche musician who sang both beautiful traditional Comanche and Kiowa songs and played contemporary blues music. He is known for his distinguished work playing the Native American flute, was original member of the world renowned American Indian dance theater, and was a member of the popular blues band, Blues Nation and the Wild Band of Comanches. He was also a skilled traditional artist in; painting, sculpting, flute making, bead working, and feather working. He is a descendent of the famous Kiowa flutist, Belo Cozad, and released two commercial recordings, “Flute Songs of the Kiowa and Comanche” in 1978, and “The Traditional and Contemporary Indian Flute of Tom Mauchahty Ware” in 1983.

Tom Mauchahty-Ware was featured in the film, “Songkeepers” which was originally released in 1999, and rereleased in 2010 and directed by Bob Hercules and Bob Jackson and produced by Dan King. “Songkeepers” features five distinguished traditional flute artists; Sonny Nevaquaya, R. Carlos Nakai, Hawk Littlejohn, Kevin Locke and Tom Mauchahty-Ware who all share stories about their instrument and their songs and the role of the flute in their tribes. Both Nevaquay, a NAMA Hall of Fame inductee, and Littlejohn have also journeyed to the spirit world.

To watch Songkeepers click on the link below:

Founded in 1990 by Tom Machauty-Ware (Kiowa/Comanche), Blues Nation recently reunited and played at concerts and festivals across the Great Plains and beyond. Original band members Tom Ware, Terry Tsotigh (Kiowa), Sonny Klinekole (Kiowa/Comanche/Apache), and Obie Sullivan (Mvskoke Creek) were joined by Johnny Johnson, sax, and Cecil Gray (Kiowa), guitar. Blues Nation performed both originals and songs of past and present. Their recorded collection of original compositions entitled, “Blues Nation” released on Red Hands Music in 2000, received a Native American Music Award nomination as one of the Best Blues Albums of the Year.

Condolences can be posted on Facebook at:
RIP Tom Ware

On behalf of the Native American Music Awards, we send our love and condolences to the Ware family.

In 1978, Tom Ware recorded a solo project, “Flute Songs of the Kiowa and Comanche,” the cover of which is seen here.Many people throughout Indian country are highly skilled on the drum, with the flute or with the blues guitar. Thomas Mauchahty-Ware, 66, was gifted in all of these genres, and left this world on November 3, 2015.

Ware, Kiowa and Comanche, was born March 21, 1949 to Wilson and Pearl Pewo Ware. He began to dance at the same time as he could walk, and he was a lifelong member of the ceremonial organization O-Ho-Mah Lodge. He was also a lifetime member of Ware’s Chapel United Methodist Church.
From O-Ho-Mah Lodge elders, he learned the Kiowa war dance songs that belong to individual members and their extended families. Maxine Whitehorse Komah, Kiowa, remembers Ware being on the drum with her father, the O-Ho-Mah Lodge leader Mac Whitehorse.

“He was just a few years older than me,” Komah said. “They had singings all the time, everywhere, almost every week. We would go to different houses, and he always sat at the drum and learned with my dad. He learned those songs. He’s always been a part of O-Ho-Mah, ever since I could remember.”

For Komah, one of her fondest memories of Ware is when he sang as part of a dance program in Oklahoma City. Komah said that Ware saw her in the crowd, and he sang an O-Ho-Mah Lodge song that belongs to one of her sons. “When you hear your loved one’s song like that, you want to thank the person,” Komah said.

At the age of 13, Ware received a guitar as a gift. It was an instrument that would take him into another direction—that of a blues guitarist and singer. In 1990, Ware formed Blues Nation, a group consisting of other Native blues artists. Terry Tsotigh, Kiowa, is a member of Blues Nation, playing both harmonica and drums. Like Ware, Tsotigh is also a straight dancer and plays flute.

“He was a blessed and talented individual,” Tsotigh said about Ware’s diverse musical abilities. “We all grew up—Natives around [Southwest Oklahoma]—around the powwows, around our elders that taught us. We listened, and we take it to heart… As young people, we grow up and we’re interested in other types of things like music, sports or whatever it is. We take that up too, along with our cultural upbringing.”

Ware found a common ground between cultures, especially among African Americans and Native people. Tsotigh said that one of Blues Nation’s songs showed this shared sense of struggle—“My People Have a Right to Sing the Blues.” Tsotigh explained Ware’s song by stating, “We all feel like that at times.” Their performances included venues in Germany, the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

In the 1970s, Ware recorded with Indian House Records of Taos, New Mexico. The earlier recordings were as part of O-Ho-Mah Lodge Singers—War Dance Songs of the Kiowa Volume 1 and 2, in 1975. In 1978, he recorded a solo project, Flute Songs of the Kiowa and Comanche. With this recording, Ware not only played traditional courting songs, but he also played instrumental flute versions of the Kiowa Flag Song and Comanche gospel hymns. Tony Isaacs, the owner of Indian House Records, respected how Ware remained true to his traditional and Western music interests, not blending the two together.

“For someone to have a blues band and, at the same time, follow his traditions, I thought was pretty cool,” Isaacs said. “A lot of Indian musicians who are in the modern field try to modernize the traditional. He didn’t do that. He would keep his Kiowa singing Kiowa, and the blues singing was a whole different ball game. He kept them separate. He didn’t try to bring one thing into the other.”

Ware was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers Truman and Bill, his sister Tatoe and a granddaughter, Hannah Ziegenfuss. He is survived by his son Thomas Mauchahty-Ware III and his wife Wansey; daughters Laura Bryson, Magpie Casper, Jocelyn Clarene Ware and her companion Apache Jim Wetselline; sisters Francella Ware, Marie Ware and Clarissa Ware Shaw; 16 grandchildren and many nephews and nieces.