Oklahoma Rocks

Written by Susan Miller on Monday June 1, 2009


Boy, does it ever! I’ve always been proud of Oklahoma, but I had no idea our state was so cool.

A few months ago Dr. Bob Blackburn, the executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, called me to let me know that a long awaited exhibit was finally ready to open. Now, Dr. Blackburn is an historian’s historian, a fairly proper professional man who is very “by the book”, so I was somewhat amused at his tone when he called. Dr. Blackburn was Excited with a capital “E”!

He wanted Gallery to do a segment on the History Center’s newest exhibit, “Another Hot Oklahoma Night”.

“We’ve interviewed more than 150 rock artists in high definition format and have more than 5,000 square feet of exhibit space for all the artifacts from musicians with ties to Oklahoma!” He said.

I wanted to tell him, “You had me at ‘hello’”. Just hearing the enthusiasm in his voice was enough to convince me he had something special.

Indeed, he did. Gallery has dedicated, not just a segment, but its entire June program to exploring Oklahoma’s rock and roll legacy in “Oklahoma Rocks”.

Fellow segment producer Randy Hayes, show producer Dave Tamez and videographer Daniel Lapham got to work sorting through all the artists interviewed by the History Center, trying to figure out who should be a priority for the now insufficient half hour we had to tell this story. That was the hardest part and I was tearing my hair out because I do not have enough knowledge about rock and roll history to know who we should go after, but I have learned over the years that these things have a way of working themselves out. Call it “Zen” or whatever you want, but usually if you do the legwork and try to cover all your bases, things work out. I still like to worry over every little thing and nothing is ever guaranteed when it comes times to shoot, but still….as I said, things tend to work out. The story is there.

Despite our intentions to take advantage of the interviews already done by the History Center, we were able to get our own interviews on the night of the Exhibit’s Private Premier Party. I could go through all the names, but you’ll just have to watch the show to find out who we nabbed on this special night. The Legends came home and I was blessed to get to meet them, talk with them and hear their stories straight from them. You can hear those same stories on Gallery June 4th at 8:00pm and don’t forget to visit the Oklahoma History Center to see “Another Hot Oklahoma Night”.