Discography Pure Country

By Ryan LaCroix
Our discography of the foremost recordings, fifty
strong and representing every possible variety of
country music, is a medley of one-name superstars,
artists from way back when, and rare gems still
available at record stores and online.
Keith Anderson, Three Chord
Country and American Rock &
Roll (Arista Nashville, 2005)
Miami native Keith Anderson was raised on a healthy
dose of Lynyrd Skynyrd
and Willie Nelson. After
brief stints as a bodybuilder,
construction engineer, and
telegram singer, the former
September/October 2011
Oklahoma State baseball
player rediscovered his love of
country music and headed to
Nashville. Anderson made a
big first impression with his
2005 debut, charting four
songs, two of which—“Pickin’
Wildflowers” and “Every Time
I Hear Your Name”—landed
in the top ten.
Gene Autry, The Essential
Gene Autry: 1933-1946
(Columbia/Legacy, 1992)
Raised in the southern
Oklahoma towns of Achille
and Ravia, Gene Autry
would eventually become
the only person to have
stars in each of the five
categories of the Hollywood
Walk of Fame. Encouraged
by Will Rogers, who heard
him singing as a telegraph
operator in Chelsea, Autry
began performing in 1928
on KVOO in Tulsa. The
real gem in this collection
is Autry’s 1941 version of
“Blueberry Hill,” recorded
fifteen years before Fats
Domino made it an
international hit.
Hoyt Axton, Life Machine
(A&M, 1974)
Hoyt Axton was a
freshman football player at
Oklahoma State University
and a heavyweight
champion boxer in the
navy before singing folk
songs in San Francisco
coffeehouses. The burly
balladeer is best known
for his songwriting: Three
Dog Night’s “Joy to the
World” and Steppenwolf ’s
“The Pusher” are among his
compositions. The Duncan
native’s biggest solo success
came with this 1974 album
and its top-ten hits, “Boney
Fingers” and “When the
Morning Comes,” a duet
with Linda Ronstadt.
four number-one hits, including “Neon Moon” and “Boot
Scootin’ Boogie,” which
launched the line-dancing
craze of the 1990s.
Norma Jean, Pretty Miss
Norma Jean (RCA Victor,
Norma Jean Beasler’s
country career began
early, as a radio host on
KLPR in Oklahoma City
at age twelve and as Merl
Lindsay’s tour mate at age
sixteen. Still, the Wellston
native is most remembered
as a regular on The Porter
Wagoner Show, where she
often dueted with the
shows’ namesake star. This
1965 album includes two
top tens, “I Wouldn’t Buy a
Used Car From Him” and
“Go Cat Go.”
Jason Boland & the
Stragglers, Comal County
Blue (Thirty Tigers, 2008)
Produced by Lloyd Maines
and dedicated to the late
Bob Childers, Comal County
Blue was a breakthrough
for Jason Boland & the
Stragglers. On the eve of
the album’s release, Boland
ruptured a vocal cord, an
injury that almost ended
his career. Thankfully, the
Harrah singer recovered, and
the band’s independently
released album charted
in the top thirty on the
Billboard Top Country
Albums chart.
Johnny Bond, Songs That
Made Him Famous (Starday,
Born outside Marietta
in tiny Enville, Oklahoma,
Johnny Bond developed an
interest in music after buying
a ninety-eight-cent ukulele
from a mail-order catalog.
After being part of the Jimmy
Wakely Trio and Gene Autry’s sideman, the Country
Music Hall of Famer landed
appearances on television
shows like Melody Ranch and
Town Hall Party and several
films. This compilation includes his songs from the late
1940s and early 1950s, such
as “Divorce Me C.O.D.”
and “Cimarron,” which was
covered by Johnny Cash and
Jimmy Dean.
Brooks & Dunn, Brand New
Man (Arista Nashville, 1991)
For nearly two decades,
adoring female fans placed
roses at Ronnie Dunn’s boots
while he played at venues like
Tulsa City Limits. In 1991,
Nashville record executive and
Grove native Tim DuBois
paired Dunn with Kix Brooks
in what would become the
most successful country music
duo of all time. Their debut
album sold more than six
million copies and spawned
to record a song Johnny Cash
had turned down, “Skip a
Rope.” The song touched on
controversial topics like hypocrisy, domestic violence, and
racial prejudice, topped the
country chart for five weeks,
and earned the Northwest
Classen graduate appearances
on The Tonight Show and The
Mike Douglas Show.
Garth Brooks, No Fences
(Capitol Nashville, 1990)
After years of playing places
like Shotgun Sam’s Pizza
Parlor in Midwest City and
Willies Saloon in Stillwater,
Garth Brooks saw international fame come his way with his
sophomore album. It remains
the Yukon native’s bestseller to
date, with seventeen million
copies sold in the United
States. All four singles—
“Friends in Low Places,”
“Unanswered Prayers,” “Two
of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full
House,” and “The Thunder
Rolls”—became number-one
blockbusters. Soon, audiences across the world would
be taken with the wireless
headset-wearing, high-energy,
arena-rocking Okie.
Bob Childers, Hat Trick
(Binky, 1999)
Widely considered the godfather of the red-dirt genre,
Bob Childers was something
of a spiritual figure for many.
The Ponca City native’s vocal
style earned him comparisons
to Bob Dylan, while his lyrics
are in the same vein as Woody
Guthrie’s. Twelve of his 1,500plus songs were released on
Hat Trick, notably “I Dreamed
That I Had Wings” and a song
cowritten by Childers, Greg
Jacobs, and Garth Brooks,
“Luck of the Draw.”
Henson Cargill, Skip a Rope
(Monument, 1968)
In the mid-1960s, Henson
Cargill was working as an
Oklahoma County deputy
sheriff and moonlighting at
clubs when former Oklahoma
deejay Tom Hartman, then
in Nashville, encouraged him
Roy Clark, Roy Clark in
Concert (MCA, 1976)
Roy Clark was cohost of
the hugely popular southern
comedy television show Hee
Haw and an occasional guest
host for Johnny Carson on
The Tonight Show. In 1976,
he moved to Tulsa, played a
sold-out eighteen-date tour
behind the Iron Curtain
during the Cold War, and
released this live album.
Recorded in Las Vegas, it’s
a perfect representation of
Clark’s world-class guitar
playing and legendary wit.
Highlights include “Dueling
Banjos” and “Malagueña.”
Kellie Coffey, When You Lie
Next to Me (BNA, 2002)
After graduating from
the University of Oklahoma
with a vocal performance
degree, Kellie Coffey moved
to Los Angeles, making ends
meet as a singing waitress
before recording songs for
Disney theme parks and the
television show Walker, Texas
Ranger. Her 2002 countrypop debut earned the Moore
native comparisons to Faith
Hill and Sara Evans, and the
top-ten hit “When You Lie
Next to Me” spent thirtythree weeks on the Billboard
country song chart.
Tommy Collins, Tommy
Collins Callin’ (Starday,
In 1952, Tommy Collins
moved to California with
his teenaged friend, Wanda
Jackson, and her family, and
Collins ended up staying.
September/October 2011
His first band there featured
a then-unknown Buck Owens on guitar. Collins’ new
sound, between the extremes
of the Nashville Sound and
honky-tonk, became a huge
influence on the Bakersfield
Sound later popularized by
Owens and Merle Haggard.
This 1972 album mostly
includes songs the Bethany
native wrote for others,
notably “If You Ain’t Lovin’,”
a hit for Faron Young and
George Strait.
Cross Canadian Ragweed,
Soul Gravy (Universal
South, 2004)
The members of Cross
Canadian Ragweed spent years
perfecting their sound, from
humble beginnings in the alley
behind the 50 Yard Line in
Yukon to rowdy nights at the
original Wormy Dog Saloon
in Stillwater. With Tecumseh’s
Mike McClure producing, two
tracks from this 2004 album
charted: the Lee Ann Womack
collaboration “Sick and Tired”
and an updated version of fan
favorite “Alabama.”
Gail Davies, Givin’ Herself
Away (Warner Bros., 1982)
Before becoming country
music’s first female record producer, Broken Bow native Gail
Davies was a session singer for
Neil Young and Hoyt Axton.
In 1974, she dueted with Roger Miller on The Merv Griffin
Show, passing on a European
tour with Frank Zappa (who
called Davies “the ballsiest
chick he’d ever seen on stage”)
to do so. Her 1982 album
for six years, the Putnam City
North graduate branched out
on his own. On his 1995 solo
debut, England mixed slowpaced ballads (“Smoke in Her
Eyes”) with upbeat honky-tonk
numbers (“Redneck Son”). The
album’s first single, “Should’ve
Asked Her Faster,” became the
biggest hit of his career.
charted a top-ten hit (“Round
the Clock Lovin’”) and two
top-twenty covers—Guy
Mitchell’s “Singing the Blues”
and Joni Mitchell’s “You Turn
Me On (I’m a Radio).”
Joe Diffie, Third Rock From
the Sun (Epic, 1994)
In the early 1980s, Joe
Diffie worked at a Duncan
foundry and gigged with
the bluegrass band Special
Edition. After the Velma
native moved to Nashville
in 1986, he crated boxes
for a Gibson guitar plant
and landed steady work as
a demo singer. Loaded with
humor and a blue-collar
attitude, this 1994 album
became his heavy hitter. It
went platinum and charted
five singles, with “Pickup
Man” and “Third Rock From
the Sun” hitting number
one and “So Help Me Girl”
peaking at number two.
Vince Gill, I Still Believe in
You (MCA, 1992)
While in high school in
Oklahoma City, Vince Gill
played with local bands
Bluegrass Revue and Mountain Smoke, then moved
on to Pure Prairie League
and later declined an offer
to join Dire Straits. Gill’s
sixth solo album scored him
multiple vocalist of the year
awards and features backing
vocals from Alison Krauss,
Lou Reed, and Delbert
McClinton, among others.
The title track was Gill’s first
number one and landed
him two Grammy awards.
Ty England, Ty England (RCA
Nashville, 1995)
While playing an acoustic
set at a Stillwater coffee shop,
Ty England met his future college roommate, Garth Brooks.
After playing guitar for Brooks
Johnny Bond developed an
interest in music after buying a
ninety-eight-cent ukulele from a
mail-order catalog.
Otto Gray and His Oklahoma
Cowboys, Early Cowboy Band
(BACM, 2005)
After fighting as a part of
Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders on San Juan Hill in 1898,
Billy McGinty settled down in
Ripley with his family. In May
1925, McGinty’s Oklahoma
Cowboy Band played on KFRU
in Bristow, becoming the first
western string band to be broadcast nationally. When McGinty
left to become a postmaster,
Otto Gray—who grew up on
a farm between Stillwater and
Ripley—led the band around
the country on vaudeville circuits. Gray’s band was the first
to record the classic “Midnight
Special,” and it became one of
their most popular tunes.
go bankrupt. But the Bethel
Acres native didn’t let it deter
his dream: He headed back to
Nashville a decade later. His
1995 debut had a number-one
hit in the title track and three
top tens (“I’m Still Dancin’
With You,” “Don’t Stop,” and
“What I Meant to Say”). The
album also features five songs
cowritten by Muskogee’s Chick
Rains and one cowritten by
Tulsan Ronnie Dunn.
was singing country songs
on KLPR in Oklahoma City.
As rockabilly declined in the
mid-1960s, it was no surprise
that she ventured back into
country music. The Maud
native retains her fiery vocal
style with this 1970 album.
Featured here are the toptwenty “My Big Iron Skillet”
and her cover of the Jimmy
Webb-penned “By the Time I
Get to Phoenix.”
Gus Hardin, I’m Dancing as
Fast as I Can (Rainy Day, 2001)
Leon Russell once called Gus
Hardin’s voice “a combination
of Tammy Wynette, Otis Redding, and a truck driver.” That
unique, bluesy voice earned
her a Best New Female Vocalist award from the Academy
of Country Music in 1984.
Hardin died in a car accident
after leaving a gig at Sunset Grill
in Tulsa in 1996. This posthumous compilation features her
two top-ten hits, “After the Last
Goodbye” and a 1985 duet
with Earl Thomas Conley, “All
Tangled up in Love.”
Becky Hobbs, All Keyed Up
(MTM, 1988)
Becky Hobbs grew up in
Bartlesville listening to Bob
Wills on KVOO and to music
by Oklahomans like Patti
Page and Woody Guthrie.
She crossed paths with other
Oklahomans along the way,
too: She was friends with
Roger Miller in LA and had
Garth Brooks open for her
at Bink’s in Stillwater in the
mid-1980s. This honky-tonk
growler of an album charted
four songs, including “Jones
on the Jukebox,” “Are There
Any More Like You,” and “Do
You Feel The Same Way Too?”
Toby Keith, Unleashed
(Dreamworks Nashville, 2002)
A native of Clinton and
Moore, Toby Keith formed
the band Easy Money in 1982
while working as a derrick hand
in the oil fields. Two decades
later, he would release his seventh album, Unleashed, whose
number-one hits included
“Who’s Your Daddy?” and a
duet with Willie Nelson, “Beer
for My Horses.” The album was
spearheaded by “Courtesy of
the Red, White & Blue,” a song
that displayed angry patriotism
more pointedly than any since
Merle Haggard’s 1970 song,
“Fightin’ Side of Me.”
Wade Hayes, Old Enough to
Know Better (Columbia, 1995)
After landing a record deal
at eleven, Wade Hayes watched
his label implode and his family
Wanda Jackson, Country
(Capitol, 1970)
Before Elvis Presley
encouraged her to play
rockabilly, Wanda Jackson
Wayne Kemp, Kentucky Sunshine
(MCA, 1974)
After singing at church
and community events in
Muldrow, where he grew up,
Wayne Kemp joined Benny
Ketchum as a guitarist at
Cain’s Ballroom at age sixteen.
In 1965, Kemp’s demo tape
wound up in the hands of
George Jones, who would
record several of Kemp’s
songs. He would also write for
Conway Twitty and cowrite
“One Piece at a Time” for
Johnny Cash. This 1974
solo album is Kemp’s best,
featuring a top-twenty hit
with “Honky Tonk Wine.”
Jimmy LaFave, Cimarron
Manifesto (Red House, 2007)
Jimmy LaFave honed his
unique Americana sound in
Stillwater, where he spent the
latter part of his teens and
his twenties. On Cimarron
Manifesto, he pays tribute to
his Oklahoma home with a
Woody Guthrie-style protest
song, “This Land,” and a JJ
Cale name check on “Truth.”
Listening to LaFave’s soulful voice and creative lyrics,
it’s easy to see why one critic
claimed that he “stands out
like a pint of Guinness in a
bar full of Miller Lites.”
Miranda Lambert, Revolution
(Columbia Nashville, 2009)
Texas native Miranda Lambert became an Oklahoma
transplant a few years back af-
September/October 2011
Leon Russell
once called Gus
Hardin’s voice a
combination of
Tammy Wynette,
Otis Redding,
and a truck
ter purchasing seven hundred
acres outside Tishomingo just
down the road from thenfiancé Blake Shelton, whom
she married this past May. In
2009, the acclaimed Revolution peaked at number one
and won multiple awards the
next year. Known for songs
about cheating boyfriends and
revenge, Lambert expanded
her repertoire here with several
excellent ballads. The album
charted five songs, including two number ones, “The
House That Built Me” and
“Heart Like Mine.”
Mel McDaniel, I’m
Countryfied (Capitol, 1981)
Inspired by Elvis Presley
and Leon McAuliffe, Mel
McDaniel began his career
playing around Okmulgee at
sock hops and weenie roasts.
After bouncing around the
United States, he kick-started
his career with this 1981 album, which features two topten hits—the boot-stompin’
“Louisiana Saturday Night”
and heartbreaking “Right in
the Palm of Your Hand.” The
title track brings it all back
home with the simple lyrics,
“Well I’m countryfied /I like
my chicken fried.”
Reba McEntire, For My
Broken Heart (MCA, 1991)
On March 16, 1991, seven
members of Reba McEntire’s
road band and her road manager were killed in an airplane
crash. Seven months later, the
Chockie native released her
sixteenth studio album as, she
said, “a form of healing for
all our broken hearts.” The
careful song selection yielded
two number-one hits (the title
track and “Is There Life Out
There”) and McEntire’s cover
of Vicki Lawrence’s 1972
song, “The Night the Lights
Went Out in Georgia.”
Jody Miller, Queen of the
House (Capitol, 1965)
Introduced to a record executive by Oklahoma actor Dale
Robertson, Jody Miller was a
folk musician thrust into the
country music spotlight with
this album. The Blanchard
native won a Grammy for
Best Female Country Vocal
Performance in 1966 for the
title track, a response to Roger
Miller’s “King of the Road”
that quickly became her signature song and landed her appearances on television shows
such as Shindig, Hullabaloo,
and American Bandstand.
Roger Miller, The Return of
Roger Miller (Smash, 1965)
Raised in Erick in a family
he described as “dirt poor,”
Roger Miller took an early
liking to Hank Williams and
Bob Wills and learned his
first guitar chords from his
cousin-in-law, Sheb Wooley.
Miller later served in the
Korean War and worked as a
singing bellhop and firefighter
until making his mark as a
songwriter. His most notable
song is the five-time Grammy
winner “King of the Road,”
but this album also includes
catchy ditties like “Do-WackaDo” and “You Can’t Roller
Skate in a Buffalo Herd.”
Patti Page, The Patti Page
Collection: The Mercury
Years, Vol. 1 (Island/
Mercury, 1991)
The woman who became
known as “the Singing Rage”
became one of the first to
overdub her own vocals on
“Confess.” Straddling the line
between country and pop,
Page, a Claremore native,
was the best-selling female
Pride”). Although the group
has gone through plenty of
lineup changes over the years,
two constants remain, Heath
Wright and Greg Cook, both
from Vian.
singer of the 1950s. This
twenty-song collection puts
her smooth, warm voice on
display, with “Tennessee
Waltz,” “Mockin’ Bird Hill,”
and “Conquest,” covered by
the White Stripes more than
sixty years later.
Rascal Flatts, Me and My
Gang (Lyric Street, 2006)
After spending much
of the 1990s playing with
the alternative rock band
Unclethumbtack, Picher’s Joe
Don Rooney headed to Nashville and met his future Rascal
Flatts band mates. Although
the country-pop band had
plenty of success prior to Me
and My Gang, this five-time
multiplatinum album made
them the top-selling artists of
2006. The album showcased
three number ones (“What
Hurts the Most,” “Stand,” and
“My Wish”) and a twangy version of Tom Cochrane’s “Life
Is a Highway,” prominently
featured in the 2006 Pixar
animated film Cars.
Red Dirt Rangers, Ranger
Motel (Ranger, 2007)
Meeting at the red-dirt
mecca the Farm in Stillwater
in the early 1980s, the Red
Dirt Rangers are one of the
oldest active groups associated
with the genre. Produced by
Steve Ripley at the Church
Studio in Tulsa, Ranger Motel
was their first album following
a near-fatal helicopter crash
in 2004. Mixing country
and bluegrass with Woody
Guthrie-inspired lyrics, this
2007 album shows the band
returning to its Stillwater
roots, with songs penned
by red-dirt legends Jimmy
LaFave, Bob Childers, Mike
McClure, Tom Skinner, and
Greg Jacobs.
Restless Heart, Wheels (RCA,
Formed in 1983 by two
producers with state ties,
Grove’s Tim DuBois and
Clinton’s Scott Hendricks,
Restless Heart also features
three members from
Oklahoma—Dave Innis of
Bartlesville, Paul Gregg of
Altus, and Greg Jennings
of Nicoma Park. It’s no
surprise, then, that the
group was originally titled
the Okie Project. Often
compared to country-rock
heavyweights the Eagles,
Restless Heart charted four
number ones with this, their
sophomore album.
Ricochet, Ricochet (Sony,
Ricochet’s mix of up-tempo
tunes and tight harmony
ballads kept this certified
gold album on the charts for
more than a year and earned
the band an ACM award for
best new vocal group. Four
songs charted from this 1996
debut, including a numberone hit (“Daddy’s Money”),
a top-five song (“What Do
I Know”), and a top ten
(“Love Is Stronger Than
Leon Russell, Hank Wilson’s
Back! (Shelter, 1973)
In the early 1970s, the rise
of outlaw country by Willie
Nelson and Waylon Jennings
and successful country-rock
albums by Gram Parsons and
Neil Young erased the country
music stigma held by many
hippies and rock fans of the
day. Recording under the
pseudonym Hank Wilson,
Leon Russell helped to
further that changing perception with this 1973 album,
in which the Rock and Roll
Hall of Famer puts his own
spin on country classics like
George Jones’ “She Thinks I
Still Care” and Hank Thompson’s “A Six Pack to Go.”
Blake Shelton, Pure BS
(Warner Bros. nashville,
While Blake Shelton had
plenty of success with his three
previous releases, he first appears truly comfortable in his
own skin with this double-entendre album, Pure BS. There
are good-time rockers (“This
Can’t Be Good”) and a drinking song about sobriety (“The
More I Drink”), but there are
great ballads as well (“Don’t
Make Me”). On a cover of Michael Bublé’s “Home” on the
2008 reissue, the Ada native
sings about being away from
a lover, while his future wife,
Miranda Lambert, provides the
backing vocals.
Jean Shepard, Songs of a Love
Affair (Capitol, 1956)
Jean Shepard and her family
were living in poverty in Pauls
Valley when they moved to
Visalia, California, during
World War II. Aided by
adopted Oklahomans Hank
Thompson (who discovered
her) and guitarist Speedy
West (who played on her early
recordings), Shepard sang songs
about women wronged that
set the stage for future risktakers Loretta Lynn and Wanda
Jackson. This 1956 debut was
one of the first country music
concept albums, featuring
“Mysteries of Life” and “Did
I Turn Down a Better Deal,”
written by Tommy Collins.
Sammi Smith, Help Me Make
It Through the Night (Mega,
Sammi Smith began singing
as an eleven-year-old in the
Oklahoma City club Someplace
Else. More than a decade
later, in 1967, she moved to
Nashville and befriended a
janitor at Columbia Records,
Kris Kristofferson. Smith took
Kristofferson’s song, “Help Me
Make It Through the Night,” to
number one in 1971, winning
September/October 2011
a Grammy in the process.
Nicknamed “Girl Hero” by
Waylon Jennings, Smith
endeared audiences with her
husky voice and unabashed
take on risqué lyrics like those
in her signature song.
Hank Thompson, At the
Golden Nugget (Capitol
Nashville, 1961)
Hank Thompson moved to
Oklahoma City in 1952 and
set off a series of firsts in country music: He was the first to
record in high-fidelity stereo,
started the first variety show
color broadcast (on WKYTV), and was the first country
act to play Las Vegas. Showcasing finger-picker Merle
Travis (a one-time resident
of the Lake Tenkiller area),
this 1961 album recorded in
Vegas was the first live album
in country music. On a record
that features Leon McAuliffe’s
“Steel Guitar Rag” and Johnny
Bond’s “I’ll Step Aside,” it’s
songs like Thompson’s own
“A Six Pack to Go” that shows
why he’s been called “the poet
laureate of beer drinkers.”
One critic
claims Jimmy
LaFave stands
out ‘like a pint
of Guinness in a
bar full of Miller
(“Someone Else’s Star” and
“Rebecca Lynn”), while two
others (“Nothin’ Less Than
Love” and “Going, Going,
Gone”) became singles for the
Buffalo Club and Neal McCoy.
Thompson Square, Thompson
Square (Stoney Creek, 2011)
Keifer Thompson of Miami
was raised on Roger Miller,
Merle Haggard, and Bruce
Springsteen. He moved to
Nashville in 1996, where he
met his future wife and band
mate, Shawna, three days
after arriving in town. After
years of trogging through
Nashville as solo artists, the
duo’s debut album rocketed
into the top five behind the
number-one platinum-certified hit, “Are You Gonna Kiss
Me or Not.”
The Tractors, The Tractors
(Arista nashville, 1994)
Comprised of former backing musicians for Bob Dylan,
Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt,
Linda Ronstadt, and Leonard
Cohen, the Tractors were a
country music anomaly. Led
by Steve Ripley of Glencoe,
band members were Nashville
outsiders who self-produced
their debut album at Tulsa’s
Church Studio. It features
guest spots by Raitt, Leon
Russell, JJ Cale, and others.
Fueled by the single “Baby
Likes to Rock It,” the debut
became the highest-selling
country album of the year and
landed the group two Grammy nominations.
Carrie Underwood, Some
Hearts (Arista nashville,
Carrie Underwood’s
country-pop stylings and
girl-next-door charm brought
victory on the 2005 edition of
American Idol. The Checotah
native quickly made an indelible mark on country music
with her debut album, Some
Hearts, which sold more than
seven million copies and was
named Country Album of the
Decade at the 2010 Billboard
Music Awards. Six singles
charted from this album, with
three number ones: “Jesus,
Take the Wheel,” “Before He
Cheats,” and “Wasted.”
Jimmy Wakely, Vintage Collections (Capitol, 1996)
In 1940, the Jimmy Wakely
Trio climbed onto a building
during an Okemah parade
in order to get Gene Autry’s
attention. He met with the
band members and told them
to look him up if they ever
came to California. They did
and soon joined Autry’s Melody
Ranch radio show before
breaking off into solo careers.
Wakely, a Rosedale native,
would follow in his hero’s
footprints, appearing on radio,
television, western movies,
even in his own comic book
series. This collection includes
the ballad “Song of the Sierras”
and “One Has My Name (the
Other Has My Heart),” which
charted in the top ten on the
pop and country charts.
Bryan White, Bryan White
(Elektra, 1994)
Raised in a musical family,
Bryan White grew up playing drums and singing in
bands with his parents. After
graduating from Putnam City
West High School in 1992, the
country-pop heartthrob left for
Nashville and quickly became a
songwriter for Glen Campbell
Music. This 1994 debut landed
the twenty-year-old Lawtonborn singer two number ones
The Willis Brothers, 20 Great
Truck Drivin’ Songs (Gusto,
Raised outside Schulter, the
Willis Brothers were originally known as the Oklahoma
Wranglers and played on
KGEF in Shawnee for most
of the 1930s. After World
War II, the brothers joined
the Grand Ole Opry and
performed on the first recordings of Hank Williams. They
later changed their name to
the Willis Brothers to appeal
to fans beyond western music.
This compilation features
some of their best songs,
including their 1964 top-ten
hit “Give Me 40 Acres (To
Turn This Rig Around)” and
memorable song titles like
“Soft Shoulders and Dangerous Curves” and “Diesel
Drivin’ Donut Dunkin’ Dan.”
top of the world during
their time in Oklahoma,
broadcasting on KVOO
radio to national audiences
from Cain’s Ballroom in
Tulsa. This collection includes
fourteen of the western swing
kings’ best, including the
official Oklahoma country
and western song “Faded
Love,” the band’s take on the
traditional “Ida Red,” and one
of their biggest hits, “Take Me
Back to Tulsa,” which they
sang in the 1940 film Take Me
Back to Oklahoma. The 2009
Tiffany Transcriptions box set
features nine additional discs
of Bob’s hollerin’.
Wilhelm scream film sound
effect and for his role on the
television show Rawhide.
In music, he’s probably best
known for his 1958 novelty
hit, “Purple People Eater,”
and his drunken country
singer alter ego, Ben Colder.
Yet as this companion album
to the MGM film of the same
name attests, the former rodeo rider from Erick was also
a great cowboy singer.
Trisha Yearwood, Jasper
County (MCA Nashville,
Three months before
she married Garth Brooks,
Georgia native Trisha
Yearwood, who now lives
with Brooks in Owasso,
released Jasper County. The
album marked the end of
her four-year recording
hiatus and peaked at
number one on the country
chart. Notable tracks
include the top-fifteen hit
Sheb Wooley, Tales of How
“Georgia Rain” and “Try
the West Was Won (MGM,
Me” (with backing vocals
from Tulsan Ronnie Dunn),
Sheb Wooley did a little
while the 2006 re-release
bit of everything in entertain- included a top-thirty duet
ment. As an actor, he is best
with Brooks, “Love Will
remembered as the voice of the Always Win.”
Bob Wills and His Texas
Playboys, The Tiffany
Transcriptions, Vol. 2 (Rhino,
Bob Wills and His
Texas Playboys were on