Garth Brooks last released an album of original material thirteen years ago. This week, with "Man Against Machine," the dormant king of pop country returns to a different world. Nobody but Taylor Swift seems to sell records anymore, in any genre. (Brooks has sold more than a hundred and thirty million in twenty-five years).
Every month, NPR Music asks public radio personalities around this country to name a new favorite song and then we feature one of those songs on Morning Edition.
Today we go to Oklahoma City, where Ryan LaCroix is the Operations Manager and All Things Considered host at KOSU. He also hosts a program called Oklahoma Rock Show, two hours of local music on KOSU every Thursday night.
The band Oil Boom is based in the Dallas / Ft. Worth metro area, but lead singer Ryan Taylor hails from Oklahoma City. LaCroix says the song "The Sneak Tip" is just plain fun.
You might not know the name Jim Keltner, but you’ve probably heard him playing drums on some of your favorite songs for the last 50 years.
Founding board member of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and author of the Oklahoma Music Guide Dr. Hugh Foley says that Keltner’s status among rock drummers is unquestionable.
“He is the session drummer of the rock and pop era, from the mid-1960s to the present day. That includes an incredible list of artists. It’s one of those jaw-droppers, whether it’s John Lennon or Ringo Starr or George Harrison, with whom he played on all significant tracks by those three former Beatles.”
Elvin Bishop’s family moved to Tulsa when he was 10 years old. He attended Will Rogers High School and won a scholarship as a National Merit Scholar to the University of Chicago, where he studied physics. Founding board member of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and author of the Oklahoma Music Guide Dr. Hugh Foley says that when Bishop wasn’t studying physics, he was studying the blues.
“When he gets there, he winds up hearing all these great blues musicians – Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf and so forth. He told me, ‘the first thing I did when I got there was to make friends with the black dudes working in the cafeteria at the university.’ And within a very short period of time, he was deep into the blues scene there in Chicago.”
Blues guitarist Lowell Fulson was born to parents of Choctaw and African-American descent in Tulsa in 1921. He was raised in Ada, playing guitar at church and picnics, before landing a job in 1939 as a guitarist for country-blues singer Alger “Texas” Alexander.
He was drafted into the U.S. Navy in 1943 and served for two years before beginning his recording career. His first rhythm and blues hit came on the Swingtime label in 1948 with the now-blues standard “Three O’Clock Blues.”