... and where jazz, swing and C&W vie with the Sooner State’s considerable rock and roll credentials. Oklahoma folks have music in their veins, and throughout its history the state has produced sons and daughters who’ve taken the world by storm - singer/songwriters such as Woodie Guthrie, Leon Russell and JJ Cale, and bands such as the massive Kings of Leon are music royalty here. The musical Who’s Who is topped off country-style by C&W legends Garth Brooks and Reba McEntire.
Throughout the year in the Sooner State you can visit pretty much any county or town on a weekend and you’ll hear live music - local C&W gatherings to world-class R&R festivals; amateur musical groups to national symphony orchestras - food for the soul, indeed. And Oklahoma's cities have come a long way in recent years - for entertainment, art and culture they now rival anywhere in the US.
Chill out in Oklahoma City, or grab 24 hours in Tulsa. In OKC it has to be the cool and classy Bricktown district for live music - blues; jazz; R&R and country; and in Tulsa, the Brady Arts District is the place to tap your feet or play air guitar. A national treasure in downtown Oklahoma City is the American Banjo Museum - a world class celebration of America’s national instrument, while in Tulsa, the Woodie Guthrie Center celebrates America’s most famous folk singer and political activist. Tulsa also 'Rocks The Green' in September and October each year - bringing free, outdoor concerts to Guthrie Green on Sunday afternoons.
But it's not just the Sooner State's cities that rock (Oklahoma is electric AND eclectic, remember) - as a trip to Medicine Park, OK (pop. 500+) will amply demonstrate. The town's mayor produces 3 music festivals every year - right on main street - as you can read in my earlier Oklahoma blog 'Schmoozin' With The Mayor'.
I suppose, if one were to ask a representative sampling of people, which Oklahoma song they know best, most would sing you the chorus of the eponymous Broadway show smash hit of yore ... and to crib shamelessly from it, the Sooner State is where 'the music' really does 'come sweepin' down the plain'!
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