Oklahoma History

The 2017 Tulsa American Film Festival, or TAFF, showcasing indie features and shorts from across the United States -- with a focus on local, classic, student, Native American, and Okie-rooted films -- continues here in T-Town at several different venues. Tonight, the 13th, the TAFF will present the Oklahoma Premiere of a new documentary film about the life and work of Wilma Mankiller, who in 1985 was the first woman elected as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

On this edition of ST, we chat with Jimmy Webb, who grew up in rural Oklahoma before going out to Hollywood, while still a teen, to break into the songwriting biz...and who eventually created such classic pop tunes as "Wichita Lineman," "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," "Up, Up and Away," and "MacArthur Park." Webb will soon perform (on the 14th) with the Bartlesville Symphony, singing and playing his wonderful songs while also telling plenty of stories. He shares a few of those stories with us today -- many of which also appear in his recent memoir, "The Cake and the Rain."

On this edition of ST, we speak with Herb Boyd, an award-winning journalist and historian who's also the author of several books on black history and activism, including biographies of James Baldwin and Sugar Ray Robinson; his latest book is a remarkable 300-year history of African-American life and politics in his hometown of Detroit. Boyd, who now teaches at the City College of New York, will be giving a free-to-the-public lecture tonight, the 12th, at 7pm here at TU.

If you grew up here in the Sooner State -- and if you are, as they say, of a certain age -- then you might well wonder where all the Texas horned lizards, or horned toads, or horny toads, have gone.... Whatever you call them, they used to be readily apparent all over these parts, or so it seemed -- but no longer. What happened? Our guest is Chad Love, a freelance writer and editor based in Woodward, Oklahoma.

On this edition of ST, we welcome the Tulsa-based author Jennifer Latham back to our show. Her recently published YA novel, "Dreamland Burning," is a suspenseful narrative about the Tulsa Race Riot. As was noted of this book in an appreciative review from School Library Journal: "Latham follows up 'Scarlett Undercover' with a rich work that links past and present in a tale that explores racial prejudice. After the remains of a skeleton are found in her Tulsa, OK, backyard, 17-year-old Rowan Chase becomes consumed with finding out the story behind the death.

On this edition of ST, we welcome the award-winning Oklahoma writer Rilla Askew back to our show. Her new book, just out, is her first-ever nonfiction volume; it's a collection of nine linked essays entitled "Most American: Notes from a Wounded Place." In this timely and reflective work, she argues that the State of Oklahoma -- whether we are talking about police violence, gun culture, race relations, secret history, religious fervor, spellbinding landscapes, or brutal weather -- is actually a "microcosm" of the United States.

Our guest on this installment of ST is David Grann, a bestselling author and staff writer at The New Yorker Magazine whose new book, just out, is getting rave reviews. That  book is an unsettling and in-depth work of nonfiction, "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI." As was noted of this book by a critic writing for Time: "Nearly 100 years ago, the Osage tribe of Oklahoma were thought to be the wealthiest people per capita in the world, thanks to their oil-rich reservation, kindly sold back to them by the federal government that had snatched it away.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Lydia Reeder, a writer and editor based in Denver. She tells us about her now book, a popular history entitled "Dust Bowl Girls: The Inspiring Story of the Team That Barnstormed Its Way to Basketball Glory." It's the surprising but true Depression-era story of a women's basketball team -- the Oklahoma Presbyterian College Cardinals -- who came from Durant, and who were pretty much the best of the best in the early 1930s. The leader of this inspiring team, the visionary coach Sam Babb, is also profiled in Reeder's book -- and, indeed, Ms.

Our guest today is Ken Busby, the CEO and executive director of the non-profit Route 66 Alliance, which is based here in Tulsa, and which is, per its website, "dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and enhancement of historic Route 66 -- past, present, and future." Formerly the director of the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa, Busby was asked to lead the "Mother Road"-focused organization in 2014; today, he brings us up to speed on the Route 66 Experience Museum, a large-scale development for which funds are still being raised and plans

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we listen back to a discussion that originally aired in February of last year. At that time, we spoke with Julia Clifford, the director of a documentary film called "Children of the Civil Rights." This film tells the little-known yet true story of a group of schoolchildren in Oklahoma City who -- for nearly six years -- staged Civil Rights-era sit-ins at various diners and lunch counters in OKC. These protests began in 1958, more than a year before the far more familiar Greensboro, North Carolina, sit-ins occurred.

Last month, it was announced that the long-awaited Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture -- or OKPOP, as it's also called -- will be built and housed at 422 N. Main Street in downtown Tulsa, just across the street from the historic Cain's Ballroom. As Dr.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we offer a chat with Douglas Miller, the principal behind Müllerhaus Legacy, a Tulsa-based firm that creates books and other publications on-demand for private organizations and special occasions. A graphic artist and book designer by trade, Miller is also, in fact, a writer, since a book for which he's the lead author has just recently appeared.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Alton Carter, an Oklahoma Book Award-winning author whose memoir, "The Boy Who Carried Bricks," was originally published in 2015. It's a painful-to-read yet ultimately uplifting autobiography that details Carter's growing up in smalltown Oklahoma. Carter will be participating in the upcoming "Chapters" event at the TCCL's Hardesty Regional Library, on September 8th at 6:30pm; this event is a fundraiser in support of adult literacy programs, and the deadline to register for it is September 1st.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Mark Darrah, a writer and attorney based here in T-Town who's also one of our program's longtime commentators. The son of a Methodist minister who grew up all over the Sooner State, Mark has a terrific new book out; it's a collection of personal essays called "A Catalogue of Common People," and many of the pieces in this volume were originally aired on ST. In the words of another Tulsa-based author, Michael Wallis: "Do not let the title fool you -- 'A Catalogue of Common People' is an uncommonly good book.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we welcome Ann Patton back to our show. Patton is known locally for the many years she spent in Tulsa as an author, journalist, and activist; she now lives in Florida. She stops by our KWGS studios to tell us about her latest book, which is called "Unmasked!

There are six waterways in eastern Oklahoma that are considered so environmentally and economically significant they're given special consideration and protection from the state. These so-called Scenic Rivers were profiled in a special half-hour radio doc created by StateImpact reporters Joe Wertz and Logan Layden in 2014. This doc was originally aired as a four-part radio series, and we are pleased to re-broadcast it today on StudioTulsa.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we learn about a fascinating new documentary film depicting the rise and fall of E.W. Marland, the legendary -- and often controversial, and always colorful -- Oklahoma oilman who was also the state's 10th governor. "High Stakes: The Life and Times of E.W. Marland," shot on location in Ponca City, Oklahoma, is the newest creation of co-producers Steve Herrin and Scott Swearingen, who have also made docs about Woody Guthrie, Thomas Gilcrease, and Willard Stone.

On this installment of ST, we meet a young Oklahoma filmmaker named Taylor Mullins, who tells us about his new documentary, "Oklahoma Shakedown." As the controversy continues over whether waste-water disposal is playing a role in our state's alarming rise of seismic activity, this film profiles various Oklahoma geologists and residential property owners who have decided to take action to stop these incessant quakes.

On this installment of ST, we listen back to great discussion from May of last year, when we spoke with Steve Inskeep, co-host of National Public Radio's Morning Edition.

On this edition of our show, we learn about a documentary film that will be screened tonight (Thursday the 11th) in Helmerich Hall on the TU campus. The screening is free to the public, and it will also feature a panel discussion; it begins at 7pm. The film is question is "Children of the Civil Rights," and our guest is Julia Clifford, who directed it. As noted of this film at the "Children of the Civil Rights" website: "No one knew a group of children in Oklahoma City were heroes; not even the children themselves.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn about a newly created feature-length documentary film, "Boomtown: An American Journey," which depicts the history of the City of Tulsa. Our guests are Russ Kirkpatrick, the producer and executive producer of this film, and Michelle Place, the executive director of The Tulsa Historical Society and Museum, which originally commissioned it.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Christine Madrid French, a Florida-based architectural historian, historic preservation advocate, and author. (You can read about her many and various projects and publications as an architect with a passion for the past at French's website.) French will deliver a presentation called "Saving the Modern Century" tonight, Thursday the 21st, at 5:30pm at the Phlibrook Museum of Art.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we are pleased to welcome John Erling, known and appreciated by many local radio listeners for his three decades on the air at KRMG. Five years ago, Erling inaugurated Voices of Oklahoma, an oral history website dedicated to caputing the life stories of Oklahomans from all walks of life. As Erling tells us today, what began as basically a part-time retirement project has now grown into full-blown, ongoing passion for the Tulsa radio icon.

On this edition of ST, we welcome two members of the staff at the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum: Michelle Place is the Executive Director, and Ian D. Swart is the Archivist and Curator of Collections. Both are with us to talk about a recently created app from the Tulsa Historical Society, which is based on what's far and away the most-asked-about historical event at the THS: the Tulsa Race Riot.

The "Rediscover Gilcrease" weekend -- a two-day, free-to-the-public gala happening at the museum on September 6th and 7th -- will feature unique attractions, special activities, and lots of family-friendly entertainment. Among the highlights, without question, will be the official opening of the striking new Helmerich Center for American Research at Gilcrease. Several different lectures and presentations will be presented at the Helmerich Center, and one of them will be given by our guest today. Our guest is Brian Hosmer, the H.G.

On this installment of ST, we speak by phone with Donis Casey, a mystery author and former librarian who is originally from Oklahoma and has been based in Arizona for many years. "Hell with the Lid Blown Off" -- the seventh title in Casey's popular Alafair Tucker series -- is newly available, and (as with the rest of Casey's fiction) this novel draws heavily upon her Oklahoma roots...as well as the roots of her Sooner State relatives.

On this installment on ST, we chat with Steve Gerkin, who is originally from Iowa, has lived in Tulsa for more than 35 years, retired from his general dentistry practice in 2010, and has written a number of interesting articles for This Land Press about little-known aspects of Tulsa-area history. Gerkin has gathered several of these articles into a book, "Hidden History of Tulsa," which has just been published.

(Please note: This interview first aired about a year ago.) We are happy to welcome the acclaimed author (and fifth-generation Oklahoman) Rilla Askew back to our show. Askew received a 2009 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and she is a three-time recipient of the Oklahoma Book Award. Her latest novel, "Kind of Kin," is now being published in paperback; it first appeared in hardback in early 2013. Askew joins us to chat about this work.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Susan Kates, an associate professor of English and Women's Studies at the University of Oklahoma, who tells us about her new book, an autobiographical collection of essays called "Red Dirt Women: At Home on the Oklahoma Plains." Born and raised in Ohio, Kates now considers herself an Oklahoman --- she's been teaching at OU for the past two decades or so --- and this book quite deliberately traces her development from immigrant to native.

Today on ST, a special interview from our archives as we listen back to a 1993 discussion with Charles Banks Wilson. The widely beloved artist died last week at 94. Wilson was born in Arkansas and grew up in Miami, Oklahoma; over the course of his long and prolific career, he worked as a painter, printmaker, art teacher, lecturer, historian, and magazine and book illustrator --- and his works are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, the Corcoran Gallery, the Oklahoma State Capitol, the Smithsonian, and other notable institutions.

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