Tulsa History

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.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak once again with Scott Stulen, the President and Director of the Philbrook Museum of Art. At a press conference earlier today, Stulen announced a number of exciting changes in store for Philbrook, which will take effect very soon.

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.

KWGS News File Photo

Last night, a jury here in Tulsa acquitted one Betty Shelby -- a white Tulsa Police officer -- who had been charged with first-degree manslaughter after she shot and killed an unarmed black man named Terence Crutcher last September. Some people in this community feel that justice has been served, while others feel, as was stated by Rev. Joey Crutcher, the victim's father, after the verdict came down: "I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder." Where does Tulsa go from here?

On this edition of ST, we offer a wide-ranging chat with Bill Leighty, the executive director of Smart Growth Tulsa, which was founded in April of 2014 and incorporated as a nonprofit just recently. This organization, per its website, is "committed to policies, not politics. We seek to create healthy communities that work for everyone, with strong schools and local businesses, improved mobility options and jobs that pay well....

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we welcome Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum back to our studios. He was sworn in as Tulsa's newest mayor in December, having previously served as a member of the Tulsa City Council since 2008. (Mayor Bynum's great-great grandfather [1899-1900] and maternal grandfather [1970-1978] also served as mayors of Tulsa.) The Mayor joins us to talk about what he's accomplished in his mayoral tenure thus far as well as what he has planned for the immediate future.

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 ST, we welcome Robert J. LaFortune, a former Mayor of Tulsa, and Ann Patton, a locally based writer, activist, and former journalist. Patton has a new book out, for which LaFortune wrote the Foreword; it's a collection of essays on and photos of the Arkansas River, and it's called "The Tulsa River." But to what degree is Tulsa truly a "river city"? And are the age-old questions about riverfront development in this community changing -- or else taking on new meaning -- given the eventual creation of A Gathering Place on Riverside Drive?

On this edition of ST, we cover some interesting and less-familiar Tulsa history by way of a new biography of Cy Avery. Our guest is the Missouri-based author Susan Croce Kelly, author of "Father of Route 66: The Story of Cy Avery," which is just out from OU Press. Kelly will be speaking about and signing copies of this book on Saturday the 27th at the Tulsa Historical Society; the event is free to the public and begins at 10:30am.

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.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Andrea Jobe, a local filmmaker whose latest offering is a 45-minute documentary about the history and development of Tulsa's Booker T. Washington High School. The school celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, and as Jobe tells us on today's program, her just-completed film profiles not just BTW but also the wider community of Tulsa.

Back in 1938, the legendary local oilman Waite Phillips announced that he was giving his Italianate mansion --- and its surrounding 20-plus acres of uniformly gorgeous grounds --- to the citizens of Tulsa as an art museum and park space. Today, as has been the case all along, the Philbrook Museum of Art is an important and truly unique aspect of the art scene not just in our community but throughout this part of the nation.

The Circle Cinema Celebrates Its 85th Birthday

Jul 10, 2013
File Photo

Moviegoers, rejoice! The Circle Cinema is turning eighty-five! The theatre opened on July 15, 1928, with a showing of "Across the Atlantic," starring Monte Blue --- in this picture, according to advertisements from the period, Blue "flies to France...and...finds romance." The Circle is Tulsa's only remaining historical movie theatre (and the only theatre in town built before the 1960s); it's listed with the Oklahoma Historical Preservation Office and on the National Register of Historic Places.

Our guest on this installment of StudioTulsa is Jonathan Rossetti, a young actor/writer/director who grew up in Tulsa and is now based in Los Angeles. Rossetti joins us by phone from Oklahoma City, where his newly completed indie film, "Home, James," will have its public debut tomorrow, Saturday the 8th, at 2pm at the Harkins Bricktown Cinema 2. "Home, James," which Rossetti directed, co-wrote, and stars in, is appearing as part of OKC's annual deadCenter Film Festival.

The "new KAKC" --- an AM Radio titan from the annals of Tulsa broadcasting --- emerged in the middle 1950s, when rock and roll was just starting to make its very significant mark on American culture. KAKC was the Top 40 station in our community, and invariably one of the most popular stops on the radio dial, well into the 1970s.

In 1901, the first-ever oil well in Tulsa (from the Creek word, "Tallasi," meaning "Old Town") was established; the city itself had been officially incorporated in 1898. In 1905, the discovery of the fabled Glenn Pool oil field occurred --- and a boom town was born. And not just any boom town, but a petroleum-driven city-on-the-go, as Tulsa's population climbed to more than 140,000 between 1901 and 1930. On this edition of ST, we revisit the pivotal decade in this remarkable growth spurt as we discuss a new exhibit at the Tulsa Historical Society (or THS).

Theatre Tulsa @ 90

Aug 24, 2012

On this edition of ST, we're talking about the past, present, and future of Theatre Tulsa, one of the oldest arts organizations in the state. Established in 1922, Theatre Tulsa is actually the oldest community theatre west of the Mississippi River. Over the years, it's brought hundreds of productions to the people of Tulsa. It premiered the first-ever community theatre productions of "Our Town" in 1939, "All My Sons" in 1947, and "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" in 1993.

Tulsa's Kendall Whittier neighborhood, certainly the city's most diverse neighborhood, is poised for new development.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the Tulsa-based writer, consultant, and activist Ann Patton, who's just published a biography of the late (and legendary) Father Dan Allen, a Catholic priest turned social activist who worked incessantly (and memorably) to combat poverty and promote equality in Tulsa in the 1960s and beyond. Father Dan is probably best known for creating the Tulsa-area social service agency, Neighbor for Neighbor, which still exists today.

Last week, the nonprofit John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation released a survey of Tulsa residents' views on race relations. This survey was called for, and completed, before the recent (and perhaps racially motivated) shootings in North Tulsa in the pre-dawn hours of Good Friday --- but it's hardly surprising that, given the shocking tragedy of those violent acts and the coincidental appearance of this new survey, people throughout our community are speaking about issues of race with a candor that seems, in many cases, as rare as it is welcome.