Grammy Foundation awards $20,000 toward Bob Wills collection in Oklahoma

The Wills family recently donated the entire Bob Wills collection, including the Casey Dickens audio collection, to the Oklahoma Historical Society.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: April 5, 2012

The Grammy Foundation has awarded a $20,000 grant to the Oklahoma Historical Society to preserve about 600 hours of Bob Wills' music recorded in the 1940s.

Carolyn Wills, daughter of the famous Oklahoma musician, made the announcement Wednesday during a Bob Wills Day celebration at the state Capitol.

The Wills family recently donated the entire Bob Wills collection, including the Casey Dickens audio collection, to the historical society. The family's artifacts had resided in the small community of Turkey, Texas, for the past 40 years, where there was a shortage of space and staff to care for them.

“How wonderful it is for the collection to end up in Oklahoma,” Wills said. “I have come to realize how important Oklahoma was to my father, and I am so excited at the prospect of his collection finding a permanent home in the OKPOP Museum.”

The proposed OKPOP Museum, to be in Tulsa's downtown Brady Arts District, will celebrate Oklahoma's creative spirit and people who have influenced artists and pop culture around the world.

Bob L. Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, said the Grammy Foundation grant provides credible validation that Wills' music is an important part of American music history.

“We are honored to get this vote of confidence from the Grammy Foundation, and equally honored that the Wills family has entrusted us with his personal artifacts and the Casey Dickens audio collection of more than 600 hours of recordings,” Blackburn said.

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