A version of this story appears in Friday’s The Oklahoman.
Jimmy Webb, Mason Williams, Sandi Patty and more to be inducted into Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame
The Oct. 15 ceremony and concert will take place at Tulsa’s Mabee Center, one of this year’s inductees.
TULSA — Jimmy Webb, Mason Williams and Sandi Patty will join Journey guitarist Neal Schon among the 2013 inductees to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
Barbara McAlister, Norma Jean Beasler and the late Bob Dunn also were among the inductees announced Wednesday at a press conference at the Mabee Center. In addition, the venerable Oral Roberts University venue will be
inducted into the hall of fame at the Oct. 15 concert and ceremony.
Webb, 67, is the only recording artist to ever receive Grammy awards for music, lyrics and orchestration. The Elk City native is best known for penning classic hits for Glen Campbell (“By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston”), Richard Harris (“MacArthur Park,” “Didn’t We”), The Fifth Dimension (“Up, Up and Away”) and many others. Already a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, Webb will release Tuesday his new album “Still Within the Sound of My Voice,” featuring collaborations with Brian Wilson, Art Garfunkel, Keith Urban and more.
Best known for his Grammy-winning instrumental smash “Classical Gas,” guitarist/composer Williams, 75, was born in Abilene, Texas, but grew up in Oklahoma City. He also is known as an Emmy-winning writer for “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” a conceptual artist whose life-size “Bus” photo is part of the New York Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection and an author of several books of poetry and prose.
Known as “the Voice,” Patty, 56, of Oklahoma City, is one of most popular and awarded performers in contemporary Christian music history. The Deer Creek denizen has earned three platinum albums, five gold records, 40 Dove Awards and five Grammys.
McAlister, an internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano opera singer of Cherokee descent, has appeared in concert around the world, including France, Germany and Hong Kong. Along with singing arias, the Muskogee native has performed in the Cherokee, Chippewa and Winnebago languages. Also a renowned visual artist, she received the Cherokee Medal of Honor in 1999.
Known as “Pretty Miss Norma Jean,” Beasler, 75, was Porter Wagoner’s initial performing partner on “The Porter Wagoner Show,” preceding Dolly Parton. A Wellston native, Norma Jean recorded 20 albums for RCA Victor in the 1960s and ‘70s, earned two Grammy nominations and was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for many years.
Braggs native Dunn (1908-71) is known as the inventor of the electric steel guitar, and he was first person to play it in 1934 when he joined pioneering Western swing outfit Milton Brown’s Musical Brownies in Fort Worth, Texas.
As previously announced, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame inducted Schon, 59, into its ranks Aug. 23 before the Journey’s sold-out concert at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. The only constant member of Journey, the guitarist/songwriter, who was born at Tinker Air Force Base, co-wrote some of the group’s biggest hits, including “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Any Way You Want It” and “Wheel In The Sky.” He also was a member of Santana and Bad English, HSAS, Abraxas Pool, Soul SirkUS, and other bands and enjoys a successful solo career.
In addition, the late painter Roger Davis, who died in April, will receive the Governor’s Award. An Oklahoma City native who lived in Muskogee, Davis was the official portrait artist for the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
Along with hosting the Oct. 15 induction concert, the Mabee Center is a 2013 inductee. For 40 years, the ORU venue has hosted some of the biggest entertainers in the industry, including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, Luciano Pavarotti, Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, Justin Bieber and more.
The hall of fame’s 2013 Rising Star award recipients The Swon Brothers, who hail from Muskogee, will perform a full concert at the induction ceremony. Zach and Colton Swon have been playing to sold-out crowds across the country after making the final three on the hit NBC show “The Voice.” The Swon Brothers received the Rising Star award in June during the recording of a special segment on the TV singing competition.
The induction concert also will feature performances from several Oklahoma musical greats. Tickets go on sale Thursday.
For information, call (918) 495-6000 or go to www.mabeecenter.com.