In partnership with the Oklahoma Historical Society, OKPOP Museum, Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and BancFirst, the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department is launching Rhythm & Routes, an interactive music trail today.
To access Rhythm & Routes, go to www.TravelOK.com/musictrail.
As previously reported, the new music trail soon will give music fans the chance to virtually trace the state’s eclectic sounds — and then visit the sites that helped spawn them.
“The idea is to give each honoree a page on the music trail website … and through their page be able to explore photos and videos and content that you can’t really find in other places,” said Lindsey Flowers, Oklahoma Film & Music Office deputy director and acting music trail coordinator, told me in a spring interview.
“It’s not like what you would find on Wikipedia,” added Leslie Blair, public information officer for the tourism department. “We want to go a little deeper.”
Through this new, interactive website, music fans will now be able to explore the careers and accomplishments of their favorite Oklahoma artists and performance venues. Rhythm & Routes currently includes more than 1,000 photographs, 500 trivia questions and 200 songs for fans to browse, making Rhythm & Routes one of the most comprehensive digital collections of Oklahoma music history and memorabilia.
“Rhythm and Routes will provide both residents and visitors an opportunity to experience the rich musical heritage of the State of Oklahoma,” said Tava Maloy Sofsky, Director of the Oklahoma Film and Music Office, in a news release.
Musicians and venues included in the first group of honorees are (in alphabetical order): The All American Rejects, BJ Thomas, Blake Shelton, Bob Wills, Cain’s Ballroom, Carrie Underwood, Charlie Christian, Chet Baker, Conway Twitty, DC Minner, Deep Deuce, Elvin Bishop, Garth Brooks, Gene Autry, Hanson, Hoyt Axton, Jesse Ed Davis, Jimmy Webb, JJ Cale, Kelli O’Hara, Kings of Leon, Kristin Chenoweth, Leon Russell, Leona Mitchell, Mae Boren Axton, the Muskogee Civic Center, Patti Page, Reba McEntire, Roger Miller, Ronnie Dunn, Roy Clark, Ryan Tedder, Sandi Patty, The Church Studio, The Farm in Stillwater, The Flaming Lips, The Gap Band, Toby Keith, Vince Gill, Wanda Jackson, Wallace Willis, Woody Guthrie and The Zoo Amphitheatre.
The Rhythm & Routes homepage (accessible through Oklahoma’s highly trafficked official tourism website, TravelOK.com), features an interactive map highlighting locations of significance for each honoree, a historical timeline and links to photo archives, itineraries, music genres, inductee pages, a trivia game and a calendar of upcoming concerts and music festivals.
Rhythm & Routes travel itineraries include maps and directions to locations of personal significance for each inductee, thereby creating tourism and marketing opportunities for communities such as Ada, Broken Arrow, Checotah, Chockie, Claremore, Doaksville, Duncan, Durant, Edmond, Elk City, Enid, Erick, Gene Autry, Hugo, Maud, Moore, Muskogee, Norman, Okemah, Oklahoma City, Rentiesville, Stillwater, Stringtown, Talihina, Tishomingo, Tulsa, Yale and Yukon.
Dick Dutton, Director of Travel Promotion for the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department said in the release, “As soon as Rhythm & Routes is launched, we plan to meet with communities on the trail to help them develop marketing strategies that will promote the musician or venue, the community and the music trail.”
Beginning in January 2016, the tourism department will honor one additional musician or venue each month until the trail is complete.
“The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department would like to thank the Oklahoma Historical Society, OKPOP Museum, Dr. Hugh Foley, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, and BancFirst for partnering with us on this project. With their collaboration and assistance, Rhythm & Routes is now a permanent initiative that will continue to present marketing and tourism opportunities for the State of Oklahoma for years to come,” said Deby Snodgrass, Cabinet Secretary and Executive Director of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, in the release.