Oklahoma City_When you think of Oklahoma, rock-and-roll music is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. However, since the inception of the genre, Oklahoma singers, musicians, and writers have made a big impact on the industry, so a local lawmaker and the Oklahoma History Center want to establish the state's official rock song. For the past few months, thousands of people from across Oklahoma have nominated songs for the honor, and now it's down to ten finalists - including a tune by a Lawton native.
The bill's author says it will showcase the rock talents of Oklahomans - some of whom you many not even know have ties to the Sooner State. Modern rockers The Flaming Lips and Wanda Jackson, the queen of Rockabilly born in Maud, Oklahoma are only two of the artists and rock songs on the list you will have a chance to choose from for the state's official song.
Representative Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs) says that even our official state song has ties to Oklahoma in name only. "We have a country song, we have a waltz, we have the official state song - which is Oklahoma," he said. "But one interesting fact - none of those have any ties to Oklahoma, really." However, all of the top rock finalists do. "Every song that was nominated will have somebody in the band, or is written by, an Oklahoman," he said. "I'm pulling for Leon Russell - hometown Lawton guy before he made it to Tulsa."
Rock-and-roll has been a part of Z-94 disc jockey Critter's daily life for a long time. But, even he was surprised by the finalists - in a good way. "It's about time rock got its due as well," he said. "They've picked a pretty good list. I was disappointed to see Jerry Cantrell and Alice in Chains didn't make the cut. I think a lot of people are surprised, when they go through and look at that list, just how many Oklahomans are involved in rock," said Critter. "A lot of them I didn't even know."
Dorman wants the musicians to be celebrated and recognized as Oklahomans. "We have a lot musicians who leave the state to go to Nashville or Austin to try and make it," he said. "We need to try and find a way to keep those musicians here in Oklahoma and promote our own home industry."
Oklahomans can vote on the finalists through November, and the winner will be a featured part of a new exhibit at the Oklahoma History Center. It will be titled "Another Hot Oklahoma Night," and is scheduled to open next spring.
Here are the nominees:
All-American Rejects - Move Along
The Call - Oklahoma
The Flaming Lips - Do You Realize
JJ Cale - After Midnight
John Moreland & the Black Gold Band - Endless Oklahoma Sky
Leon Russell - Home Sweet Oklahoma
Mae Boren Axton - Heartbreak Hotel
Three Dog Night - Never Been to Spain
The Ventures - Walk, Don't Run
Wanda Jackson - Let's Have a Party
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