Chenoweth, Tisdale named Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame 2011 inductees
BY JAMES D. WATTS JR. World Scene Writer
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
8/10/11 at 3:19 AM
Tony and Emmy Award winner Kristin Chenoweth and the late Wayman Tisdale, who starred both on the basketball court and in the jazz world, headline the 2011 inductees into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
This year's slate of honorees, which includes two members of the influential rock instrumental combo The Ventures, were announced Tuesday by Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame board president Andrea Chancellor at a press conference at the Tulsa Press Club.
Chancellor said the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame honors Oklahoma's most talented musicians and music professionals for their contributions to "Oklahoma's rich musical history."
The 2011 inductees include Broken Arrow native Chenoweth; Tisdale; guitarist Nokie Edwards and Bob Bogle of the Ventures; composer, lyricist and singer Ralph Blane; Jesse Ed Davis, whose career includes stints with artists such as Conway Twitty, Taj Majal and John Lennon; Cheevers Toppah, a well-regarded powwow singer whose work has received a Grammy nomination; and Daily Oklahoman entertainment editor Gene Triplett.
The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Concert and Induction Ceremony will be Nov. 10 at the Muskogee Civic Center. Tickets for the concert and ceremony will go on sale Oct. 3.
Chenoweth's parents, Jerry and Junie Chenoweth, attended the press conference. Chenoweth is currently shooting the TV series "Good Christian Belles," which will be shown later this year on ABC.
"She wanted very much to be here," Jerry Chenoweth said. "She told us how honored she is by this award. She's a true Oklahoma girl - she never lets us forget that - and this award is something very near and dear to her heart."
Chenoweth grew up in Broken Arrow, and her parents said she demonstrated her talent and enthusiasm for performing at a very early age.
"Singing was always her first love," said Junie Chenoweth. "But once she got her first role in the school play at Vandever Elementary, it was music and drama, music and drama."
Jerry Chenoweth recalled how an 8-year-old Kristin came "dancing into the room one day and told me she was going to be on Broadway. I asked her if she knew what Broadway was, and she had no idea - but she was going to go there. "And she did," he said, smiling.
Chenoweth won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as Sally - a part created for her - in the 1999 production of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown." She also originated the role of Galinda in the musical "Wicked" and earned a Tony Award nomination for her performance.
She won an Emmy Award for her role in the TV series "Pushing Daisies" and was the first recipient of the Tulsa Awards for Theatre Excellence Distinguished Artist Award in 2009, the same year she was featured as a guest of the OK Mozart International Festival in Bartlesville.
Tisdale's achievements on the basketball court are legion: He was a three-time All-American at the University of Oklahoma, a member of the gold medal-winning Team USA at the 1984 Olympics, and he had a professional career with Indiana, Sacramento and Phoenix.
Yet Tisdale always referred to music as his "first love," and beginning with his 1995 album "Power Forward," he established himself as a star in the smooth jazz world. He released eight albums before his death in 2009.
Jermaine Mondaine, a colleague of Tisdale's, spoke for the family, saying they are "very excited about Wayman's induction into the Hall of Fame. It's just a very exciting time for the family, and for Oklahoma jazz music."
Bogle, a native of Wagoner, formed the Ventures in 1958 in Seattle with Don Wilson. Edwards, a Lahoma native who had performed with country greats Buck Owens, Lefty Frizzell and Ferlin Husky, joined a short time later. One of the few groups to specialize in instrumentals, the Ventures established themselves with the hit "Walk, Don't Run," in 1960. The group would release more than 60 albums, influencing several generations of rock guitarists.
Toppah, from Weatherford, is a Kiowa-Navajo powwow singer, and the recipient of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame's Rising Star award. He has released two albums, including "Intonation," which was nominated for a 2005 Grammy Award as Best Native American Album.
Broken Arrow native Ralph Blane got his start as a singer for NBC radio but soon made a more indelible mark on the entertainment world as a lyricist, most particularly for his collaboration with Hugh Martin on the score for the musical film "Meet Me in St. Louis," which included the Academy Award nominated "The Trolley Song" and the holiday classic "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."
The Norman-born Davis was a noted session guitarist who recorded three albums as a solo artist in the early 1970s. His work is featured on albums by John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Leonard Cohen, Keith Moon, Steve Miller, Harry Nilsson and Van Dyke Parks, as well as George Harrison's "Concert for Bangladesh."
Triplett has worked for Oklahoma newspapers for more than three decades, serving the past 10 years as entertainment editor of The Oklahoman, writing about music and movies.
Original Print Headline: Music Hall of Fame inductees named
James D. Watts Jr. 918-581-8478
Kristin Chenoweth's parents, Jerry (left) and Junie, answer questions from the media after the announcement that their daughter was being inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. ADAM WISNESKI / Tulsa World
Wayman Tisdale: A legend on the basketball court, he referred to music as his "first love."
Kristin Chenoweth: At the age of 8, she told her father she was going to be on Broadway.