Oklahoma country music star Miranda Lambert released her anticipated third album, “Revolution,” on Tuesday. To celebrate, I declared Tuesday Miranda Lambert Day here on BAM’s Blog, but we’re stretching it a little bit to make her the subject of this week’s Wednesday Video Spotlight.
I’ll have a review of “Revolution,” which I’ve been listening to relentlessly, in the coming days.
In the meantime, check out these videos from Lambert’s rapidly rising country career. The video to her new single, “White Liar,” will debut Friday on CMT.
Oklahoma country music star Toby Keith will perform Dec. 11 at the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, organizers announced today.
According to CMT.com, actor-rapper Will Smith and his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, will co-host the event, which also will feature performances by Wyclef Jean, Donna Summer, Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi and Mali musical duo Amadou & Mariam.
This year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner will be announced Oct. 9.
The award ceremony is set for Dec. 10. The concert will mark Keith’s second Oslo performance in less than a month. His schedule already included a Nov. 21 show in the city during his first-ever European tour, which will go to Scotland, England, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway.
Keith’s new album, “American Ride,” will be released Tuesday, and I spoke with him this week about the record and the busy fall and winter he has planned. Look for that interview next week.
Wanda Jackson (Associated Press photo)
“A Conversation With … Wanda Jackson,” an intimate, in-depth interview with the Queen of Rockabilly, will premiere at 9 p.m. Tuesday on OETA, the network announced today.
Hosted by Dick Pryor, “A Conversation With …” features up-close and personal discussions with the state’s history makers.
Jackson, 71, was there at the beginning of rock ‘n’ roll, and she’s still going strong. From the time she was young, Jackson wanted to be a “girl singer.” She regularly sang on a radio show in her hometown of Oklahoma City while in junior high school and had her first hit record by the time she was 17.
Jackson sang country songs until Elvis Presley encouraged her to try a new form of music called rockabilly – a combination of country, rhythm and blues, gospel and swing. She toured with Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Buddy Holly and became the “Queen of Rockabilly” and the “First Lady of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” In April, 2009, this music pioneer and native Oklahoman was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Today, Oklahoma City officials dedicated Wanda Jackson Way, an alley running parallel to Reno and connecting Oklahoma Avenue and Mickey Mantle Drive, in the singer’s honor.
Hosted by Emmy Award-winning journalist Dick Pryor, “A Conversation With …” features discussions with the state’s prominent residents. Guests have included former Principal Chief of the Cherokees Wilma Mankiller, Gov. Henry Bellmon, Gov. George Nigh, civil rights activist Clara Luper and producer/promoter Lee Allan Smith.
Kings of Leon’s single “Use Somebody” has hit the No. 1 spot on the Top 40 Radio charts in both airplay and audience, according to a news release from RCA Records.
Interestingly, this is happening one year after the album “Only By The Night” was released. At this point, with all the radio “Use Somebody” is getting in all the formats, the song is reaching a cumulative audience of 100 million on the Hot 100. The album has sold 1.3 million copies in America to date.
Kings of Leon, which has Oklahoma ties, are in the middle of a triumphant North American arena tour that will come to Friday in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma show will be the first event in the Ford Center since it closed for renovations at the end of the NBA season.
Also this weekend, the group will be headlining the prestigious Austin City Limits Music Festival. The alt-rock band’s tour ends in the States on Oct. 16 in Nashville, Tenn.
“Only By The Night” was released on Sept. 23, 2008, and debuted in the top five on the Billboard Top 200 and No. 1 at iTunes. The band was nominated for three Grammys and won its first for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals for “Sex On Fire,” which was No. 1 on Billboard’s Modern Rock chart for nine weeks in a row.
“Use Somebody,” which has now sold over one million copies, was No. 1 at Modern Rock for three weeks straight and is currently one of the biggest rock crossovers of the year at pop radio with its position solid at No. 1.
Appearances on the covers of Rolling Stone and SPIN, and performances on “Saturday Night Live,” the “Today” show’s summer concert series on Rockefeller Plaza, “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and” The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” have all helped give the band – brothers Caleb Followill (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Nathan Followill (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and Jared Followill (bass guitar, backing vocals), with their cousin Matthew Followill (lead guitar, backing vocals) - the biggest-selling record of their career as well as put them in front of more fans than ever before.
Remaining dates of the fall tour are below:
30 – St. Louis, MO – Scottrade Center
02 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Festival
03 – Oklahoma City, OK – Ford Center
06 – Houston, TX – Toyota Center
07 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
09 – Atlanta, GA – Philips Arena
10 – Lexington, KY – Rupp Arena
13 – Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center
16 – Nashville, TN – Sommet Center
20 – Guadalajara, MEX – Telmex Arena
22 – Mexico City, MEX – Sports Arena
24 – Monterrey, MEX – Arena Monterrey
3D is back again to provide you with your weekly dose of Rooster Teeth madness. This week there is a new chapter of “Red vs. Blue: Recreation” and a new “RT Short.” Since last week’s episode featured the return of my favorite character, I was very excited to see this chapter. I hope you will be too.
Wanda Jackson (Photo by Jaconna Aguirre/The Oklahoman)
Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett will be joined by city and state leaders to officially dedicate Wanda Jackson Way in Bricktown with a ceremony at 1:30 p.m. today.
The event will be highlighted by a very special live musical performance by the Queen of Rockabilly herself. The event is free and open to the public. Wanda Jackson Way is located north and parallel with East Reno Avenue and extends from South Oklahoma Avenue to South Mickey Mantle Drive.
Oklahoma City Council voted unanimously on July 21 to name a Bricktown alley after Jackson for her lifetime musical achievements.
The internationally acclaimed musician and longtime Oklahoma City resident was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 4. Mayor Mick Cornett proclaimed March 24, 2009 Wanda Jackson Day in Oklahoma City.
Jackson was America’s first major female rockabilly singer. When she began touring as a teenager in 1955 she was placed on the bill with rising star Elvis Presley.
A few of Jackson’s hits include, “You Can’t Have my Love,” “Fujiyama Mama” and “Let’s Have a Party.”
Jackson was born in Maud in 1937. Her family moved to California during the depression in 1941 and returned to Oklahoma City when Jackson was about 12 years old. While attending Capitol Hill High School she won a local talent competition and was offered a 15-minute daily show on radio station KLPR. Country singer Hank Thompson heard her perform and encouraged her to record with the Brazos Valley Boys. “You can’t have my Love” became a national hit in 1954, when Jackson was just 17 years old.
Jackson continues to tour world wide, singing country, rockabilly and gospel. She has been nominated for two Grammys, and in 2008 was the subject of a documentary, “The Sweet Lady with the Nasty Voice.”
The dedication is being coordinated in conjunction with the Oklahoma Film & Music Office, the Bricktown Association, Downtown OKC, Inc., the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.
From Wednesday’s Life section of The Oklahoman.
In the past year, Jason Aldean has embarked on his first headlining tour, watched the size of his concert crowds triple and notched the two biggest hits of his career with “She’s Country” and “Big Green Tractor.”
Suddenly, the country rocker’s future looks “Wide Open,” just like the title of his latest album.
“It was almost like we were on everybody’s radar and then all the sudden these two songs came out, and it just kicked it into overdrive for whatever reason. And it’s been a good thing,” Aldean said by phone from a tour stop in Lexington, Ky.
“It’s been fun, but things all the sudden got a lot busier this year than they had been, which is really weird, because all the sudden we were getting a lot of TV offers.”
Suddenly, Aldean was appearing on “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien,” “Chelsea Lately” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” The country star, 32, will reunite with Fallon Saturday when the singer and comedian are featured at Oklahoma State University’s Orange Peel 2009.
“He is what you see. He’s funny and a very good personality and a very nice guy,” Aldean said of Fallon, adding he hopes to hear the “Saturday Night Live” alum’s Barry Gibb impression. “He’s a trip, and I think it’s gonna be a great show. … I’ll definitely be on the side of the stage watching his show.”
More music fans than ever are watching Aldean, whose Lexington concert sold 10,000 tickets, compared to the 2,500 he drew a year ago.
He he has a come a long way from his teenage days playing clubs in his native Georgia. When he won the Academy of Country Music’s top new male vocalist title in 2005, he had been working in Nashville, Tenn., about seven years. His first two albums — his 2005 self-titled debut and 2007’s “Relentless” — spawned seven top 10 hits and have sold more than 2 million copies.
But Aldean’s career blasted into a whole new orbit last November when he premiered the sexy single “She’s Country” at the Country Music Association Awards. With guitar riffs inspired by AC/DC and lyrics paying tribute to Southern beauties, the rocking track rocketed to No. 1.
“I thought if radio will play this — I don’t know if they will, but if they’ll play this — I think it’s got a shot of being a big song for the … spring, going into the summer. And that was kind of my original thought. I had no idea it was going to do what it did,” he said.
The lead-off single shot his third album, “Wide Open,” to No. 2 on Billboard’s Country Albums Chart and No. 4 on the all-genre Billboard Top 200 list when the record was released in April.
The momentum just kept building with his next single, the rural romance “Big Green Tractor,” which topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for four straight weeks. He recently became the first country artist to top Billboard’s Ringscan list when “Big Green Tractor” plowed past tracks by Jay Z, Mariah Carey and The Black Eyed Peas to become the top ringtone.
“I like the song a lot, obviously, or I wouldn’t have cut it. But I mean, I would have never thought that that would be the one to hang there at No. 1 for four weeks,” Aldean said.
“And that’s the thing with music: You just never know which songs are going to strike a chord with people. The thing I’ve always tried to do is just put out songs that I liked, things that I like singing, that I thought were cool, and you just hope that people get it and can relate to it. And those are two songs that obviously they did. And it changed everything.”
Despite his recent successes, Aldean said he still is nervous about this week’s release of his new single, the brokenhearted ballad “The Truth.”
“(It) is completely a 360 and is probably the most country thing we’ve ever put out,” he said. “We’ve had two songs that have done great, but this one may die at (No.) 50. It’s so hard to tell. But it’s also exciting to sit there and watch one climb up the chart when it’s doing really well.”
The country rocker said he won’t let his own football-related heartbreak stop him from putting on a great show at Orange Peel.
“I’m still heartbroken that OSU beat Georgia, but I’m getting over it,” he said. “I’ll be over it by then.”
Orange Peel 2009 with Jimmy Fallon and Jason Aldean
When: 7 p.m. Saturday. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Gallagher-Iba Arena, Oklahoma State University.
Information: (877) OSU-PEEL or www.osupeel.com.
When: 9 p.m. Friday.
Where: WinStar World Casino, Thackerville.
Information: (580) 276-4229 or www.winstarworldcasino.com.
David Kennard (Photo by Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman)
From Wednesday’s The Oklahoman.
Documentary filmmaker David Kennard believes creativity isn’t a rare quality but a vital trait all people should develop in their lives.
“Creativity is an absolutely central part not only of childhood but of everybody’s adult life,” he said. “Creativity is totally central to the future economic wellbeing of this country, the United States. It’s totally central to everybody’s life. It’s not just a luxury for the sort of happy one or five percent of people who might think they’re a little creative.”
The British-born, San Francisco-based filmmaker hosted Tuesday night a sneak preview of his new film “ReCreating America” at the University of Central Oklahoma. The special screening preceded the creativity symposium “The “New Renaissance: A Revolution in Creativity and Learning,” taking place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at UCO’s Nigh University Center.
Sponsored by the nonprofit Creative Oklahoma Inc., today’s symposium features presentations from Leonardo da Vinci experts Bulent Atalay and Peter Donaldson, other nationally known speakers and state educators.
“Human beings, we are the most adaptable, the most creative of all of God’s creatures,” Kennard said. “If we just, frankly, sit on our tush and do nothing and just expect things to be tomorrow what they were yesterday in our own lives … on a state level and a national level, we’re going to get left behind ’cause people in the rest of the world, they’re getting more creative by the minute.”
Through his InCA Productions, Kennard has created 15 major documentary series, such as “Cosmos with Carl Sagan,” “Connections with James Burke” and “We the People with Peter Jennings.”
While planning a series on the psychology of creativity, OETA Executive Director John McCarroll and Kirkpatrick Foundation Executive Director Susan McCalmont urged him to check out the creative practices in Oklahoma schools.
“I was just sort of blow away by the astonishing number of really interesting, creative experiments going on in Oklahoma,” he said.
“ReCreating America” showcases programs at four state schools: Educare Preschool in Tulsa, the “A+ Schools” initiative at Lawton’s Flower Mound Elementary School, Piedmont Middle School’s participation in the Odyssey of the Mind contest, and Santa Fe South Charter High School in Oklahoma City.
“They’ve put creativity right in the middle of what they’re doing. They don’t just try and teach to the test or just keep the kids in the school,” he said.
After upcoming premieres at Chesapeake Energy and Tulsa’s Circle Cinema, “ReCreating America” will air at 9 p.m. Oct. 13 on OETA. Kennard intends for it to be the first of a film series on the importance of creativity in all stages of people’s lives.
“If we don’t actually really put it front and center in our lives, we’re more likely to be unemployed, we’re more likely to face problems, we’re less likely to find solutions in our personal life, in our business life,” he said. “It’s got to become right front and center in everybody’s life. That’s the main message.”
For more information on the creativity symposium, go to www.stateofcreativity.com.
Today’s featured event:
TULSA - Hear Tulsa-based band Hanson with Hellogoodbye, Steel Train and Sherwood at 6 tonight at Cain’s Ballroom, 423 N Main.
For more information, go to www.cainsballroom.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Red Dirt Rangers
The Oklahoma Arts Council and the Oklahoma Humanities Council are partnering with thousands of cultural organizations across the country in celebrating National Arts and Humanities Month with events throughout the month of October. As part of the state’s celebration, Gov. Brad Henry will declare October as Oklahoma Arts and Humanities Month, according to a news release
“The partnership between the Oklahoma Arts Council and the Oklahoma Humanities Council is indicative of how important the arts and humanities are to our state,” said Suzanne Tate, executive director of the Oklahoma Arts Council, in the release. “By publicly celebrating Oklahoma Arts and Humanities Month we ensure that citizens know that these cultural opportunities have a profound influence on our lives.”
To kick off the festivities, the two councils will host a celebration from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday Kerr Park in downtown Oklahoma City.
Activities will include music performed by the Red Dirt Rangers and poetry readings by State Poet Laureate Jim Barnes and Poetry Out Loud state winner Renae Perry. Guests will include Secretary of State Susan Savage, Oklahoma City Vice Mayor Gary Marrs, Oklahoma Humanities Council Chair Edward Barth, and Oklahoma Arts Council Chair Jim Tolbert.
“Our partnership with the Oklahoma Arts Council began three years ago with two terrific programs, the Poetry Out Loud competition for high school students and coordinating the selection and appearances of the State Poet Laureate,” said Ann Thompson, executive director of the Oklahoma Humanities Council, in the release. “Although our two organizations support different aspects of culture, our mission to enrich the quality of life and expand cultural opportunities for all Oklahomans is the same.”
For an updated list of cultural events across the state, visit the online calendars for the Oklahoma Humanities Council (www.okhumanitiescouncil.org/calendar) and the Oklahoma Arts Council (www.arts.ok.gov/calendar.html).
About National Arts and Humanities Month:
National Arts and Humanities Month (NAHM) is an annual coast-to-coast celebration of culture in America. Held every October, National Arts and Humanities Month is coordinated by Americans for the Arts, the national organization working to provide access to the arts for individuals and local communities. Information is available online at: http://www.AmericansForTheArts.org/nahm.