Award-winning Oklahoma author William “Bill” Wallace, who wrote “A Dog Called Kitty,” died Monday at his home in Chickasha after battling cancer. He was 64.
My excellent colleague Lillie-Beth Brinkman reports that Wallace wrote 31 children’s books and co-authored seven books with his wife of 45 years, Carol Wallace. He also traveled throughout the United States, speaking to children at schools, libraries and elsewhere.
He was honored with 20 state children’s choice awards, including Oklahoma Sequoyah Children’s Book Award for “A Dog Called Kitty,” which was published in 1992, and “Beauty,” published in 2007. “A Dog Called Kitty” also won the Texas Bluebonnet Award, along with “Snot Stew,” and the Nebraska Golden Sower Award. “Beauty” also won the Kansas William Allen White Award.
He received the Oklahoma Center for the Book’s Arrell M. Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.
Wallace began his writing career while teaching at Lincoln Fourth Grade Center in Chickasha in 1971.
He taught physical education, kindergarten and was an assistant principal before becoming principal at West Elementary School in Chickasha. That school is now named the Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center. He later left the school to dedicate his time to writing and public speaking.
Wallace is survived by his wife; daughters and sons-in-law, Laurie and Kevin Whitener, Amanda “Nikki” and Jon-Ed Moore; son and daughter-in-law, Justin and Kacey Wallace; seven grandchildren and his sister, Keitha Kay Wallace.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the First Christian Church in Chickasha. Burial will be in the Rose Hill Cemetery under the direction of the Sevier Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions may be made to the library of the Bill Wallace Early Childhood Center, 1000 Minnesota Ave., Chickasha, OK 73018, or to the Chickasha Public Library, 527 Iowa Ave., Chickasha, OK 73018.
To read more of Lillie-Beth’s story, click here.
I read “A Dog Called Kitty” as a child and adored it. My thoughts are with Wallace’s family, friends and fans.
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is planning its 28th Annual Omelette Party for 7 p.m. Saturday at the Coca-Cola Bricktown Events Center, 425 E California.
The theme for the fundraiser is “Eggs Royale,” inspired by the exhibition “Princely Treasures: European Masterpieces 1600-1800,” opening Feb. 15 at the museum.
The Omelette Party will include dancing to live music to the JetSet Kings, a DJ provided by Chameleon Entertainment, cocktails, an art raffle featuring work by more than 50 local artists, and, of course, gourmet omelettes prepared by area chefs and restaurants. T
Tickets will be sold online through Thursday.
For more information, call 236-3100 or go to www.okcmoa.com.
Participating restaurants and chefs are 61 Hundred Catering–Chef Darry Carter; Big Truck Tacos/Mutt’s Amazing Hot Dogs; Bin 73 Wine Bar/Chef Beau Stephenson; Chef Ken Bradford–Chef’s Requested Foods; Deep Fork Grill; EVOKE Mobile Coffee; Chef Chris Horn, Kaiser’s American Bistro; Tom Lienke–Lake Hefner Golf Club; Chef Jonathon Stranger, Ludivine Restaurant; The Melting Pot; Newcomb’s T-Shirts/Frank Newcomb; Park Avenue Grill; Paseo Grill; Rococo Restaurant/ Chef Don Duncan; VZD’s Restaurant & Club/ Chef Debbi Johnson; Museum Cafe; Stark Fine Dining–Chefs Mary Ann Hallock & Brett Friedline and Stella Artois of Oklahoma.
Yes, Oklahoma-born and bred entertainment superstar Reba McEntire is still alive.
The Global Associated News issued a false report that McEntire, who hails from Chockie, had fallen more than 100 feet to her death from a mountain in Austria while filming a movie.
The following statement refuting the hoax was posted at Reba.com today:
Contrary to ludicrous reports, Reba has not passed away, nor was she even in Austria at the time of her alleged death. Global Associated News, who devised this latest celebrity hoax, is an entertainment site that generates ‘totally fake articles based on zero truth.’ Reba is alive and well, but would like to thank her loyal fans for their concern.
The Global Associated News also has created other death hoax stories about celebrities like Jeff Goldblum, Charlie Sheen and Tom Hanks,
New releases for Jan. 31, 2012: “House of Night” novella, “Drive,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Leonard Cohen, Aranda
Tulsa mother-daughter writing team P.C. and Kristin Cast have released “Lenobia’s Vow,” a new novella in their “House of Night” vampire book series.
Oklahoma City rockers Aranda have released the digital edition of their album “Stop the World.” The physical CD will be released Feb. 14. Leonard Cohen, Ringo Starr and Lana Del Rey have released new albums, while Metallica has dropped a new EP.
In the new cinematic home releases, my all-time favorite movie, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” debuted on Blu-ray today. Plus, one of my favorite movies of 2011, “Drive,” which was sadly overlooked by the Academy Awards, arrived on DVD and Blu-ray today.
Here is a list of more CDs, DVDs and books out this week, from Amazon.com and VideoETA.com:
Aranda, “Stop the World” (digital only)
Leonard Cohen, “Old Ideas.”
Ringo Starr, “Ringo 2012.”
Lana Del Rey, “Born to Die.”
Metallica, “Beyond Magnetic” EP.
“The Fresh Beat Band,” “Music from the Hit TV Show.”
Gotye, “Making Mirrors.”
New Broadway Cast, “Godspell.”
Simone Dinnerstein, “Something Almost Being Said: Music of Bach and Schubert.”
The Big Year
Texas Killing Fields
To Kill a Mockingbird (Blu-ray)
You and I
Lenobia’s Vow: A House of Night Novella by P. C. Cast, Kristin Cast
Final Fantasy XIII-2: The Complete Official Guide – Collector’s Edition by Piggyback
Cupcakes, Cookies & Pie, Oh, My! by Alan Richardson, Karen Tack
Defending Jacob: A Novel by William Landay
Home Front by Kristin Hannah
White Girl Problems by Babe Walker
The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae (Cynster Sisters Trilogy) by Stephanie Laurens
How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America by Otis Webb Brawley MD, Paul Goldberg
Named as an “artist you should know” in 2011 by NPR, singer-songwriter JD McPherson will make his Rounder Records debut April 17 with the release of “Signs and Signifiers,” “a rockin’, bluesy, forward-thinking album that subtly breaks the conventions of most vintage rock projects,” according to All Music. (His first album on Rounder Records actually will be the re-release of McPherson’s 2010 indie album.)
Known for energetic live shows, McPherson and his band will hit the road in support of the release this spring with stops in Austin (SXSW), New York, Boston, Chicago, and other cities.
Hailing from Broken Arrow, the former art teacher and his band traveled to Chicago to record “Signs and Signifiers” at Hi-Style studio, which is housed in the attic of producer/bassist/studio owner Jimmy Sutton’s home and is 100 percent analog. “I have recorded this style of music in the digital realm, and it just doesn’t quite ‘sing’ as much. Slamming that ¼-inch tape really hard produced the most beautiful distortion I’ve ever heard,” says McPherson in a news release.
Featuring JD McPherson (lead and backing vocals, guitar), Jimmy Sutton (bass), and Alex Hall (drums, piano, organ), the album was recorded through a collection of vintage microphones into an old 1960’s Berlant 1/4-inch tape machine. The 12-track album kicks off with the fervent pulse of the first single, “North Side Gal,” and segues into one of the albums two covers, McPherson’s take on “Country Boy,” an old R&B number originally written and recorded by Tiny Kennedy.
Preferring not to be painted into a corner with labels, McPherson asks, “What is retro? Is Adele too retro? Is La Roux too retro? To me, Adele sounds like a product of her influences… as is the case with anybody else. With the recurring interest in soul or even R&B, there seems to be a line most artists won’t cross—that line into the world of the swinging, visceral abandon of real rock ‘n’ roll.”
The album hosts an array of guest musicians, including Scott Ligon on piano (NRBQ’s Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet); Jonathan Doyle (Nick Curran & the Lowlifes, White Ghost Shivers); Chicago’s Josh Bell (The Del Moroccos) on tenor and baritone saxophones; Susan Voelz (Alejandro Escovedo, Poi Dog Pondering) on violin; Allison Chesley (Helen Money) on cello, and Joel Paterson (The Modern Sounds) lends choice guitar work to the Joey Simone classic “Your Love (All That I’m Missing).”
With more than 350,000 YouTube views, McPherson’s self-directed video for “North Side Gal,” was shot by the band in the Hi-Style studio and features the classic gear used for the recording of the album. Check out the video here:
Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert release their cover of “America the Beautiful” in advance of Super Bowl performance
Oklahoma country music power couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert have released their cover of the patriotic anthem “America the Beautiful” on digital retailers such as iTunes and Amazon.
The Tishomingo residents will sing “America The Beautiful” as part of Super Bowl XLVI pregame festivities at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Sunday, the NFL and NBC confirmed today.
“American Idol” Kelly Clarkson will sing the National Anthem before the big game.
In addition, Lenny Kravitz and The Fray will help kick off Super Bowl XLVI as part of the pregame festivities at Lucas Oil Stadium.
More than 162 million viewers in the U.S. watched last year’s Super Bowl, the most-watched television program in history. The pregame show, including the National Anthem and “America The Beautiful,” and Super Bowl XLVI will be broadcast worldwide.
Kickoff for the championship match-up between the New England Patriots and New York Giants is set for 5:30 p.m. on NBC.
Clarkson will make her Super Bowl debut. She is among many great performers who have been honored with singing the national anthem including Oklahomans Garth Brooks and Carrie Underwood, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Neil Diamond, Whitney Houston, Harry Connick, Jr., Natalie Cole, Vanessa Williams, Luther Vandross, Jewel, Cher, Faith Hill, the Backstreet Boys, Mariah Carey, Dixie Chicks, Beyoncé Knowles, Christina Aguilera and many more.
Shelton and Lambert join Vicki Carr (Super Bowl XI), Ray Charles (Super Bowl XXXV), Mary J. Blige and Marc Anthony (Super Bowl XXXVI), Alicia Keys (Super Bowl XXXIX), Faith Hill (Super Bowl XLIII), Queen Latifah (Super Bowl XLIV) and Lea Michele (Super Bowl XLVI) as the only artists to perform “America the Beautiful” at the Super Bowl.
The NFL previously announced that Madonna will perform in the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show.
Shelton also will be prominently featured on NBC after the big game. He is currently one of the musician-coaches on NBC’s “The Voice” along with superstars Christian Aguilera, Cee Lo Green and Maroon 5′s Adam Levine. The hit reality TV series begins its second season at approximately 9 p.m. Sunday after the Super Bowl. Lambert and Clarkson will be celebrity advisers on Shelton’s singing team later on during the second season.
The All-American Rejects, who formed in 1999 in Stillwater, are releasing their new single “Beekeeper’s Daughter” today.
“Beekeeper’s Daughter” is the first single from the band’s long-awaited new album “Kids in the Street,” due out March 27 on Interscope Records.
“Kids in the Street” is the band’s first album since 2008′s “When the World Comes Down,” which spawned the smash “Gives You Hell.”
“[The] music climate has changed so much for bands, especially bands with guitars in their hands… Our contemporaries, our colleagues, have burnt themselves out, it seems,” frontman Tyson Ritter told Billboard.com during a visit to the set of the music video shoot for “Beekeeper’s Daughter.”
“The great thing about our position as a rock band on a major label, we’ve had this confused place for so long, that 10 years later, we’re still sort of making people scratch their heads going, ‘Why am I still loving this band?’”
In addition, the Rejects will perform in tonight’s episode of the TV series “90210,” airing at 7 p.m. on the CW. Here is a preview:
Emerging pop singer-songwriter Cady Groves, who grew up in Marlow, Cache and Yukon, will release Feb. 7 her “This Little Girl” EP.
Featuring tracks including her popular first single “This Little Girl” the digital EP will be available at all digital service providers and will include fan-favorite track “We’re The Sh*t” as well as Groves cover of Adele’s “Someone Like You”. The physical version will be available www.cadygroves.com and will include the same tracks as the digital version with the addition of Groves duet “Oh Darlin’” with Plug in Stereo.
Groves, who was just spotlighted in Seventeen Magazine’s “Ultimate Guide To Music” will be joining her labelmates and friends Hot Chelle Rae in select North American markets in February and March. (See the full list of tour dates after the break; it looks Dallas will be the closest she comes to Oklahoma.).
Late last year Groves, who PopCrush named one of their “Artist to Watch in 2012” teamed with BUZZMEDIA to premiere the music video for “This Little Girl,” which features a cameo from Oklahoma country music star Blake Shelton. In an unprecedented partnership, a set of BUZZMEDIA’s taste-making music sites and pop-culture destinations such as Idolator, PureVolume, Buzznet and JustJared unveiled a stream of exclusive interviews, photos and video leading up the premiere.
Signed to RCA Records last year, Groves, 22, has been in the studio writing and recording songs for her debut album which is due out later in 2012.
Today’s featured event:
Watch the Oklahoma premiere of the musical “Xanadu,” staged by Lyric Theatre, at 7:30 tonight at Lyric at the Plaza, 1725 NW 16. Performances continue through Feb. 11.
To read The Oklahoman Fine Arts Editor Rick Rogers’ preview feature on the show, which opened last weekend, click here.
For more information, call 524-9312 or go to www.lyrictheatreokc.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Elizabeth Banks has joined the star-studded cast of “Frank or Francis,” Charlie Kaufman’s musical satire about Hollywood, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Banks joins a cast that includes Jack Black, Nicolas Cage, Steve Carell, Catherine Keener and Kevin Kline.
The story will follow a battle of wills between Frank, an intellectual film director (Carell) and Francis, an online blogger (Black) who still lives with his parents and relishes attacking Frank’s films.
Cage will play actor who is famous for his high-concept films, while Kline will play the director of the world’s top-grossing movie and the director’s brother – who in classic Kaufman-esque fashion turns into an animatronic head.
Banks will play an actress who makes comedy dreck and also is having an affair with Carell’s Frank.
On Wednesday, read my interview with Banks in which she talks about her current action-thriller “Man on a Ledge,” her upcoming turn in the hotly anticipated book adaptation “The Hunger Games” and her love of well-made comedy.