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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Some Texas Playboys to play in Norman, OK, April 21, 2010

NORMAN, Okla. -– An all-star lineup of musicians will take the stage April 21 at the Sooner Theatre for an unforgettable night of Western swing. The Former Texas Playboys combines a number of musicians from the original Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys line-up with some of country music’s biggest band members.

Tickets for the 7 p.m., April 21 concert went on sale to the public March 10. The Sooner Theatre is located at 101 E. Main St. in downtown Norman. Tickets are $20 each.

The Sooner Theatre and the University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art are joining forces to present this special performance in collaboration with a new exhibition of 1930s artwork currently on display at the art museum. Revisiting the New Deal: Government Patronage and the Fine Arts, 1933-1943 opened in February and remains on display through May 9. Each concert ticket sold will include a free pass to visit the art museum throughout the exhibition.

“We are very excited to team up with the Sooner Theatre for this exciting concert,” said Ghislain d’Humières, director of the FJJMA. “Community collaboration is an important goal of the museum, so this is the perfect opportunity to work together and bring something fun and historical to Norman.”

Original Texas Playboys members Bobby Koefer on steel guitar, Wayne Glasson on keyboard, Jimmy Young on fiddle, Louise Rowe on bass, Truitt Cunningham on vocals and Joe Settlemires on guitar will be joined by country music legends Montie Gaylord on fiddle, Chad Maines on drums and Rod Rodriguez on saxophone for this special event.

Michael Bendure, director of communication for the museum, said the tickets are a bargain.

“Norman is truly fortunate to welcome a band of this caliber,” said Bendure. “These guys are at the top of their game and have played with everyone, everywhere. I’ve had the privilege of hearing a few of these performers on their own and have been blown away each time. Listeners are getting a real opportunity with these performers all together in one place, at this price – they won’t be disappointed.”

During the Great Depression, the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt offered a New Deal to the American people to help alleviate the economic turmoil of the 1930s. The Revisiting the New Deal exhibition surveys the large collection of painting, sculpture and prints that the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art acquired from the federal government between 1935 and 1943.

Throughout this same period, songwriter, musician and bandleader Bob Wills popularized a new genre of music that earned him the nickname, “the King of Western swing.” Eventually landing in Tulsa, Okla., he formed the Texas Playboys and penned such tunes as “Take Me Back to Tulsa.” Today, he is survived by former band mates who continue his legacy.

The following is just a handful of performers some of the band members have played with over the years: Milton Berle, Perry Como, the Grand Ole Opry, Willie Nelson, Tex Ritter, Bob Hope, Della Reese, Loretta Lynn, Vince Gill, Asleep at the Wheel, Clint Black, the Texas Rhythm Band, Freddie Fender, Boxcar Willie and the Texas Country Band. Several members are named to music halls of fame across the nation.

Each year, the band members reunite as the Former Texas Playboys in April to headline at Bob Wills Days in Turkey, Texas, home of the legendary songwriter and bandleader. The band also performs at special concerts and events around the country throughout the year.

Concert tickets are available online, by phone and in person through the Sooner Theatre. Box office hours are 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and one hour prior to showtime. Tickets are available by phone at (405) 321-9600 or online at www.soonertheatre.org. A service charge of $2 per ticket will be applied to all phone and online orders.

The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is located in the OU Arts District on the corner of Elm Avenue and Boyd Street, at 555 Elm Ave., on the OU Norman campus.

Admission to the museum is free to all OU students with a current student ID and all museum association members, $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for children 6 to 17 years of age, $2 for OU faculty/staff, and free for children 5 and under. The museum is closed on Mondays and admission is free on Tuesdays. The museum’s Web site is www.ou.edu/fjjma. Information and accommodations on the basis of disability are available by calling (405) 325-4938.

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