Oklahomans have always had a rich and profound impact on the world’s music culture. In 1995, recognizing the need to educate the public about the influence Oklahomans have in the music industry, the vision for the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame was born.
This effort was assisted in 1996 by the Oklahoma State Legislature’s passage of a concurrent resolution, authored by Representative Barbara Staggs and Senator Ben Robinson, which designated Muskogee as the site of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. Representative Bill Settle continued to champion the cause by securing legislative appropriations that served to further promote the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Concert at the Muskogee Civic Assembly Center.
On an annual basis since 1997, Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame has been honoring the world’s most notable talents whose gifts and musical styles are as breathtaking and diverse as the Oklahoma landscape. Friends of Oklahoma Music championed this cause throughout Oklahoma, enlisting the business and industrial communities, higher education institutions, and local and state governments for support and embraced the concept of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
In 1999, Governor Frank Keating created the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Board and appointed seven members to facilitate fundraising, site selection, and construction of a facility honoring the history and legacy of Oklahoma’s music, which has contributed so much to the history and roots of American music. In 2003, Friends of Oklahoma Music entered into a long-term lease agreement with the City of Muskogee and completed Phase One of renovation to the Frisco Freight Depot.
In October, 2003, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame moved their offices into the depot, the new of Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame & Museum. In 2004, Friends of Oklahoma Music, Inc. was named Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. In 2005, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. was renamed Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame & Museum, Inc. In 2007, Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame & Museum received confirmation it would receive a Centennial Commission grant.
Improvements to The Frisco Depot are continuing today with improved sound and lighting and production of a weekly television show, “Oklahoma Music Shop”, beginning in Spring 2015 which will begin airing in June 2015. Summer of 2015 will also include four outdoor events featuring national acts for downtown Muskogee. We have now honored over 100 artists/institutions and expanded induction events to other regions in the state.