Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Releases Its Installment of 2023 Inductees
A Celebration of Great Diversity
Muskogee, OK, December 21, 2023 – – The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame (OMHOF) 2023 inductees will be honored at a ceremony and concert at the Muskogee Civic Center on Saturday, February 17, 2024. This class of honorees is made up of varying styles of music that include country singers, a beloved Nashville songwriter, one of Oklahoma’s most well-respected music educators, world-renowned concert pianist who is also a major conductor and composer, renowned touring and featured fiddle player as well as long-time music promoter and record label manager.
Meet the 2023 class of OMHOF Inductees:
In 1996 the members of country super group Ricochet watched their debut single, “What Do I Know”, rise to the Top 5 earning the band the honor of the highest charting debut single of the year. The follow up single release, “Daddy’s Money”, became an immediate across the board hit, rising to #1 on the Radio & Records Country Singles Chart, the Gavin Country Singles Chart and the Billboard Country Singles Chart (where it stayed #1 for two consecutive weeks). The band’s distinctive musical style and intricate harmonies earned them recognition as one of the most popular vocal groups in country music, a mantle they still wear today. Now, more than fifteen years later, “The Hardest Working Band In Country Music” is still going strong.
Heath Wright – Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar & Fiddle
Chris Hempfling – Drums & Vocals
Larry Hight -Steel Guitar, Electric and Acoustic Guitar, Saxophone & Vocals
Bruce Bennett -Bass & Vocals
Rick Toops -Keyboards & Vocals
Ricochet is the only country band to ever chart our National Anthem and is in constant demand to perform it live.
Bryan White is a CMA, ACM, and Grammy Award-winning country music artist, producer, and songwriter. Six of his charted twenty-one hit songs have climbed to number one! White received CMA’s Horizon Award in 1996, Top New Artist from the Academy of Country Music, multiple CMA and ACM Male Vocalist nominations. Bryan teamed up with LeeAnn Rimes in 1998 for their ”Something to Talk About” tour, worked with Shania Twain on the hit song, “From This Moment On.” Bryan was also voted People Magazine’s “Top 50 Most Beautiful” in 1998.
Timothy is a pianist, conductor, composer and is the Artistic and Music Director of Opera at the Eastman School of Music. He is a Muskogee Nation citizen from the Thlophlocco Tribal Town and is one-half Choctaw on his mother’s side. He was named the assistant conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and was subsequently named associate conductor for the New York City Opera for two seasons. The number of Operas with which he has worked scrolls almost two pages and are scattered throughout the world. He made his first debut at age 16 with the Oklahoma City Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to being one of the music world’s most premier of all songwriters, Verlon Thompson’s guitar playing certainly cannot go unnoticed. This prolific songwriter has written for the likes of Kenny Rogers, Suzy Bogguss, Randy Travis, The Nitty Gritty Dirt band, Dierks Bentley, Joe Diffe, Jerry Jeff Walker and Trisha Yearwood. Also, Verlon spent many years co-writing and recording with his great friend Guy Clark. Shelly West, Johnny Lee, Barbara Mandrell, Ray Stevens and Pam Tillis have all worked with Verlon and experienced his storytelling abilities.
In his more than 5o years as a music educator, countless Oklahoma music teachers have come to know Jerry as the face of the Oklahoma Music Educators Association. He has been involved in honoring thousands of students in All-State groups and has taught thousands of classes and students. And in the middle of all of that he says the kids became his life. When Jerry recently retired for the second time, there were 137 music teachers paying tribute at the banquet in his honor. Mr. Huffer has become a bit of a legend among High School band students all over Oklahoma.
As a member of Roy Clark’s band for fifteen years, Shelby recorded five live albums with Roy and appeared numerous times on the Tonight Show, Hee Haw, The Grand Ole Opry, and more. He has played on CD’s with the legendary JJ Cale, Hank Thompson and has been on numerous movie soundtracks and commercial jingles. He has also played on gaming soundtracks for Sony PlayStation. He currently performs up to twenty times per month and teaches fiddle, mandolin, and guitar to students throughout Tulsa, OK.
David Webb (Governor’s Award Recipient)
David Webb started his multi-faceted career in the music business in 1963 when Music Impresario, Jim Halsey hired him to put up show posters in Southeast Kansas and Northeast Oklahoma for upcoming shows on his artist roster. Those artists were Roy Clark, Wanda Jackson, Hank Thompson, and Leon McAuliffe. David started his own booking agency and contracted to provide rock bands at the Independence, Kansas Civic Center every Friday night. He spent several years on the Chicago GRAMMY Board; before being elected to the National Board, and then elected to the position of National Vice President. When longtime friend and colleague Jim Halsey and Roy Clark formed Churchill/MCA Records, David was offered the position of VP of Sales and Marketing. David also arranged, organized, and accompanied the Churchill Artists to radio, TV and print opportunities. During this time, he met James Brown. Brown asked David to become his manager and David spent time working “on the road” with Mr. Brown. David was eventually given the opportunity to be a Vice President and General Manager in radio markets of Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. After working with many major artists, record companies, agents, and artist management companies, David started “buying” artists and producing shows. Some of the artists that David promoted and produced during his tenure in radio were: Garth Brooks, Merle Haggard, Tim McGraw, Kentucky Headhunters, Travis Tritt, Suzy Bogguss, Hank Jr., Highway 101, Lyle Lovett, k.d. lang, David Alan Coe, the Dirt Band, Becky Hobbs, LeAnn Rimes, the Kendalls, the Desert Rose Band, and the All American Rejects. David has served on the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Board and since 2014 David has been a part of the “Nanyehi” project with longtime friend and “Nanyehi” creator, Becky Hobbs. David moved from being the Producer to Executive Producer in 2019, and continues in the Executive Producer role today.
Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Executive Director Tony Corbell said, ” I am so excited to see the great musical diversity in this year’s Hall of Fame inductees. From singer/songwriters to respected educators, to concert pianists, this class of inductees will long be remembered for what they have contributed to the world of music. All coming out of Oklahoma proving once again that Oklahoma is a true music capital.”
In addition to our induction ceremony and concert February 17th at the Muskogee Civic Center – 425 Boston Street in Muskogee, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame will host a private VIP event for past inductees and an evening of music on our Hall of Fame stage on Friday, February 16th. Tickets for the February 17th event are on sale now Here or call 918-687-0800. Check out more information about the show and the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame at omhof.com.
About the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame
The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame hosts induction ceremonies and concerts and houses a wonderful music museum. OMHOF serves as an icon in the state and beyond for music lovers of all genres. In short, Oklahomans have had a profound impact on the world’s music culture.
Carol Matza PR – Oklahoma Music Cafe
Oklahoma Music Cafe PR | 2522 E. 71st St, Tulsa, OK 74136