We Still Wave Old Glory Down at the Courthouse…In Muskogee Oklahoma USA
Muskogee, OK, March 28, 2023 – The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame (OMHOF) and the Merle Haggard Statue Committee unvoKLAHeil plans for a bronze statue honoring the life and music of Merle Haggard. Haggard was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 1997, the organization’s inaugural year. The statue will be located at the Muskogee Civic Center, the venue where Merle recorded the famous song and album ‘Okie from Muskogee’ at a live concert.
The Merle Haggard Statue will be a photo-op stop for visitors who travel to Muskogee, strategically placed with a view of “Old Glory” at the Federal Courthouse. Sue Harris, former Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO stated, “it is undeniable that to this day, over fifty years after the release of the record, people around the world still know Muskogee because of that song.” Tourists from across the globe travel to Muskogee to experience the vibe and character encapsulated in ‘Okie From Muskogee’ one of the most iconic and best-selling songs of our modern times.
Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Executive Director Tony Corbell recounts, “recently we had a couple walk in the Hall of Fame for a visit that came by while traveling specifically because of Merle Haggard and the Okie from Muskogee song. The husband said this was one of the main stops they wanted to make as they traversed the country sightseeing before heading west and finally going back home to Sydney, Australia. They really enjoyed their day with us seeing Merle Haggard memorabilia inside our museum.”
Okie from Muskogee was the first live album by Merle Haggard and the Strangers released in 1969.The album was a recorded performance at the Civic Center in Muskogee, OK
A Call to Artists and Request for Proposal (RFP)
As the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame (OMHOF) and the Merle Haggard Statue Committee announce this major exterior public art commission, they are seeking professional artists who will be encouraged to visit the website for more specific details and requirements for the statue. One artist or team of artists, which includes artisans from multiple disciplines, will be selected for this opportunity to receive a commission to create a bronze artwork for a location at the north lawn of the Muskogee Civic Center. The final artist selection, rendering and casting will be approved by the committee. The funds for the project are secured and the committee is ready to proceed.
Artists are encouraged to propose their unique perspective on what would best honor Merle Haggard, compliment the site, while being mindful of context, safety, and durability. The artwork should embody the cultural and musical history of the community while reflecting the musical mélange that has become synonymous with the city of Muskogee.