Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Historical Background
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.
By April 2008, the Frisco Depot installed much needed heat and air plus a high tech touch screen showcasing inductees and honorees. By the end of 2008, twelve years after that first induction concert, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame & Museum had honored 75 individuals and groups, and produced more than 30 concerts. Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame & Museum in 2010 continues to upgrade the facility that educates visitors today and into the future about those innovators and industry icons from the Sooner State who shape music all over the world.