RENTIESVILLE, OK—The state of Oklahoma is known for the many famous musicians it has produced over the years and the contributions they have made to the music world. From Gene Autry and Patti Page to Garth Brooks and Carrie Underwood, the list is long and spans many years and genres. But perhaps less known is Oklahoma’s contribution to blues music.
In the small town of Rentiesville, 15 miles south of Muskogee, blues is alive and well, says Selby Minner, widow of blues great D.C. Minner. To honor blues music and its major contributors, the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame will hold its Induction Gala on May 23 and induct seven Oklahoma blues musicians into the organization.
“The induction celebration, along with music and dinner, honors the state’s contribution to the blues,” Minner said.
Inductees are Cecil Gray, Layce Baker II, Friends of the Fest: Roger ‘Hurricane’ Wilson, Debbie Beanez Blackwell and Harry Blackwell. Also David Berntson will receive the Education Induction for his work teaching harmonica and many other reasons… and… drum roll… James Brown’s brilliant guitarist Jimmy Nolan, ‘The Father of Funk.’
“The party begins at 7pm with a bar-b-que dinner, and then some of the finest blues performers will play,” Minner said. “This celebration is a wonderful lead-in event to our 25th Annual Rentiesville Blues Festival scheduled for September 4, 5 and 6th when we will present Johnny Rawls and many, many more blues greats. Little Jimmy Read and the storyteller of the blues, Larry Garner – 30 bands in all.
In addition to these events, the Blues club is open the first Saturday each month.
Plus… the all new D.C. Minner Rentiesville Museum will open each Sunday afternoon starting in May. The first Exhibit “D.C. Minner, the Story of How One Man went from The House of Shame to Six Halls of Fame with His Songs and His Guitar” has recently returned from Rosetta Funches’ Oklahoma Black Museum and Performing Arts Center on Lincoln in Oklahoma City.
All activities are held at the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame, Down Home Blues Club in Rentiesville. For more information, call 918.855.0978. www.dcminnerblues.com