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The Oklahoma Cowboy Band

$19.99

The Oklahoma Cowboy Band

Images of America series

by Carla Chlouber

The Oklahoma Cowboy Band was the first western string band in the nation to broadcast over the radio and appear on vaudeville, drawing large audiences throughout the Midwest and Northeast. Photographs like the Billy McGinty’s Cowboy Band, 1925; and many others centered around Payne County, Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Cowboy Band

Images of America series

by Carla Chlouber

Like music and want to learn more about how the first western string band hit the airwaves? Grab a copy of The Oklahoma Cowboy Band, Images of America to read and enjoy. The Oklahoma Cowboy Band was the first western string band in the nation to broadcast over the radio and appear on vaudeville. This band, known as Billy McGinty’s Cowboy Band, quickly gained large listening audiences throughout the Midwest and Northeast.

 
Billy McGinty’s Cowboy Band began in Ripley. Its music was first broadcast over radio station KFRU in Bristow in May 1925. Billy McGinty was a Rough Rider with Theodore Roosevelt, and he performed in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Fans responded to the broadcast of his band with a steady stream of telegrams, telephone calls and letters asking for more of that old-time cowboy music.

 
Soon Otto Gray and his wife, Mommie, of Stillwater, joined Billy’s band. They performed rope tricks, and additionally, Mommie sang sad songs. Mommie and Otto’s son Owen performed comedy routines as “the Uke Buster.” McGinty’s band was renamed Otto Gray and His Oklahoma Cowboys. The band traveled for a decade to destinations around the country like St. Louis, Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse.
 

By the early 1930s, as with anything popular, other acts started copying the band’s cowboy themes and songs, and Otto Gray’s lawyers threatened legal action. The lawyers met with only limited success, though, and today the cowboy image is firmly established in country music, thanks in large part to the early success of Billy McGinty, Otto Gray, and the Oklahoma Cowboy Band.

Softcover, 127 pages, published 2008.

Be sure to check out this book on McGinty!

Shipping Weight

Weight .67 lbs