Each week in this li’l ol’ column, the focus is on Southwest Oklahoma’s musicians. Has been for 12 years and will continue to be the mission.
But, to know these artists, you first have to know about these artists. Self-promotion has always been one of the keys for any musician to garner interest. You can post a song to YouTube but how are you going to get anyone to know it exists without screaming it from the rooftops?
Well, Terry “T-Bone” Thornton had an idea and has put together a pretty good way of sharing that energy throughout the Southwest Oklahoma entertainment world, from performers to supporting business. He said the key is they all need to take an “active role in the growth and development of Texoma’s live entertainment scene.”
With that mission, just two months ago, Thornton founded the Texoma Entertainment Artistry & Music Facebook Group (TEAM Alliance). and, as of Wednesday, has 125 members among its roster, including yours truly. It’s a wide community. He hopes it can foster a greater entertainment value to the area.
“We are comprised of novice and veteran musicians, actors, comedians, dancers, venue management personnel, event organizers, promotors, entertainment influencers and a host of supportive individuals and businesses,” he said. “We believe the strength of our market should be driven by those that serve it and not through the usual passé organic approach.”
The entertainment market area is centered with Lawton and stretches northward out to El Reno, westward beyond Altus, and east towards Ardmore. Southbound, it’s down to Wichita Falls, Texas, so far, according to Thornton.
Membership in the group has grown from 26 in its first few weeks and is gaining steam as more artists learn of it. Thornton said there’s a secret ingredient to this mix.
“While this may seem trite, it is the diversity of our membership that creates the allure,” he said. “It is this diversity that will generate the necessary components to build and develop Texoma’s live entertainment machine. We feel a quality membership mix is more important than a quantity membership boast.”
Thornton said there is a simple mission behind the TEAM group.
“Our primary thrust is to support Texoma’s live performers in their plight to share their craft with wider audiences,” he said. “We intend to do this from the inside out though awareness, networking, responsibility, and collective contribution.”
The expected goal from the group is to provide for growth, prosperity and opportunity for fellow entertainers and those who are necessary to make it all happen, Thornton said. He believes it offers communities more enjoyable live entertainment offerings. In the end, there has to be symbiosis. A performer can’t get on stage if there’s no stage to be had.
Thornton said the idea for the group isn’t anything new. He believes it is a different blend.
“We believe we have a different formula for success; we assemble, we discuss, we plan, we execute, we share,” he said.
The TEAM group is different from a fan page or area event page in it allows all involved to be able to cross-connect internally. Thornton said it builds something more personal.
“We like to refer to our group as TEAM Alliance because we are a team and not just a cute acronym,” he said.
Thornton said he felt moved to take this idea and put it in action. It’s an ultimate way of being a fan who’s part of the magic. It’s through connecting the magicians.
“The talent has always been here in Texoma,” he said. “The support systems have always been at our reach. What we are doing is bringing them together with structure and intent, and we are going to have a grand time in the process.”
To join TEAM Alliance, visit the group’s Facebook page and ask to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/texomaentertainmentartistrymusicalliance.
I wanted to give a shout out to Ashlie “Ayvio” Overby for a public Facebook post from last week. He took umbrage with one too many cracks about Lawton, its people and its events.
That’s especially so for out of town event planners who disparage the Comanche County seat and its talents.
“We do successful shows, events, concerts, festivals, etc. all of the time,” he said. “We are not a charity case. We have plenty of professionals here and we do work in and out of our city and state. So, quit the arrogance and condescending attitude when you come to our city.”
Overby noted this community carries on just fine on its own merits. He offered some advice for those who inspired his thought.
“If you want to come in and do something, come correct and link with some people that know the land and the layout and come with some humility,” he said.
Overby should know. Still riding the high of his album “To Her, With Love,” he and his bandmates in Ayvio & The Ayviators took to the Great Plains Coliseum Annex stage last Saturday as part of the #BXTRM Fall Fest. Participating in this community-oriented event for all ages is part of what he was talking about.
The event was intended to promote health and wellness and bring together various non-profit charity organizations while offering some fun for the family. It also offered some great music peformances.
There not only as a performer, Overby stayed dead center facing the stage as the great Bennie Elix offered a fantastic afternoon set full of faith and positivity. A golden moment was when the two top notch performers sang Elix’s lyrics back and forth to each other: “It’s gonna be OK.”
And with that thought, on with the show because we’re good to go!
It’s been less than a year but it seems like forever since Waylon Holley was performing every weekend.
After cutting up his left hand pretty badly with a table saw in December 2020, he had to stop for a while. It’s kind of hard to play guitar when you can’t hold the strings down to the fretboard.
Well, if you’ve been missing him, he’s coming back just in time for pre-Thanksgiving festivities.
Holley will be joined by lead guitarist Ralph Spears, steel guitarist John Anthony, bassist Richard Sharp, fiddler Chris Whitten and drummer Mark Anderson at 8 p.m. Wednesday for “The Comeback Show” at the Guitar Bar, 1816 SW 11th. There’s no cover but you’re going to want to get there early to be able to get in.
Always one of the smoothest Southwest Oklahoma voices, Holley hasn’t performed since a January 2021 benefit show in his honor at Harley’s Club in Elgin.
After being there that day, all I can say is, it’s about time. And this return is one of the things I’m thankful for this year.
With his full-length 10-track album album due in February 2022, Anthony Spencer couldn’t wait to show off what he’s been up to.
“We have been working very hard on this album since the beginning of summer and I can’t wait for everyone to finally hear the rest of it,” he said. “Until then I hope you enjoy my first single.”
Available on all online outlets, “Wild One” is a strong single from this upcoming collection. He promises another song will drop closer to the album’s release.
You can download “Wild One” on all online platforms. You can check it out on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/C2fwL36C0F4.
Soundemonium Musaic Lawton music archive homepage: Scott Rains — https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPw__GedGPOUD-wROFcuZ8w.