The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, 111 E. First St. (Upper Level) in Tulsa, OK, will play a tribute at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 21, 2011, to Curly Lewis, the only sideman immortalized on the Cain’s Ballroom Walk of Fame.
Lewis lent his fiddle and vocal talent to many of the greatest western-swing bands in history, including Hank Thompson, Leon McAuliffe, Bob Wills, and Tulsa’s own Johnnie Lee Wills.
In 1936, Lewis beat all the competition — both kids and adults — in a fiddling contest sponsored by Bob at Tulsa’s Avery Coliseum. He was only 11 then, but his career path had been set. After playing local radio shows (and bars for tips) during his teen years, Lewis joined Johnnie Lee Wills and His Boys, who’d taken over Bob Wills’ daily broadcasts at the Cain’s.
The tribute concert, led by trombonist Steve Ham, will feature songs made famous by the bands Lewis graced, along with a few surprises. Many of the musicians in this first-class tribute group, assembled byHam, have known and played with Lewis for many years.
Tickets are $15 and can be obtained by calling (918) 281-8609 or go online to http://purchase.tickets.com/buy/TicketPurchase?organ_val=2762&pid=7071478.