Okie from Muskogee: Guitar led to musical career | Lifestyles


Rocker Don Price doesn’t just play old rock and roll, he remembers it.

He said he originally wanted to be a drummer until he saw the price.

“Drums were $480. Guitars were $120,” he said.

The first guitar Price remembers was his mother’s 1940 Epiphone. He was 12 years old at the time. He got his first guitar, a Gibson Sunburst Music Maker electric a year later in 1960 at Crow’s Music Co.

Price played the violin in the Muskogee High School orchestra, but wanted to be adventurous.

He dropped out of college after two years to pursue his performance dreams. It wasn’t easy.

“Empty pie,” he said. “After about half a year of traveling, I have learned that unless there is an extraordinary reason, I am just looking at the scenery.”

A music store job helped Price pay the bills while looking for a gig. He began playing in his 1980s with a Tulsa band, The Bop Cats.

Price recalled working with such greats as Chuck Berry, the Doobie Brothers, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. He also performed at the inauguration of Governor David Walters in 1991.

Such work did not prevent him from joining the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, especially during his formative years. Price helped manage the stage for early induction ceremonies and concerts.

Price currently plays with musicians from the Muscogee area in the Don Price Band.

He still has that sunburst and a 1968 Les Paul Gibson electric guitar.

“There is a difference between playing the guitar and being a guitarist. There is no such thing as the best guitarist. Each discipline has a different style of playing that others cannot play.”

He used Nashville Sound guitar master Chet Atkins and 1980s rocker Eddie Van Halen as examples of different stylists.

“Some people enjoy playing polka, but that’s not me. A lot of people are having a great time playing bluegrass music. But that’s not me either,” he said. “I’m basically hard cider and Top 40 pop.”

to learn

play the guitar

Don Price had no formal guitar lessons, but he had a way of learning quickly. He says he first learned the basics of guitar from how-to books.

“The way you learn how to play or how to do something is repetition. You do it over and over and over again until you learn it,” Price said.

He also learned from guitarists who played good stuff.

“You basically went from person to person learning three or four chords. You pick them up along the way,” he said. seemed to teach what they wanted to teach, not what you wanted to learn.”

He remembers wanting to play like Chuck Berry at the time, and also rocked Duane Eddy and The Ventures.

“The deal with instruments is that you can learn something from someone who started it a month ago,” he said. may do.”

make

name in music

As an adult, Price joined the Bop Cats, a Tulsa rock and roll revival group formed around 1980.

He said it was formed by Rockin’ John Henry, a famous disc jockey, Henry’s sister and cousin “and a few people they picked up.”

“They even had a place called the Bop Cat House,” Price said, adding that he got involved around 1985.

“They asked around and said, ‘I want someone who knows all the songs,'” he said. “It was a weekend thing. You don’t make a lot of money, but you get a lot of fame.”

The group has performed at area festivals such as Mayfest, Rooster Days and Okmulgee’s Pecan Festival. They gained enough attention to become his band opening concerts with major acts such as Blood, Sweat and Tears.

“About five people have died over the years,” Price said.

Good camaraderie has kept the band together for over 30 years.

“We all got along,” he said. “Everyone had a great time.”

work together

famous artist

Price recalled working with music greats at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

“Many of them were nice to meet you. And what about the other half? No,” he said.

Price recalls managing several stages of OMHOF induction, including the first one featuring 1950s songbird Patti Page.

Paige was “genuinely friendly,” Price said. “Her husband was a donkey.”

One star to please him was Oklahoma Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill.

“He’s a gentleman,” he said. “He was good-natured. If there were guests there, he would accompany them and make sure they got where they were supposed to be. He was just a good old boy.”

Price said he was surprised by David Gates, the leader of the 1970s easy rock group Bread.

“He’s really an introvert,” Price said. “And so did Toby Keith, actually. He seemed a little introverted.

Carrie Underwood stood in the rain for nearly an hour signing autographs, he said.

He reminded me of Kristin Chenoweth’s backup singer.

“And we just couldn’t get them big enough,” Price said. It’s easy to have people like

Question-and-answer session

How did you become OKIE for Muskogee?

“My mother was born here, my aunt was raised here, and over the years, you seem to be coming home.”

What do you like most about Muskogee?

“I wonder if I’m getting used to it. It just feels good.”

How can we make Muskogee a better place to live?

“Overall, it works and works as well as it can compared to any city we have been to. They are doing the best they can. The only thing that would improve Muskogee would be a bigger city and more taxes to do more. No, because it’s not their neighborhood.

Who do you admire most in Muskogee?

“John Hannah. He loaned me money when I was 14. We had good teachers. I admire Mrs. Miller, the primary school principal. Enos Seymour is a coach. It was the entire distance of a basketball court.”

What is the most memorable event that happened in Muskogee?

“I’ve been involved in so many things. It’s hard to remember. I was inducted into the Hall of Fame and helped them complete their work. I work in Tulsa, but I try to participate as a working member.”

what do you do in your spare time

“The job is pretty intensive. The band director is always in need of something, and the time you spend practicing and playing doesn’t leave much time for anything. Then , I have to binge on TV, now that it’s available to stream, watch the entire series and catch up.”

How would you summarize Muskogee in 25 words or less?

“It’s a decent place to live. The police station seems to be on top of things. For the most part there are more good people than bad people in the world, and a lot of them are here.”

Meet Don Price.

Age: 75 years old.

HOMETOWN: Muscogee.

Education: Edison Elementary School, Alice Robertson Middle School. Muskogee Central High School, 1965. Northeastern State University.

Occupation: Works at Saied Music Co.

Family: Wife, Cathy. daughter, Jennifer. son, Matt. 6 grandchildren.

Church: Christian Church.

Hobbies: “I don’t own anything.”



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