By Teresa Knox | October 19, 2020

Bill Avery, Leon Lifer and a Church Studio volunteer, is a dedicated, knowledgeable, and fun-loving ambassador for the Church and for Leon’s legacy. Although he lives in New Jersey, we have been fortunate to have Bill travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and assist with concerts and book signings. Tell us about yourself. My name is Bill Avery. I’m 65 years old and was  born in Staten Island New York. I live in New Jersey now.  I worked fo the Rail Road for 41 years and now I work for a nonprofit called,  “Fulfill” which is the food bank of Monmouth and…

Read This Article

Dwight Twilley, Legendary Power Pop Singer and Songwriter; Talks Leon Russell

By Teresa Knox | August 26, 2020

In 1974, Dwight Twilley was signed to Shelter Records and returned to his hometown of Tulsa Oklahoma. Once in Tulsa, Twilley and his bandmate, Phil Seymour, recorded at The Church Studio and had great connections and relationships with Leon Russell, Denny Cordell, and artists like Tom Petty. Dwight shares his insight in regards to the public image Leon Russell projected versus who he really was in person as well as his strategy behind his studio in the 1970’s. Please enjoy this LEGENDS video of the singer, songwriter, and artist Dwight Twilley, as he shares more stories of his time recording at The…

Read This Article

Eric Clapton Gets Arrested!

By Teresa Knox | May 21, 2020

The year was 1975. Eric Clapton had just flown into Tulsa, Oklahoma to perform.  News of Eric’s arrival was quickly known for he had gotten arrested! The Church Studio talked with John Southern, a photojournalist and local musician, that captured the infamous photo of Eric Clapton in Jail.  From a first-hand perspective, check out what John had to say with our recent interview.  Before taking your legendary photo of Eric, what did you think about Eric Clapton and his working with the Tulsa boys…Jamie Oldaker, Dicky Simms, and Carl Radle among others? “I had been a Clapton fan since the…

Read This Article
Leon Russell 1971


By Teresa Knox | April 22, 2020

We absolutely love our Church Studio family and the fantastic stories they share with us. In this photo series, we are featuring a series of photographs taken by photographer, Ric Carter. Our good friend, American Roots musician, and Leon Lifer; Bill Lyerly, introduced us to Ric. Thank you, Bill! Why are these pictures special? Well, these exclusive photographs that are from the 1971 Leon Russell and the Shelter People performance at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. What made this show memorable (besides the fantastic performances) was the charming commentary by Leon Russell. According to first-hand accounts received from attendees…

Read This Article


By Teresa Knox | April 14, 2020

Music writer John Wooley is at it again! This time bringing us the incredible story of the historic Cain’s Ballroom‘s first 75 years with his new book, TWENTIETH-CENTURY HONKY-TONK.  The Church Studio had the opportunity to catch up with John last week and chat about the new book. Read our quick Q&A below!  CS: Why is this book significant? JW: TWENTIETH-CENTURY HONKY-TONK is the first book ever to be devoted to Tulsa’s Cain’s Ballroom, one of the most famous dance halls in the world. And while much has been written, and justifiably so, about the Bob and Johnnie Lee Wills days…

Read This Article

5 Questions with Conor Culpepper

By Teresa Knox | February 14, 2020

  As you may have seen on our Facebook, The Church Studio recently partnered up with one of our Studio Row businesses, High Dive, to produce STAGE DIVE. Every Monday evening, High Dive will open its doors(and stage) to upcoming singer-songwriters for an Open Mic. The event is designed for anyone that wants to share their music, practice performing, and even make some friends in the music community. It’s all about the community. This wouldn’t be a proper Open Mic without a host and we are lucky to have Conor Culpepper filling that role. At only 19, Conor is already…

Read This Article


By Teresa Knox | December 31, 2019

  Dear Friends, The long and winding road to The Church continues and 2019 was a true testament to that. While construction on The Church Studio moves forward, our team spent 2019 working on our online presence and working closely with the community by paying tribute to our city’s rich music history while preparing a business strategy for today’s progressive music industry. “Studio Row” is open for business and an official neighborhood of the Pearl District and thanks to you, business is kicking! We even opened our own pop-up shop (the Shelter House at 316 S. Trenton)  and hosted our first…

Read This Article

Rock of Ages: Tracing the Roots of the Tulsa Sound

By Teresa Knox | November 26, 2019

By JOHN WOOLEY As nearly as anyone can tell, the Tulsa area first started rocking to live local guys back in early 1956, when Gene Crose put together a little group and played the rockabilly tunes “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Baby, Let’s Play House” and “I Forgot to Remember to Forget” for the Cadet Capers show at Oklahoma Military Academy in Claremore, where he was enrolled. It wasn’t long before he’d picked up a new band and begun doing Tulsa engagements. According to a new poster, “Pioneers of the Tulsa Sound” (available from Janine Stovall at the Paperwork Company, 369-1014), the…

Read This Article

Rock of Ages: Making Waves

By Teresa Knox | October 6, 2019

By JOHN WOOLEY MTV wasn’t even a gleam in an executive’s eye when Tulsa’s first wave of rock ‘n’ rollers hit. In fact, “Where the Action Is,” that fondly remembered Dick Clark-produced daily TV show, didn’t come along for almost a decade. Even the granddaddy of them all, Clark’s “American Bandstand,” didn’t go national until ’57. So it’s hard to conceive how huge a force radio was in spreading early rock ‘n’ roll across our country, our state and our city. In the case of Tulsa, it wasn’t just local radio that got our teens pumped on this strange new…

Read This Article

The Church Studio Welcomes Oklahoma State University Music Intern

By Teresa Knox | August 13, 2019

Get to know Student Sadie Kane in her first Blog Post BY: Sadie Kane When I first contacted The Church Studio, I had no knowledge of the history that lies within the walls of the old building. I was unaware of the legendary musicians that had filled the historic chapel with their music that would eventually create a brand for the city of Tulsa. Growing up in Oklahoma City, the only “homegrown” artists I had known about were the likes of Carrie Underwood and Garth Brooks. Even with the information I have on the artists of Oklahoma, I was unaware…

Read This Article