LATEST BLOG POSTS

Tommy Lokey: Consummate Jazzman at The Church Studio

By David Deller | February 22, 2024

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Although few in the current Tulsa music community would know his name, but in his day, Tommy Lokey was a local legend. Today, you can find a few 1970’s Shelter Records publicity photos of a seven-man funk band that included him. Tommy is the sole white guy, with a wild mane of dark hair and a sprawling beard. That band was the Gap Band, and Tommy Lokey was a founding member. “They used to practice in the living room of our house over at 15th and Elwood,” said daughter Carole Lokey Ruffin. Although Tommy did not remain with the band…

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Charlie Wilson to Receive a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

By Nancy Ruth | January 26, 2024

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Charlie Wilson to Receive a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Tulsa, Oklahoma native funk and R&B artist Charlie Wilson, a powerhouse vocalist and pianist with the Gap Band and later a solo career, and an original Shelter Records artist, will be recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 29th for his major contributions to the music industry. One of the first clients of The Church Studio, Charlie has 13 Grammy nominations and has had 13 R&B singles that have reached #1. He has also received the BET Lifetime Achievement Award, a Soul Train…

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Steve Ripley – Creating “The Tractors” Part 3 Deep Dive

By Deborah McLaren | January 1, 2024

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Steve Ripley, at the time, the co-owner of The Church Studio, had a vision of a band he’d been creating in his mind and through his work for some time. Essentially, by the early 90s, Ripley was about to unleash a lifetime of creative experience. The musicians he was recording with were associated with The Tulsa Sound, which was gaining popularity around the world. I always liked Tulsa music for its no-compromise attitude, as if the musicians were making it just for themselves, without regard to what other people would think of it.  – Eric Clapton Preston Jones nailed in…

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A Videographer’s Perspective: Making of the “Man in Bronze” Film.

By The Church Studio | December 7, 2023

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Three years ago, as a brand-new intern, I was dunked head-first into easily the most exciting video project I have ever worked on. Teresa Knox, the CEO of The Church Studio, personally entrusted me — on the sole basis of my portfolio and a few shoots together — to capture something that she deeply cared about, which could not be re-shot if there were any mistakes. I was handed a camera, took a trip to a foundry, and experienced the thrill of shooting the pouring of molten bronze. At that point, I knew I was experiencing something bigger than your…

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MODELO MONDAY, CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT, SERIAL #6, & SWEATSUITS

By The Church Studio | December 4, 2023

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Tom Petty’s Journey at The Church Studio

By The Church Studio | November 14, 2023

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The most important years during the Leon-era history of Tulsa’s Church Studio were 1972–1976. During that time, a wide variety of artists recorded there, some important in music history, others less so. Tom Petty has a story at The Church Studio before he and The Heartbreakers found worldwide success. Both Denny Cordell and Leon Russell were influential in helping guide the hugely ambitious and hardworking Petty during his early years trying to break into the music business.  (Note: Most of the content in this blog comes from the book Petty: The Biography, Warren Zanes’s excellent and thorough account of the…

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Casii Stephan Records “A Song For You” at The Church Studio

By The Church Studio | November 7, 2023

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Casii Stephan, a soul pop/rock artist originally from Minnesota and now based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is known for her emotive vocals and intricate melodies. Casii’s music, often compared to artists like Florence Welch and Fiona Apple, is characterized by its theme of hope. Her success includes multiple awards and recognition in the music industry, and she has been featured in prominent publications. Notably, she recorded her rendition of “A Song For You” by Leon Russell at Leon’s iconic recording studio, “The Church Studio,” and she shared with the team more about the project and her experience at the studio:  …

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The Fairchild 660 Audio Compressor at The Church Studio

By Nancy Ruth | October 24, 2023

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The Church Studio, with its rich history and legendary recordings, has long attracted musicians seeking high-quality sound. To elevate this sacred space even further, we’ve included a vintage piece of analog audio gear, the Fairchild 660 Audio Compressor, known as the “holy grail” of outboard gear. Originally, a church built in 1915, The Church Studio was transformed into a recording studio in the 1970s by legendary rock musician Leon Russell. Russell’s vision was simple, yet profound: to create a space where artists could explore their creativity freely, and where the music could be elevated to a spiritual experience. The Church…

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Mike Prado, Audio Engineer, Joins The Church Studio Team

By The Church Studio | October 16, 2023

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Q&A with Mike Prado 1. What was your first impression of The Church Studio? I was blown away by the revitalization of The Church Studio.  During my career; I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work in a lot of commercial studios, cutting-edge educational studios and unique home studios. I even tracked at The Church with the previous owner. However, what the space has been transformed into is extraordinary. The aesthetics, size, and acoustics of the Live Room are perfect. The Control Room is top notch. Furthermore, I’ve never had the opportunity to work with this type of microphone collection, both…

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The Magical Sounds of The Church Studio’s Legendary Neve 8068

By Nancy Ruth | August 15, 2023

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Neve is one of the most well-known names in sound engineering and music production. Neve consoles, famed for their craftsmanship and unequaled sound quality, have been at the heart of many classic albums. Its warm analog sound and ingenious design have made it a highly sought-after piece of gear among recording engineers and artists all over the world. Reverb.com states “The Neve 8068 is one of the most essential audio pieces in music history.” The Neve 8068 was introduced in the early 1970s when recording technology was rapidly evolving. Rupert Neve, a British electronics engineer and entrepreneur, was well-known in…

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