The idea of creating the Bob Wills Heritage
Foundation crystallized at the 2007 GRAMMY
Awards, the year his contributions were honored
with a Lifetime Achievement Award. This special
award granted by the Recording Academy’s
National Trustees, recognizes outstanding
artistic significance to the field of recording.
Why does the Heritage Foundation matter?
Bob Wills was an agent of change. His music and performances brought encouragement and hope, his story inspired, his contributions influenced, his innovative spirit endured. He would be first to say, though, that the value of his legacy lies in whether it serves to entertain, motivate or affect others. If the roots are nurtured, the music shared and the story told we believe it will do just that. We believe that generations around the world will discover, connect and benefit from this resource.
Happily, indications agree. The GRAMMY Foundation awarded a 2009 Planning Preservation Grant. The prototype 2010 Bob Wills Swing School at North Central Texas University-Gainesville was pure magic. Partnership with the Oklahoma History Center has resulted in major preservation efforts plus ongoing public outreach. Collaboration with the Bob Wills Foundation in Turkey, Texas, and the Oklahoma History Center saw the Bob Wills Museum in Turkey renovated for the 40th Anniversary of Bob Wills Day in April 2011. Friendship with the Tulsa Community College Signature Symphony realized a “Take Me Back to Tulsa” Signature Symphony youth fund-raising concert “Bob Wills style” at the historic Cain’s Ballroom. The significance of the Bob Wills Legacy was acknowledged in a standing ovation by the Oklahoma House of Representatives during Bob Wills Day at the State Capitol in April 2012.
These are highlights. Much is planned. As we know, “time changes everything,” so please stay tuned. Or, better yet, please join us. We would love to hear from you!
Comments, support, volunteers and suggestions are welcomed, and we’re happy to speak to groups about Bob Wills and the mission of the Bob Wills Heritage Foundation.