News Column

Songwriter to take stage for OMHOF concert

August 1, 2014

By E.I. Hillin, Muskogee Phoenix, Okla.



Aug. 01--Becky Hobbs said the songs she has written are gifts that came from above.

"I had to work hard at honing them after the gifts came," Hobbs said.

Muskogee-area residents will be able to hear those "gifts" during a special solo performance Saturday at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

Many songs written by Hobbs have made an impact on performers as well as listeners. Hobbs co-wrote the song, "Angels Among Us," with Von Goodman, which the band Alabama helped make famous.

The song has been used by many charities including St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

"That is why we write songs," Hobbs said. "To make a difference."

Although she will be playing and singing her songs on Saturday, Hobbs said, she has always been a songwriter first.

She started playing piano and writing songs at age 9 in Bartlesville.

Hobbs said many people influenced her musical upbringing, but one memory specifically sticks out in her mind.

"I'll never forget the night I saw Jerry Lee Lewis," Hobbs said. "I thought, 'Man, I want to do that.' "

In 1965, at the age of 15, Hobbs started Oklahoma's first all-female rock band, Four Faces of Eve. She played in the Tulsa area during high school and college.

Hobbs moved to Baton Rouge, La., where she lived for two years and played in the southern rock band Swampfox.

Then, she moved to Los Angeles to continue her pursuit of rock star status.

She said her Okie roots stuck with her in heart and in sound.

"I went out there to be a rock singer," Hobbs said. "When I opened my mouth everybody said, 'You're a country singer.' "

Hobbs listed Simon & Garfunkel, Carol King, Laura Nyro, Carly Simon, Aretha Franklin, and Oklahoma's own Jimmy Webb among the artists that influenced her musically.

She said in 1969 she wrote a fan letter to Webb.

"He actually wrote a letter back," Hobbs said.

Later in life, she and Webb would become friends.

For Hobbs, hearing someone perform her song is "the greatest pleasure" she could have.

"The first time I heard Conway Twitty play my song on the radio I almost drove off the road," Hobbs said.

This is not the first time Hobbs has performed in Muskogee. She and OMHOF's director, Jim Blair, have played together many times. Blair will be the opening performer for Saturday's show.

"The feeling of community in Muskogee is so heartwarming to me," Hobbs said.

"I just can't say enough about the downtown area and how they support the arts."

Hobbs said she looks forward to singing and playing her songs solo at the Frisco Depot.

"That's exciting to hear a songwriter sing his or her song stripped down without all the bells and whistles, and that's what people are going to hear on Saturday," Hobbs said.

Reach E.I. Hillin at (918) 684-2926 or ehillin@muskogeephoenix.com.

If you go

WHAT: Becky Hobbs.

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday.

WHERE: Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, 401 S. Third St.

INFORMATION: (918) 687-0800.

TICKETS: $10 at the door or online at www.eventbrite.com.

___

(c)2014 the Muskogee Phoenix (Muskogee, Okla.)

Visit the Muskogee Phoenix (Muskogee, Okla.) at muskogeephoenix.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Muskogee Phoenix (OK)


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