To help celebrate Oklahoma’s Centennial, we will be counting down the Top 100 Oklahoma Musicians over the next four weeks, leading up to Oklahoma’s Statehood Day on November 16. Every weekday, we’ll unveil another five Oklahoma musicians or bands that helped shape the way Oklahoma music is viewed from the outside world.
75. Moon Martin (born in Altus)
New wave musician John ‘Moon’ Martin first gained recognition in the 1970s as a songwriter, penning “Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)” for Robert Palmer and “Cadillac Walk” for Willy DeVille. As a solo artist, Martin released four albums in five years on Capitol Records, scoring minor hits with “Rolene” and “X-Ray Vision”. Early in his career, Martin was a member of the country rock band Southwind.
74. Cross Canadian Ragweed (formed in Yukon)
Cross Canadian Ragweed may not have started the red dirt movement, but they opened plenty of doors for other bands in the genre. Known for spending most of their time on the road, the band self-released two recorded and two live albums in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 2002, CCR signed with Universal South and have released five albums since. Three of those albums have charted well in the Billboard 200 (Soul Gravy – #51, Garage – #37 & Mission California – #30).
73. Ricochet (formed in Vian)
Country band Ricochet signed to Columbia Records in 1996 and scored big. Their self-titled debut was certified gold and charted three Top 10 singles, including the No. 1 hit “Daddy’s Money”, the highest debuting single of the year “What Do I Know” and “Love Is Stronger Than Pride”, as well as a Top 20 hit (“Ease My Troubled Mind”). Later albums never repeated that level of success, but they still turned out one more Top 20 song and two more Top 40 songs. Although a couple founding members have left the band, Ricochet continues to perform today.
72. The Five Americans (formed in Durant)
Leaving the confines of Durant in 1964, pop-rockers The Five Americans found success by playing dive bars in Dallas, Texas. The band (originally called The Mutineers) were best known for their 1967 hit “Western Union” (No. 6 on Billboard and produced by Dale Hawkins of “Susie Q” fame). They also landed four other songs in the top 40 (“I See The Light”, “Evol-Not Love”, “Sound Of Love” & “Zip Code”). After some in-fighting and some disagreements with their management, The Five Americans called it quits in 1969.
71. Henson Cargill (born in Oklahoma City)
Country singer Henson Cargill‘s career got started with a bang, placing the song “Skip a Rope” at No. 1 on the country chart for six straight weeks (it also crossed over to the Top 25 of the Pop charts). He scored three more top 20 hits in the late 1960s (“Row Row Row”, “None Of My Business” & “The Most Uncomplicated Goodbye I Ever Heard”) and three Top 30 hits (“Some Old California Memory”, “Stop And Smell The Roses” & “Silence On The Line”).
In the 1980s, Cargill was a fixture in Las Vegas casinos. He also owned and operated a country music venue in west Oklahoma City called Henson’s. Among those who performed there were Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Roy Orbison, Glenn Campbell and Waylon Jennings. Cargill passed away from complications following surgery in March 2007.