Cripple Creek Band to play Cattlemen’s Valentine’s Ball

Kathryn SwanJC Correspondent

The high-energy country and southern rock Cripple Creek Band will be playing for the Osage County Cattlemen’s 3rd Annual Valentine’s Ball Feb. 12. The event will be held at the Pawhuska Elks Lodge and will kick off at 7 p.m.

In the early 80s, the Cripple Creek Band was represented by the Jim Halsey Agency out of Tulsa which put them with many of the nation’s hottest acts of the day, including the popular Hee-Haw television show. When Halsey’s agency relocated to Nashville, Tulsa singer Brenda Liles took over the reins. Through her leadership, the band worked with Tracy Byrd, Mark Chestnut, George Jones, Clint Black, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Les Taylor, Ray Price, Marshall Tucker Band, among others. They served as opening acts for legendary George Straight, Clint Black and George Jones. Liles noted, “We are the longest, continuously working band in Oklahoma.”

In addition to being the band’s manager, Liles performs with Dennis Winton as the Cripple Creek Duo. The band and duo regularly perform at area festivals and celebrations, including Moose and Elk Lodges and the Osage Million Dollar Casino. They are familiar faces around the Tulsa metro area, Pryor, Bartlesville, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Claremore, Grove and Salina. Cripple Creek’s impressive resume includes several out-of-state gigs in Colorado, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida.

Liles is best known for her beautiful voice and her wide range of music. She got her start locally by opening for Hank Thompson and the Marshall Tucker Band.

Guitarist/vocalist Dennis Winton began his career with Roy Clark at the age of 17. This Collinsville native spent his longest tenure with country star, Freddie Fender. Winton’s Cripple Creek Duo performances frequently include his comedy skits as “Lola,” “Bruce,” and the “One Armed Fiddle Player.”

Bass guitarist/vocalist Alan Flanagan began his career with Reba McIntire. His bass and song writing skills, as well as his smooth vocals are assets to the band.

Percussion/vocalist Gary Hutchins adds great harmonies to the group. His solid beat and great vocals helps keep the dance floor packed when Cripple Creek performs.

Guitarist/vocalist Ed Turley has been a staple in the Tulsa music scene for years with his band, MidNight Special. He opened shows for Mel McDaniel, Big Buddy Allen and the John Chick TV show. Turley plays a beautiful classical guitar.

Award-winning fiddler player Bill Taylor rounds out the group for the Valentine Ball. For a number of years, Taylor served as first chair cellist for the Tulsa Philharmonic.

Tickets for this family-oriented event are $20 in advance or $25 at the door and are available at these locations: Pawhuska – Becky at American Heritage Band (918-287-2919); Shidler - Megan (580-716-3788); Sedan, KS - Sue at First National Band (620-725-3106). Children 12 and under are free. The event is open to the public.