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Bob Childers, Oklahoma Singer/Songwriter, Dies

April 29, 2008

Bob Childers died April 22 of lung disease related to emphysema. He was 61. Childers was an influencing figure in the "Red Dirt" music genre, a sound specific to Oklahoma that included elements of country and folk and owes a great debt to the work of Woody Guthrie. He recorded his first album, "I Ain't No Jukebox," in 1978 with the help of Jimmy LaFave. After following the industry to Nashville and Austin, Childers returned to Oklahoma, releasing records and acting as narrator of LaFave's Guthrie tribute, "Ribbon of Highway."

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at April 29, 2008 5:31 PM


Bob will be sorely missed here in OK & at the Woody Guthrie Festival ( where he was a much loved regular. I was blessed to see him in concert with other Red Dirt heroes about a week & 1/2 before he passed. He was in fine form--joking & laughing & spreading his special brand of cheer. Thanks, Bob, for all you have given us. May the next part of your journey be blessed.

Posted by: Bonnie Gunn at May 5, 2008 2:57 AM

Bonnie, THANK you for your post! I did wonder if he'd been performing etc...
I'm happy he was!
Where did you see him and with whom was he performing? I sure wish I hadda been along for the ride!

BOB, you always, always had time to hang-out & shoot the breeze, and make your fans feel important. I have missed you every day since you left us!
I hope you're now 'shootin' the breeze' with Woody and all you loved, that left here before you.
Your spirit is and will always be with all of us!

Posted by: Ruth Baum at May 6, 2008 1:54 PM

The first thing I ever did when I got to the Woody Guthrie festival the first time years ago was to yank open the outhouse door while Bob Childers was occupying it. He always thought it was funny. He looked good nekked from the back!

He will be sorely missed at the festival, and I'm sure wherever he went. He always had a big smile and the biggest twinkle in his eye you ever saw. I am so sorry he has gone, but I have a feeling he hasn't gone far.

We love you, Bob!

Posted by: Susan Roads at May 7, 2008 2:57 PM

Bob was always one of the people I would plan my day around at the Woody Guthrie Festival - it is always so packed full of wonderful performers that you are forced to pick and choose who to see... But we *always* made the time to see Bob. Even if it meant missing the last tune of a set somewhere and boogie-ing our bootys out the the Grape Ranch! He will be missed so much.
It was truly a blessing to be able to see him in what turned out to be his last show - at the Blue Door in OKC about a week and a half before he left us. He was in fine form - and did a typically lovely rendition of "Restless Spirits" (one of my alltime Childers favorites). Red Dirt music has lost one of the very best. We love you Bob!

Posted by: D Gunn at May 13, 2008 11:37 AM

RIP, Bob,..Tom in Tulsa.

Posted by: Thomas Glenn at June 3, 2008 7:10 AM

News tonight - way past the the date of Bob's passing - reported the story of his passing. I met Bob when I purchased a copy of his CD - La Vita e Bella - which I'd lost from the Public Library in Stillwater and wanted to replace (rather than pay three times the price for a lost item). We met outside the Gas and Go refueling zone at the corner of Lakeside and Perkins Road one cold, dark night. He brought his CD, I brought the money. He was really interested in my opinion about his music. When he went in the store after our transaction and chat I sure hope he wasn't going in to purchase tobacco. Did Bob smoke or was there some other reason he suffered from emphysema? So sorry learn this solid partner, musician and father is now playing in the concert hall in the sky. Never saw him live, but from how often his name popped up on venues in Oklahoma music press, he's got to have lots of folks probably still in shock.
How about if on his birth date next year, fans all share his music with someone who hasn't heard it so this contribution to the world is celebrated more every year? Grief needs a band-aid, so post his birthday date here and spread the word. Thanks to Bob's trek into town to sell me his CD, there's a nice sampling of his work in the Stillwater Public Library.

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