Toyland Ball in Tulsa and Nancy Apple's CD Release Party by Nighthawk

Posted on 1/25/2010 by Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms

(Memphis, Tennessee) The Reba Russell Band traveled to Tulsa, Oil Capitol of the World, again this year to play the fabulous Toyland Ball held at the Doubletree Hotel. Proceeds from this event go to the Parent Child Center of Tulsa which does great work in stamping out child abuse through its outreach programs of treatment, education, prevention and identifying at risk behaviors.

The Parent Child Center was established on May 1, 1990, as a result of the merger of two United Way agencies: The At Risk Parent Child Program and Child Abuse Prevention Services (CAPS).

Here's their site:

Drummer Doug McMinn prepares a set list before the gig

Ice sculpture crowns the entrance to the ballroom

Author does his part to support charity through wine sales

Josh Roberts, Reba Russell, Wayne Russell

Wayne's groovy new swing tie

Mrs. Oklahoma Rachel Roberts and Reba Russell

Reba and our friend Aida

Party-goers hang with the band during the big auction

Guitarist Josh Roberts and the author lounge in the hotel before the gig

Thanks to Art Fawcett for making the fedora

Nancy Apple releases her new CD "Shine" in Memphis

This week we travel to the Tad Pierson's American Dream Safari indoor trailer park for my friend Nancy Apple's big CD release celebration. Nancy recorded this CD at SUN Studio with our friend Keith Sykes co-producing with Nancy and James Lott at the helm of the big board. James has been a bit under the weather lately and we are all glad to see he is feeling better these days.

Here's a link to Tad's cool site where he provides chauffeured tours across Memphis and the Mississippi Delta in his pink 1955 Cadillac:

Tad keeps the big Caddy parked inside a huge warehouse where he also has several vintage travel trailers parked in the world's largest indoor trailer park. It's damn cool.

All these great photos are taken by our friend, Kelly Holland, who is seen braving the 35 mph wind at the entrance to the big warehouse. Thanks, Kelly.

Nancy Apple and the author

Jumping James Cunningham, Nancy Apple and Robert Mache

Deborah Sweeney, Phoebe Lewis(Jerry Lee's daughter), Jake Kelly, Nancy Apple, Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms on harp

Here's a cool article about Nancy and the new CD:

Author and my pal Nancy Apple. Thanks for letting me play on your cool record, Nancy

Nancy Apple and the very talented Robert Mache on that crazy cool Telecaster with a Bigsby(uh, no, it's not a factory job. I asked.)

Jake Kelly and my band mate Ronnie Vandiver(we played with the late Billy Lee Riley)

Nancy's "back hoes" are joined by Jimmy Davis and Reba Russell

Reba Russell and Nancy Apple

Oh yeah, she plays the accordion too.

Nancy was kind enough to allow me to play piano, harp and Hammond B-3 on her record and I had a truly splendid time hanging with some world class musicians and recording in the same room that produced so many hits by Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy Lee Riley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Warren Smith, Howlin' Wolf, Little Milton, Junior Parker, James Cotton, B.B. King, Rufus Thomas, and Roscoe Gordon.

Playing Jerry Lee's piano on this record was enough to give me chills, particularly since his daughter, my friend Phoebe Lewis, was sitting in the control room. She is a great singer and performer in her own right and her singing on this record shines.

Nancy Apple and the author

Nancy Apple, Ronnie Vandiver, author, James Cunningham, Robert Mache
(photo by Donita Cunningham)

As you are asking yourself, "where can I buy this cool new record?" allow me to direct you to Ringo records where lots of cool CD's are available including some featuring me and my old partner in crime Delta Joe Sanders of the Memphis Sheiks.

The site features loads of music for you to hear before you buy it so if you are curious... just click here:


check out my website at

Next week I will be covering Bobby Blue Bland's 80th Birthday Bash so come back next Monday for the story here at the American Blues News.

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©Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms, 2010
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American Blues News Staff

What makes American Blues News unique is our coverage across America. Here is our lineup:

Mon: Memphis Correspondent - Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms
Nighthawk is our resident globetrotter and man behind the scenes, as he tours with the Reba Russell Band.

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