The Heart of the Chisholm Trail's Music Heritage is a Part of Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department's Newest Experience, the Rhythm and Routes Music Trail.

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Duncan, OK's muscial talents, Hoyt Axton and his mother, Mae Boren Axton, honored in the Rhythm and Routes music trail.

On The Chisholm Trail Bronze

“Rhythm and Routes will provide both residents and visitors an opportunity to experience the rich musical heritage of the State of Oklahoma,” said Tava Maloy Sofsky, Director of the Oklahoma Film and Music Office.

In partnership with the Oklahoma Historical Society, OKPOP Museum, Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and BancFirst, the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department(OTRD) launched Rhythm & Routes, an interactive music trail on Friday, August 15, 2014.

Through this new, interactive website, music fans are now be able to explore the careers and accomplishments of their favorite Oklahoma artists and performance venues. Rhythm & Routes currently includes more than 1,000 photographs, 500 trivia questions and 200 songs for fans to browse, making Rhythm & Routes one of the most comprehensive digital collections of Oklahoma music history and memorabilia.

Musicians and venues included in the first group of honorees are (in alphabetical order): The All American Rejects, BJ Thomas, Blake Shelton, Bob Wills, Cain’s Ballroom, Carrie Underwood, Charlie Christian, Chet Baker, Conway Twitty, DC Minner, Deep Deuce, Elvin Bishop, Garth Brooks, Gene Autry, Hanson, Hoyt Axton, Jesse Ed Davis, Jimmy Webb, JJ Cale, Kelli O’Hara, Kings of Leon, Kristin Chenoweth, Leon Russell, Leona Mitchell, Mae Boren Axton, the Muskogee Civic Center, Patti Page, Reba McEntire, Roger Miller, Ronnie Dunn, Roy Clark, Ryan Tedder, Sandi Patty, The Church Studio, The Farm in Stillwater, The Flaming Lips, The Gap Band, Toby Keith, Vince Gill, Wanda Jackson, Wallace Willis, Woody Guthrie, and The Zoo Amphitheatre.

The Rhythm & Routes homepage (accessible through Oklahoma’s official tourism website,, features an interactive map highlighting locations of significance for each honoree, a historical timeline and links to photo archives, itineraries, music genres, inductee pages, a trivia game and a calendar of upcoming concerts and music festivals. Rhythm & Routes travel itineraries include maps and directions to locations of personal significance for each inductee.

Duncan was home to Hoyt Axton and his mother Mae Boren Axton, one a legend in country music and both prolific songwriters. Born in Duncan, Oklahoma, Axton spent his pre-teen years in Comanche, Oklahoma with his brother, John. His mother, Mae Boren Axton, co-wrote the classic rock 'n' roll song "Heartbreak Hotel", which became the first major hit for Elvis Presley. Some of Hoyt Axton's own songs were also later recorded by Elvis. Visitors can step into the building that was once the Henderson Hotel, where the famous song was crafted back in the day and wander the Stepping Stone Trail on historic Main Street Duncan that details Duncan's history. A vibrant local arts community continues to develop talented locals through involvement with Duncan Little Theatre, Duncan Art Guild and The Chisholm Trail Arts Council. For upcoming performances check

Beginning in January 2016, OTRD will honor one additional musician or venue each month until the trail is complete. For more information please visit or contact The Duncan Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-800-782-7167 or for specific information regarding Duncan.

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Loisdawn Jones

Loisdawn Jones
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