TULSA — Tulsa radio legend John Erling was inducted into the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame at the Oklahoma Historical Society’s annual awards luncheon on Friday, April 28.
In 1976 John Erling moved to Tulsa and hosted the KRMG morning radio show for 29 years. In 2009 Erling founded Voices of Oklahoma, an online oral history project dedicated to the preservation of the history of Oklahoma and its people. The debut interview was with Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation.
“John Erling deserves to be inducted into the hall of fame,” said Dr. Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society. “His 200-plus oral histories with influential Oklahomans have added to the state’s historical record. Both historians and the general public have access to these interviews and can use them to understand and share the past.”
Some of the notable Oklahomans interviewed by Erling include Stephen Jones, N. Scott Momaday, Roy Clark, Oral Roberts, Joyce Henderson and Henry Bellmon. In 2014 the Voices of Oklahoma project was moved to the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities at the University of Tulsa.
Erling joined three other individuals selected by the Oklahoma Historical Society for induction into the 2017 class of the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame. The other honorees were Dr. Clyde Ellis, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Dr. Paul Lambert, Oklahoma City; and Dr. John Carmichael, deceased.
The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.