Taylor Hanson from the hit band “Hanson” plays the piano at the Wagoner History Center.
In honor of the late-great musician Leon Russell, and his birthday on April 2, Taylor Hanson from the Grammy nominated pop rock band, Hanson, got an incentive from country impresario, Jim Halsey, to visit the Wagoner History Center.
The Wagoner History Center, at 123 S. Main is Wagoner, is home to one of Russell’s favorite heavy jackets, his sporty shades coupled with a bright, red case and more. It was only fitting for Hanson to make his first trip to the museum days before Russell would have turned 80 years old.
The museum is filled with music artifacts, mostly tied to Halsey. The 92-year-old artist manager and agent have handled the careers of Roy Clark, Reba McEntire, The Oak Ridge Boys and even Leon Russell for a time — just to name a few. In the back of the museum is a plethora of history about the city of Wagoner, and Hanson, 39, took a particularly keen interest in it.
Wagoner Mayor Albert “A.J.” Jones conducted the tour for Hanson, alongside Dell Davis with Visit Wagoner and Halsey’s right-hand man, Mark Furnas.
Hanson is clearly a history buff as he heard could be heard saying “Wow, that’s awesome,” every few minutes. Jones even let him sit in one of the old, Model T cars inside the museum.
Before he left, Hanson signed the guest book in front of the museum in blue ink, standing out from the rest of the black ink signees on the page. Jones gave him a copy of the book, “Wagoner…in the beginning,” by Shirle Lamb Williams. Thanks to Lamb, Wagoner historical artifacts were collected by herself and her family — the McAnally’s — for decades. Now they are for show and historical prominence at the museum.
Additionally, Hanson was in town to shoot a TV segment with a Tulsa television station, alongside Jim Halsey who thought it would have been a good idea in light of Russell’s birthday. Taylor did the segment sitting by a piano, where he played “Tulsa Time” and Halsey watched intently with a smile.
Taylor Hanson, and his brothers Isaac and Zac, formed the band “Hanson” in 1992, out of Tulsa. They are best known for the hit song “MMMBop” off their first album, earning three Grammy nominations.