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Oklahoma female trailblazers celebrated with special event and induction ceremony

OKLAHOMA CITY - Country music stars Jody Miller, Katrina Elam and Kellie Coffey all have one thing in common with Grammy Award-winning opera singer Leona Mitchell and the 'Queen of Rockabilly' Wanda Jackson- they all hail from Oklahoma.

“I always say something's in our water, but I don't know,” Wanda Jackson said.

On Tuesday, 43 female musicians were honored at the Oklahoma History Center for their contributions in music.

“They were trailblazers, record setters, just out-and-out pioneers in terms of music,” Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan said.

Maughan organized the event after realizing so many talented Oklahoma women weren't getting the recognition they deserved.

“Tourism already comes here. It`s the third biggest industry in the state and so we need to celebrate all of our natural resources, which is not just energy. We have all of these dynamic musicians,” Maughan said.

More than 20 women were celebrated at Tuesday's luncheon either by a family member or themselves.

Nine were inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame as the first all-female group.

“I think that's kind of unique to Oklahoma,” Gayla Peevey said.

Peevey was inducted for her role in performing the 1953 Christmas hit, "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" at just 10 years old.

“It just keeps going and every new generation discovers it and thinks it's a new Christmas song, so it just continues on,” Peevey said.

Other musicians inducted include songwriter and producer Gail Davies, Lorrie Collins of the Collins Kids, and Molly Bee who sang 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.'

It’s a way to celebrate these powerhouses paving the way for future generations of musicians.

“If the stage is where you're most comfortable and you love it, then you ought to be there,” Jackson said.

The event was also a benefit for the S.H.I.N.E. Foundation, providing volunteers to clean up the city.

Kendall’s Restaurant in Noble will unveil a permanent exhibit featuring women in music.

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