The American country singer-songwriter was born and raised in Miami. He was signed as a recording artist in 2005. Some of his hits include “Pickin’ Wildflowers," “Every Time I Hear Your Name” and “I Still Miss You.” He has written hit songs performed by artists such as Garth Brooks, George Jones, Gretchen Wilson, and Big & Rich. In 2006 Keith came back to Miami and filmed his video for “Podunk” in front of the historic Coleman Theatre. Keith last visited Miami in 2012 at Buffalo Run Casino.
Joe Don Rooney
Raised in nearby Picher, Oklahoma, Joe Don is currently the lead guitarist and harmony singer in the American country pop trio Rascal Flatts. The trio is the most awarded country group of the past decade with 40 awards from the ACA’s, ACM’s, AMA’s, CMA’s, People’s Choice, and more. They have sold over 21 million albums and delivered 14 #1 singles, including Grammy Award winning song, "Bless the Broken Road." In 2011, Rascal Flatts became a member of the prestigious Grand Ole Opry. Rascal Flatts is one of the hottest selling acts in all genres, selling over 7 million concert tickets and counting. Joe Don recently had an article called “Rockin’ the Country with Joe Don Rooney” in Guitar World Magazine. Joe Don returned home in 2009 to play with the group at Buffalo Run Casino for over 10,000 hometown fans.
A brilliant ballerina and instructor who was born in Miami. At the age of fifteen, she joined the Original Ballet Russe first as a soloist and then as a ballerina touring throughout Europe and the Western Hemisphere. She and her husband Roman formed the Tulsa Civic Ballet and School, which is now known as the Tulsa Ballet Theatre. Larkin was later inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1978, received the Dance Magazine award in 1988 and was named Outstanding Indian by the Council of American Indians.
Joseph E. Fields
Born in Miami, Fields was the musical director for the Dance Theatre of Harlem from 1998 to 2004 and has conducted orchestras on four continents. Throughout his career, he performed as a conductor and pianist at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Symphony Hall in Memphis, TN, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and at the Weinbrennersaal in Germany. Some of his original work includes “Kyrie” and “I Am A Little Church.” Fields most recently was an associate professor, music administrator, and orchestra director at Marywood University before his death in 2008.
Born and raised in Miami, Thompson is the lead guitarist and vocalist in the country music duo, Thompson Square. Thompson and his wife Shawna first hit the spotlight with their Grammy Nominated song “Are You Gonna Kiss me or Not”. In 2012, Thompson Square took Vocal Duo of the year in CMA’s, ACM’s, CMT, and ACA’s. "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not" went 2x platinum. Their video for “I Got You” won the coveted “Duo Video of the Year” at the 2012 CMT Music Awards. Keifer and Shawna returned home to Miami in 2012 and played for a sold-out crowd at Buffalo Run Casino.
Acclaimed film editor who grew up and attended school in Miami. Littleton’s credits include, “French Postcards” (1979), “Body Heat” (1981), “E.T., The Extra- Terrestrial” (1982), “The Big Chill” (1983), “Brighton Beach Memoirs” (1986) and “Wyatt Earp” (1994). She has received three Academy Award nominations and in 2000 she won an Emmy award for her work on the Television movie “Tuesdays with Morrie.” She is currently a member of the American Cinema Editors. Carol recently returned home during the Oklahoma Historical Society’s annual convention and celebrated Carol Littleton Day during the event.
A 1988 graduate of Miami High School, Holland went on to attend the University of Tulsa College of Law where she would graduate in 1996. She later joined the Peace Corps and traveled to Namibia in 1999. In 2003, she was hired by the United States Agency for International Development to investigate human rights abuses to the people of Iraq. She was then retained by the Coalition Provisional Authority to help the Iraqi people establish a democratic form of government. She was killed in Iraq in 2004 while working for the CPA. She would later be named Oklahoman of the Year in 2005.
Raised in nearby Commerce, Oklahoma, Mantle is considered a baseball legend. Signed right after high school by the New York Yankees, he spent two years in the minors before being invited to the Yankees spring camp in 1951. He would go on to play 18 seasons and have one of the greatest careers in major league baseball history. His lists of accomplishments include—16 All- Star selections, one Golden Glove Award, three-time American League MVP, the 1956 Triple Crown and seven World Series Championships. Mantle was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.
Nicholas A. Calcagno
An educator at NEO A&M College for nearly 30 years, Nick was the designer of the Golden Norse Statue that is located on campus. He also designed the Heisman Trophy Sculpture of Miamian Steve Owens that is located in Heisman Park on the OU Campus. Dr. Calcagno was responsible for many murals throughout Ottawa County. He was the true example of a person in pursuit of artistic excellence.
Froman attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College from 1956 until 1958. It was at NEO that he discovered his love of the stage. Froman taught at the college from 1965 until 1969, while simultaneously earning a Master’s Degree from Pittsburg State University. He later attended Kansas University to receive his Doctorate. During his collegiate years, Froman was honored with several awards, including the Best Actor Award from the American College Theatre competition and the D.O. Moore Award as the Outstanding Graduate Student at PSU. Froman moved to New York to pursue a career in acting and was soon cast as the evil character ‘Gunther’ on the ABC soap opera The Edge of Night. He was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for that character portrayal. Froman later moved to Los Angeles, California where he landed a reoccurring role in the NBC series Matlock with Andy Griffith. Froman spent seven years on the Matlock program, which was continuously rated a top-ten show for its first five years. After his time at Matlock, Froman returned to Miami, becoming the Department Chair of Fine Arts before retiring in 2002. After a five-year hiatus, he returned to teaching once again at NEO to share his knowledge of the stage and the camera. David Froman passed away in 2010 and was truly an example of the NEO motto “Once A Norseman, Always a Norseman.”
Charles Banks Wilson
A renowned American artist and teacher, who grew up in Miami, and served as the head of the Art department at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. While at NEO, he continued to further his artistic creations. Many of Wilson’s most famous paintings, drawings and lithographs can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Library of Congress and Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and in the Oklahoma State Capitol building. NEO Foundation recently renovated the Charles Banks Wilson (CBW) Art Gallery at NEO as a way to honor his contributions to the college. Wilson passed away in his sleep at the age of 94 on May 2, 2013.
Raised in Miami, Owens celebrated a tremendous football career as a running back. After rushing for more than 4,000 yards at Miami High School, he went on to star at the University of Oklahoma. While at OU, he received numerous honors and awards including—three time All-Big-8 Conference, two time All-Big-8 Player of Year, two time consensus All-American and won the 1969 Heisman Trophy award. Owens was drafted in the first round of the 1970 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions and was named to the NFL’s All-Pro team in 1971. In 1991, he was inducted into the College Football and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. Owens is currently the CEO of Steve Owens & Associates and Owens-Powell & Associates in Norman, Oklahoma and continues to be an avid supporter of the Miami community through his generous donations and gifts.
George L. Coleman, Sr.
A wealthy lead and zinc mining magnate in Northeast Oklahoma, Coleman loved movies and vaudeville. He decided that Miami needed a true movie palace. So, he built the Coleman Theatre Beautiful at a cost of $600,000, which opened in April of 1929. It is now insured for over $6 million and, thanks to the generosity of the Coleman heirs, belongs to the City of Miami and its citizens. The Coleman Theatre, after restoration and renovation, has become the center of cultural activities in Miami and the heart of downtown rejuvenation. It is active and open to the public to this day and is the living legacy of George L. Coleman, Sr.
Steve & Cassie Gaines
Musicians and singers for the legendary rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd were both from Miami. Cassie was one of the original members of the “Honkettes,” the female back-up singers for the band. She was responsible for getting her brother, Steve, an audition with the band. Steve wrote some of the songs for the band's 1977 album Street Survivors. They both died in a tragic plane crash later that year.