Flash Terry

Flash Terry

June 17, 1934 - March 18, 2003

Born Verbie Gene Terry, Flash Terry was born and raised in Inola. He grew up in a musical fake watches family and learned to play the guitar at a young age. He moved to Tulsa in the early 1950s to work by day and play music by night.

He began his professional playing career with "Cry Cry Hawkins" and Teardrops. Flash started his recording career in the 1958 with such tunes as "Big Betty" and "Her Name Is Lou". Terry's music has been on several labels, and he has recorded in the legendary Church Studio of Leon Russell's Shelter Records. He also recorded with the late famed steel guitarist and former Bob Wills band member, Leon McAuliffe.

Throughout the late '50s and early '60s, Flash toured with several greats, and after taking a seven year break off the touring circuit, Flash returned in 1972 to join Bobby "Blue" Bland's national tour. Since that time, Flash has opened for the talents of the late Johnny Clyde Copeland, Bobby Rush, Denise LaSalle, Elvin Bishop, Buckwheat Zydeco, Eddie C. Campbell, Latimore, Bo Diddley, James Peterson and Etta James.

Amidst all of his musical touring, recording, and nightclub activities, Flash Terry was known throughout Tulsa as the "Bus Driver Bluesman" - driving for the Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority for a total of 30 years. He also proudly maintains in those years of service, driving over a million miles without an accident.

Flash Terry & the Uptown Blues Band received a state of excellence award in 1988 from Oklahoma Gov. Henry Bellmon. The Oklahoma State Senate designated Terry and his band in a Citation of Appreciation as the official "Oklahoma's Favorite Blues Band. Again in 1994, Oklahoma recognized this fine musician by inducting Flash Terry into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame for his talents as a blues & jazz musician. Terry's earlier records are now on permanent display at the great historical Greenwood Cultural Center in Tulsa.

Flash has contributed to the Tulsa community and others in recent years by promoting or actively participating in multiple benefits to raise donations for charities and other causes. Flash Terry died on March 18th in a Tulsa hospital after suffering a stroke earlier on in the week. He was 69 years old.

via Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame


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