The Sooner Nation drum is comprised of a group of young men that are accomplished singers in their own right. Now living in the southern California area, most of these singers are originally from Oklahoma and their songs are of the southern style. This drum group consists of singers from the Kiowa, Kickapoo, Creek & Comanche tribes as well as other singers who come from all over to give their support. They have been chosen as Host Drum and Head Singers at many powwows throughout California and the United States. They have participated in and won many drum contests as well.
These men have the expertise of knowing the various styles of songs and do not hesitate when asked to sing such. They come from a long line of distinguished and well known singers who have passed on their knowledge and traditons to their sons and grandsons.
The lead singer Steve Bohay, Kiowa, has sung with various drum groups such as Red Tepee, Red Buffalo, the Roubideaux Singers, Rainy Mountain, the Hale Singers, the Cozads, Southern Thunder and is a member of the World Champion Southern Singers, Bad Medicine. Steve has also been Head Singer for the prestigious Kiowa Gourd Clan Celebration, Gourd Dance portion and War Dance, in Carnegie, Oklahoma.
The original singers were
Art Ketcheshawno, Steve Bohay, Glenn Ahhaitty, Mitchell Murdock & Randy Campos
Here is a photo of the fathers of Sooner Nation Singers Steve Bohay, Mitchell Murdock and Glenn Ahhaitty. They are Ernest Murdock, Phil Bohay Sr., and Melvin Ahhaitty sitting at the drum at a powwow in Commerce, Ca, circa mid 1970's. Ernie was also an MC at various powwows. Here he is with his Co-MC Jim WhiteCloud in Santa Monica.
The Drum & Feather Club was started in Inglewood, CA in 1953. Phil Bohay, Ernest Murdock, Ted Boles, Foster Hood and Ernest Bearstail were the initial members who started this organization. These men had moved to Los Angeles from Oklahoma and other states, some because of the BIA relocation program for Indians. They met as employees of North American Aviation, located in El Segundo, in the early 1950's and became lifelong friends. Around that time there was a dance troop called the Road Runners, started by Vincent St. Cyr and Eddie Little Sky, who traveled around putting on shows. Ernie Murdock invited Phil and Mamie to attend one of the shows that would be performing one weekend in Los Angeles. It was after attending one of these shows that these men got together and decided they wanted to start a powwow organization and start having regular powwows for the growing Indian community in and around Los Angeles. This was the Drum and Feather Club, the very first incorporated Powwow Organization in California.
Here are some pics from those early days at a gathering in Griffith Park. Notice those guys sitting on the log or just kneeling at the drum to sing! Talk about old style!
These old pics are taken during mid 1950's of the Drum and Feather Club members, Phil Bohay, Ernest Murdock, Ted Boles, Mamie Bohay and Juanita Murdock.