Remembering Jim Paul Blair

It is with profound sadness and grief we report that our dear colleague and friend, Jim Paul Blair, passed away on February 11th, 2020 from a rare lung infection and pneumonia. He was only 58. Jim was not just a friend to OIBF, he served the festival for over 20 years as a board member, Treasurer, grant writer, tax preparer and in endless other areas. Jim was an integral and irreplaceable part of the success of OIBF. Over the years Jim also graced the stage at OIBF with The Neverly Hillbillies, Hankerin’ 4 Hank, Bonham Review and many others, and as our always surprising emcee for the Random Band Jam. He once described that task this way: “The Fun Girls just tell me the theme, dress me up and tell me what to do and I do it. It’s always a hoot. They do all the work and I just show up!” Beyond his work with OIBF Jim was the former Executive Director of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and an active supporter of his community of Muskogee. His friend Cliff Casteel described Jim as, “Musician, health administrator, historian, humanitarian and columnist.” Creative, intelligent, fun loving, musically gifted, generous of spirit – all these phrases are just a few ways to describe Jim. We will miss all that he did for OIBF, but we will miss him more as a dear friend. Below the photos we’ve included links to a few articles that will give those who did not have the good fortune to know Jim well a better idea of just who we have lost. Rest in Peace dear friend. Our hearts are with his wife, Katey and his entire family.

Tulsa World

The Muskogee Phoenix

The Oklahoman