Sand Springs Idol asks for community's help raising money for album

The Jake Dillon Band performs at Vintage Down South festival in Bixby.

A Sand Springs native country singer is asking for help to put out a new album.

Jacob "Jake Dillon" Tankersley graduated Charles Page High School in 2011 and attained national attention in 2016 when he appeared on the final season of Fox's American Idol. He earned a golden ticket to Hollywood from the Little Rock auditions, but was eliminated in the "line of ten" competition.

Tankersley has created a Kickstarter campaign that seeks to raise $15,000 by Friday, July 21st. If the campaign doesn't reach its goal, then all donations will be refunded. "When I say the word 'donate,' let's just pretend that means pre-ordering," says Tankersley. "If you donate $10 dollars you will get a digital copy of our first record if we reach our goal." The album is expected to be a full dozen songs.

Click here to donate to the campaign.

The campaign offers seven different contributor levels, though donors are welcome to give as much or as little as they like.

  • Pledge $10 to receive a digital download of the album before the release date.
  • Pledge $20 for both a digital download prior to the release date, and a signed physical copy.
  • A $50 contribution includes the digital download, signed CD, and a Jake Dillon Band T-Shirt.
  • Donate $100 for the digital download, two signed CDs, and two JDB shirts.
  • Donate $250 for the $100 package plus an acoustic house concert with Jake.
  • A $500 donation will get you the $100 package plus an acoustic house concert with the entire JDB band. 
  • A $1,000 donation will get you the digital download, four signed CDs, four JBD hats, four JBD shirts, and a three-hour concert with the Jake Dillon Band.

The concert packages are a great opportunity for a local business to land a great headliner for an event, or for a private birthday, wedding, or other celebration, all while supporting a local artist.

The full band consists of Jake Tankersley on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, Colton Tankersley on lead guitar, Eric Cope on bass, and Casey Highfill on drums. The band has previously performed on Good Day Tulsa, the Vintage Down South festival, and more.

Tankersley attained local prominence in 2010 after penning the song "See You Soon" in honor of two schoolmates who were killed in a tragic car accident. Tankersley used his college savings to record the song and raised more than $5,000 for the victims' families. The song received extensive play on local FM radio station K95.5.

In 2011 Tankersley released his first album, "Just Jake," and married his wife, Ashleigh. His band was formed in 2014. The family of five currently lives in Verdigris and serve at Cedar Point Church in Claremore where Tankersley leads worship.

At press time, the Kickstarter campaign more than a third of the way to its goal. 99 donors have contributed $5,546. There are less than two days remaining in the campaign. 

Find the Jake Dillon Band at the following links.
Web Site

Sand Springs musician Hannah Rose releases More Than Conquerors EP and music video

More Than Conquerors
Hannah Isabella

More Than Conquerors has been on Hannah Rose's heart since she was just fifteen years old, and it finally hit the airwaves Tuesday morning. The debut EP from the young Sand Springs singer is available now on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

"When I was fifteen years old, I rededicated my life to Jesus," said Rose. "When I was first reading the Bible I came across this passage in Romans titled More than was like a foundation for me, for my music career. "

Rose sings in the Word of Life church worship band on Sunday mornings, the Forward Youth Ministries worship band on Wednesday nights, and has been working her way around the Tulsa coffee shop scene for the past year. She graduated from Charles Page High School in 2013.

She released her first single, "Another Day Closer" in 2015 and followed it up with "Worth More than Gold" last March. More Than Conquerors is her first full EP and features six songs, including "Nothing Can Separate," which she spent the last several months recording a music video for.

More Than Conquerors was recorded at The Closet Studios in Bixby by producer Kendal Osborne, who has also worked with Sand Springs bands The Fairweather, AfterMidnight, The Moon & Antarctica, and The Darin Shipley Band. 

Sand Springs photographer and classmate Holly Felts created the album artwork.

Capital Lights guitarist Brett Admire, who owns a photography/video company, did the production behind the "Nothing Can Separate" video, which will debut Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. 

Rose worked with Capital Lights vocalist Bryson Phillips and Run Kid Run guitarist Neil Endicott to workshop the vocals and lyrics, most of which were written in October of last year. "I was going through a lot of changes and I kept going back to that verse. I had to write a song about that."

The "Nothing Can Separate" video incorporates the More Than Conquerors theme of being able to get through anything by placing faith in God. "That's the kind of message I want people to know. They can conquer anything. Jesus's love is so powerful that nothing they're going through can separate them from it."

"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus Our Lord." Romans 8:37-39.

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Sand Springs musician Morgan Ganem releases new album, Paradise

Sand Springs musician Morgan Ganem released his debut solo album Friday, May 12th. 

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Morgan Ganem was born and raised in the music industry as the son of I.J. Ganem, a member of the Rogues Five. The Sand Springs band saw success in the 1960's, charting regionally and opening for bands like Jim Morrison and the Doors at the Tulsa Convention Center. Fifty years later it's Morgan's turn, and he is seeing major successes of his own.

The Charles Page High School graduate just released the "Only for the Night" music video, the second single from his new album. Paradise dropped Friday, May 12th.

Paradise is Morgan's first full-length album as a solo artist, and third album all-together. Previously he was the lead vocalist for Sownds, which released albums in 2010 and 2012. He released the Breakthrough EP in 2013 and the Somewhere in Time EP in 2015. 

Morgan and I.J. co-founded GX2 Records, through which Morgan not only records his own music, but co-writes and records topline vocals for producers and musicians across the globe.

"It's grown pretty vastly in the past few years," said Morgan. "I initially started GX2 to put out my own music. Since that point, about the time that Sownds dissolved, I've had pretty incredible releases. We've signed people in Barcelona, a guy in Mexico, a guy in Malaysia, a lot of cool things are happening at this point."

He also plays in his father's band, the I.J. Ganem Band, and fills in with the Rogues Five when the drummer isn't available. 

"It's a full time gig for me. I'm really fortunate to be able to do music my entire life thus far. At this point I've learned how to do so many different things that my plate stays pretty full."

Morgan Ganem performs at the album release party for "Welcome to the Show," the debut album from Sownds. (Photo: Scott Emigh).

Morgan recently began a radio show, live-streaming Morgan Ganem on the Air through his official facebook page. The hour-long special includes original music, remixes, and yesterday featured a preview of Paradise. More than a thousand viewers tune in for each podcast.

"(My influences) are pretty broad. It ranges from the Beatles and Phil Collins to Hardwell and Steve Aioki. I had been doing rock music when I was a kid, now I've kind of transitioned to EDM. Now what I'm doing is a nice mixture of a little bit of both. The lyrics and stuff now have a little more substance the music has more of a rock edge, but it's not really guitars anymore, it's big distorted synthesizers. I definitely still take influence from the classic. I even put a little ode to The Beatles in my song 'Forever Young,' which is the first track on my new album."

"'Only for the Night' was written for someone else originally, but they didn't use the top line, but I really like what I had done with that and wrote my own music around it. It turned out to be a whole new animal. It's fun to collaborate with other people, but if it doesn't work out I can still use whatever I wrote for them as my own music."

Click here to find Paradise on iTunes, amazon, Spotify, Google play, and more. 

"The next thing is just to go out and perform this new music...I've been working on this for some time. I'm also working on some new music. I just finished a new vocal for a guy in Malaysia...I'm just constantly writing music, it never really ends."

Morgan won't need to tour to promote his new music, he already has a summer residency booked with Safari Joe's H20 water park in Tulsa. He will perform more than thirty concerts this summer at the former Big Splash location, which also features a petting zoo and a bar. The first concert will be June 1st for adult night. On Thursday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00, patrons must be 21 years or older to enter. There is also a teen night from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 on Tuesdays. 

On June 3rd, he will be doing a big outdoor concert at the River West Festival Park as a fundraiser for the Bridges Foundation in Tulsa. Registration for the Dirty Dog 5K/Fun Run & Concert will end at 5:30 p.m. The Fun Run will start at 6:00, followed by the 5K at 6:30 and the concert at 7:30. The Bridges Foundation is a United Way affiliate that provides vocational training, employment opportunities, education, living skills, and community resources for individuals with developmental disabilities. 

As far as young and upstart musicians go, Morgan has some simple advice. "Do you. Don't try to sound like anybody specifically, but take influence carefully from artists that you trust. Learn how to do a lot of stuff. Learn how to do it all. There will be a point when no one seems to care, no one wants to help. If you can push yourself past that threshold, then you'll grow and get better. It's not only good for yourself, but it's good for your music. Don't wait on anybody."

Sand Springs grad Dylan Whitney headlines Oklahoma Stage at Tulsa State Fair

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Charles Page High School Class of 2015 graduate Dylan Whitney has been making waves in the local and Midwest blues scene recently, performing at the Sand Springs Chillin 'n' Grillin Festival, the Bixby Vintage Down South Festival, Tulsa Mayfest, and even the Exit 56 Blues Fest in Tennessee.

On Sunday he will taking one of his biggest platforms yet when he headlines the Oklahoma Stage at the Tulsa State Fair. The Tulsa Fair is far from a local showcase. Some of the other headliners on that stage this past week have included Old Dominion, Brothers Osbourne, Chris Janson, Mercy Me, Kellie Pickler, and Elle King. 

Alongside Whitney is vocalist Christi King, bass guitarist Scott Craig, guitarist Michael McClure, and drummer Randy Reese. When the band isn't traveling, Whitney is a guitar instructor at the Butler Music School of Tulsa.

The Dylan Whitney Band will take the stage at 4:00 p.m. Sunday. Admission is included with regular fair entry fee. The stage is located on the West side of the Fairgrounds next to the Exchange Center.

Sand Springs musical duo to play Margaritaville opening weekend

Pictured: Jacob Dement and The Sellouts play at Los Cabos-Jenks.  

Pictured: Jacob Dement and The Sellouts play at Los Cabos-Jenks.  

The first of four grand openings of the resort's $365M expansion

(TULSA, OK) - Officials at Muscogee (Creek) Nation announced the grand opening of the first phase of their historic $365M expansion of River Spirit Casino Resort Thursday. At 5:00 p.m. on August 25, after an official ribbon cutting ceremony with Muscogee (Creek) Nation, state and local dignitaries, the much-anticipated Margaritaville Casino and Restaurant opened to the public.

Musical duo Jacob and Vashni Dement will be playing the opening weekend Sunday night from 9:00 p.m. through 1:00 a.m. They will be only the fourth musical act to ever play at the new facility. Jacob is a Charles Page High School Class of 2004 graduate and is also a member of the Sand Springs-based band The Sellouts. 

After breaking ground in 2013, with heavy construction beginning in fall 2014, the Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant complex is the first of four phases of the massive expansion to be completed. In addition to Margaritaville Restaurant & Casino, the first opening includes the new resort grand entry and lobby, 30,000 square feet of meeting space, a Margaritaville Coffee Shop, Margaritaville retail store, resort gift store, new connectivity entrances to the River Spirit Casino, valet parking under the new porte cochere, and an expanded 3,000-space parking facility with a climate-controlled walkway.

A 27-story luxury resort tower will open in December 2016, followed by The Paradise Cove theater and Ruth's Chris Steak House in January 2017, and the LandShark Pool Bar, resort pool deck, outdoor event space and new River Parks Trail opening in Spring 2017.

"This is a game-changer not only for River Spirit Casino Resort, but the entire Tulsa region," said Pat Crofts, chief executive officer of Muscogee (Creek) Nation Casinos. "We've built an incredible destination resort and the entire region will benefit from the added jobs and boost to the local economy."

The economic impact over the two-year construction phase is approximately $303.5 million for the region and has created 4,100 unique construction jobs. Currently, more than 650 construction workers continue to work onsite daily. When all openings are complete, the expansion will provide 1,000 new direct jobs and will support an additional 1,200 indirect jobs in the region. According to the Tulsa Regional Chamber, the ongoing regional economic impact is $135.1 million annually.

The brightly-lit Margaritaville Casino is 50,000 square feet of island fun with 850 of the latest gaming machines and 27 live table/poker games; connected by portals to the existing casino and hotel lobby.

Complementing the casino is Jimmy Buffett's iconic Margaritaville Restaurant, which features multiple bars on two levels, a flavorful menu of island-inspired dishes and hand-crafted cocktails, weekend live entertainment and a margarita -erupting volcano. The 400-seat restaurant also includes two outdoor decks with spectacular views of the Arkansas River.

"This particular development marks the largest restaurant and casino complex within our portfolio, and we are excited to bring all the fun and escapism of Margaritaville to the banks of the Arkansas River and the Tulsa community," said John Cohlan, chief executive officer of Margaritaville.

Enhancements to the existing casino were also made, including a complete re-facing of the current exterior to complement and integrate with the expansion areas, as well as new signage, and a complete remodel of the Visions buffet.

Since the groundbreaking, other completed project milestones include: the addition of Johnny Rockets inside the existing casino, the newly remodeled Scoreboard, River Spirit's sports bar that features 22 flat-screen televisions (includes a 102-inch plasma television) and the opening of Jimmy Buffett's 5 o'Clock Somewhere Bar at River Spirit last summer. The most recent addition was the remodel of Elements Steakhouse into Fireside Grill, an upscale grill featuring gourmet takes on American cuisine in a contemporary setting.

The 27-story resort and convention center, slated to open in December, will feature 483 guest rooms, including 54 suites, and the upscale spa resort. The convention / meeting venue will include 30,000 square feet of meeting space, including a ballroom and a pre-function area overlooking the pool deck and casino.

Project partners in construction include Manhattan Red Stone and Program Management Group, Native.

"We are one step closer to our expansion becoming a reality," said Andy Langston, chief operating officer for Muscogee (Creek) Nation Casinos. "It has taken a Herculean effort by everyone involved to get us to this point, to what will end up being a transformative project for our entire region."

Jake Dillon Band and Dylan Whitney Band to perform at Bixby craft festival


By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Jake Dillon Band appeared on a segment of Good Morning Tulsa Monday morning and performed their newest single "Going Crazy." The band was promoting a Bixby event at Washington Irving Park this upcoming weekend.

The Jake Dillon Band is made up of Charles Page High School Class of 2011 graduate Jake "Dillon" Tankersley along with Colton Joe on lead guitar, Eric Cope on bass, and Casey Highfill on drums. Tankersley recently appeared on the final season of American Idol in January and performed for thousands in Hollywood. 


Vintage Down South is a craft show event that will feature several antique and craft vendors as well as Tulsa food trucks and an impressive lineup of local musicians. The Jake Dillon Band will be performing Friday night from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Also performing at the event is Dylan Whitney, a CPHS Class of 2015 graduate, with his band. Whitney performs alongside vocalist Christi King, bass guitarist Scott Craig, guitarist Michael McClure, and drummer Randy Reese. The Dylan Whitney band has been making waves in the local blues scene with recent performances at the Chillin 'n' Grillin Festival in Sand Springs, the Exit 56 Blues Fest in Tennessee, Tulsa Mayfest, and more. The band will be performing the Vintage Down South event Saturday from 1:00 to 6:00 pm, and will also be performing the free 5th Annual Summertime Blues Showcase at the Blues Society of Tulsa Friday night at 9:15.

Several other musicians will be performing at the Vintage Down South event:

Bixby's Cole Lynch Band will be opening the event up with a set from 3:00 to 5:00 pm Friday, followed by the Jake Dillon Band from 6:00 to 8:00. 

Saturday will kick off with Bandelier, a Tulsa band featuring Jessey Aycock, Chris Combs, Eric Noble, and Erin O'Dowd from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. From there Chelsea Gann, a season 10 contestant on The Voice, will take the stage. Gann made it to episode seven and was eliminated in the "battle rounds." She also performed alongside Whitney at the Chillin 'n' Grillin Festival. She will be performing intermittently between 1:00 and 6:00 pm Saturday. Kyle and Jake Lowrey of the band 2 Steps Back will be playing Saturday with Gann, Lynch and Whitney all sharing the 1:00 to 6:00 pm slot in a kind of five-man-jam. 

CPHS Lip Dub video is back up!

The Charles Page High School Sandite TV class spent the last few months working hard on their second annual "Lip Dub" video featuring popular songs that the Class of 2016 has identified with over the years. The professional-quality production was a smash hit upon its initial release earlier this week and quickly surpassed twenty-thousand views before it was taken down.

After a concerned parent pointed out the suggestive lyrical content of the video, it was briefly removed while administration met to review the video and its compliance with school policies. After massive support through online petitions and emails to the school administrators, CPHS principal Stan Trout announced Friday that because the video used only radio edits of the songs it was acceptable and would be reposted.

The mildly edited version of the footage is now available once again at

Sand Springs's Hannah Rose releases new single on iTunes and Spotify


By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Hannah Isabella Rose, a Sand Springs resident and Charles Page Class of 2013 graduate, has released her second single this past month entitled “Worth More Than Gold.” In 2015 the singer made her iTunes debut with “Another Day Closer.”

Rose, 21, graduated from Victory Bible College School of Worship in 2015 and is currently studying at Tulsa Community College working towards her Associates of the Arts in Psychology with the goal of becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor or school counselor. She serves at Word of Life Church in Sand Springs on Sunday mornings on the worship team and in Children’s Church, and previously spent four years at Forward Youth Ministries.


Her boyfriend of two years, Stephen Cliff, is an Oklahoma State University grad student and is currently on a medical mission trip in Paraguay. The two are frequent participants in missions. I myself traveled to New Orleans several years ago with Rose to help renovate an impoverished school. In March of 2014 she traveled to Costa Rica and last October she visited Haiti.

Her songs can be purchased for $0.99 in iTunes, or can be played free of charge with a Spotify account at

Jake Dillon Tankersley's "Idol" run falls short, but big plans still ahead

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Photo: FOX

Sand Springs's own Jacob "Jake Dillon" Tankersley got a nice boost to his following after performing "Danny's Song" in the American Idol Little Rock auditions, and earned a golden ticket to Hollywood. Dillon impressed judges Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez, but Henry Connick, Jr. was less enthused. "It was good. I like your voice, I like the vibe... we're looking for spectacular."

Unfortunately when it came to the "line of ten" competition, Dillon was unable to make it through to the next round and was sent home.

It was disappointing to go home, but the overall experience seems to have brought new life to the Jake Dillon Band. 

Since the Idol hype began, Dillon has given live performances on Mix 96.5 FM and 95.5 KVOO, received coverage from nationally read blogs and news sources, performed a song on Good Morning Tulsa, and the band has even more in the works.

"Jake Dillon Band" T-shirts are for sale on the band's Facebook page, which is now closing in on 4,000 "likes."

In a statement released Wednesday night, Dillon stated;

"Good news! This is not the end it's just another step closer. The band and I are currently working on an album and already have a few gigs booked this year so stay tuned for the album release. This was such a great experience and connected me to all of you guys. The future is bright and there's not enough time in life to keep ya head down. Love y'all --Jake"

Dillon also endorsed neighbor and friend Chris Johnson who is also on Idol this season, and asked that fellow Oklahomans vote for the singer if he makes it that far in the competition.

See Related:

Jacob Tankersley advances to Hollywood on American Idol

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Sandite country singer Jacob Tankersley didn’t make it on American Idol, the Thursday night episode. But he did make it to Hollywood, and might show up during next week's episodes.

The Charles Page High School graduate and Claremore-based Worship Leader auditioned at Tulsa’s Guthrie Green during the American Idol Bus Tour, performing Kenny Loggins’ “Danny’s Song.” Impressing the producers, Tankersley was invited to the Little Rock auditions where he performed in front of judges Harry Connick, Jr., Keith Urban, and Jennifer Lopez.

Only a handful of the Little Rock auditions were aired on television, and unfortunately, Tankersley was not among them. He did, however, receive a ticket to Hollywood.

The first episode of American Idol’s 15th and final season aired on Wednesday, and featured the auditions from Denver and Atlanta. Jacob, his wife, Ashleigh, and their daughter June all made a brief appearance in a segment on cute babies.

Photo: FOX

Photo: FOX

***Spoiler Alert***

June is a cute baby. Like, super cute. Here's some pictures of June and her older brother, Elijah.

Photo by Kara Whisenhunt, Whisenhunt Photography

Photo by Tara Cope, Full Feather Photography

Thursday night’s episode focused on Little Rock and San Francisco, and viewers didn’t have to wait long to see Tankersley this time. Within the first minute of the show, the Little Rock auditioners made a big group appearance and Tankersley was right up front.

Photo: FOX

Photo: FOX

He appeared again later on in the episode during a montage of mic checks.

Photo: FOX

Photo: FOX

Though Tankersley’s audition hasn’t been shown yet, it’s still possible it could be aired at a later point. The January 14th, Thursday night, episode will be showing more auditions from Little Rock, and Hollywood week begins Wednesday, January 27th. However, if you want to see all of Tankersley, you'll have to tune in for every episode because he was seen in this Wednesday night's episode as well, despite it being focused on Denver and Atlanta.

The important thing is that he made it on to the next round and is that much closer to seeing his dreams come true.

Photo: FOX

Photo: FOX

Local musician to appear on final season of American Idol

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Jacob Tankersley is a name that's been known around Sand Springs for several years, but now he has the opportunity to become a household name across the country. 

The 2011 Charles Page graduate made local headlines after writing the song "See You Soon" in honor of two schoolmates who were killed in a tragic car accident in October of 2010. 

Hannah Christian and Cassidy Rotramel were only 15 years old when they were taken from this Earth, and the whole community felt their loss. 

About that time, Tankersley felt the Lord using him to write the song, aided by friend Jason Hargrove, and recorded it at a local studio using his college savings. Sales of the recording generated more than $5000 for the two victims' families.

"The song touched the heart of Sand Springs and I know it was God-sent to bring what peace it could to the parents, family, and friends."  

Not long after, he was invited to play the song for a packed memorial service at the Charles Page High School Football Stadium, and also received extensive play on local FM radio station K95.5. 

"The Lord used me, and that's when I knew this is my calling."

In September of 2011, Tankersley released his first album, entitled "Just Jake." In December of that year he married his wife, Ashleigh, and the two now have two children The family is currently living in Verdigris and serving at Cedar Point Church in Claremore, where Tankersley leads worship on the weekends. 

He currently has no albums in the works or dates set for concerts, due to a full schedule between his church, family, and full time job. 

"I want to one day make a living being a singer/songwriter. I may never be Jason Aldean, or Luke Bryan, but that's fine with me. I'll go where the Lord leads me and do what it takes to provide for my family."

His family is more than supportive, according to Tankersley. As for his biggest fan, it's "a tough fight" between his wife, mom, and grandma. 

"I'm still finding myself as an artist...Success as an artist, to me, is making a decent living doing what you love and impacting people. The world will always need music, and not just the same old songs. There's always a new way to craft a story or whatever you sing about."

He is joined by his brother Colton Tankersley (lead guitar), along with Brookes Dowler (bass), and Eric Cope (drums) to comprise the Jake Dillon Band. The group has been playing together since March of 2014 and can be found under that moniker on Facebook.

 Tankersley lists Johnny Cash as his biggest influence. He also has great friends and co-writers in Jason Hargrove, and Jared and Lauren Hard. The Hards go by the name "Freewater," and all four of the musicians have performed together under the name "Songwood" in the past, though the three now live in the Nashville area. 

The fifteenth and final season of American Idol will debut on Fox Network on Wednesday, January 6th with Ryan Seacrest as the host, and Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick, Jr. as judges. Be sure and tune in to support one of Sand Springs's best!