Welcome to Somewhere, OK: Kellyville changes name for a day to honor local singer
Folks driving Route 66 from Bristow to Tulsa might’ve been concerned when they ended up…Somewhere.
James Robert Webb (left) and Mayor Jim Vogt change the name of Kellyville to Somewhere to celebrate James' new single "Now We're Gettin' Somewhere"
“Is this real?”
“Is this some sort of joke?”
“Why would you do this?”
The confusion amidst the commenters on the Sapulpa Times Facebook page was understandable. There had not been a ton of warning and suddenly, it appeared that the name of Kellyville, the little town of less than 2500 people about 8 miles southwest of Sapulpa had just had it’s changed to the most useless term of all time: “Somewhere”.
Related: See the live video at the bottom of this story.
And no, it wasn’t a joke. Yes, it’s real, even if it’s only temporary.
The name change was to honor James Robert Webb, a locally bred doctor-turned-country singer, who is officially kicking off the launch of a new single called “Now we’re getting’ somewhere.”
And don’t worry folks, it’s just for a day. You’ll get your Kellyville back tomorrow.
Doctor by day, singer at sundown, James Robert Webb’s passion has always been to help others and enrich their lives. Whether that be in his medical practice performing ground-breaking procedures on his patients or on the stage performing his latest hit song. And yes, sometimes he uses his voice in both occassions. At the sign-changing ceremony, someone asked if he ever has patients ask to sing to them.
“Sure,” he said. “Sometimes, if we’re going to sedate them, they’ll smile and ask, ‘are you going to sing me to sleep?’ and I’ll just say, ‘sure, what do you want to hear?’”
And whatever that song might be, it’s sure to be something you’d love to drift off to. Webb’s rich country twang is something that’s altogether familiar but stands out in a way that makes you appreciate it. He says that familiarity and and nostalgia on this new single is the driving force behind it’s success.
“Everyone’s been in that situation, you know?” He says. “You’re on a date and you’re nervous and it doesn’t seem like anything’s gonna happen. Then, someone makes a move or something gives and a spark flies and it’s like ‘now we’re gettin’ somewhere.”
A 1991 graduate of Kellyville, Webb is extremely proud of his heritage, though he says he didn’t want to follow in same route as many of his classmates.
“When you grow up in Kellyville or Creek County, a lot of people grow up to do what their parents do,” he says.
So Webb decided to go become a doctor, of all things. Beginning his career at Oklahoma Baptist University and getting his start as an orderly in a nursing home. It was then he decided to go on to medical school and became a musculoskeletal radiologist who specializes in osteoporosis treatment and interventional pain management. He maintains a practice in Tulsa on 71st street.
Growing up the son of a music teacher, he came by his fascination with music naturally, but it wasn’t until 2012 that he began to really embrace it, particularly the songwriting side of music. At that point he made a trip to Nashville to see if he could make something happen, and then, as James puts it, through ‘a series of fortunate of events,’ started writing songs and even though he had never had any vocal training, worked with a couple of people through finding his voice. In the fall of 2013 James went back to Nashville, got a manager and did a christmas project, called “Born this day”—James says it’s a “traditional country christmas album.” As it happened, the title track on that album was the No 1 on the Hot Disc track in Europe and gave him his first taste of success. It was at that point he began to open for other singers and build his resume. Not the stereotypical “overnight sensation” that you frequently hear about in music, James maintains that everything he’s come by has been the result of hard work, and it’s that hard work he relates back to his upbringing at Somewhere—sorry, Kellyville, OK.
“You think it’s like Nowhere, OK,” he says. “I think it’s a really good place. In fact we, still go to church there on the weekends.”
Webb says his upcoming album will finish recording in two weeks, including music video to be shot at the iconic Admiral Twin in Tulsa.
Looks like we may finally be getting somewhere, after all.
Here’s the live video: