Service for Madera musician Oklin Bloodworth to be held Friday
Oklin Bloodworth performs children’s music during St. Joachim Parish’s annual Harvest Festival in Holy Spouses Hall. A graveside service will be held 3 p.m. Friday for Bloodworth, who passed away Sept. 11.
A graveside service for local musician Oklin Bloodworth will be held at 3 p.m. Friday at Arbor Vitae Cemetery, 1301 Roberts Ave.
Mr. Bloodworth, 66, died Sept. 11, 2016, after a battle with cancer.
The son of the late Oklin and Fannie Bloodworth, he was born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1950. He was a Madera resident for 62 years.
He learned to play guitar at the old Evelyn Scott Music Studio.
As a southpaw he had to learn to play the guitar right-handed, because that was the only way Scott and her partner, Virginia Griggs, taught.
“Nobody had ever heard of a left-handed guitar player,” said his brother, Jesse Bloodworth. This was long before anyone had heard of Jimi Hendrix, he said.
The studio often performed recitals of its students, many of whom played piano and accordion. Along with his brothers, Jesse and William, Mr. Bloodworth played at the recitals and at the King Cole Caper Show that were performed on the outdoor stage at the Madera Fairgrounds.
“Beginning in 1964 we played in these shows, performing Beatle music,” he said. “We were billed as the ‘Black Beatles.’”
While a student at Madera High School he performed as Oklin and the Dumonts, playing shows and dances throughout the San Joaquin Valley.
“To this day many people still remember them as a premier dance band,” said Jesse.
After high school, Mr. Bloodworth attended Fresno City College. He also drove the Madera bus providing transportation for local students attending FCC.
In the early 1990s he earned a reputation as a talented children’s musician. Through the Madera Unified School District and the Madera County Arts Council PACES program he performed and taught music at local schools.
Mr. Bloodworth played and sang at children’s events throughout the San Joaquin Valley.
He wrote, recorded and performed animal-themed original compositions such as “Jazzy Jaguar” and “The Long Necked Giraffe” at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, Fresno County Library and The Madera Fair.
“He recorded some 18 albums many of which are available on iTunes.com and Amazon.com,” he said.
In recent years he taught music at rural elementary schools in Fresno and Tulare counties. He brought smiles to the children’s faces. He loved to perform for the children and they loved to sing and dance along with him, said Jesse Bloodworth.
He taught private guitar lessons, and jazz music was his passion, said Jesse.
He loved music, drawing, and writing which he shared with everyone he knew, he said. His estate has discovered a couple of children’s books he wrote and had illustrated.
Mr. Bloodworth was preceded in death by his parents in 2014. He is survived by his son, Wayne Leroy Bloodworth; grandsons, Mychal Anthony Bloodworth and Khrystofer Wayne Bloodworth of Sanger; brothers, Jesse Bloodworth Sr. and William Bloodworth both of Fresno; nephews Jesse Bloodworth Jr., Anthony Bloodworth and nieces Angela Wanamaker, Mavis Bloodworth and Whitney Hendricks along with other family members.