Original Okie: Ben Kilgore

by Michael Cooper


Ben Kilgore relaxes as he takes a drag off his cigarette. Life is good.

Open for a year now, Shoe Gypsy (a store Kilgore runs with his wife, Noelle) is making its mark on the community. In addition to offering stylish shoes and apparel, Ben and Noelle make sure they also run a business that gives back to its community. It was only a few months previous to the opening of Shoe Gypsy that Ben and Noelle married, helping make 2009 the year that he settled down.

For those who follow Tulsa’s music scene, Ben Kilgore’s name brings up a different image. He was the lead singer of The Hero Factor, a band with a big sound and an equally big heart. Though they broke up in 2007, The Hero Factor had a successful run despite the fact that we never saw them explode into stardom. Three years later, Kilgore has centered himself and found a new direction. His unnamed band is already garnering the attention of such international record labels as Interscope.

Kilgore, now married to a wife and a business, isn’t particularly worried about whether he lands a record deal and becomes the next big thing. He stands outside my studio after our shoot and expresses that he has it good here. As long as he has his head and his heart in front and center, he says, Tulsa is all he needs.

True Tulsa is a weekly project that highlights the people and places that make our city great.