Elizabeth Fowler Sullivan was born in California during the Great Depression to parents that in her words “Went to California in search of fortune, but all they got was me.” When she was two years old, they returned to Oklahoma City and settled along Lightning Creek where she was raised in one of her grandfather’s rental houses. While attending Heronville Grade School, she met Jim Sullivan and eventually they fell in love. They married in 1947 while still attending Capitol Hill High School, and in 1950, their first child, Michael, was born. Before moving to Norman in 1968, they lived in Boggy Depot where 5 of their 8 children were born with whom they shared their passion for music. “Music was such an important part of our lives... we just did music much of the time within the nurture of our church.”
Music encompasses Elizabeth’s life in such away, that after 26 years, she returned to The University of Oklahoma to get a degree in music, but after the first four years, her goals took a new direction. At the age of 76, she received her degree in English with an emphasis on Writing and Literature and was accepted into Phi Beta Kappa. However, before she even received her degree, Betty was an accomplished and published writer, composing music, poems, and essays, and when combined with her daughter Heather’s photography, Voices of a Mother and Daughter was created and published. Among her CDs that she recorded is If Not Now, When, and on May 22, 2011, she introduced her new CD entitled After September, (Available on iTunes) which was a loving tribute and memorial to her husband Jim. She also has a CD titled Together Through Time which is the poetry of Robert and Elizabeth Browning set to music Elizabeth composed.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is the place of Elizabeth’s youth--her early musical training and schooling. Recently, at the Cowboy Hall of Fame, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Capitol Hill High School. Her home is now Norman, Oklahoma, whose Chamber of Commerce gave her the Neighbor award. And it is in Norman that she continues to study, write, and plan for future performances around the country.
Mother of Singers, Mistress of Song,” has performed in New York City at venues such as the Oak Room at the Algonquin, the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie, Helen’s, the Metropolitan Room, and Zankel Hall at Carnegie. She has also participated in the Brownville Concert Series in Nebraska and has sung at Town Hall for the Cabaret Convention. Bob Dotson featured the family on the NBC’sToday show.