Throughout the years, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame has honored more than 50 individuals or groups for their talents and contributions to the music industry. This year is no different as the Hall honors four more individuals with the 14th annual concert and induction ceremony at the Muskogee Civic Center on Thursday, Nov. 4.
With this year's ceremonies, four artists will be honored as Les Gilliam, Jean Shepard, Jamie Oldaker and Sam Harris will all be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, recognizing more than five decades of musical contributions in a variety of genres. Over the course of the evening, Oklahoman contributions to the pop, country and rock and blues genres will be credited as the four artists are honored.
Les Gilliam and Jean Shepard both represent the old guard of country music and Oklahoma's deep roots in country and western swing. A native of Gene Autry, Okla., Les Gilliam was recognized by the Oklahoma legislature in 1998 as the official "Oklahoma Balladeer," having recorded 14 albums in the western swing and country music genres. His induction in the Music Hall of Fame follows honors such as the Governor's Arts Award under Gov. Brad Henry and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gene Autry Museum.
Jean Shepard's contributions to country music are no less, as a star in the first network country music show, The Ozark Jubilee and the first female country singer to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 50 years. She was also the first female in country music to sell more than one million records as she recorded more than 35 albums and had 44 hits over the course of her career.
Sam Harris, born in Cushing and raised in Sand Springs, is the youngest of this year's nominees and a major pop star in his own right. After winning over the hearts and imaginations of millions of fans while winning the premiere season of Star Search, he went on to multiple successes and has spent more than two decades in the public eye as a singer, actor, writer, producer and director. His extensive touring career has seen him play nationwide, including sold-out shows in New York's Carnegie Hall and Los Angeles' Universal Amphitheater as well as overseas at London's famed West End.
Finally, Jamie Oldaker, a Tulsa native, may be the most widely recognized of this year's inductees. Inspired by the recordings of Gene Krups, Oldaker began playing drums at the age of 9 and has had a long and prolific career. Oldaker began by playing with Bob Seger from 1971-74, before joining Eric Clapton's band during the 461 Ocean Boulevard sessions and playing with Clapton's band through 1980, then again for another run from 1983-86. Oldaker was also a founder member of The Tractors with Steve Ripley, and has earned 24 gold and platinum albums over the course of his career.
This year's induction ceremonies and concert will include Oldaker in concert with a hand-picked band of all-stars that he has chosen to join him on stage. Accompanying him on Nov. 4 will be a cast that includes David Teegarden Sr., Jimmy "Junior" Markham, Dick Sims, Walt Richmond, Jim Byfield, guitarist Steve Hickerson, Larry Bell, Bill Davis, I.J. Ganem, fellow Tractors member KC Van Beek and original Tulsa Sound drummer Chuck Blackwell. In total, the gathering of such a lineup will make for a special evening and an unforgettable concert.
Inductions and performances by Sam Harris, Jean Shepard and Les Gilliam can also be expected during the course of the evening as the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame celebrates its 14th annual ceremony, held this year at the Muskogee Civic Center. The event is open to the public as the Hall hopes that all Oklahoma residents will become involved and embrace the artists that are being honored. As such, tickets are available starting at $10 for general admission and ranging from $25-$50 for reserved seating. VIP tickets are also available for $175 and include an invitation to the VIP reception prior to the concert and induction ceremonies. Tickets for the event, which will begin at 7:30pm on Nov. 4, can be purchased online at omhof.com or by calling (918) 687-0800.
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