TULSA — A "Star Search" grand prize winner, a drummer with platinum album sales, a pioneer for women in country music and the official "Oklahoma Balladeer" will be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in November. Sam Harris, Jamie Oldaker, Jean Shepard and Les Gilliam join the ranks of honorees as the 2010 class of inductees.
The newest inductees were announced Monday at a news conference at the Tulsa Press Club.
The four will perform at the 14th annual Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Concert at 7 p.m. Nov. 4 in the Muskogee Civic Center, 425 Boston St.
Harris, Oldaker, Shepard and Gilliam will join other music performers and artists who have been recognized by the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame since 1997, including Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Merle Haggard, Wanda Jackson, Hank Thompson, The All American Rejects and Carrie Underwood.
"All four of this year's inductees are worthy recipients of this honor," said Holly Rosser-Miller," the hall's board president. "Each has contributed different types of notoriety and musical talent to the rich heritage of Oklahoma musicians."
Harris, a Cushing native who grew up in Sand Springs, has spent more than two decades in the public eye with a career including singing, acting, writing, producing and directing. He became a household name during the premiere season of TV's "Star Search" when 25 million viewers tuned in week after week to follow him.
In an oversized tailcoat and Converse sneakers, Harris sang an emotionally charged version of "Somewhere over the Rainbow," winning the grand prize. Harris has recorded nine studio albums that have sold in the millions.
Tulsa native Oldaker began playing the drums at age 9 after hearing a recording by jazz great Gene Krupa. In 1971, Oldaker joined Bob Seger's band and worked with him through 1974 when he joined Eric Clapton's band during the "461 Ocean Boulevard" sessions. He remained with Clapton's band through 1980 and joined for a second stint from 1983 to 1986.
Oldaker was a founding member of the Tractors, who reached platinum with their self-titled debut album on Arista Records in 1994. He directed an all-star album, "Mad Dogs & Okies," featuring songs written by Oklahoma natives. His drumming has been heard on 24 Gold and Platinum albums.
Shepard, born in Pauls Valley, was a pioneer for women in country music, starring in the first network country music show, "The Ozark Jubilee." She also was the first female in country music to sell a million records, the first country music female to make a color television commercial and the first female singer to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 50 years.
She has recorded more than 35 albums and charted 44 hits including "The Dear John Letter" and "Many Happy Hangovers."
Gilliam was recognized by the Legislature in 1998 as the official "Oklahoma Balladeer." A native of Gene Autry, Gilliam is a singer, songwriter and recording artist. He has recorded 14 albums featuring western swing and country music with lyrics that tell a story.
Gilliam also has won many awards including the Governor's Arts Award from Gov. Brad Henry and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gene Autry Museum.
Music Hall of Fame and Museum
To date, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and Museum has honored more than 50 individuals or groups for their talents and contributions to the music industry, including inductees into the
prestigious Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
IF YOU GO
Reserved seats and VIP packages for the concert and induction will be on pre-sale to existing
members of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame from Sept. 7-17. VIP tickets include an invitation to a VIP reception before the ceremony. Sponsorship packages are available. To join the Oklahoma
Music Hall of Fame and participate in early
ticket sales, go to www.omhof.com or www. oklahoma