Barry Switzer is more than just a legendary sports figure. This weekend, the coach will take stage instead of the field, as the 2014 Oklahoma Senior Follies King.
As Switzer, 74, prepares for the upcoming performances, he reflected on his love of music, theater and how his kids helped make him a classical music aficionado.
“I’ve heard classical music since they were 8 years old playing it,” he said of his children, Greg, Doug and Kathy.
All three took piano lessons throughout their childhoods.
“We had three pianos in my home at one time for them.”
Greg Switzer, the eldest son, is an accomplished songwriter and pianist. As a young man, Greg was also an all-around athlete.
“He played football and he could bench press the damn piano,” Switzer said. “But he was a classically-trained artist.”
From listening to and enjoying his children’s talents grow, Switzer became intimately familiar with the melodies of many composers.
When attending international piano competitions, Switzer said he always knew as much Rachmaninoff, Grieg, Liszt, Beethoven, Bach and Chopin as the pros.
“I have no talent, just a great appreciation for it,” he said, humbly.
The coach also is crazy about musical theater, he said. He’s seen “Jersey Boys” six times and is eagerly awaiting the movie.
“I love lots of musicals. I’ve seen Betty Buckley in ‘Cats.’ I’ve just seen so many through the years. I love going to New York and Broadway.
“Musicals are my favorite,” he said.
For the first time, Switzer will be on the musical theater stage, rather than in the audience, reigning over the Follies and receiving the second annual Ziggy award — an homage to the Ziegfeld Follies after which the show is themed.
The Oklahoma Senior Follies performances are at 7 p.m. Friday, and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Kirkpatrick Auditorium at Oklahoma City University.
For tickets, call 208-5227, or go online to okseniorfollies.com.