MUSKOGEE — Preparing for her induction into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, Carrie Underwood was feeling the love and respect of her state, and reflecting on the impact her Checotah upbringing had on her career.
"I think a big part of why everybody at this table seems like pretty nice people is because of where we come from,” she said. "This is where we all come from, this is where we all call home, so the fact that throughout all our lives and careers, the fact that we’ve had this amazing state behind us is a wonderful feeling.”
Underwood was speaking during a news conference Thursday at the Muskogee Civic Center, before the induction ceremony and concert. "To be recognized by being inducted into this great state’s hall of fame is a great feeling. I’m so proud to be sitting here with these people.”
Underwood was speaking of fellow inductees Rocky Frisco, a longtime J.J. Cale keyboardist, and Western swing yodeler Ramona Reed. She also was speaking of C.H. Parker, a mentor for Underwood when she attended Northeastern State University.
Parker, producer of the induction ceremony since its 1997 inception, also coordinated Downtown Country, an NSU summer music program that included Underwood as a regular performer.
Having followed Underwood since her beginning as a Tahlequah college student, Parker said he has a unique perspective on her evolution, from journalism major to "American Idol” champion to superstar.
"It’s kind of similar to when I grew up watching The Beatles,” Parker said. "Those performers who evolve ... have a lot longer life in this profession.”
Doing more writing
Earlier this year, Underwood became the first country singer to chart 10 consecutive No. 1 hits when "I Told You So” reached the top of the charts.