The career of Jim Halsey, Oklahoma-based music manager, agent, impresario, teacher and author, is the subject of an exhibit opening today at the Oklahoma History Center. The 1,800-square-foot "Starmaker: Jim Halsey & the Legends of Country Music” exhibit will open with a public signing event for Halsey’s new book, "Starmaker,” from 3 to 5 p.m. Admission is free. An invitation-only reception for Halsey, hosted by Roy Clark, Wanda Jackson and the Oak Ridge Boys, will be held later in the evening. Halsey has been the agent of more than 40 top music stars over the past 60 years and built the largest country music agency in the world, with its base in Tulsa. In his career, Halsey guided — and in many cases discovered — artists such as Clark, the Oak Ridge Boys, Merle Haggard, the Judds, Hank Thompson, Reba McEntire, Mel Tillis, Clint Black, Tammy Wynette, Freddy Fender and Don Williams. On display will be many items and memorabilia highlighting key events in Halsey’s career, from gold and platinum albums marking his clients’ achievements to awards and citations given to Halsey for his contributions to the music industry. Also shown will be posters from events worldwide where Halsey worked his promotional skills, pictures from first-of-their-kind Las Vegas events and items from a landmark 1976 Soviet tour featuring Clark and the Oak Ridge Boys. There will be never-before-seen contracts of the stars, and guitars signed by Clark, Jackson, the Oak Ridge Boys and even rock ’n’ roll giants such as Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones and the Doobie Brothers. Halsey Co. posters, artist rosters and artist development plans will further reveal his dedication to his clients and the music industry, organizers said. After Halsey sold his company to the William Morris Agency, he founded the Jim Halsey Institute, which focuses on helping others pursue their dreams in the music industry. In "Starmaker,” released by Tate Publishing this month, Halsey shares secrets he learned while shepherding stars’ careers. The book delves into the fundamentals of how to develop an act, how to get an agent, how to use the press to build an audience and how to play the biggest and best forums. It is available at bookstores (including online sites) or from the publisher at www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore. Halsey continues to manage the Oak Ridge Boys. When he is not traveling, teaching or writing, he lives near Tulsa with his wife, Minisa. Exhibit sponsors are the George Kaiser Family Foundation, Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, Mustang Fuel Corp., Tate Publishing, BluBlocker Corp. and Oklahoma History Center.
"Starmaker: Jim Halsey & the Legends of Country Music”→When: 3 to 5 p.m. today. →Where: Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive (formerly listed as 2401 N Laird Ave.). →Information: okhistorycenter.org. →Admission: Free.