Kevin Costner, Clark McEntire, Michael Martin Murphey honored at Western Heritage Awards
Reba McEntire was sure her daddy was smiling down Saturday.
The country music superstar joined her family Saturday night at the 59th Annual Western Heritage Awards, where her father, Clark McEntire, was posthumously ushered into the Hall of Great Westerners.
“We’re really excited, very thrilled for the whole family. Daddy would be tickled to pieces,” Reba told The Oklahoman.
Cowboy entertainer and 2003 Hall of Great Westerners inductee Red Steagall — who discovered Reba singing the national anthem at the 1974 National Finals Rodeo in downtown Oklahoma City — presented the posthumous honor at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
“It’s a part of our heritage,” Reba said. “I grew up on a working cattle ranch, and I’m a third-generation rodeo brat. So, that speaks to the whole McEntire family,”
It’s not the first honor Clark McEntire has received from the museum. The Chockie rancher and three-time world champion steer roper, who died in 2014, was inducted into its Rodeo Hall of Fame in 1988. He and his family received a standing ovation Saturday night.
“The only bad thing about this is that Daddy’s not here to enjoy this … and you guys don’t get to hear another good rodeo story,” said his eldest daughter Alice Foran, who accepted the award alongside her three siblings and their mother, Jackie. “He was one of the best storytellers. Clark was the epitome of a cowboy. … He was a man of good stories, but the way he taught us was by his actions."
Along with Clark McEntire, the late George McJunkin (1851-1922) also was inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners. At the turn of the 20th century, the cowboy, former slave and amateur archeologist founded the first Folsom, New Mexico, archaeological site, when he discovered a type of prehistoric stone tool and the bones of giant bison.
Along with serving as emcee, actor Rex Linn inducted two-time Oscar winner Kevin Costner into the Hall of Great Western Performers. Linn co-starred with Costner in the 1990s films “Wyatt Earp,” “Tin Cup” and “The Postman,” three of the more than 50 movies the “Dances with Wolves” actor/director has appeared in during his almost four-decade show-business career.
“I love making Westerns. I know who I am more than any other time in my life when I’m making ‘em. I understand their importance to our culture and the emotional impact, when done correctly, on men, on women, on 7-year-olds,” said Costner, who stars in the popular television series "Yellowstone," which was honored with a Wrangler Award in the film and television categories at Saturday’s ceremony.
“I feel deeply committed to our collective story and the importance of bringing it to the screen. Westerns are not simple, and the resourcefulness that it took for our ancestors to make it is not something to be taken for granted.”
The late stage and screen performer Howard Keel (1919-2004), perhaps best known for his long run on the 1980s TV drama “Dallas," also was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers.
Western musician and cowboy poet Dave Stamey accepted the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award, named in honor of the museum’s founder and given to a living honoree who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to Western values.
Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Michael Martin Murphey received the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his nearly 50 years producing celebrated Western music.
Like Reba McEntire, the native Texan said he prizes the museum because of its work preserving his heritage.
“I do love (this) organization. I think the work they do is awesome. No other place like it,” Murphey told The Oklahoman.
“I sing cowboy music for the same reason B.B. King sings the blues. I grew up in that culture that sings that music. ... I’ve always held that culture dear in my heart, and when I got into music, it was my goal to eventually make enough money where I could have my own ranch, run my own cattle and have my own horses — and I got to do that. I got to be a cowboy. I don’t know what else I can ask.”
A record crowd of more than 1,200 people attended the 2019 Western Heritage Awards.
2019 Western Heritage Awards honorees
Hall of Great Western Performers Inductees:
• Kevin Costner.
• Howard Keel (1919 – 2014).
Hall of Great Westerners Inductees:
• Clark McEntire (1927 – 2004).
• George McJunkin (1851 – 1922).
Chester A. Reynolds Award Recipient: Dave Stamey.
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient: Michael Martin Murphey.
• Western Novel: "The Hunger" by Alma Katsu, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
• Nonfiction Book: "The Woolly West:" Colorado’s Hidden History of Sheepscapes by Andrew Gulliford, published by Texas A&M University Press.
• Art/Photography Book: "Living Beneath the Colorado Peaks — The Story of Knapp Ranch," by Betsy Knapp, Bud Knapp and Sarah Chase Shaw, illustrated by Todd Winslow Pierce, published by Knapp Press.
• Juvenile Book: "Hardscrabble" by Sandra Dallas, published by Sleeping Bear Press.
• Magazine Article: “Long Live the King,” Western Horseman, by Christine Hamilton, Ross Hecox and Susan Morrison, published by Ernie King.
• Poetry Book: "Landscapes, with Horses" by Mark Sanders, illustrated by Charles D. Jones, published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press.
• Original Western Composition: “Frontier Symphony,” recording artists Jeff Lippencott with the 46onier Festival Orchestra, composed by Jeff Lippencott.
• Traditional Western Album: "Sunset on the Rio Grande Revisited," recording artist Syd Masters.
• New Horizon: “I’ll Ride Thru It,” recording artist Deanna McCall, produced by Randy Huston and Jim Jones.
Film & Television Awards
• Fictional Drama: “A Monster is Among Us,” "Yellowstone," S1, E7, starring Kevin Costner, directed and written by Taylor Sheridan, produced by Paramount Network.
• Western Lifestyle Program: "Red Steagall is Somewhere West of Wall Street," starring Red Steagall, produced by West of Wall Street Film Co.
• Theatrical Motion Picture: "Ballad of Buster Scruggs," starring Tulsa native Tim Blake Nelson, directed and written by Ethan and Joel Coen, produced by Netflix.
• Documentary: "UmoNhoN Iye The Omaha Speaking," directed and written by Brigitte Timmerman, produced by Range Films, LLC.