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Photos and interviews: Kevin Costner, Reba McEntire's daddy Clark McEntire and Michael Martin Murphey lauded at Western Heritage Awards

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Kevin Costner speaks after being introduced as an inductee into the 2019 Hall of Great Western Performers during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]
Kevin Costner speaks after being introduced as an inductee into the 2019 Hall of Great Western Performers during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]
The McEntire family, from left, Pake McEntire, Alice Foran, Jackie McEntire, Susie McEntire Eaton, and Reba McEntire hold the 2019 Hall of Great Westerners award for the late Clark McEntire during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]
The McEntire family, from left, Pake McEntire, Alice Foran, Jackie McEntire, Susie McEntire Eaton, and Reba McEntire hold the 2019 Hall of Great Westerners award for the late Clark McEntire during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]
Waddie Mitchell, left, and Barry Corbin present an award during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]
Waddie Mitchell, left, and Barry Corbin present an award during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]

An abbreviated version of this story appears in Sunday's The Oklahoman.

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 returned to her home state and 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 Oklahoma City and got her a Nashville recording contract when she was still a teenager – presented the posthumous honor at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, formerly known as the Cowboy Hall of Fame.

“It’s a part of our heritage, with the Cowboy Hall of Fame,” Reba McEntire 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 Clark McEntire’s 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.

The McEntire family, from left, Pake McEntire, Alice Foran, Susie McEntire Eaton, Jackie McEntire and Reba McEntire accept the 2019 Hall of Great Westerners award for the late Clark McEntire during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]
The McEntire family, from left, Pake McEntire, Alice Foran, Susie McEntire Eaton, Jackie McEntire and Reba McEntire accept the 2019 Hall of Great Westerners award for the late Clark McEntire during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]
Red Steagall speaks during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]
Red Steagall speaks during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]
Kevin Costner speaks after being introduced as an inductee into the 2019 Hall of Great Western Performers during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]
Kevin Costner speaks after being introduced as an inductee into the 2019 Hall of Great Western Performers during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]

Star power

Along with Clark McEntire, the late George McJunkin (1851-1922) was inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners during Saturday’s ceremony. 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 in an arroyo following a flood.

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) – whose credits included the 1950s movie-musicals "Annie Get Your Gun,” “Calamity Jane" and "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers"; the 1967 John Wayne and Kirk Douglas film "The War Wagon"; and a decade-long run on the 1980s TV drama “Dallas – also was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers on what would have been his 100th birthday by actor Barry Corbin and cowboy singer Gary S. Pratt.

Western musician and cowboy poet Dave Stamey, whom Cowboys and Indians magazine dubbed “the Charlie Russell of Western music,” accepted the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award. Named in honor of the museum’s founder, this award is bestowed on a living honoree who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to Western values and ideals.

Michael Martin Murphey accepts the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]
Michael Martin Murphey accepts the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]
Rex Linn speaks during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Rex Linn speaks during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Reba McEntire speaks as she and the rest of the McEntire family accept the 2019 Hall of Great Westerners award for the late Clark McEntire during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Reba McEntire speaks as she and the rest of the McEntire family accept the 2019 Hall of Great Westerners award for the late Clark McEntire during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Lifetime Achievement

Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Michael Martin Murphey received the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his nearly 50 years producing celebrated Western music. The native Texan, who has recorded hit singles like “Wildfire, “Carolina in the Pines” and “Geronimo's Cadillac,” has been bringing his traditional Cowboy Christmas Ball to the National Cowboy Museum for 24 years.  

Like Reba McEntire, Murphey, a past host of the Western Heritage Awards, said he prizes the museum because of its work preserving his heritage. He received a standing ovation Saturday night.

“It wasn’t my goal to get some kind of an award when I first started doing the Western Heritage Awards as a host. … 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 and holds agriculture in that sense very dear,” Murphey added. “It is my culture. … I had a happy childhood, I loved all my rancher and farmer relatives, and I never rebelled against them. 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.

Kevin Costner acknowledges the crowd after being introduced as an inductee into the 2019 Hall of Great Western Performers during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]
Kevin Costner acknowledges the crowd after being introduced as an inductee into the 2019 Hall of Great Western Performers during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]
Reba McEntire and her "daddy," Clark McEntire, have a laugh with members of the media during a 1995 event at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, now the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Clark McEntire (1927-2014), a three-time world champion steer roper, will be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners Saturday night during the Western Heritage Awards at the museum. [Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Archives]
Reba McEntire and her "daddy," Clark McEntire, have a laugh with members of the media during a 1995 event at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, now the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Clark McEntire (1927-2014), a three-time world champion steer roper, will be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners Saturday night during the Western Heritage Awards at the museum. [Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Archives]
The late Howard Keel was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers Saturday night at the Western Heritage Awards at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. [Photo provided]
The late Howard Keel was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers Saturday night at the Western Heritage Awards at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. [Photo provided]

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

Literary Awards

• 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

Music Awards

• 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 Company

• 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

-BAM 

Related Photos
Kevin Costner speaks after being introduced as an inductee into the 2019 Hall of Great Western Performers during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]

Kevin Costner speaks after being introduced as an inductee into the 2019 Hall of Great Western Performers during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]

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[Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-92c21653c8ec34f6ee48620c6d70b339.jpg" alt="Photo - Waddie Mitchell, left, and Barry Corbin present an award during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]" title="Waddie Mitchell, left, and Barry Corbin present an award during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Waddie Mitchell, left, and Barry Corbin present an award during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e63f3c40bf7548a671124c0d20661762.jpg" alt="Photo - Kevin Costner speaks after being introduced as an inductee into the 2019 Hall of Great Western Performers during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]" title="Kevin Costner speaks after being introduced as an inductee into the 2019 Hall of Great Western Performers during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Kevin Costner speaks after being introduced as an inductee into the 2019 Hall of Great Western Performers during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. 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[Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>The McEntire family, from left, Pake McEntire, Alice Foran, Jackie McEntire, Susie McEntire Eaton, and Reba McEntire hold the 2019 Hall of Great Westerners award for the late Clark McEntire during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-10cd803b2ec9d464abba61732e2630d2.jpg" alt="Photo - The McEntire family, from left, Pake McEntire, Alice Foran, Susie McEntire Eaton, Jackie McEntire and Reba McEntire accept the 2019 Hall of Great Westerners award for the late Clark McEntire during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. 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[Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-4a49bf542d2dc0fbbba8696501d77edd.jpg" alt="Photo - Michael Martin Murphey accepts the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]" title="Michael Martin Murphey accepts the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Michael Martin Murphey accepts the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5f375e014bccdfb2c628bbce11082e2a.jpg" alt="Photo - Reba McEntire speaks as she and the rest of the McEntire family accept the 2019 Hall of Great Westerners award for the late Clark McEntire during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman" title="Reba McEntire speaks as she and the rest of the McEntire family accept the 2019 Hall of Great Westerners award for the late Clark McEntire during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Reba McEntire speaks as she and the rest of the McEntire family accept the 2019 Hall of Great Westerners award for the late Clark McEntire during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-59e50c49ccafc2660d5465a6c68ea20a.jpg" alt="Photo - Red Steagall speaks during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]" title="Red Steagall speaks during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Red Steagall speaks during the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, Saturday, April 13, 2019. 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[Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Archives]"><figcaption>Reba McEntire and her "daddy," Clark McEntire, have a laugh with members of the media during a 1995 event at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, now the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Clark McEntire (1927-2014), a three-time world champion steer roper, will be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners Saturday night during the Western Heritage Awards at the museum. [Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman Archives]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-bfb10095cbb393b0b09e3cca221fd278.jpg" alt="Photo - The late Howard Keel was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers Saturday night at the Western Heritage Awards at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. 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Brandy McDonnell

Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1... Read more ›

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