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WILBURN BROTHERS TO BE INDUCTED INTO THE ARKANSAS ENTERTAINERS HALL OF FAME
    ...2008 Honorees Ceremony Set for November 15 in Hot Springs

From the Hot Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau (click here to visit Website) comes the announcement of the
Class of 2008 Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame.

Eight Arkansas entertainers, including country music's Wilburn Brothers
(see the MyBestYears.com Interview
Spotlight featuring Teddy Wilburn), will be honored. Other inductees include country star Joe Nichols, rock legend
Ronnie Hawkins, Academy Award nominee Tess Harper, the late blues legend Sonny Boy Williamson, Wayne Jackson
and Ed Wilson.

The induction ceremony will be held November 15 at 7:30 p.m. in Horner Hall at the Hot Springs Convention Center,
preceded by a reception at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $60 each, with a reserved table for 10 going for $600. The tickets will be available at a later date from the
Hot Springs Convention Center. For ticket information call 501-321-2027.

"The Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame, located in Pine Bluff, belongs to all the people of Arkansas," said Don
Christian, board chairman for the Hall of Fame. “The induction ceremony being held in Hot Springs is a great way of
spreading the word about this wonderful attraction that honors entertainers from all across our state who have
achieved great things on the national and international stage.”

“Hot Springs is flattered to be the host city for the 2008 induction,” said Scott McClard, chairman of the Hot Springs
Advertising and Promotion Commission. “It’s especially appropriate that our city, which has been visited by famous
entertainers since the early 1900s, host the induction of the new group of inductees for this wonderful Hall of Fame.
We hope people from all across Arkansas come to honor these world-famous entertainment legends.”

  • The Wilburn Brothers consisted of brothers Doyle Wilburn (July 7, 1930 - October
    16, 1982) and Teddy Wilburn (November 30, 1931 - November 24, 2003). They were
    born in Hardy and were child performers in an act called The Wilburn Family that
    were brought to the Grand Ole Opry by Roy Acuff in the 1940s. Due to the child labor
    laws the Wilburns were forced to leave the Grand Ole Opry after only six months.
    They continued to travel and were regulars on the Louisiana Hayride from 1948-51.
    After the family act disbanded, and the brothers served stints in the Army during the
    Korean War, they continued on in country music as The Wilburn Brothers and had
    their first hit record in 1954 titled "Sparkling Brown Eyes." Their other hits include "Go
    Away With Me" (1956), "Which One Is to Blame" (1959), "Trouble's Back in Town"
    (1962), "It's Another World" (1965), and "Hurt Her Once for Me" (1967). They were
    Opry members from 1953 until the time of Doyle's death in 1982 (at the age of 52)
    and Teddy continued on at the Opry as a solo artist until his own death in 2003 (six
    days before he would have turned 72). The Wilburn Brothers had a long-running
    syndicated television show, “The Wilburn Brothers Show,” that ran from 1963 to 1974
    and produced 354 half hour episodes.

  • Joe Nichols was born in Rogers in 1976. At age 20 he made his debut with a self-titled album on the
    independent Intersound label. With the release of his 2002 single "The Impossible" Nichols gained recognition
    and critical acclaim for his neotraditionalist country style. The single, which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot
    Country Songs charts, was followed by the release of his platinum-certified second album, “Man With a
    Memory”; this album also produced the N0. 1 single "Brokenheartsville." Nichols followed up in 2004 with
    “Revelation,” (which included the Top 10 hit "If Nobody Believed in You"), and an album of Christmas music
    entitled “A Traditional Christmas.” His fourth album, 2005's gold-certified “III,” produced his biggest hit to date in
    the Number One single "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off." In 2007, Nichols released the album “Real
    Things,” which produced the Top 20 hits "Another Side of You" and "It Ain't No Crime."

  • Ronnie Hawkins was selected for induction by Governor Mike Beebe as this year’s Governor’s Award
    inductee to the Hall of Fame. He was born January 10, 1935, in Huntsville. He is a pioneering rock and roll
    musician and cousin to fellow rockabilly pioneer Dale Hawkins. Known as "Rompin' Ronnie" Hawkins or "The
    Hawk," he was a key player in the 1960s rock scene and for the next 40 years, performed all over North
    America, recording more than 25 albums. His best-known hits are "Forty Days" and "Mary Lou," both major hits
    for him in 1959. At the age of 9, his family moved to nearby Fayetteville. After graduating from high school, he
    studied physical education at the University of Arkansas where he formed his first band, The Hawks, touring
    with them throughout Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. Hawkins also owned and operated the Rockwood
    Club in Fayetteville where some of rock music's earliest pioneers came to play, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl
    Perkins, Roy Orbison and Conway Twitty. Hawkins moved to Canada in 1959 and made Peterborough, Ontario
    his permanent home. Gradually the members of the Hawks, except for Levon Helm, were replaced with talented
    Canadians Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson. This was the line-up that was
    to later become The Band. In 1975 Bob Dylan cast Hawkins as “Bob Dylan” in the movie, “Renaldo and Clara.”
    The following year he was a featured performer at the Band's Thanksgiving Day farewell concert, which was
    documented in the 1978 Martin Scorsese film “The Last Waltz.” Playing with The Band, Hawkins helped tear
    down the Berlin Wall in 1989 and performed at President Bill Clinton's 1992 inaugural party.

  • Tess Harper was born in Mammoth Spring and attended Missouri State University in Springfield. She began
    acting in theater production and appearances in theme parks, dinner theaters and children's theater. Her first
    feature film was “Tender Mercies,” where she played Robert Duvall's younger wife. She earned a Golden
    Globe nomination for her part. She appeared in the TV mini-series “Chiefs” (1983) and “Celebrity” (1984), as
    well as many made for TV movies. In 1983 she appeared in Meryl’s Streep’s hit movie “Silkwood” and in 1986
    she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work as Chick Boyle in “Crimes
    of the Heart.” She also had roles in “Ishtar” (1987), “Far North” (1988), “The Man in the Moon” (1991), “The
    Jackal” (1997) and “Loggerheads” (2005). Harper had a regular role in the CBS TV series “Christy” from 1994
    to 1995.  She shared a Screen Actors Guild Award (in the Best Ensemble Cast category) with her fellow cast
    members in 2007’s Best Picture, “No Country for Old Men.”

  • Sonny Boy Williamson (1908 – 1965)  was born on the Sara Jones Plantation near Glendora, Miss., the date
    and year of his birth a matter of some uncertainty. Beginning in the 1930s, he traveled around Mississippi and
    Arkansas and encountered Big Joe Williams, Elmore James and Robert Junior Lockwood. He was also
    associated with Robert Johnson during this period. Williamson lived in Twist, Ark., for a time with Howlin' Wolf's
    sister Mary Burnett and taught Wolf to play harmonica. In 1941 he was hired to play the “King Biscuit Time”
    show on radio station KFFA in Helena with Lockwood. Williamson had begun developing a following in Chicago
    beginning in 1953, when he appeared there as a member of Elmore James' band. During his years with Chess
    Records he enjoyed his greatest success and acclaim, recording about 70 songs for Chess subsidiary Checker
    Records from 1955 to 1964. In the 1960s he toured Europe during the height of the British blues craze,
    recording with The Yardbirds and The Animals. Some of his better known songs include "Don't Start Me to
    Talkin,'" "Fattenin' Frogs for Snakes," "Keep It to Yourself," "Your Funeral and My Trial," "Bye Bye Bird," "Nine
    Below Zero" and "Help Me.” His song "Eyesight to the Blind" was performed by The Who as a key song in their
    rock opera “Tommy” (the only song in that opus not written by a band member) and it was later covered on the
    Aerosmith album “Honkin' on Bobo.” His "One Way Out” became popularized by The Allman Brothers Band in
    the early 1970s.

  • Wayne Jackson grew up in West Memphis and his life took him across the Mississippi River to Memphis,
    where he became a legendary backup trumpeter in such groups as the Mar-Keys and would go on to perform
    with a who's who of artists from around the world on over 300 gold and platinum records. He has played on
    recordings by Aretha Franklin, Sting, Tanya Tucker, Elvis Presley, U2, Peter Gabriel, Willie Nelson, Billy Joel,
    Otis Redding, Stephen Stills, Rod Stewart, The Doobie Brothers, Marty Robbins, Joe Cocker, Jimmy Buffett,
    and Robert Cray and was a founder of the legendary Memphis backing band, The Memphis Horns.

  • Ed Wilson, born and reared in Rison, is president of Chicago-based Tribune Broadcasting, which owns and
    operates 23 television stations and WGN radio in Chicago. He began with Fox Broadcasting Company in 2004
    as president of the Fox Television Network. He left Fox in February 2008 to join Tribune. Wilson, who began his
    broadcasting career as sales manager at KATV, Channel 7, in Little Rock, served as president of NBC
    Enterprises from 2000 to 2004. Before NBC Enterprises, Wilson was president and CEO of CBS Enterprises
    and Eyemark Entertainment, overseeing syndication of shows “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Touched By An
    Angel” and “Martha Stewart Living” among others. In 1994 Wilson founded MaXaM Entertainment in
    partnership with A.H. Belo Corp. The company was sold in January 1996 to CBS. Wilson holds a bachelor's
    degree in finance from the University of Arkansas.

Current members of the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame are (* denotes deceased) include:
1996
Glen Campbell – Billstown/Delight; Johnny Cash* - Kingsland; Jimmy Driftwood* - Timbo; Randy Goodrum – Hot
Springs; Al Green – Forrest City; Wayland Holyfield – Mallet Town; Alan Ladd* - Hot Springs; Tracy Lawrence –
Foreman; Lum ‘N’ Abner (Chester Lauck* - Hot Springs) and (Norris Goff* - Mena); Art Porter Sr.* – Little Rock; Patsy
Montana* - Jessieville; Dick Powell* - Mountain View; Charlie Rich*         - Colt; Mary Steenburgen – Newport; Harry
Thomason – Hampton; Billy Bob Thornton – Hot Springs

1998
Bob Burns*- Greenwood; The Browns (Jim Ed – Sparkman/Pine Bluff) (Bonnie – Sparkman/Pine Bluff) (Maxine –
Sampti, La./Pine Bluff)
(See the MyBestYears.com Interview Spotlight featuring Jim Ed Brown); Melvin
Endsley* - Drasco; Levon Helm – Turkey Scratch; Floyd Cramer* - Huttig; Louis Jordan* - Wheatley; Mark Wright –
Fayetteville; Jerry Van Dyke – Benton; Conway Twitty* - Helena

2000
Julie Adams – Little Rock;  K.T. Oslin – Crossett; James (Jim) Bridges* - Paris; Sarah Caldwell – Fayetteville; Skeets
McDonald* - Rector;         Art Porter, Jr.*- Little Rock; Bronco Billy Anderson*- Pine Bluff; Pharoah Sanders - Little
Rock; William Warfield*- Helena; Twila Paris - Springdale

2003
Ronnie Dunn – El Dorado; Barbara Hendricks – Stephens; John Grisham – Jonesboro; William Grant Still* - Little
Rock; Steve Stephens – Newport; Freeman H. Owens* - Pine Bluff; Walter Norris – Little Rock

2005
Collin Raye – De Queen; John Michael Talbot – Little Rock/Eureka Springs; Ed Bruce – Keiser; Elizabeth Williams –
Arkadelphia; Jim Porter – Little Rock; Lefty Frizzell* - El Dorado; Lawrence Hamilton – Foreman; John Weston*
Brinkley/Smale; Albert Brumley* - Hartford Music Institute
                                                
2007
Jack Mitchell – Bella Vista; Beth Brickell – Pine Bluff/Camden; Sonny Burgess – Newport; Gil Gerard – Little Rock;
Sarah Tackett – Conway/Little Rock; B. J. Sams – Elizabethton, Tenn./Little Rock; Gail Davis* - McGehee/Little Rock;
Laurence Luckinbill – Fort Smith