Entertainers Hall plans Hot Springs inductions

    8:29 AM, Jun 5, 2013   |    comments
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    HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame is to induct five new members.

    A 6 p.m. Saturday induction ceremony is planned for Bill Carter, Louie Shelton, the late Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Mike Utley and Gary Weir.

    Shelton and Utley are to perform and the other living members are to be in attendance.

    The event is set for the Hot Springs Convention Center.

    Here's a little background on the inductees:

    • Bill Carter was born in Rector, Arkansas. He was a Secret Service agent who was assigned to help investigate President John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas in 1963. When he retired to enter private legal practice he was the lawyer who was called when Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards needed legal help in Fordyce, Arkansas. When the Stones needed help negotiating with the State Department when they were denied entry into the United States to tour they called Bill Carter. He is now an attorney and television producer who lives outside Nashville, Tenn.

    • Millions of people have heard Louie Shelton's smooth guitar playing on hit records and albums with the world's most acclaimed musicians. Born in Little Rock and later a resident of North Little Rock, Shelton has worked as the session guitarist or producer for Streisand, Lennon, Wonder, Jackson, Lionel Richie, Marvin Gaye and others. He is well known for his work with the legendary Seals and Crofts.

    • Arkansas native Rosetta Nubin Tharpe was one of gospel music's first superstars, the first gospel performer to record for a major record label (Decca), and an early crossover from gospel to secular music. Tharpe has been cited as the Godmother of rock 'n' roll, and had tremendous influence on numerous musicians, including Bob Dylan, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, and Arkansan Johnny Cash. She was born at Cotton Plant on March 20, 1915 and died in 1973.

    • Mike Utley was born in Blytheville and graduated from the University of Arkansas. Early in his career he worked with the house band for Atlantic Records, backing performers such as Aretha Franklin, Jerry Jeff Walker and the Allman Brothers. Walker recruited Utley to play keyboards on Buffett's first major label album, "A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean" in 1973. Utley continued to work with other performers in the mid-1970s while appearing on Buffett's subsequent albums until Buffett's 1977 breakout "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes", when he joined the Coral Reefer Band full-time. Utley has recorded with an impressive list of artists including Franklin, Sam and Dave, Brook Benton, Ronnie Hawkins, Duane Allman, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Jimmy Cliff, Petula Clark, Carmen McRae, Sam (The Sham), and Booker T. Jones. He is also the producer of 11 albums with Buffett. Additionally, he produced Roy Orbison's Greatest Hits album. He has worked with Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, and Tom Waits. Utley and steel drum player Robert Greenridge also formed their own band, Club Trini, which has recorded several albums.

    Gary Weir, a resident of North Little Rock, became a television legend in the state when, in 1966, he began appearing on KATV, Channel 7, as Bozo the Clown. His famous nonsense repartee ("Are you married or do you carry your lunch?") continued to delight generations of Arkansas kids on TV until the late 1980s.

    (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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