MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Features

July 25, 2013

Legion’s weekly dance features son of veteran

Father inspired Clint Walker’s love of music

— It makes entertainer Clint Walker proud to perform for veterans. His father, Dave Walker, is a Vietnam veteran who also spent three years in Germany. He collected country records there and brought them home. He introduced those country sounds to his son — including a record by Elvis Presley that started Clint Walker’s love for all kinds of music.

So when he takes the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday at American Legion Post 15 in Muskogee, he’ll be playing for veterans and their families just like his own.

“I’m partial to American Legion and VFW,” Walker said.

Cathy Roberts and her husband, Jim, help line up the live music for the weekly Saturday Night Dance. Jim Roberts, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam, is the commander. Cathy Roberts said the dances offer good, clean fun, and any proceeds go to help veterans.

“We don’t do anything for big bucks,” she said. “We just want to help a veteran with groceries, a tank of gas or fix a car if it breaks down when they’re going through town.”

The dances cost $6. Smoking is not allowed in the building. Soft drinks, water, beer and wine coolers — but no liquor — will be available, Cathy Roberts said. Everyone is welcome to bring a snack to share.

Roberts is excited to have Walker and his band this week. He came one night to a jam session, amazing everyone.

“He’s fantastic,” she said. “He rocked the place, sounded like Buddy Holly — old country and new country.”

Walker’s greatest accomplishments are opening for the late George Jones in Muskogee in 2001. He’s also opened for Ronnie Milsap, Jerry Reed, Ray Price and more.

“I like to make people forget about their problems for a while,” he said.

Walker, a singer, songwriter and guitarist, said he performs all kinds of music, not just country. He grew up on a farm in Vinita, where the family raised registered Duroc pigs. He started singing at about 6 and playing the guitar by ear at age 7 or 8. By 9, he was playing in his first 4-H Share the Fun competition in Craig County. He did that for nine years, which gave him a chance to play at the Oklahoma State 4-H Roundup three times.

“I know over 2,000 songs,” he said. “My favorite is what the crowd likes. My ambition is to make a career out of this.”

His band includes Richard Martin on bass and Randy Todd on drums. Both of them also do backup vocals.

“We believe in the fact that it is our job to entertain the audience and we strive to give them the best show we can for their entertainment dollar,” Walker said. “The music we play is a wide variety ranging from oldies rock, classic country, Southern rock, blues and some original music.”

If you go

WHAT: Saturday Night Dance featuring Clint Walker Band.

WHEN: 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday.

WHERE: American Legion Post 15, 4021 W. Broadway.

COST: $6.

INFORMATION: (918) 869-1647.

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