At least a dozen female vocal stars will gather at Kendall's restaurant, 100 S. 3rd St. in Noble, later this month, but they're not coming just for the chicken fried steak and cinnamon rolls.
Start Helping Impacted Neighborhoods Everywhere, better known as the SHINE Foundation, is partnering with Kendall's Restaurant, the Oklahoma History Center and the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame to host a tribute to women from Oklahoma in music.
The event, SHINE Salutes Oklahoma Women in Music, will be from noon to 9 p.m. Nov. 27 and will begin with a luncheon and ceremony at the Oklahoma History Center, where the event will mark the largest gathering of Oklahoma female stars in history.
So far, 12 artists have confirmed their participation, including Wanda Jackson, Jody Miller, Gail Davies, Norman Jean, Becky Hobbs, Jana Jae, Kellie Coffey, Barbara McAlister, Gayla Peevey, Katrina Elam, Leona Mitchell and Samantha Crain. Some loved ones will attend the event to will represent deceased musicians including Sammi Smith, Jean Shepard, Gus Hardin, Lorrie Collins, Patti Page, Cassie Gaines, Molly Bee and Evelyn Pittman.
Nine female music legends will be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame that day, including Miller, Davies, Peevey, Elam, Hardin, Lorrie Collins (of the Collins Kids), Coffey, Pittman, Molly Bee and Gains (of Lynyrd Skynard, who was inducted earlier in 2018).
At 6:30 p.m., stars and family members of deceased singers will gather at Kendall's Restaurant to unveil their display showcases for what is planned to be a permanent new exhibit at Kendall's seeking to pay homage to more than 20 of the some 43 documented female music stars from Oklahoma.
"It's really going to be a cool thing for them," Kendall's owner Kim Cline said. "These are female pioneers who changed the music landscape."
Country music singer and attendee Coffey said she's looking forward to the event.
"I'm super honored to be thought of to be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and to be surrounded by these great musical women from Oklahoma," Coffey said.
Coffey said she met Cline when Cline's daughter, Kat Lock, took a class Coffey taught at the Sooner Theatre.
"She's a great musician, too," Coffey said of Cline, who recently released her first single on Spotify.
Although teaching classes isn't a regular gig for Coffey, she said she enjoyed it.
"I love to give back and to be surrounded by all these talented kiddos," Coffey said. "Right now, I'm being a mom. I'm writing songs and my husband (Geoff Koch) and I are making a Christmas album. He's producing it. I love being a mom."
When asked her favorite song she ever recorded, Coffey laughed and said, "Usually the last one I wrote is my favorite." After a pause, she added, "'When You Lie Next to Me' was my big hit, so I have a soft spot for that one. But a song from my first record is 'From the Outside Looking In,' and I wrote that with Billie Kirsch -- is one of my favorites. I hate to even single that one out, but it pops to mind."
Coffey said Cline asked her to write some lyrics and donate some career memorabilia for the event. She hand-wrote the lyrics to "When You Lie Next to Me" and donated the dress she wore when she made the song's music video. Coffey said she's looking forward to seeing the dress on display.
Miller, who will be honored at the event, said all through her career, she "always heard that all the good women singers came from Oklahoma," and the veteran singer of 55 years who has 30 chart singles is among them.
She said she thinks the reward is due and well deserved.
"I want people to know that if you want to do something, get out and do it," Miller said, adding that her favorite song is "Walk Like a Man," and recording it was thrilling.
"It was a fantastic experience to walk into Studio A at Capitol Tower and have 42 people waiting for me," Miller said. "The song has a great message to it."
An outfit Miller wore when turning with Bob Hope will be unveiled at the SHINE event.
Partners at the event include Kendall's Restaurant, the Oklahoma History Center, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, the Institute of Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW), Oklahoma History Historical Music Trials, the Oklahoma Arts Council, Oklahoma Creativity Forum and the Oklahoma Tourism Department.
Jody Miller and Wanda Jackson serve as honorary spokespeople for the SHINE Foundation, a nonprofit organization that assists people in completing court-ordered community service projects.
In addition, the SHINE foundation, founded by County Commissioner Brian Maughan, offers a program for high school and college students who wish to give back to their community through community service. Students must complete 100 hours of community service and, in addition to knowing that they're helping, they receive a graduation cord.
The SHINE Foundation raised funds, underwrote and coordinated the entire series of events. Alongside Miller and Jackson, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, BJ Thomas, Alan Parsons, Mickey Gilly and Gene Watson have supported the SHINE Foundation.
Tickets to the luncheon are $50, and tickets to the dinner and unveiling event are $100. Combination tickets can be purchased in advance for a reduced price of $125. Proceeds will benefit the SHINE Foundation. To purchase tickets, call Angie Hudson, SHINE Foundation secretary and treasurer, at 826-3269.