Jerry Shea, Country Singer

Jerry Shea is a member of the Traditional Country Music Hall of Fame and was born in Osawatomie on July 17, 1934.

Shea came from a musical family and developed an interest in music as a small child. Shea was reared in a railroad family, all employed by the Missouri Pacific Railroad.  Shea began playing with Jerry “Bud” Summerlin and the Cookson Hills Cowboys in 1954, a regional band that headquartered in Anderson, Mo., and performed in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. They were regular performers on radio programs in Neosho, Mo., and Dumas, Texas.

Shea left the Cookson Hills Cowboys in 1955. He joined the Western

Jamboree Cowboys and began his recording career as part of the Western Jamboree Cowboys. The band had several records produced and out on the market.

Jerry Shea left the Western Jamboree Cowboys in 1955 at the invitation of “Easy” Adams and joined the Texas Top Hands,  that primarily performed in Texas, and performed on the Lone Star Brewery Radio Show. After several years performing with the Texas Top Hands, Shea left the band to spend more time with his family and began performing with the Silver Kings.

When Elvis Presley was beginning his career, Jerry Shea played in his back-up band, and Presley called him backstage and complimented his talent.

Shea observed that Elvis Presley was an excellent musician and a down-to-earth person who was easy to talk to.  Shea also performed with Hank Thompson and Roger Miller.  Shea also played with the country band Men of the West and Duane Dutoit and the Surf Riders in Texas in the 1960s.

Shea established his early love of music here in Osawatomie. His later career in music blossomed in the south, but the seed for his musical career was planted here in Osawatomie. The arts are a vital part of the community’s cultural life, for we never know where the young people who are taking piano lessons or learning how to play other musical instruments will take their talent.

Like Jerry Shea, the young musicians could become professional musicians, and entertain audiences all over the nation and the world, but their journey has to have a starting point and Osawatomie’s vocal and instrumental music teachers in homes, churches and schools help to launch young people on to a lifetime of music.

Osawatomie’s young musicians grow up and take their love of music to communities all over the nation and the world, and those who stay in

Osawatomie enrich the community’s arts scene by performing in community bands and church choirs. Their efforts are born of the dedication of those who teach the communities’ young people the art of vocal and instrumental music in their homes, churches and schools, and help to enrich Osawatomie’s quality of life.

We owe the dedicated music teachers in Osawatomie a debt of gratitude and respect.

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Posted by admin on May 25 2011. Filed under News and Updates. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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