A version of this story also appears in Thursday’s The Oklahoman.
Toby Keith and friends raise $550,000 for charity
NORMAN – Despite the recession, country music superstar Toby Keith has helped get Oklahoma cancer charity Ally’s House more than half a million dollars closer to its goals.
The sixth annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic June 12-13 in Norman raised $550,000, his publicist announced Wednesday. This year’s take brings the event’s overall total nearly $3 million.
Ally’s House is a Norman-based nonprofit that helps Oklahoma children with cancer and their families. It is named for Allison Webb, the 2-year-old daughter of Scott Webb, one of Keith’s original bandmates, and his wife Linda Webb. Ally died in 2003 of kidney cancer; the Webbs and Keith founded the charity the following year.
“So many charity events have struggled in this economy,” said Linda Webb, Ally’s House executive director. “We are very pleased, and it’s really going to help us with all the exciting things that we have planned. … Toby’s support is a gift we never take for granted, and we appreciate it more than we can express.”
Along with providing financial aid for families coping with pediatric cancer, the nonprofit is looking forward to cutting the ribbon later this summer on the renovated oncology unit at Children’s Hospital. Ally’s House gave $500,000 to build a new playroom, family resource room, room for infusion treatments and palliative care area there.
The charity also has secured land on the OU Health Sciences Center campus and is looking at designs for an actual Ally’s House, which would lodge pediatric cancer patients being treated at Children’s Hospital and their families. The plan is to offer housing similar to a Ronald McDonald House but specifically for children with cancer.
This year’s Golf Classic reached its second-highest total; the 2008 event raised $709,000.
“You hope that you continue to grow, but there is a little bit of recession going on right now. But I still expect it to be fantastic as always,” Keith told The Oklahoman before this year’s event.
“I really call on people hard to come forward and help our cause for these kids in Oklahoma but … I think I’m gonna have to beat them up a little harder this year I think,” he added with a laugh.
The two-day private event included a party, auction and celebrity golf tournament. Among those in attendance were comic Rodney Carrington, University of Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, gymnast Bart Conner, and many others. race car driver Bobby Hillin, Jr.; basketball players Kevin Bookout, Kelly Newton and Nancy Lieberman; baseball stars Roger Clemens, Kevin Gross and Mickey Tettleton and football standouts Stephen Alexander, Rocky Calmus, Ray Childress, Dan Cody, Cedric Jones, Steve Owens, Trent Smith and Jason White.
In addition, Ally’s House recently received an almost $131,000 donation from Edmond Santa Fe High School, money raised during the school’s annual fundraiser Double Wolf Dare Week.
“Even though we have the support of Toby Keith, which is invaluable which other organizations would just die to have, the need is greater than any one person or one event,” Webb said. “Those kids were just tireless. … They take fundraising to a whole new level in terms of creative ideas.”
For more information on Ally’s House, call 733-ALLY (2559) or go online to www.allyshouse.net.
Tulsa comedian Rodney Carrington released his new album of humorous songs, “El Nino Loco,” the follow-up album to 2007′s popular “King of the Mountains,” today.
The album features several songs produced by fellow Oklahoman Toby Keith, who appears in the music video for “If I’m the Only One,” which is funny but just plain wrong.
The video is posted here from CMT.com:
Other CDs offered today include a collection of songs by the late George Harrison (which I’m currently listening to and loving), the new disc from the Jonas Brothers and the debut album from Street Sweeper Social Club.
In other Oklahoma-related entertainment news, the second season the TNT series “Saving Grace,” which is set in Oklahoma City but filmed in Los Angeles, is on available on DVD today. The series stars Holly Hunter as a fast-living Oklahoma City police detective who receives visitations from an oddball angel named Earl (Leon Rippy). The show’s creator, head writer and executive producer, Nancy Miller, grew up in Oklahoma City.
The third season of “Saving Grace” starts at 9 tonight on TNT.
Here is a list of the new CDs, DVDs and books out this week, from Amazon.com, VideoETA.com and BarnesandNoble.com:
Rodney Carrington, “El Nino Loco.”
George Harrison, “Let It Roll: The Songs of George Harrison.”
Jonas Brothers, “Lines, Vines and Trying Times.”
Spinal Tap, “Back from the Dead.”
Hank Williams Jr., “127 Rose Avenue.”
Michael Bublé, “Michael Buble Meets Madison Square Garden” (Live CD/DVD set).
Street Sweeper Social Club, “Street Sweeper Social Club.”
Josh Groban, Idina Menzel and Adam Pascal, “Chess in Concert” (Live 2-CD set).
Incubus, “Monuments & Melodies” (2-CD limited edition set).
Burn Notice: Season Two
The Cell 2
Everwood: The Complete Second Season
Family Guy: Volume Seven
Friday the 13th
Saving Grace: Season Two
The Secret Life of the American Teenager: Season 2
The Seventh Seal
The Transformers: The Complete First Season
Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail
The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Dune Road by Jane Green
Glenn Beck’s Common Sense: The Evolution of Thomas Paine’s Revolution by Glenn Beck
In the Kitchen by Monica Ali
Knock Out (FBI Series No. 13) by Catherine Coulter
L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad
The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner
Queen Takes King by Gigi Levangie Grazer
A Rogue of My Own by Johanna Lindsey
Short History of Women: A Novel by Kate Walbert
Strangers: A Novel by Anita Brookner
Today’s featured event:
SHAWNEE – Catch Tulsa standup comic/comedic musician Rodney Carrington at 7 and 9:30 tonight at Firelake Grand Casino, 1601 S Gordon Cooper Drive.
For more information, go to www.firelakegrand.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
The Radio City Rockettes and Santa Claus
- “Radio City Christmas Spectacular”: See the Rockettes kick it out at 7:30 tonight, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday at the Ford Center, 100 W Reno. Information: 235-8288 or www.okfordcenter.com.
- The Oklahoman Holidays on the Canal: Take a free boat ride to celebrate The Oklahoman Holidays on the Canal from 6 to 9:30 p.m. today-Sunday D26-28 on the Bricktown Canal. Information: 236-3640 or www.downtownindecember.com.
- Children’s Hour: Take your family to the children’s hour from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum, 1400 Classen Drive. The movie “Snow Buddies” will show at 3:15. Admission is free Sunday. Information: 235-4458 or www.oklahomaheritage.com.
- American Fidelity Free Museum Sundays: This weekend offers your last chance to take advantage of American Fidelity Free Museum Sundays at the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum and Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. You and your family can get free admission to either institution from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday. It’s part of Downtown in December. Information: 236-3640 or www.downtownindecember.com.
- Rodney Carrington: Catch Tulsa comedian Rodney Carrington at 7 tonight and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturdayat Firelake Grand Casino, 777 Grand Casino Blvd, Shawnee. Information: 964-7263 or www.firelakegrand.com.
- Donny Vomit with Rainbows are Free: See sideshow performer Donny Vomit and Norman rockers Rainbows are Free at 9 p.m. Saturday at Opolis, 113 N Crawford, Norman. Information: www.starlightmints.com/opolis.html.
- Stoney LaRue: Hear Stoney LaRue at 8 tonight at Riverwind Casino, 1544 W State Highway 9, Norman. Information: 322-6464 or www.riverwind.com.
- Hosty Solo: See local one-man-band Mike Hosty play his regular 10 p.m. Sunday show at The Deli, 309 White Street. Information: www.thedeli.us.
Festival of Light in Chickasha. (Photo by John Clanton/The Oklahoman Archives from 2006)
- Christmas lights displays, STATEWIDE: From Chickasha to Checotah, most communities are keeping their big Christmas lights displays up through the weekend, and some even into next week. For a list of some of the displays, go to www.travelok.com.
- Tulsa Oilers hockey: See the Oilers play Wichita at 7:35 tonight and Mississippi at 7:35 p.m. Saturday. Information: www.tulsaoilers.com.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Country music star Toby Keith and musical country comic Rodney Carrington know what their fans like.
The Oklahomans co-wrote and co-starred in “Beer for My Horses,” a good ol’ boy action-comedy that takes its name but not its plot from Keith’s hit 2003 duet with Willie Nelson.
Set (but not filmed) in the Oklahoma hamlet of Mangum, the film follows a pair of sheriff’s deputies, tough guy and ladies man Rack (Keith) and his amiable, bumbling buddy Lonnie (Carrington). Rack’s finds new romance when his old flame Annie (Claire Forlani) moves back to town from the big city.
When Rack and Lonnie bust Mexican drug lord Tito Garza (Greg Serano), the criminal’s vindictive brother Manuel (Carlos Sanz) nabs Annie. He demands that the deputies bring his brother to Mexico and trade Tito for Annie.
Against the orders of the sheriff (Tom Skerritt), Rack, Lonnie and renegade deputy Skunk (Ted Nugent) take a wacky road trip south of the border.
The movie has its entertaining moments and features fun cameos from country music stars Nelson, David Allan Coe and Mel Tillis. But it also is packed with timeworn clichés from buddy-cop movies and road trip comedies.
DVD features: Two behind-the-scenes featurettes, blooper reel, CMT on Set featurette and a promotional video featuring Keith and the Ford Trucks in the movie.
Oklahoma music fans have two very different movies to choose from among this week’s new releases.
Oklahoma City resident Wayne Coyne and his Grammy-winning alt-rock band the Flaming Lips released their long-awaited film “Christmas on Mars” to DVD today. You can buy just the DVD, or a set that includes the DVD and CD of the film’s music.
Seven years in the making, “Christmas on Mars” is described as a “fantastical and disturbing film freak-out.” Set at Christmastime. On Mars.
What else would you expect from the Lips?
On the other end of the spectrum, Oklahoma country star Toby Keith has his second feature film, “Beer for My Horses,” out on DVD today. Keith and Tulsa comic Rodney Carrington co-wrote the movie and co-star as Rack and Lonnie, small-town Oklahoma sheriff’s deputies who defy their boss’ orders and pursue a Mexican drug lord who kidnaps Rack’s girlfriend (Claire Forlani).
It’s a “Smokey and the Bandit”-variety comic-action road trip with appearances from country music stars such as Willie Nelson, David Allan Coe and Mel Tillis.
What else would you expect from Toby?
Here is a list of this week’s new CDs, DVDs and books from Amazon.com and VideoETA.com:
Taylor Swift, “Fearless.”
Enya, “And Winter Came.”
David Archuleta, “David Archuleta.”
David Foster,” Hit Man: David Foster and Friends.”
Genesis, “Box Set 3 (1970-1975)” (12-disc set).
7th Heaven: The Seventh Season
Beer for My Horses
The Flaming Lips: Christmas On Mars
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Katt Williams It’s Pimpin’ Pimpin’
Mind of Mencia: Season 4
Scrubs: The Complete Seventh Season
Son of the Beach: Volume 2
The Sopranos: The Complete Series
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Sukiyaki Western Django
Thomas Kinkade’s Christmas Cottage
“Just After Sunset: Stories” by Stephen King.
“The Hour I First Believed: A Novel” by Wally Lamb.
“A Mercy” by Toni Morrison.
“American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House” by Jon Meacham.
“The Christmas Sweater” by Glenn Beck.
“YOU: Being Beautiful: The Owner’s Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty” by Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz.
The summer “Beer for My Horses,” co-written by and co-starring Oklahoma country music star Toby Keith and Tulsa comedian Rodney Carrington, will premiere at 6 p.m. Nov. 2 on Country Music Television, according to a news release.
The film, produced jointly by CMT Films and Keith’s Show Dog Productions, is a follow up to Keith’s 2006 CMT Film ”Broken Bridges.”
“Beer for My Horses” shares the same title of Keith’s 2003 No. 1 single and video with Willie Nelson. Nelson appears in the movie.
“Beer for My Horses” received a limited theatrical release this summer and will be released on DVD Nov. 11.
The movie also stars Claire Forlani (“CSI: NY”), guitar legend Ted Nugent, Barry Corbin, (“No Country For Old Men,” “Dukes of Hazzard”), and Tom Skerritt (“Brothers and Sisters”). It follows the exploits of Rack (Keith) and Lonnie (Carrington), small-town Oklahoma deputies and best friends who defy the local sheriff to embark on an outrageous road trip to save Rack’s girlfriend from drug lord kidnappers.
“Beer for My Horses” was produced by Toby Keith and Donald Zuckerman and TK Kimbrell serves as executive producer for Show Dog Productions and Jeff Yapp and Leslie Belzberg serve as Executive Producers for CMT Films. Michael Salomon directs.
Keith has another release coming out this fall: His latest studio album “That Don’t Make Me a Bad Guy” will come out Oct. 28. The current single, “She Never Cried In Front Of Me,” has already marked a career milestone as his 35th Top 10.
Tulsa comedian Rodney Carrington performed the first of a two-day stint just up Interstate 44 tonight at Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, OK.
He will perform another show at the casino at 7 p.m. Saturday. For more information, go to www.rodneycarrington.com.
The countrified comic’s King of the Mountains tour is taking him all around the U.S. this fall, from Billings, Mont., to Fort Worth, Texas. He also will play several dates at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
But Carrington - who was raised in Texas but has lived in Tulsa for 15 years “because I met my wife here and she won’t let me leave” – and his clan don’t have to go far from home to have a good time.
He told me in an interview earlier this summer about the impromptu vacation he, wife Terri and their three sons took. They were planning to drive down to Dallas but instead stopped at Oklahoma City theme park Frontier City. It was their first visit to the theme park, and they rode the river rapids ride until they were soaked.
After, they ate at Golden Corral, stayed the night in a hotel and drove back to Tulsa the next day on Route 66, with a stop along the way in Arcadia at POPS soda emporium/diner/convenience store.
“This is how hillbilly we are,” he cracked. “We went on a big vacation and it was a hour and a half from where we live. But we had a ball, because it’s all about being together.”
Carrington co-wrote and co-starred with fellow Oklahoman Toby Keith in the action-comedy “Beer for My Horses.” The movie got a limited release earlier this summer and is expanding to more theaters in the next couple of weeks.
He said his writing experiences on his TV sitcom ”Rodney,” which ran on ABC from 2004-06, were invaluable to working on the screenplay with the country music star.
He added that working on the movie was fun, even if it was a lot of work and craft services served up way too many burritos. (“Everything was in a flour tortilla,” he cracked, abruptly going off on a funny tangent. “You’d get Cap’n Crunch in a flour tortilla. I thought that was odd.”)
But fans shouldn’t expect to see him starring in another TV show – ever.
“No. Never. Never again. Never. You can write that down in big, bold, black letters.”
He elaborated: “It’s 100 hours a week for $4 an hour. … And you’re working for somebody else who’s telling you what to do creatively when they don’t have any business being in the position that they’re in. That’s what television was to me. You dealt with a lot of people that would tell you creatively what you needed to know and what you needed to do when the whole reason they came to me in the beginning was because they liked what it is that I did and they liked the success.”
Right now, taking his rowdy observational humor and ribald songs on the road as a stand-up comedian is fun for him.
“I enjoy going out and doing my show and making people laugh. And that’s my objective in my life is to make people laugh and hopefully take away a little bit of their problems for the hour and a half that they come spend time at my show,” he said.
In addition, he and Keith wrote a couple of comedy songs together for Carrington’s new album of uproarious ditties. Keith also produced the new album, which is due out early next year.
For people who go to his upcoming shows – he’ll be back in Shawnee in December if you can’t make it up to Miami this weekend – he has a lot of new material and songs to share.
“Anyone that saw the special I put out last year on Comedy Central, it’s a lot different than that. A lot of it’s changed,” he said. “It’s just a continuation of what I’ve been doing for 20 years.”