Reba McEntire’s “Strange” is No. 14 on this weeks Top 40 Countdown (Bob Kingsley). I only mention that because this post is going to be all about Reba… and because when that song moves up four more slots on the countdown, it will become Reba’s 57th single to make it to the Top Ten. As you probably guessed, that gives her more Top 10’s than any other female country artist. She has released 31 albums, and sold more than 50 million records worldwide. Her career spans 33 years.
She was born in McAlester, Okla,, on March 28, 1955, to Jacqueline and Clark Vincent McEntire. Her mom was a teacher whose father was a sharecropper. Her dad was a rodeo performer and cattle rancher. Reba grew up in McAlester. She learned to ride in rodeos, to sing, and play music with Oklahoma native Cadillac Jack. She was raised on a 7,000 acre family ranch, and traveled with her parents and siblings to rodeos where her dad competed. He was named World Champion Steer Roper in 1957, 1958 and 1961, Her grandfather, John McEntire, had won the same title in 1934.
Reba formed a singing group with her brother and sister, The Singing McEntires. Her sister, Susie Luchsinger, has a successful career in Christian music and co-hosts Cowboy Church, a Christian show on RFD-TV. Her brother, Pake, had a success as a country artist in the 1980s. The trio had a local hit with “The Ballad of John McEntire,” a tribute to their grandfather. Reba also has an older sister, Alice, who was not part of the group. Following in her family’s tradition, Reba also competed in rodeo, and was a barrel racer. That was the only event open to women.
In 1974, while attending Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Reba sand "the national anthem at the National Rodeo Finals in Oklahoma City. Red Steagall, a country singer who was attending the rodeo, suggested that Reba go to Nashville to pursue a solo career. She landed a contract with Mercury Records, and her country music career began.
Over the past 33 years, Reba has don duets with Justin Timberlake, Rascal Flatts, Faith Hill, LeAnn Rimes, Carole King, Kelly Clarkston, Brooks and Dunn, and many others. She has appeared on many television shows, including her own sitcom, Reba. She also performed on Broadway in the role of Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun. She received a Drama Desk Special Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Theater World Award for her performance.
From 1984 to 2009, Reba has won one award after the next. I’d never try to list all of them, but they include Female Vocalist of the Year, Top Female Vocalist, Female Artist of the Year, Video of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, Best Vocal Performance, Female, and the list goes on and on. Some of the awards came from the Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music, Music City News Country Awards, American Music Awards, TNN Viewer’s Choice Awards, Grammy Awards, British Country Music Awards, CMT Flameworthy Awards, Family Television Awards, and ASCAP, just to list a few.
She’s a very special lady, with a huge talent, and a generous heart. In 1992 she opened Reba’s Ranch House, a home-away-from-home for families of critically ill patients hospitalized at Texoma Medical Center. The house was built with proceeds from five years of Memorial Day concerts she performed. If you would like to learn more about Reba’s Ranch House, of The Secret of Giving, where you can go to to make a donation, click here. She recently opened a second ranch house in Dallas. And, she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Here’s a video of Reba singing a Loretta Lynn song, “You’re Looking at Country.” I’ve always been a fan of this lady, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
Today is the first day of a three day weekend for many of us. Hope you all enjoy it. I’ll talk to you soon!