A former Little Rock television personality best known as "Bozo" joins four other notables later this year who will be inducted into the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame.
The others include:
- A former Secret Service agent who helped investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and later was called as the defense lawyer when the Rolling Stones were arrested in Fordyce.
- A famed guitarist (pictured above) who has played with Barbra Streisand, John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder and who has produced numerous hot recordings.
- One of gospel music's first superstars.
- One of the original members of Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer Band and now the band's musical director.
The induction ceremony is June 8 at the Hot Springs Convention Center.
Tickets for the event, which will go on sale April 1, will be $75 each or $750 for a table of 10 and may be bought by calling the Convention Center at (501) 321-2027 or 800-543-2284.
The reception will start at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7:30.p.m.
Here's more about the inductees:
- Gary Weir: A resident of North Little Rock, he became a television legend in the state when, in 1966, he began appearing on KATV, Channel 7 (later on KARK, Channel 4 and KLRT, Fox 16), as Bozo the Clown. His famous nonsense repartee ("Are you married or do you carry your lunch?") continued to delight generations of Arkansas kids on TV until the late 1980s.
- Bill Carter: He was a Secret Service agent who was assigned to help investigate Kennedy's assassination in Dallas in 1963. When he retired to enter private legal practice he was the lawyer who was called when Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards needed legal help in Fordyce. When the Stones needed help negotiating with the State Department when they were denied entry into the United States to tour they called Bill Carter. He is now an attorney and television producer who lives outside Nashville, Tenn.
- Louie Shelton (in photo): Millions of people have heard his smooth guitar playing on hit records and albums with the world's most acclaimed musicians. Born in Little Rock and later a resident of North Little Rock, Shelton has worked as the session guitarist or producer for Streisand, Lennon, Wonder, Jackson, Lionel Richie, Marvin Gaye and others. He is well known for his work with the legendary Seals and Crofts.
- Rosetta Nubin Tharpe: The Arkansas native was one of gospel music's first superstars, the first gospel performer to record for a major record label (Decca), and an early crossover from gospel to secular music. Tharpe has been cited as an influence by numerous musicians, including Bob Dylan, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, and Arkansan Johnny Cash. She was born at Cotton Plant on March 20, 1915 and died in 1973.
- Mike Utley: He was born in Blytheville and graduated from the University of Arkansas. Early in his career he worked with the house band for Atlantic Records, backing performers such as Aretha Franklin, Jerry Jeff Walker and the Allman Brothers. Walker recruited Utley to play keyboards on Buffett's first major label album, "A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean in 1973. Utley continued to work with other performers in the mid-1970s while appearing on Buffett's subsequent albums until Buffett's 1977 breakout "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, when he joined the Coral Reefer Band full-time. Utley has recorded with an impressive list of artists including Franklin, Sam and Dave, Brook Benton, Ronnie Hawkins, Duane Allman, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Jimmy Cliff, Petula Clark, Carmen McRae, Sam (The Sham), and Booker T. Jones. He is also the producer of 11 albums with Buffett. Additionally, he produced Roy Orbison's Greatest Hits album. He has worked with Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, and Tom Waits. Utley and steel drum player Robert Greenridge also formed their own band, Club Trini, which has recorded several albums.