Tuesday, October 20, 2015

DuBois among five Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame inductees

Kaylea M. Hutson-Miller • khutson@grovesun.com

Quite an honor.

Three words sum up Tim DuBois' thoughts concerning his weekend induction into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

DuBois, a native of Grove, was inducted during a ceremony on Friday, Oct. 16 at the Muskogee Civic Center alongside his friends, Scott Hendricks and members of Restless Heart, as well as fellow Oklahoma music legends Smiley Weaver and Becky Hobbs.

His music career stretches the decades and includes time as a music executive. He, along with his long-time music colleagues Scott Hendricks and Greg Jennings, formed the band Restless Heart.

His time in Nashville includes multiple awards for songwriting, having penned Restless Heart's award-winning song "Bluest Eyes In Texas" and Vince Gill's 1991 Country Music Association's Song of the Year "When I Call Your Name," among others.

Not bad for the graduate of Grove High School who said he once played guitar "badly" in a band known as the "Deadbeats" while a Grove High School student in the mid 1960s.

DuBois, the son of Jessie and Everett DuBois, credits a music theory class taught by the late James Roe at GHS for much of his success as a songwriter.

"It taught me the cord structure and projection I used as a writer," DuBois said. "It all did start here in Grove."

Initially, DuBois planned to work in the accounting field. A meeting with Scott Hendricks at Oklahoma State University and a love of writing lyrics led him to change directions in the late 1970s, to move to Nashville to pursue a music career.

"I'm a true left brain, right brain conflict," DuBois told those gathered at Friday's ceremony, "but it has served me very well."

DuBois credits the support of his parents, as well as his brothers, Randy and his late brother Ed, for much of his success, telling those gathered in Muskogee that Randy was "a better writer and better guitar player" but that he was "better looking."

"I'm tremendously thankful for what he did for the family," DuBois said, giving him the opportunity to pursue his dreams in Nashville.

He said activities, such as the public speaking he learned as a Delaware County 4-H member also helped shape his life, giving him the self confidence he needed to succeed.

Eventually, DuBois would continue to teach at Vanderbilt's University for many years before moving into artist management. His career has come full-circle as he continues to serve as an adjunct professor of management at Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Management.

"I'm in the twilight years of my career," DuBois said. "I like to say I'm in my fourth failed retirement. I'm in the process of creating a blog and a podcast which will start in late 2015 or early 2016.

"I'm also doing some public speaking, but I'm trying to slow down."

Career Highlights

DuBois said managing Gill while with Fitzgerald-Hartley, as well as helping to found and manage Restless Heart are among the highlights of his long-standing career.

Other highlights include working with Keith Urban, Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley and Pam Tillis.

During Friday's induction ceremony, presenter long-time friend Steve Ripley joked that artists coming before DuBois for consideration were given an additional 25 points just for being from Oklahoma.

Two songs he is proud of include Gill's When I call Your Name and Jerry Reed's "She Got the Goldmine (I got the Shaft). He is also proud of Restless Heart's "Bluest Eyes in Texas" which the band used to close out Friday's induction concert.

"Love in the first degree, recorded by Alabama 30 years ago is still probably the biggest hit I've had," DuBois said, among his five number one songs and the multiple pop and international hits.

"Picking a favorite song is like picking a favorite child," DuBois continued. "I like them all for different reasons."

But he said, his song with Gill remains one of the favorite, because it helped define Gill's career.

DuBois said he is a firm believe in collaboration, adding that his projects either have co-writers or co-producers attached.

"I believe in helping people be the best they can be," DuBois said, adding that he often speaks about helping develop and motivate creative people to become leaders.

"I've had a lot of success standing on the shoulders of people who have worked for me and with me," DuBois said. "I've had lots of partners. It's always somebody and Tim DuBois."

More About DuBois

DuBois' career includes being one of the most successful executives in the recording industry having led both Arista Records and Universal South Records.

An adjunct professor of management at Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Management and long-time ASCAP member, DuBois’ career has included recognition as a songwriter, manager, record executive and producer.

Five songs that he has co-written have been No. 1 hits. DuBois’ songs have received numerous awards, and two Grammy Award nominations. As a producer, his accolades have included more than 20 No. 1 and top 5 singles and more than a dozen gold, platinum and double platinum albums.

Tapped to open a Nashville division of Arista Records in 1989, DuBois discovered and signed Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Brad Paisley, BlackHawk, Pam Tillis and Diamond Rio.

DuBois quickly turned the new label into one of the most successful in country music history, selling more than 75 million records worldwide in just four years. After serving as president of Gaylord Entertainment's Creative Content Group in 2001, DuBois went on to head Universal South Records with producer Tony Brown in 2002, a position he held until 2006.

DuBois was recognized as the most powerful person in the music industry by Business Nashville in 1996, Record Executive of the year in 1992 by Pollstar, and was included in Entertainment Weekly's list of 101 Most Powerful People in Entertainment in 1994 and 1995.

DuBois currently sits on the board of directors of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music, and has served as a board member of the Country Music Foundation, Nashville Songwriters Association International, Leadership Music, and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

He is the former chairman of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, and is a board member of Sun Trust Bank in Nashville. DuBois and his wife, Pam, reside in Nashville. He has three adult children: Michelle, Chris and Jamie.

Additional Honors

In addition to his induction into the OMHF, DuBois' has been named an influential leader with the AACSB International. In 2014 he was named one of 100 most influential alumni over the past 100-year life of the Oklahoma State University's Spears School of Business.

Earlier this year, he was honored with the Mae Boren Axton Award by the Academy of Country Music. That honor recognizes years of dedication and service by an outstanding individual with the Academy of Country Music.

This story was originally published in the Oct. 20, 2015 issue of The Grove Sun.

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