Oaklawn News


Gladys Knight Kicks Off Series May 27

HOT SPRINGS, AR (Wednesday, April 13, 2016) – Oaklawn’s Finish Line Theater returns for its eighth  Summer Concert Series, featuring dynamic performances ranging from a variety of musical legends to a side-splitting comedy show, which is a first for the establishment. The series will kick off with Gladys Knight, the “Empress of Soul,” followed by iconic classic rockers John Kay & Steppenwolf and The Monkees, making a stop on their 50th Anniversary Tour.

The final half of the sequence will include acclaimed country music star Vince Gill, rock legend Peter Cetera, and widely adored comedian Bob Newhart bringing a fresh style of entertainment to the series expected to fill the venue with non-stop laughter. 

“This is one of the most exciting lineups the Finish Line Theater has ever had,” said Director of Marketing Kim Baron. “Since the dates were posted on the bands’ websites, our phone lines have been lighting up. There are a lot of people looking forward to reliving some great memories that these legendary musicians are sure to invoke when they hit our stage.”

2016 Finish Line Theater Schedule

Friday, May 27: Gladys Knight      

Friday, June 17: John Kay & Steppenwolf

Friday, July 22: The Monkees

Thursday, August 18: Vince Gill

Thursday, September 22: Peter Cetera

Friday, October 14: Bob Newhart

For more information including ticket sale dates and parking, please visit www.oaklawn.com.

Gladys Knight: A seven-time Grammy Award-winner, Glady Knight, who kicks off the Finish Line Theater Series May 27, is best known for the hits she recorded during the 1960s and 1970s with her group Gladys Knight & the Pips, which also included her brother Merald “Bubba” Knight and her cousins Edward Patten and William Guest. While still with the Pips, Gladys joined with Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, and Elton John on the 1986 AIDS benefit single, “That's What Friends Are For,” a triple #1 mega-hit, which won a Grammy for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal. Her other chart toppers include “Midnight Train to Georgia,” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” and “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye).” Most recently, she released “Where My Heart Belongs” in 2014, her 30th top 40 R&B album.

John Kay & Steppenwolf:  With such enduring hits as “Born to be Wild,” “Magic Carpet Ride,” “Rock Me” and “Monster,” John Kay & Steppenwolf are sure to wow fans when they hit the stage June 17. The band has stood the test of time and is among rock’s most beloved bands with over 25 million records sold worldwide. Its songs remain fixtures on classic-rock radio, and have been licensed for use in approximately 50 motion pictures and an even greater number of television programs. And, in addition to being the first band to use the term “heavy metal” in a song (in "Born to Be Wild"), Steppenwolf's punchy style helped to establish the fundamentals of the hard-rock sound that would flourish in the 1970s.

The Monkees: Among the highlights of Oaklawn’s concert series will be when The Monkees take the stage July 22 in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of their hit TV show and debut single “Last Train to Clarksville.” The band, with members Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork, are touring in support of “Good Times,” the band’s first original album since 1997. During the group’s time together, The Monkees amassed a dozen Top 40 hits, including a trio of tunes that soared to #1. Between September 1966 and December 1967, “Last Train to Clarksville,” “I’m A Believer,” and “Daydream Believer” collectively occupied the top position for 12 weeks. Sales of their LPs were more phenomenal still: The Monkees occupied the #1 position for 13 consecutive weeks, and More of the Monkees for 18 weeks. Both Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. went to the top as well, for a four-in-a-row feat in the incomprehensible space of 13 months.

Vince Gill: One of the most popular singers in modern country music, Vince Gill is famous for his top-notch songwriting, world-class guitar playing and warm, soaring tenor, all wrapped up in a quick and easy wit. Gill achieved his big breakthrough in 1990 with “When I Call Your Name,” which won both the Country Music Association’s Single and Song of the Year award as well as a Grammy. Since then, he has won 17 more CMA honors, including Song of the Year four times – making him the most-awarded artist in that category in CMA history. Since 1990, Gill has won 20 GRAMMY Awards. The Academy of Country Music has conferred on Gill eight awards, including its prestigious Home Depot Humanitarian Award and the 2011 Career Achievement Award. Gill was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007. He is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry. In August 2012, Gill was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is a member of the four-time Grammy-nominated band The Time Jumpers.

Peter Cetera: “Grammy Award” winning singer/songwriter, Peter Cetera has had two distinct musical careers. From 1968 thru 1986 Peter was the singer, songwriter, and bass player for the legendary rock group “Chicago”. In his time with the group, they recorded 18 of the most memorable albums of a generation, including such hits as “If You Leave Me Now”, “Hard to Say I’m Sorry”, “Baby What a Big Surprise”, “You’re the Inspiration”, “Stay the Night”, “Love Me Tomorrow”, “Happy Man”, “Feeling Stronger Every Day” and “Along Comes a Woman”. A solo artist since 1986, Peter has recorded 10 time-honored CD’s including his #1 hits, the Academy Award nominated song “The Glory of Love” from the hit movie “The Karate Kid II”, “The Next Time I Fall” with Amy Grant, “Feels Like Heaven” with Chaka Kahn", “After All” with Cher from the motion picture “Chances Are”, “No Explanation” from the mega hit film, “Pretty Woman” and the unforgettable “Restless Heart”. Today, Peter has been appearing with his 5-piece unplugged group to audiences around the world, performing both his acclaimed “Symphony Tour” and a smaller venue “String Quartet” version of the show. Recently, Peter has announced that “for the first time in 15 years” he has reformed his classic “7 Piece Electric Band”, adding another exciting performance format to the music that continues to touch the lives of so many people.

Bob Newhart: As a stand-up comedian, Bob Newhart explored the absurdities of everyday life with an underplayed delivery and gentle stammer that earned him three Grammys and the first comedy album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts. His unique brand of humor translated well to television, where he starred in two of the best-loved sitcoms of the 1970s and 1980s – the Emmy-nominated “The Bob Newhart Show” (CBS, 1972-78) and “Newhart” (CBS, 1982-1990). While getting along in years, he also experienced something of a career surge in the 1990s with roles in feature film comedy hits like “In and Out” (1997), “Legally Blonde 2” (2003), and “Elf” (2003), as well as an Emmy-nominated dramatic turn on “ER” (NBC, 1994-2009 ) in 2004 – earning a new generation of fans who had neither seen nor heard of his two beloved sitcoms at the time they were ratings winners.