When the Jefferson Opera House Theatre Players hold their annual YNOT Awards dinner at Sammy’s Prime Time Restaurant, it will be the first time that two professional musicians/singers/songwriters from Jefferson and Marion County will be recognized for their accomplishments and talent.
The Lucille M. Terry Cultural and Performing Arts Award Past will go to a man who was born in Jefferson in 1904 but left there in the 1940s to move to California.
An untrained piano player, Roy Theodore Hawkins, was said to have had “rhythm and blues in his soul” because he formed a band, wrote scads of songs in the style and had a fairly successful career around the San Francisco area and later in Los Angeles, where he was picked up by a record company.
An automobile accident left him unable to use his right arm, but not before he had written such tunes as the famous “The Thrill Is Gone,” made famous by B.B. King.
Hawkins, who at this date does not even have a grave marker at the cemetery in California where he now rests, will now receive recognition in his old hometown and will be given his award, a small grave marker — as soon as arrangements can be made — during the ceremony.
The Lucille M. Terry Cultural and Performing Arts Award Present will be awarded to Sarah Hobbs, a young woman who sings and writes a lot of her own music.
With roots in Marion County, she has worked her way up the country and western ladder with such singles as “Point of No Return,” “Texas Made,” “Tinder,” “I Got Me” and “Like I Love You.”
She was name Wide Open Country’s “Top 15 Artists to watch in 2018,” chosen as “Artist for the 2019 Pickin’ for Preemies” event at Billy Bob’s Texas and sang the national anthem at the May 2018 Texas Ranger game.
She also participated in the Texas Music Takeover Tour in London, England, the Red Dirt Pub Crawl in Dublin, Ireland and is set to be honored by the U.S. Embassy in Iceland in September at the South Iceland Music Festival.
She will be present at the Jefferson awards ceremony to receive a trophy representing her accomplishments.
Other activities for the evening include a social period at 5:30 p.m. with complimentary glass of wine followed at 6 p.m. by a dinner of either steak or chicken.
During dessert, a cabaret act will entertain the guests. Jane Maddox, a well-known impersonator of the famous blonde actress Marilyn Monroe, will perform her act of songs and narratives about Monroe, her life and loves.
“Jane is the very epitome of Marilyn in every way,” President Marcia Thomas said. “It will take your breath away when you see her in her beautiful replica gowns and hear her sing the songs Marilyn made famous.”
According to Thomas, Maddox told her this particular performance has been worked up with new material especially for this occasion.
Maddox last appeared in Jefferson in the comedy “Spreading It Around,” produced by the theater group.
Tickets for the YNOT Awards and membership kickoff dinner are $35 through Aug. 29, and after that date will be $40.
They are available online at www.jeffersonoperahousetheatreplayers.com; in person at Sammy’s Prime Time Restaurant and The Willow Tree in downtown Jefferson; or by calling (903) 665-8243 or (903) 926-2760.