Hard Rock Tulsa honors country legend Jim Halsey with exhibit

Jim Halsey and friends celebrate the unveiling of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa’s newest memorabilia exhibit inside Track 5. From left are Barbara McMahon Ritzhaupt, Brian Eckberg, Jana Jae, Norman Chambers, Jim Halsey, Minisa Halsey, Mike Flood, Becky Hobbs, Duane Sciacqua and Martin Madewell. 

CATOOSA – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa has unveiled its newest memorabilia exhibit dedicated to longtime country music promoter and Tulsa native Jim Halsey.  

Located inside Track 5., the state-of-the-art display showcases artifacts representing Halsey’s illustrative career that spans more than 70 years, including an autographed Oscar Schmidt guitar gifted to Halsey by Roy Clark, a Nudie jacket worn by Hank Thompson and Reba McEntire’s 1986 contract with Jim Halsey Company Inc. Halsey was present for the unveiling and was presented with a cake to commemorate his 91st birthday in October.  

“I am so humbled to have a piece of history included here at Hard Rock,” said Halsey. “My hope is that someone who comes in for a show or a dance will be inspired by one of these pieces and say, ‘I can do that too.’” 

Halsey is known for being a pillar of country music. With more than 30 artists in the Country Music Hall of Fame, he’s credited with the guidance and discovery of country icons including Roy Clark, Merle Haggard, Reba McEntire, The Oak Ridge Boys, Hank Thompson, Wanda Jackson, Clint Black, Tammy Wynette, The Judds and Conway Twitty. The Tulsan is also known for signing the first long-term country music contracts in Las Vegas and for brokering the first agreement for U.S. musicians to play in the Soviet Union in 1976. 

“Our memorabilia collection is world renowned, and we are honored to pay tribute to a Tulsa native with this platform,” said Martin Madewell, general manager of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. “Jim Halsey is responsible for delivering so much of the country music that’s shaped our world. It’s an honor to be able to immortalize him in our very own honkytonk.” 

The exhibit joins 1,200 other pieces of memorabilia currently on display at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. The exhibits are part of Hard Rock’s global collection of authentic music memorabilia that includes more than 86,000 pieces displayed around the world.