The Oklahoma Centennial Spectacular, held on Nov. 16, was a celebrity-studded variety show filled with performances from well-known Sooner State musicians "¦ except country superstar Garth Brooks.
As soon as Vince Gill took the Ford Center stage to sing "Oklahoma Rising," it became clear to the many in the sold-out crowd that the show was over, and their beloved Brooks didn't sing a note.
"What happened? Why didn't Garth play? That's the whole reason we came," a white-haired, 68-year-old Tulsa woman named Rose asked afterward. "Everything said he was going to play, so what happened?"
Though Brooks didn't perform, he did offer a dedication to those who died in the April 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City.
"Garth Brooks never intended to perform," said his publicist, Nancy Seltzer. "He was always happy to make the presentation, but it was never his intention to perform. We're sorry if anyone's expectations weren't met."
According to Jeanie McCain Edney, deputy director of the Oklahoma Centennial Commission, Brooks never was scheduled to perform at the Ford Center concert, and was just an invited presenter.
"When you hear Brooks is going to headline an event, you expect him to sing. He's a singer," said Lisa Jaques, who attended the free simulcast at the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark. "He and the creators of this production knew putting his name as a headliner would have the public anticipating a performance. If this was not to be the case, the public should have known prior to the concert and prior to purchasing a ticket. Shame on them both." "Joe Wertz