Junior Kellie Taylor performs at honky tonk music festival


Story by Caroline Purtle, Staff Writer

Texarkana is the home to many cultural attractions, from the Perot Theater to the Ace of Clubs House. But what has been hiding downtown on New Boston Road is a little country theater called the Oaklawn Opry.

They feature live country performances from locals, out of state bands and musicians with a variety of classic boot-kickin’ songs.

Junior Kellie Taylor performed recently for her first time on Oaklawn’s honky-tonk stage in front of the finest Texans around.

“I was on stage, and I was just shaking,” Taylor said. “It was very scary, but it was very exciting all at the same time.”

Taylor doesn’t just perform on the Oaklawn stage. On Friday nights she performs in front of hundreds of people with much brighter stage lights.

“On Friday nights I dance on the field and we dance for tons of people,” Taylor said. “Drill team is a lot of work, but I love performing in front of big crowds.”

Taylor slips off her pearly white drill team boots and into her brown leather cowboy boots. Then she takes on the country music world, one audition at a time.

“The judges made me comfortable and were nice,” Taylor said. “They made me feel welcomed.”

She and other musicians, singers, and bands line up for their chance to perform at the Opry.

“I was worried I wouldn’t make it,” Taylor said. “The other singers were all talented too.”

Taylor has a passion for both singing and dancing, and both share a small piece of her heart.

“I can’t pick which one is my favorite, that’s too hard,” Taylor said. “They both are very different.”

The live show features a drummer, guitarist and pianist. And with a frisky fiddler full of flair, Taylor had no trouble singing her classic country tunes.

“I sang ‘I was Country when Country Wasn’t Cool,’ ‘Stand by Your Man,’ and ‘You Ain’t Woman Enough,’” Taylor said.

Taylor flaunted her voice in tradition of the Opry’s 20-year reign. Everyday she anticipates the next call from the judges at Oaklawn.

“I do plan on singing again, but the Opry has a rotation,” Taylor said. “I hope I can sing again soon.”

Kellie Taylor: a Texas High Stepper by day; country singer by night.