MIAMI — David Osborne’s words of wisdom to the dreamers out there: “Don't give up.”
Osborne has gone from Miami (he’s a 1976 graduate) to become one of the world’s renowned pianists, performing in Las Vegas for 25 years.
He’s become known as “Pianist to the Presidents” — performing for every president since Jimmy Carter.
“As a child, a lot of people said ‘you can’t do this’ or ‘you can’t do that,’ but I say to young people, middle aged people and older people: never give up on your dreams,” Osborne said Saturday morning following the unveiling of signage marking a segment of D Street SW just off West Steve Owens Blvd. “David Osborne Drive.”
“I had no idea they were going to do that,” he said. “That was Debbie’s (Debbie East, who spearheads the Ottawa County Musicians Tribute Committee) idea.”
Ironically, the intersection is right by where the house of his first piano teacher, Lucille Wright, was located. Prior to the unveiling, Miami Mayor Bless Parker read a proclamation marking Saturday as “David Osborne Day.”
Festivities continued Saturday night at the Coleman Theatre with his induction into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and were capped off by a performance of the David Osborne Trio.
Among the other inductees in the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, located in Muskogee are Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Vince Gill, Reba McIntire, Woody Guthrie, Toby Keith, Roy Clark and Leon Russell.
Thompson Square —former Miamian Keifer Thompson and his wife, Shawna — have been honored by the hall in the past.
The induction and concert were postponed from April.
“Keep trying, trust God to help you and you can achieve anything in life,” he said. “Nothing is given to you. It’s worked for and achieved.”
On Oct. 3, he will perform at the 96th birthday party for Carter in Plains, Georgia. Osborne said Garth Brooks is also scheduled to perform.
“This whole area is blessed,” he said, remembering how Mickey and Merlyn Mantle would come watch him perform at Hidden Acres in Joplin early in his musical career.
The coronavirus hit Las Vegas hard.
Things started getting somewhat back to normal on June 4.
“The city is suffering — it’s suffering from the lack of business,” Osborne said. “People are afraid, but we are looking forward to it (COVID-19) going away and things coming back.”
He performs Thursday through Sunday at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino. He had played at Caesar’s Palace for 12 year.
His staying power rivals that of Wayne Newton, who also has become a Vegas fixture.
“Even Wayne hasn’t been continuous every night,” Osborne said. “I’ve been every night for 25 years at one of the most famous intersections in the United States. I humbly say that because it’s an every night thing if I am not doing this or touring, I am right back there again.”
Proceeds from ticket sales Saturday night as well as a portion of the sale of CDs featuring Osborne, are going to the Steve and Cassie Gaines Scholarship Fund at Northeastern A&M.