OKLAHOMA CITY — It’s been a big night for Oklahoman, Blake Shelton. Earlier this evening he won Album of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year at the Country Music Awards.
His star started rising more than a decade ago and way back then NewsChannel 4 followed him for several days, capturing his bare-bones tour across our state.
But shortly after NewsChannel 4 shot all of that video we lost it.
And for the past 12 years, we have searched every storage box, every drawer and every file cabinet in our entire building.
As Blake became more and more popular over the years our search intensified. We’ve looked in every nook and cranny trying to locate the lost video.
Time and again our search came up empty but we knew those tapes had to be somewhere inside our television station.
On Monday of this week we got lucky. We finally hit pay dirt. They were in a box tucked away on a shelf, in a back room.
For the past two days we’ve been looking through those “lost” tapes. They show a determined, polite young man who is about to become a superstar.
We see him with his crew and tour bus.
Blake is just waking up and talking a call on a cell phone that’s big as a brick.
Check out the hair. His record company hates it.
“You’ve got to cut your hair. People are going to make fun of you and laugh at you. That’s so out of style. And you know me, being myself. ‘Screw ’em, you know. Guess what I just gave you a number one hit,” Blake says about his hair.
His first hit and his fan base is growing. The Ada, Oklahoma native left for Nashville two weeks out of high school.
He used to beg for crowds now crowds beg for him.
The video shows him early in his career. He’s still just a little star in the galaxy of country music greats.
“I want you to say a big hello to Channel 4 out of OKC. They’re filming the show tonight,” Blake says to his fans.
He’s had a couple of hits at this point in his career but he is hoping for that ‘14 carat moment.’
Blake says, “That’s probably going to be the most satisfying thing to me; to get a gold record. We’re just waiting for the phone call at this point.”
That call will come and several more just like it.
Eventually, the hair will come off, the boots will shine, and the bugs will be replaced by high dollar indoor venues.
What won’t change in the years to come is his gratitude.
“When you sing a song that makes someone dig into their wallet and pull out a $20 bill that they’ve worked hard for and they go buy something you’ve created, that’s all you can ask for as a singer or musician,” Blake explains.
“Thank you guys so much; thank you guys. I love you!” Blake says to his fans.
And that’s just a glimpse of what’s on those tapes.
Wait until you see the rest. Keep in mind that this is before Blake had an army of public relations handlers. So what you see is what you get and Blake doesn’t mind telling you what he thinks.
Guess what Blake mom has him do when he was about 8-years-old?
Blake says it was so humiliating he quit singing for a while.
That lost tapes has it all. Watch next Tuesday at 10 pm.