Arts & Entertainment, Music

Recording a Song Case Study: "There's No U in Oklahoma"

Reba McEntire

Lesson time 19:14 min

See the Master in action. Watch as Reba records a brand new song in the studio, working with her band, producers, and engineers.

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Topics include: Reba records "There's No U in Oklahoma"


The song "There's No U in Oklahoma and That's OK with Me" came from my good friend Donna McSpadden. Donna's husband, Clem McSpadden, was the one that gave me the job singing the national anthem at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City in 1974. Then I met Red Steagall, and, 11 months later, I had a recording contract. So, friends are very important in your life. And so Donna, I think she emailed me this idea. She said, Reba, I've got an idea for you for a song. "There's No U in Oklahoma and That's OK with Me." And us both being from Oklahoma, I thought that was very clever. So I told Ronnie Dunn. I said, Ronnie, I want you to write this song for me. So I didn't hear anything from him. Blake, I got this idea, want you to write this song for me. Nothing. Kelly, see if you want-- Autumn! I was getting into everybody, and nothing happened. And so, I was in Palm Springs-- leaving Palm Springs, been to a wedding. And we were flying out, and I was looking over Palm Springs, the town, and it came to me. And I started writing it down, and I wrote it before we got to about 10,000 feet. [MUSIC - JENIFER WRINKLE, "THERE'S NO U IN OKLAHOMA"] (SINGING) It was either you or me that had to take that first big step in getting out of town. Well I thought that you would surely-- This song hits on a lot of the checkpoints we were talking about earlier, relatability. You know, if you're in a relationship, and the person you used to be madly in love with leaves, people can really relate to this. Yeah. And especially if they live in Oklahoma. So, melody. It's a catchy little melody. It's fun, it's danceable. It's got a little attitude to it, and it's a play on words, so it hits a lot of the points that we were talking about. Well, basically, what I did when I got through writing the song, I took a little keyboard and I turned my recorder on my phone. And I played it, and sang it, and wrote down the lyrics. And I sent it to Doug Sizemore. And then he and Jenifer Wrinkle, my guitar play-- fiddle player and backup singer, harmony singer, she did the demo. And so Doug got some of the guys, and they did the demo for me, and sent it to me, and I loved it. And I just hadn't had a chance to get to record it. So I'm really thrilled that we get to do it now, master class, to show you start to finish. OK, so, thank y'all very much for coming in today and doing this song. I appreciate y'all doing it very, very much. Everybody's heard it but you two, and we've got a few little changes of the chart that Doug gave you, that we need to fix. You'll hear it. We're not going to exactly like the demo. Right, we're just going to change the end. So where the tag starts, it'll be 55, 55, and 11, and those will be a diamond. A diamond is a whole note, basically, in this case. And then, Lon, you'll come back in with the drums, p...

About the Instructor

You know her songs. Her Oklahoma charm. Now learn directly from Reba in her first-ever online class. Join her as she records a never-before-heard song, creates a new acoustic version of Fancy, breaks down her hits, and delivers emotional performances on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. This is more than a music class. This is Reba's life, business, and country music MasterClass.

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Reba McEntire

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