“They declared May 17 Clancy Davis in Ada and in Oklahoma statewide,” Davis says in a phone conversation from there in mid-October. “Mama was smilin’ down. The citation the Governor gave me read that in fact a million dollars had been donated.”
Since Clancy’s mother passed in 2006 from liver cancer, “From that day forward I had a different perspective on life,” Clancy says.
He has tirelessly played benefit shows to raise money for cancer research. For instance, in 2008 Davis headlined the Friday night program in the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center at Ada’s East Central University during an event ECU appropriately named “Country Can Cure.”
“When you’re doing things for God, God blesses it,” says Clancy, who went through further hardship after his Mom passed when he had to have total reconstructive surgery on both ankles.
“That kind of put me in a sense of depression,” he says. “It’s all good now. If God will bring you to it, God will bring you through it.”
This passion not just for Christ, but for country music has been a major theme in Clancy’s life.
“I love music, I love singing. It’s in my blood,” he says. “I started singing in church when I was about 4 years old.”
His cousin Blake Shelton has of course also been a major inspiration, but like all country singers and songwriters, Clancy’s career has gone through ups and downs. His mother Shirley was a tremendous help at those times.
“Mama was an angel here on earth,” Clancy says. “She was my everything. She pushed me to do the things I done, she encouraged me when the contests I entered didn’t get the response I was lookin’ for. She told me, `Baby, everything’s gonna be all right. Guess what, you’re gonna practice and you’re gonna study just like you do now, and you’re gonna knock ‘em out next time.’ ”
Not only did this kind of positive reinforcement help Davis with his music and later on to cope with the pain of a pair of injured ankles, but it’s helped give him gain the confidence to begin studying at Oklahoma State University. Garth Brooks did that as well, and Clancy is majoring in business management.
Davis, a guy who’s about the same age as Taylor Swift, has clearly already accomplished great things.
One of those achievements has been getting to know Nashville Music Guide executive editor and TCM Nashville Records CEO Randy Matthews, during TCM artist David Ray’s Oklahoma tour in early Octrober.
“Clancy hosted the Rodeo Opry on Oct. 8 for the first time, and it just so happens we were there showcasing David Ray,” Randy tells us. “We loved his Blake Shelton-like humor, and his story of how he donates the proceeds from his shows to cancer research.”
“Playing those shows to benefit cancer research means everything to me,” Davis says. “Cancer shows no mercy on anyone. Man, you don’t know what it means to help those people.”
What’s it like being cousins with a country superstar?
“Blake’s done well. He’s blessed. He’s been an inspiration in my life to me,” Clancy says. “I don’t get my kicks off of telling people, ‘Well, Blake Shelton is my cousin,’ but he’s my cousin. I feel we’re close—not quite brother status. I know we’re very close, bless his heart.”
The Rodeo Opry has also been a blessing for Oklahoma artists and fans for decades. The Opry tells us, “The Rodeo Opry is a live country music variety show based in the Historic Stockyards District in Oklahoma City. While our non-profit status is in its seventh year, we have produced the best in family entertainment for over 34 years.”
In July, the Rodeo Opry and TV station KSBI-TV 52 began airing weekly broadcasts of the Opry shows, Friday and Sunday evenings at 8 p.m. Oklahoma time. Clancy has already appeared on these telecasts.
Over the years, Rodeo Opry performers have included the late Conway Twitty, the legendary Wanda Jackson, “the Queen of Rockabilly,” and an 8-year-old singer named Emily Faith.
That forum and that stage on Oct. 8 gave Clancy Davis the chance to meet Randy Matthews and David Ray for the first time, and the chance to honor his Mom’s memory and benefit cancer research for the umpteenth time.
The Chevy Bricktown Showcase presents this exclusive live performance video of Clancy Davis performing “My Chevy Truck and Me” at Crabtown in Oklahoma City.