In memory of
Henson Cargill, age 66, national country music recording artist, died in Oklahoma City Saturday, March 24, 2007 from complications following surgery earlier in the week. Henson was born at in Oklahoma City, February 5, 1941. He was born into a prominent Oklahoma family, as his grandfather O.A. Cargill was a longtime attorney and former Mayor of Oklahoma City. His father was O.A. Cargill Jr., also a longtime attorney, and his mother was Nadine Henson. Both preceded him in death. Henson went to Lynwood Elementary, Taft Junior High, and graduated from NW Classen High School. Henson married his high school sweetheart, Marta DuPree in 1959 and soon after, they moved together to Fort Collins, Colorado where Henson attended Colorado State University where he planned to study Veterinary Medicine. He was a member of the nationally acclaimed rodeo team as a calf roper. While in school, he sang at many of the local dances and became a very popular act with the college crowd. His rediscovered joy of performing before people and his longing for the family and ranch back in Oklahoma, made him decide to leave his studies and come back home. After arriving back home in 1962, the young couple had their first son, Cash who Henson named after one of his heroes in the music business, Johnny Cash who would later become his good friend, advisor, and godfather to his son. Henson worked for the Oklahoma County court clerk's office, was a private investigator and eventually ended up working for the sheriff's department. Although he enjoyed his work, performing was his real love. A high school friend and musician Johnny Johnson introduced him to a musical group called the Kimberleys who were playing nightclubs and television around the country. Henson went on the road with them and eventually formed his own group to tour with. He became wildly popular in the northwest part of the country and soon was offered and accepted a hosting job for a nationally syndicated television show called 'The Country Hayride'. Although making a good living for his now growing family with second son, Clayton and daughter, Nicole, born in 1966 and 1967, he was told by his friend Johnny Cash to go to Nashville and record. After several disheartening trips to Nashville, Henson met a veteran producer named Don Law who believed in him and vowed to find him some good material to record. In 1968, Henson recorded 'Skip The Rope' which became a smash hit quickly selling over 1 million copies and being the first song to ever cross over from country to pop charts. His career skyrocketed and he became a real national music figure. He was nominated most promising male vocalist, was a Grammy award nominee and won numerous ASCAP achievement awards. For the next decade, Henson was everywhere from being the spokesman for the original 7-up the 'Uncola' campaign to headlining in Las Vegas where critic Joe Delaney said 'Henson Cargill may be one of the best entertainers ever to set foot on a Las Vegas stage' and the NY Times said 'Henson is sensational! His superb stage presence and down home humor has made him a show stopper! 'In 1981, Henson told his family he was coming off the road and going to build a county music showplace in Oklahoma City. The night club called HENSONS was a fabulous first class show place. He would be proud to ask top entertainers to perform in. Fans could see him as well as all the major country acts of the day. Some of the artists that performed there included Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Roy Orbison, Glenn Campbell, Waylon Jennings, and many more. Henson Cargill's career spanned some 35 years with some 15 national chart records, 9 LP's, 12 National TV appearances, Reno Nevada's Entertainer of the Year and his own record label. He is survived by his son, Cash Cargill, of Edmond; son, Clayton K. Cargill, of Eagle Rock, MO; daughter, Nicole Duran and her husband Johnny of Edmond; four sisters, Carol Lash of Oklahoma City, Christy Best of Santa Cruz, CA, Angela St. John of Montrose, CO, Jennifer Cargill of Chicago, IL and Kima Cargill of Seatle, WA; one brother, John R. Cargill of Santa Cruz, CA. He has four grandchildren, Henson Christopher Duran, Savannah Nicole Cargill, Calli Nicole Duran and Katie Renee Cargill, all of Edmond, OK and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his older brother, O.A. Cargill III. Funeral services will be held 2:00 p.m. Thursday, March 29, 2007 at Highland Hills Baptist Church at 7900 Devore (just north of NW Expressway on Council) with interment at Memorial Park Cemetery. Services are under the direction of the Matthews Funeral Home, Edmond, OK.
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