By Carol Mowdy Bond
No doubt you’ve heard musician Steve Short perform a lot, but you didn’t know it. You’ve tapped your foot or your fingers drummed the table, because the Yukon drummer is keepin’ time for the big names.
It’s really hard not to stare at Short when he’s on stage, because he is amazing. His work, connected to a lengthy catalog of performers, is nothing less than impressive. But just narrowing that roster down to a few Oklahomans, Short said, “One of the more notables would include Reba McEntire. I toured and recorded with her for three years. And I’m happy to have played on her Christmas album, which is double platinum. That means it sold over 2 million records. I’ve recorded with other Okies such as Wanda Jackson, Mason Williams, Vince Gill, Byron Berline, and Kyle Dillingham.”
“Dillingham is so talented and energetic,” Short said. “He can do a show by himself, but he does include me on occasion. I play on most of his recordings. His latest, which isn’t out yet, is going to be even better than the last. Be on the lookout for it.” Dillingham has released 12 albums, and number 13 will be released in the near future.
“I’m currently touring with Darci Lynne of America’s Got Talent fame,” Short said.
“I started touring with Lynn on her national ‘Darci Lynn, Fresh Out of The Box Tour’ in early 2019. Our last concert was March 6, 2020, due to the pandemic. It’s a great organization to work for. Darci and her family are some of the most down-to-earth people I have ever worked with. And what a talented young lady she is. I’m very proud to be part of her band. With our fingers crossed, we should be back on tour in mid July.”
Short’s music career began when he was only 10 years old. His father’s country gospel band, Jerry Short and the Countrymen, recorded several albums. And Short wanted to be like his dad. So, his dad gave Short his first drum at age 10. “That’s where it all started,” Short said. “My training started almost immediately after I got my first drum. That summer I went on tour with Dad’s band, playing that one drum with brushes, but not very loudly.
I’ve always appreciated the fact that Dad was brave enough to give his 10-year-old son the opportunity to learn how to play with adult, seasoned musicians.”
“I have played in all 50 states, and China, Europe, and Canada,” Short said. “I’ve been everywhere, man! And I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
With a career full of memorable experiences, Short has a hard time pinning down his favorites. “There are so many,” Short said. “Playing the Grand Ole Opry with my family when I was 13, at the Ryman Auditorium, is big in my memory. It’s hard to top playing at the Ryman. All of the history wrapped up in that place is just overwhelming. Then later I played with Reba McEntire at the newer Opry House.”
The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, was the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974. During 1974, the show’s new home became the Opry House in Nashville.
Short counts as memorable the time he was “sitting on George Jones’ tour bus with just George, his wife, and me, talking about anything and everything for about 30 minutes. I will never forget how I felt at that moment,” Short said.
An iconic musician, singer, and songwriter, Jones (1931-2013) recorded numerous hit songs, and won several Grammys among other top awards.
“I don’t really play any other instruments,” Short said. “I use a piano to write charts with, and I can play ‘Foggy Mountain Breakdown’ on the banjo, sort of.”
“I am so proud to be an Okie,” Short said.
“I have had opportunities to move to other places, like Nashville, for example. I love going to other places to work. But, I always love coming home to Oklahoma. Oklahoma is probably one of the most under-appreciated states when it comes to music. For decades, Oklahoma has produced some very big and bright shining stars, and I’m proud to be part of all that. I’ve had a very blessed career, to say the least.”