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PAGEANT: Local businesses provided prizes

continued from page 1

McCurley received credit at the UCO bookstore and other prizes he said totaled around $1,000 for winning last year's pageant. In addition, he rode in the 2001 homecoming parade.

This year's winners won prizes from Bahama Breeze, Lazer Quest of Oklahoma City, Parson's Jewelry, Sherrick's Barber Shop and Souper Salad.

This was Sweazy's second Mr. UCO pageant. Last year he won second runner-up and the judges' Most Congenial Award. Sweazy said, "I was more confident at the start. Once I saw how tough the competition was, I became unsure of myself." Reagor said, "Any of these guys could have easily been Mr. UCO tonight. The school was well represented." •

UCO musician won't conform to standards

BY ZACH E. NASH

Staff Writer

jeremy Castle is an independent country singer and songwriter who wants his music heard.

In an industry where acoustic and steel guitars are being replaced with clean digital sounds, Castle is sticking to the traditional form that he grew up listening to on his small farm outside Blanchard, Oklahoma.

Castle is a graduate of East Central University and is currently working on his masters in elementary education administration at UCO.

He recently wrote and produced his first self-titled CD full of songs resembling the styles of Merle Haggard and George Strait. Fiddles and the high-pitch cries of the steel guitars accompany his deep rich vocals as he tells stories of his

Jeremy Castle

country experiences.

Most of his lyrics relate to an aspect of relationships. The girl leaving the guy, why she is staying and when will she leave. As an independent artist with no corporate label helping, Castle is working to promote his CD throughout Oklahoma. He has been successful in getting a few songs on the air at locally-owned radio stations in southern Oklahoma. He has even gotten airplay on country music stations in Europe. "It is different over there than in the states. Here you almost always need a label to get radio play especially on the top 40 stations. There they are open to play just about anything," Castle said.

With the rising controversy that country music is blending in with contemporary pop, Castle says that he will not conform to the current trend of the changing country music business.

"The music is changing and there is a lot of controversy surrounding it. I just prefer the traditional sound and styles of the old country singers," he said.

The search of fame is not what Castle is looking for as he pursues a career as a country singer. He is a songwriter whose primary goal is to convey his message and emotion to the listeners.

See CASTLE, Page 9

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