By SALLY SEXTON
For the first time ever, Parker County got a chance to see and listen to up-and-coming artists, as musicians performed in the first annual Parker County Idol earlier this month.
Two winners, one male vocalist and one female vocalist, were crowned the winners Nov. 16 at Oliver’s Sports Bar, which hosted the 12-week contest, in Willow Park. Bailee Williams, 17, of Peaster, was named the winner of the female category while Kolby Henderson, of Weatherford, won the male category.
Williams, who attends Peaster High School, got involved in the contest as a second thought.
“One of my mom’s friends was running the contest, and we jokingly decided that I would enter it just for fun,” Williams said.
After missing the first two weeks of competition, Williams performed the third week, getting a score of 59 out of 60, but falling short to that week’s winner who received 60 out of 60.
After advancing to the semifinals, Williams performed Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” to advance to the finals. There, she originally performed “Cups,” from the movie “Pitch Perfect” but had to choose another song after it was determined that her use of cups during the song was considered instrumental.
“For my second song, I sang ‘Home Sweet Home,’ the Carrie Underwood version, and ended up getting the same score, 110 out of 120, to win,” Williams said.
Williams said she has always enjoyed singing, starting out at a very young age. She participated in choir in seventh grade and said it is something she is thinking about getting into.
Henderson has also shown a passion for music from an early age, mimicking oldies on the radio while his mom drove him to daycare.
“I love to sing and to write music,” he said. “I’ve always loved singing but I didn’t start writing until I was in the ninth grade. Then, my senior year of high school, I decided to take up guitar as well.”
Over the last few years, Henderson, who was recently employed in the oil field, would do music on the side, performing karaoke at various venues in Parker County and Fort Worth.
A little over a year ago, Henderson was involved in an accident in the oil field that prevented him from working, allowing his music to be his primary focus.
“I was making good money and that was the main reason I hadn’t chased my music dream,” he said. “But after I had my accident, that’s what got me full-fledged back into music.”
For his final three songs, Henderson performed “Ol Red,” by Blake Shelton, “Round Here,” by Counting Crows and “Won’t Give Up,” by Jason Mraz in the finals.
Some of Henderson’s biggest inspirations include country artists Garth Brooks, George Straight and Blake Shelton.
“Those guys are phenomenal,” he said.
As Henderson continues his journey into music, he hopes to try out for NBC’s “The Voice” in February in Tennessee.
Both winners received a $500 check, and said they plan to use the funds for bills as well as Christmas presents.
Professional background music for the contest was provided by karaoke and DJ service Fandango Music. As Oliver’s continues to promote the winners, opportunities for private bookings and performances by Henderson or Williams are available. For more information or to arrange a performance, contact Tracie at 817-986-2099 or Oliver’s Sports Bar at 817-441-5617.