Jamie Oldaker of the Tractors Dead at 68
Jamie Oldaker, drummer for the '90s country group the Tractors, has died. The 68-year-old also played with Eric Clapton, Bob Seger and the Bee Gees during a distinguished 40-plus year career.
The drummer's hometown paper the Tulsa World was among the first to report Oldaker's July 16 death after a years-long battle with cancer. He was an Oklahoma Hall of Famer and the foundation of the "Tulsa Sound." He was also praised by the star musicians he played for.
“He has the best snare sound I’ve ever heard,” Clapton said in a statement to Tulsa World. “He has the best restrained fills I’ve ever heard, and his bass drum is as solid as rock. He is unique, and the pocket is always perfect. The kind of man he is matches his drums.”
Peter Frampton remembers him as a friend and brother of over 40 years.
He was a very warm, caring, true friend with a gentle heart. He cared about us all almost more than he did himself. Most will know him as the drummer on Eric Clapton’s albums. His playing was unique; a laid-back style of drumming with an incredible feel. We traveled the world, played many wonderful shows and great recordings together. He was a much loved person and I will miss him for the rest of my time here. Love you, Jamie.
Country Music Hall of Famer Ronnie Dunn owes the start of his national career to Oldaker. Music Row tells the story of how that happened, and Dunn verified the account on Facebook.
"Jamie will always hold a special place in my heart as a dear friend and key figure in my success and life," Dunn shares. "Musically, he was a bigger than life figure to many of us. In life he was my friend. He was taken too soon."
The Tractors originally formed in 1988 to be a demo and studio band, but by the mid-'90s they'd signed a record deal and released songs like "Baby Likes to Rock It" and "Santa Clause Boogie." While they never had a Top 10 radio hit, their self-titled debut album was certified Double-Platinum by the RIAA. The group continued to record throughout the first decade of the 2000s and Oldaker continued to be involved in music making as a manager, producer and publisher. Music Row points out that later in life, he turned much of his attention to philanthropy.
Funeral arrangements are unknown. Oldaker leaves behind wife Mary, whom he married in 2016. The Tractors' singer and guitarist Steve Ripley died of cancer in 2019.
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