Coburn to sing Elton John hit for Florida gathering

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As if the pride of Oklahoma weren't sufficiently wounded:

Oklahoma's junior senator in Washington soon will be belting out a rendition of the Elton John hit "Rocket Man" after losing a bet with a colleague from Florida.

Sen. Tom Coburn and Florida Sen. Bill Nelson placed a wager on Thursday's night's BCS National Championship game between the Oklahoma Sooners and Florida Gators.

Since Florida won, Coburn agreed to sing the song during Nelson's next constituent coffee, a traditional weekly meeting between a senator and residents of his home state.

Had Oklahoma won, Nelson would have had to sing "Oklahoma!" during Coburn's next constituent meeting.

"Rocket Man" was selected because Nelson was an astronaut who traveled into space in 1986 aboard the shuttle Columbia.

Although Coburn's daughter, Sarah, is a well-known opera soprano, Coburn himself "doesn't profess to have a tremendous singing gift," his spokesman, John Hart, said Friday.

Hart said no date has been set for Coburn to make good on his bet.

"He's a man of his word," Hart said. "And I'm sure Senator Nelson won't let him forget."

You don't have to be a singer to perform "Rocket Man," as William Shatner proved in this unforgettable performance at the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards (introduced by Bernie Taupin, the song's co-writer):

Maybe Dr. No should have just bet some Oklahoma steaks against some Florida oranges.

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sbtulsa Author Profile Page said:

His daughter is a profdessional opera singer and played the lead here in tulsa in "Lachme" last spring. If she got her music genes from Dr. Tom, we might request a recording of that for this site.

I say the above as background to point out that when Sharon Coburn was here for the performance, she was very friendly and helpful to my daughter Emily. Emily was interning as an assistant stage manager. As a father I was very grateful for Ms. Coburn's attitude. It gave my daughter the kind of encouragement she needed in her chosen field of study and I thkn Ms. Coburn recognized that need.

W. said:

I could watch Shatner's performance for only about 30 seconds before turning it off. I'm astonished at its pure badness.

W., the truly spectacular awfulness begins at about 3:47.

Pamela Author Profile Page said:

This has to be one of the most dreadful performances even experienced in my natural life.

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