Cover photo for Euclid Hart's Obituary
Euclid Hart Profile Photo

Euclid Hart

February 28, 1941 — March 4, 2022

Euclid Hart

Euclid "Ukie" Hart, pianist extraordinaire, followed the trumpeting Angels leading him to Heaven on March 4th, 2022, in Oklahoma City. The cruel disease of Alzheimer's took his mind and his life. Ukie was 'born to the sound of a horn', (as he sang in the song 'I Remember New Orleans' I Remember New Orleans Ukie Hart - YouTube ) in New Orleans on Feb. 28th, 1941. He played trumpet in school bands of elementary, Junior High and Senior High schools. He gave a solo performance of Haydn's Concerto for Trumpet with the New Orleans Symphony at the age of 12 and was acclaimed as a child prodigy. Ukie graduated from Fortier High School in '58, where he was voted 'Most Talented'. He participated in the Tri-State Band Festival in Enid, OK for 3 years. He also formed his own band, 'The Barons' and played for many CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) dances and other events.Ukie graduated from Loyola University of the South in '62 with a Bachelor of Music Education, completing a 5-year degree program in 4 years. While a student there he played Dixieland with 'The Last Straws', worked at Pete Fountain's Club, and got his first piano bar gig at the Hilton Inn Airport. The manager of the Hilton called the Dean of the School of Music, - a Jesuit Priest - to find a pianist. Only in New Orleans!Ukie moved to Denton, TX to continue his studies toward an MM degree (Master of Music). He graduated from NTSU (North Texas State University) after completing course work, performing a Contemporary Trumpet Recital accompanied by Tony Schwartz on piano, and writing his Master's Thesis, titled 'A Comparison of Formal and Structural Principles in the Concerti Grossi of Corelli's Opus VI and Vivaldi's Opus III'. During that time, he performed nightly at the Village Club, a sophisticated supper club in Dallas.In 1965, the band was invited to perform at a similar club in OKC, and he moved to Oklahoma to work at the Copa Club in the Habana Inn. There he backed many famous artists: Roy Clark, Rich Little, Don Cherry, The Platters, Frank Sinatra Jr., Bobby Rydell, Mamie Van Doren, Rosemary Clooney, and Jerry Van Dyke, among others. In 1970 the Ukie Hart Band opened for Elvis Presley for his first concert in OKC, and in1972 he accompanied Bob Hope at the Stars and Stripes Show in OKC.Also in 1972, Ukie arranged, orchestrated, conducted, and recorded the entire music score for the film 'The Only Way Home', which was filmed in Oklahoma. Music vocals were performed by Linda Wright and Ukie. A review of the film in Hollywood's Variety Daily cited the music score as 'a definite asset to the action'. This merited his membership in ASCAP, The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.Over the years, Ukie arranged and recorded music for Jane Powell, James Brolin, Dale Robinson, and Jimmy Webb. He recorded at Air Studio in London with Joni Stone, and with Bette Dye at Burbank Studio in California. Locally, he wrote, arranged, and recorded many commercial jingles, including 'Oklahoma, Honestly' (for liquor by the drink), Let's Race (for Remington Park) and The Great EscApe (for the zoo's Ape Habitat). He and his bands performed at many venues: The Copa, Sports Page, Brandywine, Raffles, Branigans, The Linda Wright Club, The Petroleum Club, Cajun's Wharf, every country club in town, as well as Junior's. Internationally, he frequently performed at Rancho la Puerta with Sammie K in Tecate, Mexico; in Dubai UAE for a 3-day wedding, and in London at Simpson's in the Strand. In 1990 on Valentine's Day, Ukie was featured as the cover story of the Oklahoma Gazette, titled 'King of the Piano Bars'. He always had gigs to work, and never needed a 'day job'.Ukie is survived by his wife of 58 years, Margaret Ellan Peiser Hart, whom he met when performing in an Easter Service at the Saint Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, where she sang in the choir. He is also survived by their four children, Holly Hart Lewis (Scott), Heidi Hart, Euclid Hart II (Lisa), and Brian Hart (Mary), and 5 grandchildren: Drew Wilson, Madison Hart, John Benton (whom they adopted), Sophia Hart, and Nora Hart, all of OKC. He is also survived by his sister Audrey Hart Schindlar (Ralph) of New Orleans, sister-in-law Eva Hart of Denver, brother-in-law Buddy Peiser (Valerie) of St. Croix U.S.V.I., mother-in-law Betty Peiser of Harlingen TX, sister-in law Pepper Katte (Ted) of Kohler WI, sister-in-law Regal Williams (Bobby) of Axle, TX and many nieces and nephews. Ukie was predeceased by his parents, Walter Madison Hart and Agnes Montero Hart, and brothers Lt. Col Walter Hart Jr. and Richard Hart (Catherine), sister-in-law Paige Peiser, and father-in-law Bob Peiser.Visitation will be 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Wednesday, March 9th, 2022, at Smith & Kernke Funeral Home, 1401 NW 23rd followed by an Evening Prayer Service starting at 6 :00 PM also at the funeral home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 on Thursday, March 10th at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cathedral, 3214 Lake Ave. Afterwards, a Celebration of Ukie's Life will be held at Connor Center, just north of the Cathedral, with food and drink, a small Jazz Funeral and Ukie's music and videos. Also, please join us for burial at Resurrection Cemetery, 7801 NW Expressway. It's all about the music.
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Past Services

Evening Prayer Service

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Smith & Kernke Funeral Home (NW 23rd Street)

1401 Northwest 23rd Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73106

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