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Richardson (Texas) September


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September, 2006
11th Annual Will Rogers Awards  Richardson, Texas

Report by Voleta Hummel with photos by Jack Hummel
the photos in this report appeared previously in Rope Burns


11TH Annual Will Rogers Awards

This awards show is always a true labor of love for Bobby and Betty Newton. They work almost all of the entire year prior to the show to present the very best music and western art in the very best setting possible. This year awards for classic country music and musicians were added to the awards show. This was done because it was recognized that the classic country DJs (the only ones on commercial radio playing the music) could then be encouraged and would be more receptive to adding western and  western swing to their play lists. This created the need for two award shows, one in the late afternoon and the second in the evening.   

photo courtesy Jack Hummel
award presenter Jesse Mullins, Jr. editor of American Cowboy magazine

There have always been highlights for me of each year’s show and the 11th Annual AWA Will Rogers Awards were no exception. Some of this year’s highlights include: Bette Ramsey in attendance to receive the award for Best Cowboy Poetry Book for Buck Ramsey’s Grass. It has been many years since Bette and I had a chance to visit with each other and it was wonderful to see her again!

photo courtesy Jack Hummel
Bette Ramsey and Scott Braucher

I got to spend a lot of quality time with poets Mike Logan and Jerry "Brooksie" Brooks and every minute was a treasure. What wonderful people! 

photo courtesy Jack Hummel
Jerry Brooksie Brooks and Mike Moroff at the trade show

It was exciting to be there when Red Steagall won for the album of the year. His album has one of my all time favorite Michael Fleming songs on it, The Wire and the Rail, which is part of the title. Although Les Buffham did not win the category, he was up against Red Steagall for the best album with his CD, Les Buffham Writes & Co-Writes! Not only is he a great song writer, he is my friend, and I got to edit his CD cover.

photo courtesy Jack Hummel
Dugg Collins, Red Steagall, Billy Mata, and Curtis Potter

Old friends Jack Hannah and Janet McBride waltzed off with the Western Music Song of the Year and Yodeler of the Year! And what can I say but what great choice for winners of Western Music Male of the Year, my compadre – R.W. Hampton, with Eli Barsi walking away with the Western Female Award for the Year. Then, of course, the Riders in the Sky won Group of the Year.

R.W. Hampton and Eli Barsi
photo courtesy Jack Hummel

Justin Trevino singing with the voice of an angel and Dave Alexander’s band on stage throughout the awards show was extraordinary to say the least.

One of my most pleasant, memorial experiences was that the awards show was held in September and the weather was only in the 80s where in the past I have generally melted in the Texas summer heat. Thank you, Bobby, for changing the dates of the show!   

Juni Fisher performed at the awards show
photo courtesy Jack Hummel


The Winners Are:                

ART: Artist-Fred Fellows, Arizona; Spurmaker-Dickie Tignor, Oklahoma; Engraver-Ernie Lytle, Wyoming; Saddlemaker-Steve Mecum, Wyoming; Braider-Jay Adcock, Kansas; Don King Lifetime Saddlemaker Award; Bob Marrs, Amarillo, Texas; Chuckwagon-Tom Perini, Texas; Cartoonist-Ted Foulkes, Missouri.

COWBOY POETRY: Male- Mike Logan; Female-Jerry "Brooksie" Brooks; Book-Bette Ramsey/Scott Braucher- Buck Ramsey’s Grass.; CD-Jay Snider- Of Horses and Men

STORYTELLER: Storyteller/Humor-DW Groethe

MEDIA: Disc Jockeys -- Dallas Wayne-KHYI, Richardson , TX ; Dugg Collins-KFDI, Wichita , KS ; Mike Carr-KCWM, Hondo , TX . Radio Stations -- KWKH-Shreveport , LA ; WGOC, Bristol , TN.

MUSIC: Record Producer- Justin Trevino; Record Label -Patriot Records: Lifetime  Achievement- Hank Thompson Western Music Male R.W. Hampton; Western Music Female -- Eli Barsi; Western Duo/Group Riders in the Sky; Western Song, “Where the Very Same Cottonwoods Grow”, Jack Hannah; Western Album/CD, The Wind, The Wire & The Rail, Red Steagall; Yodeler: Janet McBride; Western Swing Male -- Leon Rausch;: Western Swing Female -- Jean Stafford; Western Swing Duo/Group -- Texas Playboys; Western Swing Instrumentalist -- Johnny Gimble; Western Swing Album/CD -- Segovia 1862, So in Love with You; Western Swing Song – Joe Paul Nichols, "Eleven Eighteen Nadine Lane”; Contemporary Country Classic Male: Dale Watson; Contemporary Country Classic Female; Sunny Sweeney; Contemporary Country Classic Duo/Group -- The Cornell Hurd Band; Contemporary Country Classic Song -- Liz Talley, “Stranger in My Arms.” 

ANNOUNCER – 1ST AWARDS SHOW: Lew Jones. PERFORMERS: Todd Fritsch, Jay Snider, Tammy Gislason as “Tammy Pearl”, Billy Mata, Mike Siler Band.

ANNOUNCER – 2ND AWARDS SHOW: Larry Scott. PERFORMERS: Ferlin Husky, Hoyle Brothers, Ginny Mac, Heather Myles, Justin Trevino, Claude Diamond, Sisters of the Silver Sage, Juni Fisher, Dave Alexander Band.

PRESENTERS: Lacy J. Dalton, Ferlin Husky, David MacKechnie, Anita Swift, “JWCI”, James Hampton, Mark Miller, Mike Moroff, Wayne Mitchell, Dean Smith, Helen Brooks, Jesse Mullins, Joyce Spizer Foy, Ken Overcast, Ken Farmer, Eli Barsi, Robert Bartosh, Tommie Ritter Smith, Todd Fritsch, John Lomax III, Tom Perryman, Bobby Flores, Tracy Pitcox, Curtis Potter, Rod Moag, Dallas Wayne, Leona Williams, and Lew Jones.


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