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Academy of Western Artists
Awards, 2003

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The Academy of Western Artists' Eighth Annual Will Rogers Awards for Outstanding Achievement of Contemporary Cowboy Skills was held in Fort Worth, July 8, 2003.

Most of the awards are given as a result of the votes of the AWA members. Below are some of the Top Ten nominees, including all in the poetry-related categories.  After another round of balloting, a Top Five is announced.  Winners are announced at the awards show.

The Will Rogers Awards  show includes entertainment by Curtis Potter, Eli Barsi, Tammy Gislason, Joel Nelson, Curly Musgrave, Sisters of the Silver Sage, and Dave Alexander & the Legends of Western Swing. See our report on last year's show here.

Before the big awards show, on July 7th and 8th, there was a Music & Entertainment Trade Show with useful workshops, displays, and booths and other events from talent showcases to a fashion show.   

Among the those appearing at the Talent Showcases during the Music & Entertainment Trade Show on Monday and Tuesday, July 7-8, 2003 were: Patty Clayton, Cowboy Joe Babcock, Dennis Gaines, Rydin' High, Kacey Musgraves, Larry Hannon, Retta & The Smart Fellas, Kip Calahan, Saddlestrings, Royal Wade Kimes, Lloyd Shelby, Mark Holt, Kata Hay, Pistol River, Sisters of the Silver Sage, Ken Raba, Eddy Harrison, T. J. Casey, Jim Jones, Tony Norris, Nolan Bruce Allen, Belinda Gail, Curly Musgrave, Larry Maurice, Scott Bumgardner, Mike Puhallo, Ken Overcast, Brett Watts, Jerry "Jake" WhiteMike Dunn, Les Buffham, Jean Prescott, Donna Hatton, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Biscuits O'Bryan, Harold Hill, Devon Dawson & The Texas Trailhands, Jeff Hildebrandt, Jim Wilson, Dan Roberts, Dave Alexander, and more.

All events were open to the public.

See reports on the show and the award winners here.

Poetry-Related Top Ten Nominees

About The Academy of Western Artists


Poetry-Related Top Ten Nominees


Les Buffham
Mike Dunn
Dennis Flynn
Mike Logan
Waddie Mitchell
Mike Puhallo
Pat Richardson
Red Steagall
Jesse Smith
Paul Zarzyski



Virginia Bennett
Doris Daley
Sam DeLeeuw
Peggy Godfrey
Deborah C. Hill
Donna Hatton
Yvonne Hollenbeck
Georgie Sicking
Ann Sochat
Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns


Poetry Album/CD

Jack "Trey" Allen Cowpoke
Robert Beene Cowboyology
Bill Black Classic Western Poetry
Deborah C. Hill Common Sense, Men and Horses
Yvonne Hollenbeck My Home on the Range
Chris Isaacs Almost Live in Elko
Verlin Pitt Way Out West
Pat Richardson B.Y.O.S. (Bring Your Own Sheep)
Lloyd Shelby  Rainman

(because there are fewer than 10 books, the winner 
  will be picked by a blind jury)

     Yvonne Hollenbeck Where Prairie Flowers Bloom
     Mike Dunn Somewhere Between Earth and Heaven
     Jeff Hildebrandt Cowboy Up America
     Rod Nichols A Little Bit of Texas
     Glen Enloe An Ol' Cowboy Still Remembers
     Sunny Hancock/Jesse Smith Horse Tracks Through the Sage
     John Mitchum An American Boy Grows Up
     Al Marquis Frivolous Cowboy Poetry

Additional Categories are: 

Storyteller/ Humor
Radio Stations
Disk Jockey
Rising Star
Entertainer of the Year

Western Music
   Top Male 
   Top Female

Western Swing
   Top Male 
   Top Female 

Congratulations to other friends of the BAR-D who are nominated in the Top Ten:

Storyteller/ Humor
G. Casey Allen
    Dennis Gaines
    Kent Rollins 

Disk Jockey
    Joe Baker
    Jo Hargrave
    Jim Thompson
    Tommy Tucker 

Raul Reynoso 

Hal Cannon/Taki Telonidis Why The Cowboy Sings
     B.C. Cowboy Heritage Society No Borders
     Dennis Gaines Hapless Trails To You
Yvonne Hollenbeck Just a Plain Ol' Ranchwife 
Chris Isaacs/Sunny Hancock/Jesse Smith In Camp 
         With The Cardiac Cowboys

     Tammy McDonald Joel Nelson Benefit
Shadowland Productions Minstrels of the West

Entertainer of the Year
Curly Musgrave
     Wylie Gustafson

Western Music
New West
Red Steagall, Wagon Tracks

T. J. Casey Blue Montana Skies
Curly Musgrave Cowboy True 
         Red Steagall (R. W. Hampton) Texas Bein' Texas
        Wylie Gustafson
    Top Female
Belinda Gail
       Jean Prescott

Western Swing
         T. J. Casey Blue Montana Skies
New West (Danny Weetman) Headin' South For A Change
   Top Male 
   Wylie Gustafson

   Top Female 
       Jean Prescott



The Academy of Western Artists

The Academy of Western Artists is "A dedicated group formed to recognize and honor outstanding individuals who, through their accomplishments, preserve and perpetuate the traditions, values, and heritage of the American Cowboy."

Three of the people who make things happen at the AWA are the Executive Director, Publisher of Rope Burns, and man-who-knows-everyone Bobby Newton; Charles Williams, Executive Vice President, poet, scholar, and the force behind many programs;  and Sandra Herl, who maintains the AWA web site, manages members, recruits talent and advertising for the Awards Show and annual convention, and gets the word out.  There are many more people behind the scenes, but these three are the heart of the organization.

Bobby Newton, AWA Director
Photo by Lloyd Shelby

Visit the web site and consider becoming a member. Even non-members can subscribe to Rope Burns, the source for the Cowboy Entertainment and Trade Industry (and home to a regular Cowboy Poetry column from CowboyPoetry.com.







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