The Academy of Western Artists' Eighth Annual Will Rogers Awards for Outstanding Achievement of Contemporary Cowboy Skills in Fort Worth, July 8, 2003, was a sold-out music, poetry, and arts extravaganza.
There was a Convention and Trade Show in the two days preceding the Awards show, which included talent showcases for musicians and poets.
Among the highlights:
Honored Guest Pat Richardson won the Best Male Poet award (and CowboyPoetry.com editor Margo Metegrano had the pleasure of being the presenter).
Honored Guest and BAR-D columnist Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns won the Best Female Poet award.
Honored Guest and BAR-D columnist Yvonne Hollenbeck won the Best Cowboy Poetry CD/Album award for her My Home on the Range recording.
Honored Guest, the late Sunny Hancock and Jesse Smith won the Buck Ramsey Best Cowboy Poetry Book award for their book, Horse Tracks Through the Sage. Alice Hancock and Sandy Smith accepted the award, which was presented by poet Joel Nelson.
Special Western Music Guest Red Steagall won the Best Western Music CD/Album award for his Wagon Tracks.
BAR-D favorite and host of Keepin' it Cowboy Jo Hargrave won the Best Disk Jockey award.
Special Western Music Guest Curly Musgrave won the Entertainer of the Year award (presented by Red Steagall) and the Best Male, Western Music award. Curly received a standing ovation from the sold-out audience for each award.
Male poet - Pat Richardson
Female poet - Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns
Humorist/storyteller (Skinny Rowland Humor Award) - Biscuits O'Brien
Poetry Book of the Year (Buck Ramsey Award) -
Sunny Hancock and Jesse Smith, Horsetracks Through the Sage
Cowboy Poetry Album of the Year - Yvonne Hollenbeck
My Home on the Range
Female vocalist - Kip Calahan
Male vocalist - Curly Musgrave
Duo or group - Gillette Brothers
Yodeler - Terri Taylor
Song of the Year - Donna Guffey, He's a Cowboy
Album of the Year - Red Steagall, Wagon Tracks
Female vocalist - Ginny Mac
Male vocalist - Craig Chambers
Instrumentalist - Cindy Cashdollar
Duo or Group - Dave Alexander and the Legends of Western Swing
Song of the Year - Harold Hill with Hugh Cardenas, San Antonio Sweetheart
Album of the Year - Time Jumpers, Live at the Station Inn
Entertainer of the Year - Curly Musgrave
Rising Star - Tammy Gislason
Radio station - KRLC, Lewiston, Idaho
Disc jockey - Jo Hargrave, KJON, Oklahoma
Video - R. W. Kimes, There Ain't Enough Miles
Don King Lifetime Achievement Award - Dave Silva
Jesse Chisholm Award - Anne Windfohr Marion
Chuckwagon - John Wolf
Hitching and braiding - Leland Hensley
Bits and spurs - Bill Adamson
Engraver - Diane Scalese
Spur Maker - Mark Dahl
Western artist - Robert Summers
Cartoonist - Jack Hanks
Saddlemaker - Eddie Brooks
Poetry-Related Top Ten Nominees
Deborah C. Hill
Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns
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
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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