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With special thanks to Archivist Steve Green of Western Folklife Center, we're pleased to present program covers, information and lists of invited performers for the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, held at Elko, Nevada each year since 1985. 

See the program information below. The actual programs include much additional information. 

We celebrated the 20th anniversary in 2004 with additional special features on separate pages:

The First Time....
recollections from the stage and the audience...send us your story about your first visit to Elko... 
 

Poetry
poems celebrating the Gathering
(separate page)

 

 


Western Folklife Center

Visit the Western Folklife Center web site for information about the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and other Western Folklife Center programs and events,  membership information, and to participate in their on-line activities.

 

 

www.WesternFolklife.org

 

 

 


National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Programs
 

 


1985


1986


1987


1988  


1989

 

This is page 1 of program information.  

Additional pages:

1985-1989 below
1990-1993

1994-1997
1998-2001
2002-2005
2006-2009
2010-2013

All years' index of participants


1985

January 31 - February 2, 1985

Program Contents

Welcome by Hal Cannon and Greer Markle
    "We want to welcome you to the first ever Cowboy Poetry 
     Gathering ...This event has been five years in the plannning ..."
     (Hal Cannon)

Statement by Bess Lomax Hawes, Director, Folk Arts Program, National
Endowment for the Arts

"Cowboy Poetry, The First Hundred Years" by James Griffith

"Poetry of the Cowboys" by Guy Logsdon

"Cowboy Poetry -- the right place at the right time"  by Hal Cannon

Biographies of featured poets

Schedule

Poetry:
"Open Range" by Melvin L. Whipple
"The Sierry Petes" by Gail Gardner
"To Be a Top Hand" by Georgie Sicking
"A Rider, a Roper and a Hell'uva Windmill Man" by Baxter Black
"Reincarnation" by Wallace McRae


Keynote Speaker: Dr. James Griffith, Director, Southwest Folklore Center, University of Arizona


Featured Performers:

Arizona
introduced by Jim Griffith and Warren Miller

Everett Brisendine, Chino Valley
Duane Reece, Winkelman
Ross Knox, Seligman
Dave Ericsson, Wikiup
Owen Johnson, Moccasin

Arkansas

Glenn Ohrlin, Mountain View

California

Roy Green, Shandon

Colorado
introduced by David Brose

Bud Bartram, Stoneham
Baxter Black, Brighton
Nyle Henderson, Hotchkiss

Idaho
introduced by Steve Siporin

Owen Barton, Rogerson
Bob Schild, Blackfoot
Bill Simpson, Grand View

Montana
introduced by Mike Korn

Gordon Eastman, Lewistown
Wallace McRae, Forsyth
Ken Trowbridge, Darby
Gwen Peterson, Big Timber

Nevada
introduced by Meg Glaser

Ernie Fanning, 102 Ranch
Waddie Mitchell, Jiggs
Larry Schutte, Maggie Creek
Walt James, Elko
Randy Stowell, Currie
Georgie Sicking, Fallon
Jack Walther, Lamoille

New Mexico
introduced by Elizabeth Dear

Cecil Moore, Grants

North Dakota
introduced by Greta Swenson

Bill Lowman, Sentinel Butte

Oregon
introduced by Suzi Jones

Bill Black, Adel
Sunny Hancock, Lakeview

South Dakota
introduced by Elaine Thatcher

Jo Casteel, Vale
Roy Miller, Custer

Texas
introduced by Jim McNutt and Pat Jasper

Melvin L. Whipple, Hereford

Utah
introduced by Carol Edison

Buck Crofts, Kanab
Yula Sue Whipple Hunting, Beryl
Ray Lashley, Syracuse
Vern Mortensen, Parowan

Washington
introduced by Jens Lund

Jim Hofer, Carson

Wyoming
introduced by Sharon Kahin

Fred W. Barton, Buffalo
Harry Taylor, Jackson
Blondell Whitehead and Irene Pecoraro, Lander

 

Evening Concerts:

Thursday:  "Horse Sense and Baxter Black present an evening of traditional western music, cowboy poetry and stories."

Friday: "Glenn Ohrlin hosts an evening of cowboy songs, poetry, fiddling, and stories featuring a variety of artists including Ian Tyson and special celebrity guests."

 



1986

January 30 - February 1, 1986

Program Contents

Welcome by Dr. Charles Greenhaw

"S. Omar Barker, a Tribute" by Marc Simmons

"Cowboy Poetry and the Modern World" by Hal Cannon

"Cowboy Poetry: Drawing the Line" by Mike Korn

Exhibits and Sales

Biographies of Poets

Schedules

Acknowledgements

Poetry:
"Bear Ropin' Buckaroo" by S. Omar Barker
"A Joker's Pay" by Rod McQueary


Keynote Speaker: William Kittredge, Professor of Creative Writing, University of Montana


 

Featured Performers:

Arizona
introduced by Jim Griffith and Warren Miller

Everett Brisendine, Chino Valley
L. Vess Quinlan, Tucson
Ross Knox
, Seligman
Slim Kite, Chino Valley 
Earl Rogers, Skull Valley

Arkansas

Glenn Ohrlin, Mountain View

California

Jesse Smith, Porterville
Eugene Ferguson, Oroville

Colorado
introduced by David Brose

Gene Jordan, Bayfield
Jim Bollars, Hudson
Nyle Henderson
, Hotchkiss
Gene Randels, Greeley

Idaho
introduced by Steve Siporin

Bill Simpson, Grand View
Colen H. Sweeten, Jr., Boise
Owen Barton, Rogerson
Bob Schild, Blackfoot

Montana
introduced by Mike Korn

Bill Sullivan, Sheridan
June Barnder Gilman
, Garrison
Jim Ross, Stevensville 
George Shawver, Brussett
Bob Ross, Bozeman

Nebraska

Bob Johnston, Scottsbluff

Nevada
introduced by Meg Glaser and Gary Stanton

Ernie Fanning, Fernley
Waddie Mitchell, Jiggs
Georgie Sicking, Fallon
Jack Walther, Lamoille
Randy Stowell, Currie
Brian Morris, Pyramid Lake
Larry Schute, Tuscarora

New Mexico

Keith Avery, Roswell

North Dakota
introduced by Chris Martin

Bill Lowman, Sentinel Butte
Sam Wilson, Sentinel Butte

Oklahoma
introduced by Guy Logsdon

D. E. "Gene" Waters, Tulsa

Oregon

Jon Bowerman, Fossil 
Sunny Hancock
, Lakeview

South Dakota
introduced by Elaine Thatcher

Jan Swan Gifford, Buffalo
Charles Hunt
, Rapid City

Texas
introduced by Jim McNutt

Melvin L. Whipple, Hereford
Lucky Whipple, Hereford
Barney Nelson, Alpine
Joel Nelson, Alpine

Utah
introduced by Carol Edison

Finley H. Bales, Blanding
Clarence Bundy
, Washington
Jon I. Pentz, Morgan
F. Allen Brewer, Vernal
Fred Barton, Buffalo

Washington
introduced by Jens Lund

R. W. "Swede" Miller, Davenport
Jim Hofer
, Carson

Wyoming

Don Bell, Byron

 

Poets Featured in Thematic Sessions:

Darrell Arnold, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Bill "Blackie" Black, Adel, Oregon
Rob Blair, Essex, California
Don Bowman, Fallon, Nevada
Howard Carroll, Jerome, Idaho
William D. (Billy) Fouts, Sonora, California
Val Geissler, Bonner, Montana
Fred W. Hardy, Lehi, Nevada
John W. Hofeldt, Green River, Wyoming
Yula Sue Whipple Hunting, Beryl, Utah
Walt James, Elko, Nevada
Della Johns, Elko, Nevada
Bob Jones, San Jose, California
Charles A. Kortes, Rawlins, Wyoming
Ray Lashley, Syracuse, Utah
Harold Lowman, Sentinel Butte, North Dakota
J'Wayne McArthur, Logan, Utah
Douglas W. McCutcheon, Vinton, California
Scott McKendrick, Logan, Utah
Rod McQueary, Ruby Valley, Nevada
Roger Mills, Fallon, Nevada
Connie Satterthwaite, Tuscarora, Nevada

 

Evening Concerts:

Friday:  An evening of Cowboy Poetry, music and entertainment hosted by Glenn Ohrlin
Ian Tyson
Glenn Ohrlin
Wallace McRae
Nyle Henderson
Chris LeDoux

Saturday:  An evening of Cowboy Poetry, music and entertainment hosted Baxter Black
Baxter Black
Gwen Peterson
Waddie Mitchell
Riders in the Sky


1987

January 29-31, 1987

 Program Contents

"Cowboy Poetry and Traditional Craftsmanship" by Hal Cannon

"Bruce Kiskaddon:  Cowboy Poet" by Hal Cannon

"How You Came By What You Got" by Kim Stafford

"Cowboy Poetry as History"  by Blanton Owen

"The Cowboy Hero and the Elko West" by Charles Greenhaw & Sharon Racine

Exhibits and Sales

Biographies of Poets

Schedules

Acknowledgements

Poetry:
"Between the Lines" by Bruce Kiskaddon
"The Prized Possession" by Joel Nelson
"Rain on the Range" by S. Omar Barker


Featured Participants:

Arizona
     Vess Quinlan, Tucson
     Everett Brisendine, Chino Valley
     Rolf Flake, Gilbert
     Ross Knox, Seligman
     Slim Kite, Chino Valley

Arkansas
     Glenn Ohrlin, Mountain View

California
     Billy Fouts, Sonora
     John Holman, Cameron Park
     Jesse Smith, Porterville

Colorado
     Bill May, Steamboat Springs
     Holger Albrethson, Grand Junction
     Baxter Black, Brighton
     Nyle Henderson, Hotchkiss
     Gene Randels, Greeley

Idaho
      Donna Ericson
, Rexburg
     David Chadwick, Twin Falls
     Colen Sweeten, Boise
     Bob Schild, Blackfoot
     Bill Simpson, Grandview 

Montana
     Ruth Knudtson, Wilbeaux
     Paul Zarzyski, Missoula
     Wallace McRae, Forsyth
     Tom Eaton, Nye

Nebraska
      Howard Parker, Ashby
      Bob Johnston, Scottsbluff
      John Ewing, Gering
      Monte Reichenberg, Bayard

Nevada
      Richard Smith, Carson City
      Barbara Hall, Yerington
      Brian Morris, Suttcliffe
      Ernie Fanning, Fallon
      Connie Satterhwaite, Elko

New Mexico
      Rick Taylor, Folson
      Kent Reeves, Cimarron

North Dakota
      Bill Lowman, Sentinel Butte

Oregon
      Jim Thomas, Terrebonne
      Jon Bowerman, Fossil
      Bill Black, Adel
      Lona Burkhart, Ashwood
 
South Dakota
      Jo Casteel, Vale
      Roy Miller, Custer

Texas
     Sam Brown, Oldham County
     Buster "Punch" McLaury, Guthrie
     Joel Nelson, Alpine

Utah
     Bob Christensen, Syracuse
     Hamilton Teichert, Benjamin
     Scott McKendrick, Logan
     Kent Peterson, Ferron
     Claude Wennergen, Logan

Washington
     Donald "Bud" Stewart, near Smyrna

Wyoming
    Charles Kortes, Rawlins
     Scott Redington, Big Horn
     Harry Taylor, Jackson
 

Canada
     Luther "Corky" Williams, B. C.

 

Theme Session Poets:

Darrell Arnold, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Owen Barton, Rogerson, Idaho
Fred Barton, Buffalo, Wyoming
Martin Bergin, Overland, Missouri
Rob Blair, Essex, California
Don Bowman, Fallon, Nevada
F. Allan Brewer, Vernal, Utah
Ed Brown, Livingston, California
Ron Brown, Denver, Colorado
Walter "Bimbo" Cheney, Carlin, Nevada
Nellie Cox, St. George, Utah
June Bradner Gilman, Drummond, Montana
Betty Lynne Grue, Terry, Montana
Sunny Hancock, Lakeview, Oregon
Fred Hardy, Lehi, Utah
Tom S. Hayden, Evergreen, Colorado
John Hofeldt, Green River, Wyoming
Yula Sue Hunting, Beryl, Utah
Della Johns, Elko, Nevada
Ray Lashley, Syracuse, Nevada
Harold Lowman, Sentinel Butte, North Dakota
J'Wayne McArthur, Logan, Utah
Douglas McCutcheon, Vinton, California
Rod McQueary, Ruby Valley, Nevada
Roger Mills, Fallon, Nevada
Waddie Mitchell, Lee-Jiggs, Nevada
Barney Nelson, Alpine, Texas
Tom Osborn, The Dalles, Oregon
Irene Pecoraro, Lander, Wyoming
Gwen Peterson, Big Timber, Wyoming
Bob Ross, Bozeman, Montana
James Ross, Stevenville, Montana
Larry Schutte, Elko, Nevada
Georgie Sicking, Fallon, Nevada
Jody Sixkiller, Prescott, Arizona
Debbie Thompson, Battle Mountain, Nevada
Ramona Turmon, Redmond, Oregon
Dick Ufford, Vernal, Utah
Juanita Wallis, Quay, New Mexico
Jack Walther, Lamoille, Nevada
Blondell Whitehead, Lander, Wyoming
Bill Wood, Springville, California

Evening Performances:

Friday:  An evening of Cowboy Poetry, music and entertainment hosted by Waddie Mitchell
Francisco Zamora
Owen Barton
The BAR J Wranglers
Joel Nelson
Larry Schutte
Ross Knox
Waddie Mitchell
Rand Hillman

Saturday:  An evening of Cowboy Poetry, music and entertainment hosted by Baxter Black
Baxter Black
Horse Sense (Justin Bishop and John Nielson)
Don Edwards
Ernie Fanning
Bill Simpson
Jack Walther
Riders in the Sky

 


1988

January 28-30, 1988

 Program Contents

"The Cowboy Dream and Cowboy Poetry" by Hal Cannon

"Gail Gardner, Cowboy Poetry's Living Legend" by Warren Miller

"Cowboy Poets" by Guy Logsdon

"Texas...Down by the Rio Grande!" by Mike Korn

"Na Paniolo o Hawai'i by Lynn Martin

Echibit:  New Gear, Old Traditions, Tools of the Working Cowboy

Biographies of Featured Participants

Schedule of Events

Acknowledgements

Poetry:
"Lasca" by Frank Desprez
"Old Cowboys Don't Die" by Gail Gardner
"Real Cowboy Life" by Gail Gardner (fragment)
"Cowboy to Postmaster" by Gail Gardner (fragment)
"The Hired Man on Horseback" by Eugene Manlove Rhodes (fragment)
"Damn Fool" by Lysius Gough (fragment)
"The Cowboy" anonymous (fragment)
"The Cowboy's Lament/The Campfire Has Gone Out" anonymous (fragment)

 


Keynote Speaker: Dr. Guy Logsdon, "Poetry and the Cowboy Poet"


 

Featured Participants:

Arizona
      Enid Morris
, Seligman
     Rick Taylor, Elgin
     Ross Knox, Chino Valley
     Slim Kite, Chino Valley
     Homer Bryant, Camp Verde

Arkansas
      Glenn Ohrlin
, Mountain View

California
     Ed Brown, Merced
     Jim Ross, Palo Cedro
     Jesse Smith, Porterville
     Billy Fouts, Sonora
     Dick Gibford, Los Alamos

Colorado
     Baxter Black, Brighton
     Nyle Henderson, Hotchkiss
     Bill May, Steamboat Springs

Idaho
     Bill Hirschi, Rexburg
     Howard Norskog, St. Anthony
     Bob Schild, Blackfoot
     Bill Simpson, Granview

Missouri
     Martin Bergen
, Overland

Montana
     Hank Real Bird, Garryowen
      Wally McRae
, Forsyth
     Bob Blackwell, Melville
     Mike Logan, Helena
     Betty Lynne Grue, Terry

Nebraska
     Bob Johnson, Scottsbluff

Nevada
      Rod McQueary, Ruby Valley
      Randy Stowell, Currie
      Glenn Terry, Duck Creek Valley
      Brian Morris, Denio

New Mexico
      Kay Kelley, Santa Fe
      John Underwood, Capitan
      Ron Scott, Loving

North Dakota
     Rodney Nelson, Bismark 
     Harold Lowman, Sentinel Butte

Oregon
      Sunny Hancock, Lakeview
      Lona Burkhardt, Ashwood
      Bill Black, Adel

South Dakota
      Jo Casteel, Vale       

Texas
     Buster McLaury, Guthrie  
     Don Edwards, Weatherford
     Sam Brown, Adrian
     Joel Nelson, Alpine

Utah
      Bob Christensen
, Syracuse
      Yula Sue Hunting
, Beryl

Wyoming
    Bill Larsen, Kaycee 
    Tina Burke, Douglas
    Harry Taylor, Jackson
    Kent Stockton, Riverton
 

Canada
     Harvey Mawson, Dundurn, Saskatchewan 

 

Theme Session Poets:

Neil Abbott, Bagdad, Arizona
Owen Barton, Rogerson, Idaho
Everett Brisendine, Chino Valley, Arizona
Ernie Fanning, Reno, Nevada
Eugene Ferguson, Oroville, California
Barbara Hall, Yerington, Nevada
Bob Ivins, Albia, Iowa
Charles Kortes, Rawlins, Wyoming
Ray Lashley, Layton, Utah
Doug McCutcheon, Vinton, California
Waddie Mitchell, Elko, Nevada
Chuck Murphy, Musselshell, Montana
Carla Nelson, Alpine, Texas
Howard Parker, Ashley, Nebraska
Vess Quinlan, Alamosa, Colorado
Gene Randels, Greeley, Colorado
Scott Redington, Big Horn, Wyoming
Kent Reeves, LeGrande, California
Carl "Skinny" Rowland, Basin, Montana
Georgie Sicking, Fallon, Nevada
Marie Smith, Somers, Montana
Richard Smith, Carson City, Nevada
Bud Stewart, Royal City, Washington
Colen Sweeten, Malad City, Idaho
Hamilton Teichert, Spanish Fork, Utah
Charlotte Thompson, Norcatur, Kansas
Ramona Turmon, Redmond, Oregon
Jack Walther, Lamoille, Nevada

Evening Performances:

Thursday: Film Premier of "Cowboy Poets" with Wally McRae, Slim Kite, Waddie Mitchell, and the Bunkhouse Orchestra

FridayAn evening of cowboy poetry, music, and entertainment hosted by Wally McRae
Wally McRae
Tom Eaton
Buster McLaury
Glenn Ohrlin
Jon Bowerman
Paul Zarzyski
Kay Kelley
Carlos Ashley

SaturdayAn evening of cowboy poetry, music, and entertainment hosted by Nyle Henderson
Nyle Henderson
Clyde Sproat
Karin Haleamua
R. W. Hampton
Bill Lowman
Betty Lynne Grue
Gary McMahan

 


1989

January 25-28, 1989

  

 Program Contents

"The Gathering is Five" by Hal Cannon

"What is the Western Folklife Center?"

"The Chores of Grief and Delight" by Kim Stafford

"Badger Clark: 'Placed So Well'" by Elaine Thatcher

"Before the Gathering" by Sarah Campsey Sweetwater

"Australian Exchange at the 1990 Cowboy Poetry Gathering"

"How Are Featured Poets Chosen?"

"In Memoriam, Gail Gardner"

Exhibits 

Biographies of Featured Participants

Schedule of Events

Acknowledgements

Poetry:
"Ridin'" by Badger Clark
"A Cowboy's Prayer" by Badger Clark
"The Gatherin' at the Gate" by Jon Bowerman


Keynote Speaker: Kim Stafford, Director, Northwest Writing Institute


 

Featured Participants:

Arizona
     Neil Abbott, Prescott
     Rick Taylor, Tucson

California
     Ed Brown, Merced
     John Dofflemyer, Lemon Cove
     Jim Ross, Palo Cedro
     Leonard Vasquez, Calapatria

Colorado
     Gene Jordan, Bayfield
     Gary McMahan, Bellevue
     Gene Randels, Greeley

Idaho
      Lloyd Gerber
, Eagle
     Bill Hirschi, Rexburg
     Kevin Tester, Nampa

Iowa
      T. L. Bush
, Williamsburg

Missouri
     Martin Bergen
, Overland

Montana
     Gwen Peterson, Big Timber 
     Randy Rieman, Bozeman
     Carl "Skinny" Rowland, Helena

Nebraska
      Howard Parker, Ashby

Nevada
      Rod McQueary, Ruby Valley
      Paul Schmitt, Stagecoach
      Richard Smith, Carson City
      Charlotte Thompson, Battle Mountain

New Mexico
      Kay Kelley, Santa Fe

North Dakota
     Rodney Nelson, near Almont

Oregon
      Eric Sprado, Junction City

South Dakota
      Bob Dennis, Red Owl
      Blaine Nordvold, Eagle Butte
      Bill Wood, Redig

Texas
     Allen Cox, Lomita
     Buck Ramsey, Amarillo

Utah
     Don Kennington, Ogden
     Kent Peterson, Ferron
     Ray Lashley, Syracuse

Washington
     Swede Nukker, Malaga

Wyoming
    Greg Badure, Jackson
     Scott Redington, Big Horn
     Tommy Thomas, Hulett
    Bill Larsen, Kaycee 
 

Canada
     Allen Schattle, Alberta.

 

Theme Session Poets:

Henry Real Bird, Gary Owen, Montana
Tina Burke, Douglas, Wyoming
Lona Burkhart, Ashwood, Oregon
Pete Cameron, Bondurant, Wyoming
Jess Goodwin, Hartline, Wyoming
Roberta Green, Challis, Idaho
Betty Lynne Grue, Terry, Montana
Charlie Hunt, Rapid City, South Dakota
Bob Johnston, Scottsbluff, Nebraska
Steve Rone, Roseburg, Oregon
Lou Schwiebert, Santa Margarita, California
Colen Sweeten, Malad City, Idaho
Jim Thomas, Terrebonne, Oregon
Matt Thompson, Idaho Falls, Idaho
Lisa Volkman, Meridian, Idaho
Clarence Wagner, Lincoln, California
Jack Williams, Bakersfield, Calfornia

 

Evening Performances:

Wednesday:  Riders Radio Theatre
Riders in the Sky
Wally McRae
Gary McMahan
Waddie Mitchell
Bunkhouse Orchestra (Hal Cannon, Ron Kane, and Rand Hillman)

Thursday:  "Charlie Russell's Frontier"
featuring Raphael Cristy as Charlie Russell
Mike Logan
Ray Lashley
Henry Real Bird
Ian Tyson

Friday:  An evening of Cowboy Poetry, music and entertainment hosted by Gary McMahan
Baxter Black
Rodney Nelson
Muzzie Braun
Gwen Peterson
Bob Christensen

Saturday:  An evening of Cowboy Poetry, music and entertainment hosted by Red Steagall
Howard Parker
Rick Taylor
Gene Randels
Rod McQueary
The Sunset Trio (Red Thompson, Jeanne Thompson, Wendy Thompson, Ray Sorenson, and Jeannie Elder)

 


This is page 1 of program information.  

Additional pages:

 

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