Cowboy Poetry and Western Life

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Following are descriptions that are linked from event listings on the Events page. 


There are also reports from those who have attended events, 
and those are linked from the Events page, too.

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Venues with Monthly and Multiple Dates


Venues with Monthly and Multiple Dates

Maricopa Butterfield House Concert Series   Maricopa, Arizona

From Nancy Ruybal:

Going into our 5th season starting September, 2010, we are looking to build the audience even further by bringing in some altogether new performers to our series, even stepping out a little further into the acoustic world.

For those of you who have not been to the new location, it seems folks are really enjoying it. Some arrive early to take photos and a bit of a walk before the shows. There is a barn being built and we hope to have it performance ready by September. The bay under the house is very nice, but, the barn will lend a special ambiance that only a barn can.

Please call ahead to let us know you are coming, especially if you have never attended one of our events before. We want to make sure we have plenty of seats and the right amount of coffee brewing! You might discover there is a trail ride or BBQ associated with the concert!

Here is the line up so far for the 2011 Maricopa Butterfield House Concert series.

January 29, 2011          John Batdorf

February 26, 2011          Chuck Pyle  

March 26, 2011              Dale Young & Kip Calahan Young

April 30, 2011               
Katy Creek Band

May 28, 2011                 Joe Bethancourt 

The public is welcome and invited to attend these delightfully intimate presentations.

Performers and artists with related work are encouraged to contact us by e-mail or by phone:; 520.705.5901;

Updated 4/4

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Heritage of the American West Performance Series  
Spearfish, South Dakota

Reception at 6PM
Showtime at 7PM


January 20, 2011  Cabin Fever Party!
Safe At Home...a reunion performance!
The Harmonic Wonder of Black Hills Quartet, Lyle, Doug, Rick & Paul

February 17, 2011  Classics In Country
Style, Talent & Sass….it’s all here!
The Potter Family … in concert!

March 17, 2011  Cowboy Irish
The Sounds of Ireland and Cowboy Lore….
Heirs of Bairds (Fiddler’s 3)

April 21, 2011  Cowboy Poetry Week
Here is a storyteller that will have you laughing, crying and spellbound!
Andy Nelson

May 19, 2011 Women of the West
2010 WMA Female Vocalist of the Year!
Mary Kaye Knaphus

June 16, 2011 Way Out West
2010 WMA Crescendo Award Winner!
Richard Lee Cody 

July 21, 2011 Ride for the Brand
Celebrating National Day of the Cowboy
poet Ken Cook, 2010 AWA Poet of the Year & Lariat Laureate at
and singer/songwriter Paul Harris

Thursday, November 17, 2011
….a fundraising performance!
Stringbean Svenson, Hank Harris, Kenny Putnam,
Ricky Jacobsen
6:00PM Christmas On The High Plains Social & Shopping
7:00PM Show Time!
8:00PM Calcutta for the Western Arts

Thursday, December 15, 2011
"YOUNG GUNS:VOLUME II The Next Generation of Music & Storytellers of the West!"
Musicians and orators ages 5-20 perform music and poetry of the West.
6:00pm Exhibit & Reception
7:00pm Show Time!

“Young Guns II…..”
Heritage of the American West Features The Next Generation of Music, Storytellers of the West

Spearfish, SD – For as long as anyone can remember, the stories of settling the West have come up through the generations; stories as diverse and colorful as the people and places they are about. As each new generation begins to come of age, the question is invariably asked; “…who will carry the torch?”

To answer that, the Heritage of the American West Performance Series has brought together kids; from the country and from town, from home and public schools, the next generation of voices of the West.

The live stage performance of “Young Guns II” is set for Thursday, December 15, 2011 at the High Plains Western Heritage Center, Spearfish, SD. Combining talents in strings, vocals, piano and poetry, the group of young musicians and writers come highly recommended by their instructors who will be directing the performers off-stage while nationally known performer Gordy Pratt, directs them on-stage.

From the class rooms of public, private, and home schools, comes an array of talent representing yet another generation of storytellers and musicians of the West. “It’s such a privilege to be able to work with experienced professionals and to be able to host them and students on the Heritage Stage,” says producer Francie Ganje. “When there is an opportunity to showcase talent and dedication like theirs, while shining a light on another generation of storytellers in music, song and poetry of the West, well, the pleasure is all ours.”

Among those performing are young writers and poets, noted for their original works and delivery. "Western and cowboy poetry is such an integral part of western lore and tradition," says Ganje. "If it's to continue, as both a means of retelling history and representing contemporary western living, we should seek out those young people who enjoy writing and presenting - in all forms - and give them a stage."

The Young Guns performance will also feature the work of western artist Mick Harrison, Belle Fourche, SD. Or rather, one piece specific to Mick's portfolio that depicts the school setting of long ago. "These young entertainers who will be on the Heritage stage come from country school, home schools, schools in town," notes Ganje. "This painting by Mick - titled "Golden Rule Days" is a wonderful representation of what some think of as a vanishing way of life but what I think of as one that remains vibrant and alive - just in different environments and learning mediums."

Higher education historical curriculum is also offered at this performance. In collaboration with Black Hills State University, the Heritage Center has developed an exhibit featuring South Dakota Indian Studies. In both visuals and text, displays tell the stories of Winter Counts, Lakota Women, Tipi Etiquette, Beadwork, and more.
The doors to the Heritage Center open at 6:00 pm. Admission includes touring the museum, holiday vendors and complimentary pie at Perkins Family Restaurant in Spearfish.

Tickets for the Heritage of the American West Performance are $9 in advance and $12 day of show and are available at the High Plains Western Heritage Center, Spearfish, SD or by calling 605-642-9378.

Tickets are available at the High Plains Western Heritage Center, Advance tickets $9; Day of show $12

The 90-minute live stage show also airs later on KBHB 810AM Five State Ranch Radio, Sturgis, South Dakota and KBFS 1450 AM & KYDT 103.1 FM The Country Twins, Belle Fourche, South Dakota.

For more information about the Heritage of the American West, contact Francie Ganje at

See our feature about the Heritage of the American West here.

Updated 11/2


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Cowboy Concert Series
Silver City, New Mexico

From Mike Moutoux:

March 12, 2011

Featuring Allan Chapman, Dean Foster and Mike Moutoux at the Historic Silco Theater in Silver City, New Mexico.

Doors open at 7:00; show starts at 7:30. For more info call Mike at 575 388-4994.

August 20, 2011

The Cowboy Concert Series continues with Katy Creek and Way Out West.

The historic Silco Theater in Silver City, New Mexico will host these two audience-friendly groups for a very special night of Western Music.

Doors open at 7:00 and the show starts at 7:30. Tickets are $15.

For more information, call the Series host, Mike Moutoux at 575 388-4994.

Updated 2/2

Mavericks Coffee House  Visalia, California

From Gary Brown:

We are pleased to announce the concert list  for Mavericks Coffee House and Roasting Company. This is our 8th season! Where did the time go? Mavericks is pleased to present the best of the best, western music performers and occasional cowboy poets. It is known among cowboy/cowgirl performers as the place to perform as it is up close and personal due to its limited seating. RW Hampton, a regular at Mavericks, commented that it is like playing for friends and families in your own living room.
All concerts are at 7 PM. Doors open at 6 (open seating). Call 559 624-1400 for tickets beginning 30 days prior to a concert (Visa/MC). We are located at: 238 E. Caldwell Avenue, Visalia, CA 93277 (corner of court and Caldwell). Additional shows will be added throughout the year.

*recent updates

March 26 (Sat) $30 - DAVE STAMEY. Dave, a multiple, award winning singer-songwriter is our house musician. Our new resident to the Visalia area, Dave always plays our anniversary show.

April 2 (Sat) $25 - ADRIAN and DAVE BOURNE. This is the first visit by Adrian, a 18 year old singer - songwriter. Western Horseman magazine referred to Adrian as a Buckaroo's Taylor Swift. Dave was featured in HBO's Deadwood TV series and most recently the film Jonah Hex as a saloon piano player.

April 29 (Fri) $25 - WADDIE MITCHELL. We are very pleased that Waddie will be performing at Mavericks. One of the best living cowboy poets, Waddie shares poems he has composed as well as the classics. He was one of the original organizers of the Elko Cowboy Poetry gathering.

May 6 (Fri) $30 - KATY MOFFATT & ANDREW HARDIN - This is the first duo show for these two superb musicians, even though they have both performed here before. Katy is a favorite singer-songwriter of ours, who packs more emotion into a song than anyone on the circuit. Andy is a premier solo guitarist who has played here with the legendary Tom Russell. The show was scheduled for last year, however illness forced a cancellation.

May 21 (Sat) $25 - DENNIS AGAJANIAN - Dennis Agajanian has been awarded Musician of the Year seven times at the Christian Country Music Awards (CCMA). In addition, he was previously selected as the Entertainer of the Year by the CCMA. Since 1974 Dennis has been featured as a performer with the Billy Graham Crusades and later Franklin Graham. He has participated in international USO shows; Greg Laurie's Harvest Crusades, costarred in three feature length movies and three ABC television specials and featured twice at both the International Bluegrass Festival and the Monterey Cowboy Festival. Dennis has shared the stage with the likes of Johnny Cash, Ricky Skaggs, Tanya Tucker, Pat Boone, Sons of the San Joaquin, RW Hampton and Gene Autry.

June 4 (Sat) $25 - SOURDOUGH SLIM - There is no finer musician than Slim. He is a true vaudeville entertainer and comedian. Slim can play the accordion, guitar, mouth harp, sing, yodel (he is one of the best), rope and do a jig...sometimes all at the same time.

June 17 (Fri) $ 25 - JUNI FISHER -Juni is family here at Mavericks. A Strathmore cowgirl who has won every music award out there a couple of times is a master singer-songwriter. Juni is the most popular cowgirl out on the circuit today.

July 16 (Sat) $20 - MARY MCCASLIN - In his biography, the legendary Ian Tyson wrote: she was "one of the first contemporary western singer-songwriters. Her records (such as Prairie in the Sky) have an appealing sound - usually just her voice and guitar..." This is Mary's first visit.

*July 22 (Fri) $25 - THE SADDLE CATS, new western swing band featuring Richard Chon of Sons of the San Joaquin and the renowned Bobby Black on pedal steel guitar.

August 5 (Fri) THE GILLETTE BROTHERS - These two brothers from Crockett, Texas have developed a following here at Mavericks. They do the olde tyme cowboy songs and play everything from Irish drums to cow rib bones. People who have seen them perform are amazed at their versatile talent.

*August 22 (Mon) $30  RW HAMPTON - the "voice" of cowboy music.
August 27 (Sat) $25  RICH O'BRIEN - premier guitar player in western music today, master producer & winner of more Wrangler music awards from Cowboy Hall of Fame than anyone else.

*September 10  (Sat) $25  ELI BARSI - the number 1 yodeling cowgirl from Canada.

* December 5  (Mon) $25  BRENN HILL - the future of western music singer/songwriters.


Updated  7/11

June-August, 2011
Third Annual Big Hat Promotions House Concerts   Altadena, California

From Bob and Marie Mann:

Our events will be held in our backyard here in Altadena, California.

As always, complimentary food and beverages will be served to our guests who attend the shows.

Your generous donations for our performers are greatly appreciated.

Please make your reservations early by emailing

Find complete information for all events at

Doors Open at 5:30 pm. Show at 7:00 pm except where noted

Bob and Marie Mann founded Big Hat Promotions as a way to promote Cowboy poetry and Western music to a new audience through a series of intimate backyard house concerts. They knew that in order to accomplish this goal, they must present the very best artists the genre had to offer. Big Hat Promotions’ 4th Annual Summer Series is no exception.

For more information and to make reservations, please visit or email

June 11, 2011  

Juni Fisher returns on Saturday, June 11. This incredibly talented performer will be making her third appearance as she kicks off the 2011 series. Juni is one of the best singer/songwriter/storytellers in Cowboy & Western music today. A flawless performer with a beautiful voice coupled with stirring and heartfelt songs.

June 25, 2011  

Harmonicowboy Gary Allegretto joins forces with the extraordinarily talented guitarist Ian Espinoza on Saturday, June 25 with their own special brand of roots, blues, and Cowboy music. Gary will also be conducting his successful harmonica workshop.

July 9, 2011  

Poet Gary Robertson appears on Saturday, July 9. Gary is an accomplished Cowboy Poet and endearing storyteller. Joining Gary this year will be the talented Cowboy Balladeer, Michael Tcherkassky.

July 25, 2011

Dave Bourne and Ray Doyle, two venerable Western artists join us on Saturday, July 25. Dave Bourne is well known for his Saloon piano playing. Ray Doyle, longtime member of the great Cowboy and Western band, Wylie & The Wild West, is also an accomplished solo performer.

August 6, 2011

Belinda Gail, “America’s Western Sweetheart,” will close out the series on Saturday, August 6. Belinda Gail is a vibrant and natural entertainer with a dynamic and captivating voice. Belinda stirs the emotions and visions of the West in the heart of her audiences. It is no wonder that Belinda truly is "America's Western Sweetheart."

Reservations are required for all of our 2011 events. Email to make reservations or to request to be added to our mailing list. 

Posted 2/21

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June-September, 2011
Scofield's Cowboy Campfire at Red Mule Ranch  Fiddletown, California

Ron and Marie Scofield are your hosts for an evening of old-time cowcamp entertainment under the stars at the Red Mule Ranch in Fiddletown, California. Enjoy a chuck wagon tri-tip dinner and cowboy music, poetry, and story telling in an 1880s setting. In addition to Ron's traditional brand of old cowboy standards, special guest performers contribute their unique style of western wit, wisdom, satire, and song.

June 18 - Horse Crazy Cowgirl Band

June 25 -
Old West Trio and Tony Ilardi

July 9 -
Sourdough Slim and Helen Haas

July 16-
Old West Trio and Jerry Bell

August 6 -
The Gillette Brothers

August 13 -
Old West Trio and Jim & Karen Ross

Aug. 27 -
Dave Stamey and Gary Lowe

Sept 10 -
Old West Trio and Mark Twain

Find information for all performers at

Dinner is served at 6:30pm. Entertainment begins at 7:30pm with a break for intermission and dessert. After lots of music and poetry, it's "Happy Trails" around 10pm.

Total event cost per person is $45

Scofield's Cowboy Campfire, P.O. Box 12, Fiddletown CA 95629;; (209)-296-4519

Posted 5/12

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January 15, 2011
First Annual SaddleBrooke Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering  Tucson, Arizona

From Al Mollenkopf, Producer:

January 15, 2011
The First Annual SaddleBrooke Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering
, Tucson, AZ

The First Annual Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering will be held at the Desert View Performing Arts Center (DVPAC) in SaddleBrooke. This Gathering is a benefit performance for the Tucson Troop Support Group.

The Gathering will be held on Saturday, January 15. 2011 with two shows, the first at 3:00 PM and a second at 7:00 PM at the DVPAC. A VIP "Get to Know the Performers Reception" will be at 5:30 PM.

Performers include Baxter Black, a cowboy humorist; Dave Stamey, cowboy singer; Ross Knox, cowboy poet; and the Way Out West Trio.

Tickets are $26 for either show and $11 for the reception and can be purchased at the Mountain View ticket office, by phone at 825-2818 or on-line at

Posted 12/14

January 21-22, 2011
22nd Annual Colorado Cowboy Gathering  Denver, Colorado

From Liz Masterson:

We're BACK in the SADDLE and bustin’ out of the chutes with the good news!


We had a lot of support from everyone and were able to find a new location and a new name for a Gathering in January.

Colorado Cowboy Gathering

January 21 and 22, 2011

Friday and Saturday evening concerts

Saturday daytime theme sessions of Cowboy Poetry and Songs

Ranum Auditorium Theater
2401 W 80th Ave. Denver, CO 80221
Located less than five miles north-east of the Arvada Center

Featuring: Riders in the Sky on Friday evening with Liz Masterson, Pop Wagner,
Andy Nelson, and Carol Heuchan.

Saturday night features
Waddie Mitchell with Jon Chandler and Doris Daley.

Saturday daytime theme sessions feature:
Jon Chandler, Deb Carpenter-Nolting, Doris Daley, Mark Gardner & Rex Rideout, Carol Heuchan, Susie Knight, Liz Masterson, Al "Doc" Mehl, Andy Nelson, Tim Nolting, John Schaffner, Milton Taylor, Pop Wagner, Barry Ward, and the Yampa Valley Boys.

Tickets are available at

Updated 11/15

January 26-29, 2011
Fifth Annual Silver State Trade Show
Elko, Nevada
(during the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering)

From Shannon Wrango of Kansas Saddlery,

Fifth annual Silver State Trade Show, Wednesday to Saturday, Jan 26 to 29, 9 am to 6 pm, Elko County Fairgrounds.
This year's vendors include Kansas Saddlery, Karmel Timmons Fine Art, Prairie Karen, Nathaniel Hats, Thimbles and Quilts, Box Bar Cross Saddlery and many bunk house braiders. Contact Shannon Wrango at 316.621.0600.

Posted 12/6

January 27, 2011
Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo Cowboy Poetry with Jim Thompson Rapid City, South Dakota

From Jim Thompson:

During the Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo, Cowboy Poetry with Jim Thompson

Thursday, January 27, 2011

5:30 PM Rushmore Hall, Civic Center

Slim McNaught, Bonnie Krogman, Robert Dennis, Company Cowboys, and Jim Thompson.

Chuckwagon dinner available.

Free admission to the cowboy poetry event.

Posted 1/5

January 30, 2011
Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Open Mic Night  Rapid City, South Dakota

From Serena Rice:

The Grand Gateway Hotel ( located at 1721 N. LaCrosse St. in Rapid City, South Dakota, is holding a Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Open Mic Night on Sunday January 30, 2011 in the Cheers Lounge from 7-11 pm.

The event is hosted by James Van Nuys, featuring local poets Don Hilmer, Slim McNaught and Robert Dennis. Anyone is welcome to come and participate bring your stories, poetry or musicality.

If you have questions give us a call at 866-742-1300 or email me, Serena, at

Posted 1/18



February 3, 2011
Introduction to Cowboy Poetry Evening at the Prescott Library  ~ pre-Cowboy Poetry Week event Prescott, Washington

From Susan Matley:

Up here in Prescott we’re doing a couple of Cowboy Poetry Week pre-events to get the community interested, excited and (we hope) participating. On February 3, 6:30 PM, the Prescott Rural Library is hosting an “Introduction to Cowboy Poetry” evening. Bruce and I (Nevada Slim and Cimarron Sue) will team up with our library manager, Josh Westbrook, to talk about relevant topics (What is cowboy poetry?; What is cowboy poetry week?; How can you participate in Cowboy Poetry Week?; What resources are available at your local library?; and so on). This is our fourth year organizing events in the Touchet Valley....

The Prescott Rural Library is located at 103 S D Street in Prescott, Washington;

Posted 1/18

February 4-6, 2011
3rd Annual Texas Crossroads Cowboy Gathering  Van Horn, Texas

From Bob Kinford:

3rd Annual Texas Crossroads Cowboy Gathering at the Special Events Center, Van Horn, Texas

"Local Mic" starts at 8AM, Talent show starts at 9AM Friday & Sat. Dinner show 6PM on Friday night, Finals show 7PM Saturday night. Cowboy Church ramrodded by Steven Spalding 9AM Sunday. Day performances are free!

This event is a "cowboy correct" gathering. Like the gatherings of old, Crossroads is a party where everyone is welcome. Rather than inviting certain performers and cutting the rest out, the first 44 entertainers to sign up are in the show.

The 2010 gathering resulted in 22 invitations being given out to five different performers. Four entertainers were offered five invitations to other events through our live-stream uploads to the internet!

Returning performers include Buck Helton, Tumbleweed Crawford, Rusty Battenfield, Evelyn Roper and more...

Cowboy poetry writing workshop by Debra Coppinger Hill, Cowboy Trappings all day on Saturday with local cowboys selling their trappings as cowboy prices.

*Check the website often as we are in the works of adding more things to go along with this event!

 Tickets will go on sale April 1, 2010 at

Posted 2/24

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February 11-13, 2011
19th Annual Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering  Sierra Vista, Arizona

From Charles Glenn:

19th Annual Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering February 11 to 13,
2010, Buena Performing Arts Center, Sierra Vista, AZ

Our theme this year is "Cowboys in Blue—from Soldier to Cowboy."

As enlistments expired and the frontier grew more peaceful, many soldiers left military service to homestead the Arizona Territory, or work for local ranchers as cowboys. These "Cowboys in Blue" left their stamp on Southern Arizona and began a legacy that will be honored at this year's Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering.

More than 50 poets and musicians will entertain.

Free sessions on Saturday 10:00AM to 5:00PM
Three headline shows Friday at 7:00PM
Saturday at 7:00PM
Sunday at 1:00PM.

Tickets on sale at our website,, and in Sierra Vista at Spur Western Wear, ACE Hardware, Safeway,
National Bank of Arizona, and The City of Sierra Vista Visitor's Center.

CCP&MG Hotline: 520-266-0558

Posted 12/20

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February 18-20, 2011
Seventh Annual Spirit of the West Cowboy Gathering  Ellensburg, Washington

From Claire Lucke:

Spirit of the West Cowboy Gathering is proud to present the finest in western entertainment this coming Presidents Day Weekend, February 18 – 20, 2011, in Ellensburg, Washington.

Concerts featuring Don Edwards, Waddie Mitchell, Sons of the San Joaquin, Dave Stamey, Rich O’Brien, Juni Fisher, Doris Daley, Buckaroo Girl Adrian and the CWU Symphony Orchestra will be held at the CWU Concert Hall and the Kittitas Valley Event Center.

We’ll also have a variety of western entertainers at downtown venues providing free entertainment on Friday and Saturday, as well as a Western Gear & Art Show, Rodeo Cowboy Reunion, Chuck Wagon cook Off, Workshops, a Fiddle Contest and Western and Square Dances.

For more information, go to our website:

Posted 8/18

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February 24-27, 2011
11th Annual Saddle Up! Celebration  Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

From Donnette Engebrecht:

Pigeon Forge Event Pays Tribute To The American West

11th Annual Saddle Up! includes concerts, chuckwagons and more

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. – The Smoky Mountain town of Pigeon Forge, Tenn., has announced the lineup of entertainers who will bring help bring the sights and sounds of the American West to East Tennessee next February.

Saddle Up!, Feb. 24-27, 2011, is part of Pigeon Forge Winterfest, a four-month season of activities that begins in November.

Some of the top performers in the world of western music and cowboy poetry will perform during the 11th annual event, including
Wylie & the Wild West, the Quebe Sisters Band, Brenn Hill, Chris Isaacs, Gary & Jean Prescott, Yvonne Hollenbeck, and Ray Doyle. Concerts (1 & 4 p.m. on Feb. 25; 3 p.m. on Feb. 26) are $15 each.

UPDATE 2/3: Two dinner shows were added to the Saddle Up! lineup this year. One, featuring Wylie & the Wild West, already is a sell out. A limited number of tickets remain for "An Evening with The Quebe Sisters Band" on Thursday, Feb. 24. The 6 p.m. dinner performance will be at Mama’s Farmhouse, and tickets are $40.

One of the most popular components of Saddle Up! is a competitive chuckwagon cookoff, on Saturday, Feb. 26. Sponsored by Pigeon Forge Hospitality Association, chuckwagon cooks prepare lunch for guests and evaluation by a panel of judges. Tickets are $10.

Belz Outlets hosts two activities—the new Western Marketplace, presented by Stages West (free admission), and the Western Swing Dance (tickets are $5), a perennial favorite. Sunday morning’s Cowboy Church, a non-denominational service preceded by a chuckwagon breakfast (tickets are $5), concludes the event.

Saddle Up! tickets are available online at here.


Six authentic chuckwagons will bring the flavor of the Old West to East Tennessee when they roll in to Pigeon Forge for the annual chuckwagon cookoff on Saturday, Feb. 26. The cookoff, sponsored by the Pigeon Forge Hospitality Association, is part of Saddle Up!, a four-day celebration of the American West, Feb. 24-27. In addition to the cookoff, the festival features several concerts of Western  music and cowboy poetry among other activities.

For the competition, each chuckwagon team will prepare chicken-fried steaks, potatoes, beans, bread, cornbread and fruit cobblers. They are judged on individual food categories and on the authenticity of wagons and camp set-ups.

The teams and wagons travel to Pigeon Forge from Georgia, North Carolina and Texas, carrying names such Grumpy's Grub, Cow Camp, Ramblin' Rose, Fairplay Cattle Co., Double X Ranch and Wish Bone.

The chuckwagon cookoff is from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Clabough's Campground on Wears Valley Road. There's no fee to inspect the chuckwagon camps and observe the cooking. Once the judging is complete, lunch will be available for $10 per plate and served from individual wagons. Tickets will be sold onsite the day of the cookoff.

Visitors can get a sneak preview of chuckwagon cooking on Thursday, Feb. 24, at Old Mill Square, when champion cook Kent Rollins will prepare and dish up free samples of Dutch-oven cornbread from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Rollins recently was featured on the popular Food Network show, "Throwdown With Bobby Flay." Saturday's activities also include a Buckaroo Roundup, where visitors can ride a mechanical bull and hear cowboy poetry, tales of the trail and musical performances. Admission to the Buckaroo Roundup is free.

The 11th Annual Saddle Up! begins Thursday, Feb. 24. Entertainers include Wylie & the Wild West, The Quebe Sisters Band, Jean & Gary Prescott, Brenn Hill, Chris Isaacs, Yvonne Hollenbeck and Ray Doyle.

Other activities include a non-denominational Cowboy Church service, a swing dance, a western marketplace and a wedding vow renewal ceremony.

Venue information: Concerts are at Smith Family Theater (800 seats). The dance, marketplace and vow renewal will be at Belz Outlets, with Sunday's Chuckwagon Breakfast and Cowboy Church at Stages West.

Admission information: Concerts at Smith Family Theater ($15 each); tickets are available online at here. Prices are plus tax. Ages 17 and younger are admitted free.

Admission to the dance is $5 per person. The Western Marketplace and Cowboy Church are free. There's no charge to participate in the wedding vow renewal ceremony.

Information about all aspects of visiting Pigeon Forge is at or 800-251-9100.

Updated 2/3

February 25-27, 2011
25th Annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering   (Sul Ross) Alpine, Texas

From the official media release:

Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering Celebrates
Silver Anniversary this Month at SRSU

ALPINE, Texas - For 25 straight years, the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering has rounded up some of the best poets, musicians and storytellers in the U.S. and Canada, and even Australia, and brought them to the Sul Ross State University campus in Alpine. This year's silver anniversary celebration will kickoff Friday, February 25, in Marshall Auditorium at 10 a.m.

The Alpine Gathering was created in 1986 by Dr. Barney Nelson, of Sul Ross. She envisioned an opportunity for cowboy poets, musicians and storytellers to gather in the spring each year. It would be a reunion of sorts and they could carry on the spoken word traditions of the cowboy campfire. Throw in an audience of aficionados from all over the world and you have a weekend of entertainment suitable for the whole family.

The Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering is renowned for its dedication to authenticity. Those folks invited to participate are working cowboys and cowgirls, ranchers and ranch hands.

The event is funded without excessive commercialism. Donations by local businesses and sponsor ships of performers are the primary sources of income.

West Texas National Bank is the title sponsor of the Gathering and the City of Alpine is a significant underwriter.

Daytime sessions to the event are all free with the exception of a memorial session on Friday afternoon. There will be a $5 minimum donation to attend the "Thanks for the Memories" session at 1 p.m. Friday in Marshall Auditorium. Funds from that session will be used to help build a memorial honoring those who have participated in the Gatherings. The permanent memorial will be built on the Sul Ross campus.

This year, in celebration of the 25th anniversary, there will be seven headliners on both the Friday night and Saturday night shows. Admission to those shows is $12.50 for adults and $5 for children.

The traditional campfire breakfasts at Poet's Grove are back this year. Come rain or shine the breakfast of scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy will be  served 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. both Friday and Saturday mornings. Cost is $5 per plate.

Three different items will be raffled this year. All proceeds go to perpetuate the Gathering. Greg Darnall has built a pair of commemorative
spurs. Wayne Franklin has created a bracelet and Australian story teller and whip maker Jack Sammon made a stockwhip. Silversmith Wilson Capron has added a 25th Anniversary cap to Jack's whip. All raffle tickets are $10.

Tapes, CDs and books by the participants of the Gathering will be available for sale on the second floor of the Morgan University Center. Sales begin late Friday morning and will continue until the close of the event Saturday evening.

Tickets for the shows and breakfast and raffle tickets, as well as programs, go on sale at noon Thursday in the Morgan Center.

Additional information is available at the Gathering website at

Posted 2/14


 February 26, 2011
12th Annual Toot, Snoot, 'n Hoot  Big Timber, Montana

From Gwen Petersen:

Eleventh Annual Toot, Snoot, ‘N Hoot

REMEMBER WHEN…Musical Comedy Show

Chili CONTEST (& Supper)

Sweet Grass County Fairgrounds Ag Pavilion

Saturday, February 26, 2011

  • Chili Contest And Supper5:00-

  • Remember When…Musical Comedy Show7:00

  • Silent Auction! (Goodies Impossible to Live Without)

  • Raffles! (COMPAQ LAPTOP COMPUTER & $200.00 gas/gifts CERTIFICATE)

  • Tickets: (Includes Chili Supper) $10.00Families $20.00


  • INFORMATION: CHILI contest entry FORMS (CONTESTANTS limited to 15)

  • Toot Scholarships, Box 1255, Big Timber, MT 59011, 932-4227

Posted 2/3


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March 4-5, 2011
Cache Valley Cowboy Rendezvous  Hyrum, Utah

From Dale Major:

Y'all are invited to the first annual Cache Valley Cowboy Rendezvous to be held March 4,5,6 2011 at the Mountain Crest High School in Hyrum, Utah (five miles south of Logan).

We have the Bar J Wranglers kicking off the event with a concert Friday night and a matinee concert Saturday afternoon.

Joining the Bar J's on stage will be Andy Nelson, Eli Barsi and Larry Wilder (with maybe a surprise guest or two). CR Wood is slated to be the emcee and head stage sheriff.

The event will begin Friday at 5:00 and go to 10:30 P.M. or so, and then resume Saturday morning at 10:00 A.M. and go till 10:30 P.M. (tentative).

There'll be three stages for performers, a dutch oven caterer, (and others) and lots of venders ready to trade your hard earned cash for whatever piece of tack or artifact you may desire.

Y'all have a chance to kick up your heels Saturday night at a Cowboy Family Dance, and then repent of all your sins Sunday morning at the Cowboy Church in Paradise.

The good folks of Cache Valley can hardly wait to hear the latest in cowboy poetry and music, so plan to come, perform, and have a great time!!! (Spurs and chaps are optional.)

You can access our website for more info.

Posted 12/20

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March 10-13, 2011
8th Annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering  Cartersville, Georgia

From the Booth Western Art Museum:

Booth Western Art Museum to Host

8th Annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering

Ed Mell: New West Visionary exhibition opening to coincide with annual event 

CARTERSVILLE, GA – The Booth Western Art Museum will host the 8th Annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering, March 10-13, 2011, in Cartersville, GA. Scheduled events include a concert by featured entertainer Asleep at the Wheel; chuck wagon and Dutch oven cooking contests; mandolin, fiddle, guitar and banjo contests; finals of the Georgia Youth Cowboy Poetry Contest; children’s activities; and an evening lecture by featured artist Ed Mell. The event will take place at the Booth Western Art Museum and the Grand Theatre, both located in historic downtown Cartersville. 

The Gathering begins Thursday, March 10, with an Opening Reception for Ed Mell: New West Visionary from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Guests are encouraged to tour the exhibit in the Temporary Exhibition Gallery, as well as enjoy refreshments in the Booth Café. At 7:00 p.m., Mell will present a lecture in the Booth Theatre on his artistic style and career highlights. He will be available to sign copies of the official Gathering poster in the Museum Store following his lecture.

Born and raised in the West, Ed Mell has a true passion for the West and the flora and fauna which make up its beautiful landscapes. He credits artist Maynard Dixon as a major influence in his career, which can be seen in the abstracted forms that often dominate an Ed Mell painting. He is best known for dramatically geometric views of Western vistas, often combined with powerful weather events.  However, his work also includes landscape, floral, and figurative subjects that incorporate elements of abstraction and cubism, all of which will be featured in his exhibition at the Booth Museum.

On Friday, March 11, guests are invited to participate in a gallery walk with Ed Mell at 11:00 am or 1:30 pm, as he discusses his exhibit on display at the Museum, Ed Mell: New West Visionary.  Also on Friday, at 11:00 am, there will be a lecture and movie clips from the movie Tombstone in the Booth Theatre. At 1:30 pm, My Darling Clementine will be shown in the Booth Theatre.

Throughout the day Saturday, there will be a variety of events for the entire family. As part of the Southeastern Chuck Wagon Cook-Off, teams of cooks will prepare beans, meat, potatoes, bread and desserts just as they did during the cattle drives of the 1800s. Those interested may purchase tickets in advance for $12 to sample the menu items. Other activities include a fiddle, mandolin, guitar and banjo contest, adult Cowboy Poetry workshop, and children’s activities throughout the Museum.

A Saturday night concert at the Grand Theatre will feature famed western-swing band, Asleep at the Wheel. The group, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2010, has released more than 25 albums over the years and received eight Grammy Awards. Their critically acclaimed musical play A Ride with Bob has further catapulted them into popularity, making them much in demand at concert venues and festivals around the country.  Tickets for the 7:00 pm evening performance are $25 for not-yet members and $20 for Booth Museum members. Members of Asleep at the Wheel will be available to sign CDs and meet fans in the Encore Room adjacent to the Theatre following the show.

 The weekend wraps-up Sunday, March 13, beginning with Cowboy Church in the Booth Ballroom at 11:00 a.m. This is a non-denominational church service that will feature cowboy prayers and Western spiritual music. After the service, from Noon to 4:00 p.m., a Dutch Oven Cooking Contest will take place on the Museum’s festival grounds. Top cooks will compete for prizes and bragging rights in three categories: bread, main dish and dessert, and will serve samples to the public. Also during this time the Georgia Youth Cowboy Poetry Contest Finals will be held in the Booth Theatre. The top 10 Georgia Youth Cowboy Poetry Contest finalists in four age divisions, representing grades five through twelve, will compete for cash prizes. Children’s activities will also be offered throughout the Museum.

The Southeastern Cowboy Gathering is designed to celebrate our rich Western heritage and is a unique opportunity for residents of the Southeast to explore the West without leaving the South. To purchase tickets for any of the weekend’s events, simply call the Museum at 770-387-1300 or visit the front desk.

For more information on the 8th Annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering, visit and click on Events, or call 770-387-1300. 

About the Booth Western Art Museum

The Booth Western Art Museum, an Affiliate to the Smithsonian Institution, is a 120,000 square foot museum located in Cartersville, Georgia, where guests are invited to explore the American West through contemporary Western artwork. The Museum also houses a Presidential Gallery, Civil War art gallery, and Sagebrush Ranch, an interactive children’s gallery. Open since August 2003, the Booth Museum is the only museum of its kind in the Southeast and is the second largest art museum in the state of Georgia. To learn more about the Booth Western Art Museum, visit

See our feature about the Booth Western Art Museum cowboy gatherings here.

Posted 1/17


March 12, 2011
Cowboy Concert Series  Silver City, New Mexico

From Mike Moutoux:

Featuring Allan Chapman, Dean Foster and Mike Moutoux at the Historic Silco Theater in Silver City, New Mexico.

Doors open at 7:00; show starts at 7:30. For more info call Mike at 575 388-4994.

Posted 12/1

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March 17-20, 2011
21st Annual National Festival of the West  Scottsdale, Arizona

From the National Festival of the West:


The National Festival of the West Turns 21!

National Festival of the West is coming of age in the spring! This long-running western event will celebrate its twenty-first Anniversary at beautiful WestWorld in Scottsdale, Arizona March 17-20, 2011.

The festival is now under new management and new ownership. Former owner and Trail Boss Mary Brown is handing over the reins to Country Music entertainer Rollie Stevens of Phoenix and his business partner Gene Butts of the New Pioneers, a traditional Western singing group of Sugar Land, Texas. As festival performers, the new owners will strive to keep the Cowboy Spirit alive and carry on the Old West traditions that have been so carefully demonstrated by the previous owner throughout the years.

Voted "America's Best Western Festival" five years in a row by
True West Magazine, the annual event brings nearly 10 million dollars into the local economy. Thousands of visitors from all 50 states and multiple foreign countries travel to Arizona each spring to be a part of America's Western culture.

Over 200 exhibitors will market authentic Western merchandise during the four-day shopping expo, one of the largest trade shows of its kind in the nation. Exhibits are juried for quality and appropriateness. Other festival activities include several stages of continuous Western entertainment, Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Chuck Wagon Cook-off Contests, Historic Mountain
Man Rendezvous, Arizona Gunfighters Reenactments, Old West Costume Contests, Cowboy Spirit Award and the ever-popular Western Film Festival, where attendees have a chance to meet and visit with famous TV and film star celebrities.

The National Festival of the West focuses heavily on family activities. The newly-expanded children and teen areas at WestWorld will include Western educational events, Old West storytellers, little buckaroo games, cowboy singing, Karaoke contests and many more activities for the young people. The main tent will feature nightly concerts, dances and top Nashville

For ticket information, festival hours and special discount days, check the National Festival of the West website:

For event schedules, contact Rollie Stevens: .
For vendor applications, contact Kathy Meek at 602-996-4387.

Happy Anderson, Publicist
Phone: 623-512-0607

Posted 12/30

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March 18-19, 2011
25th Annual Vinton Cowboy Poetry Show   Vinton, California

From Betty Ramelli:


March 18 & 19, 2011
featuring Waddie Mitchell, Sourdough Slim and Harmonicowboy Gary Allegretto.
On Friday we will have our famous Corned Beef Dinner from 5 - 7 PM
Friday Show will begin at 7:30 PM.

On Saturday: Shows at 1 PM and 7:30 PM
Roast Beef dinner served between shows 4 - 7 PM

Show tickets are $20 and dinner tickets are $12 for adults
and $6 for kids for show or dinner.

Special Note:  On Sunday March 20, Gary Allegretto will hold a harmonica workshop for any one interested
in learning to play the harmonica for only $20.

This will be a very special weekend.  For more information contact Betty Ramelli, event organizer, at
or phone 530-993-4692

Posted 11/29

March 29, 2011
Benefit for Locke Hamilton  Arvada, Colorado

From Al Mehl:


I think the Beatles may have said it best: "I get by, with a little help from my friends."

And on Tuesday night, March 29, we're going to say it again, western style.

Please join us in a benefit concert, the proceeds of which will provide assistance at a time of great need to our dear friend, singer Locke Hamilton

One Andrew Jackson (a mere twenty dollars) will get you in the door to see (all on the same stage) musicians Jon Chandler, Mary Huckins, Barry Ward, Bill Barwick, Ernie Martinez, Liz Masterson, Johnny Neill, Rex Rideout, Jeff Graves, Kit Simon, Roz Brown, cowboy poets Zeb Dennis and John Schaffner, all up there alongside yours truly, Al "Doc" Mehl.

Are you kidding me?!! That's less than a buck-and-a-half per artist! Not to mention the great silent auction... now you can see top-shelf western entertainment and go shopping, all on the same night!

Don't miss this one-of-a-kind evening. It's a veritable "We-Are-The-World" love fest, and it's all for sweet Locke.

Date: Tuesday, March 29

Time: 7:30 PM

Location: The Olde Town Pickin' Parlor

7515 Grandview Avenue; Arvada, CO

Call for Reservations (this event will sell out....): 303-421-2304

[Also see a "stay-at-home" benefit here and another benefit concert in Wyoming on April 15, 2011 below.]

Posted 3/21



April 5, 2011
Night @ the Library  Drummond, Montana ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

From Jodi Oberweiser, Drummond School Community Library:

Our library is hosting a program featuring local cowboy poets at our Night @ the Library on Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 7pm.

We encourage people to attend the event that has been organized by Janalee Martin, a local poet and friend to our library. Attendees enjoy listening to local ranchers and cowboys recite their poetry...It has become an event that people look forward to and request as early as our June planning meeting.

Posted 3/24

April 8-10, 2011
8th Annual Columbia River Cowboy Gathering and Western Music Festival 
Kennewick, Washington

From Smoke Wade:

The 8th Annual Columbia River Cowboy Gathering will take place April 8 -10, 2011 at the Benton County Fairgrounds in Kennewick, WA. The event is organized by Budd & Judy Massengale and the CRCGF committee of the Tri-Cities, Washington area. Profits from the event benefit the Grace Clinic and the Benton Franklin Volunteer Center.
Featured performers are last year's winners of the Cowboy Idol competition: poet Van Criddleand musicians, Richard Lee Cody and Mary Kaye. Other featured performers include Susie Knight, Bodie Dominguez, Rod Erickson, Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue, Cale Moon, Coyote Joe Sartin, Smoke WadeLes McMasters and Shiloh Sharrard.  
Headliners are Nashville stars Jeannie Seely on the Friday night show and Jack Greene on Saturday night. 
One of the highlights of the weekend will be the Cowboy Idol competition for both poets and musicians hosted by Smoke Wade. Four poets and four musicians compete though out the weekend for trophies, $1400.00 in prize money and the chance to be named Cowboy Idol 2011. The selected Cowboy Idol contestants are: Musicians - Paul Harris, Arkansas; Sam Mattise, Idaho; Arden Gailey, Idaho and Robin Arnold, Utah. Poets - C. R. Wood, Utah; Jessica Hedges, Oregon; Stan Tixier, Utah and A. K. Moss, Oregon. 
In addition, all open mic performers will be judged throughout the weekend with  prize money and a trophy to the Peoples' Choice open mic performer.

Scheduled daytime performances will be presented on Friday , April 8, from noon to 5:30 p. m. The Saturday daytime shows will run from 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. There will be open mic sessions throughout both days. The evening concerts will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Following the Friday night concert will be a dance with the music of Zac Grooms and his band, Unwound. On Sunday morning a breakfast will be available at the event center followed by Cowboy Church at 9:00 a.m.

The festival will offer three stages for entertainment, food booths, vendors, kid's corral, dancing and a western art & gear show. 

For information regarding advance ticket sales, RV parking, special motel rates, open mic or vendor  applications,  visit the Website:

Contact: Budd & Judy Massengale; (509) 851-4288 

Updated 2/14

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April 15, 2011
Benefit for Locke Hamilton  Evanston, Wyoming

From Juni Fisher:

Hello Friends and Fans in Wyoming, Idaho, Utah....
Please join us to help out a great friend.

Brenn Hill is a multi award winning, multi talented singer, songwriter, and all around good guy, and Andy Nelson is a multi-award winning cowboy poet, humorist, author, all around great guy (and the brother I always wished Mom had left on the bus)

Together, Brenn, Andy and I will be presenting a very special concert, and all of the funds generated from ticket sales and auction items will go to help the Hamilton family, of Dubois, WY with extreme medical expenses incurred with the recent illness of Locke Hamilton. The family has no health insurance. Les and Locke are always among the first to step in and help other families in it's our turn to send the love to them. 

Our mutual friend Locke Hamilton, (pronounced "Lockie") the unstoppable Energizer bunny and vocal force behind the great Celtic/Western group Prickly Pair and the Cactus Chorale, has been stricken with an inoperable cancer that has taken from her the ability to sing, and on top of that, we have learned that she has a fast progressing degenerative heart condition. She is at home receiving hospice care.

The poster for the event is attached, and we'd all love for yo to be there, and if not in person, you can participate by going to the website for Prickly Pair. There is a link there and you can gift the family directly with the price of a ticket, and whatever other generosity you feel inclined to bestow on this great musical family.


    Friday, April 15, 2011 at 7:00 PM, Davis Middle School, 837 No Name Street, Evanston, Wyoming.

    Call 307-360-8776 for ticket information.

[Also see a "stay-at-home" benefit here and another benefit concert in Colorado on March 29, 2011 above.]

Posted 3/21

April 15, 2011
Cowboy Poetry and Music at the Park County Library  ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week   Cody, Wyoming

Pop Wagner, Otto Rossfeld and Rex Rideout offer the history, songs and poems of the cowboy at the Park County Public Library, Cody, Wyoming on Friday, April 15, 2:00 to 5:00.

Posted 3/30

April 15-16, 2011
13th Annual Missouri Cowboy Poetry Festival  Mountain View, Missouri  ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

From Jerry Schleicher:

Traditional cowboy and western music, cowboy poetry and tall tales are all on the agenda for the 13th annual Missouri Cowboy Poetry Festival, scheduled April 15 - 16, 2011, at the Mountain View Community Center in Mountain View, Missouri. The event will be held in conjunction with Cowboy Poetry Week, which celebrates this American folk art nationally.

One of the Midwest's largest gatherings of cowboy musicians and recording artists, cowboy poets, storytellers, humorists, chuckwagon cooks and rope spinners, the event attracts performers from across Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas. The 2011 festival kicks off Friday afternoon, April 15, with a special performance for Mountain View Elementary students. At 5:00 that evening, guests are invited to attend a 'Supper with the Cowboys' dinner and show at the Mountain View Community Center. The evening's performers will include the winners of the Mountain View Elementary 5th grade cowboy poetry competition. Dinner/show tickets will be sold at the door for $12 per person, or show tickets only for $6.

On Saturday morning, poets and musicians will perform for residents at the Mountain View Health Care Center. That afternoon, new and returning poets and musicians will perform in "round robin" fashion at the Community Center. The show is free to the public, and new poets are encouraged to sign up for an open mic spot.

At 6:30 that evening, all performers will present a "Grand Finale" cowboy music and poetry show at the Community Center. Tickets will be available at the door for $6 per person. The festival concludes Sunday morning with Cowboy Church at the Community Center

Mountain View is located in south-central Missouri, about 100 miles east of Springfield. The Missouri Cowboy Poetry Festival is organized by Jennie Cummings and Eulalia Polk of the Mountain View Arts Council. Financial support is provided by a grant from the Missouri Arts Council, and contributions from area businesses and individuals.

For more information, email Jennie Cummings at or call 417-934-2213.

Posted 10/5

April 15-16, 2011
Forrest Fest; Beats and Boots  Lamesa, Texas  ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

From Connie Williams:

Forrest Fest, an international poetry festival, is celebrating its eleventh year in 2011.

Our event is scheduled for
April 15 & 16, our theme this year is Beats and Boots. We are a cross-cultural gathering and have workshops on cowboy poetry and cowboy poets on our featured artists program.

We have cowboy/folk musicians Zach Harmon, Steve Brooks, and Rick Scott on our program this year. Thom the World Poet is our MC of international acclaim. The Circuit Riders Chuck Wagon Gang will also be providing our BBQ this year.

Posted 3/15

April 15-17, 2011
3rd Annual Songs of the Cowboys  Cody, Wyoming
~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

From Leslie Keltner:

Runumuk Cowgirl Productions is proud to present the 3rd annual “Songs of the Cowboys” festival in Cody, Wyoming, April 15-17.

Thirty musicians from 8 states will gather in the Bandana Room of the Holiday Inn to perform traditional cowboy music and poetry in three concerts, day sessions, and a Sunday morning gospel session.

Late night jam sessions will be held at the Irma Hotel, Cassie’s Supper Club and the V.F.W. club on Friday and Saturday nights.

Performers include
Pop Wagner, Ike Hall, John Shreve, Glenn Ohrlin,
Rex Rideout, Susan Park, Gwen Petersen, Vince & Mindi, Jim Garry, Tim Ward, Bob Loper, Bruce & Lyn Messersmith, Otto Rosfeld, Leslie Keltner, Liz Masterson, Larry/Matt & Ryan, John Sidle, Bruce South, Vic Anderson, Norrine Linderman, Almeda Bradshaw, Bill Chiles, Bob Lantis, Ray and Shirley Jacobs, and Joe Bain.

Join a community-wide celebration of cowboy music, poetry, and tradition.

Special room rates are available at the Holiday Inn and the Irma.

For info, call 307-587-1558 Leslie.

We are funded in part by Wyoming Arts Council and Park County Travel Council.

Posted 4/4

April 16, 2011
Fourth Annual Olive Warner Memorial Library Cowboy Poetry Week Celebration  Hooker, Oklahoma ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

From Carolyn Blackwelder:

The Olive Warner Library is hosting its annual Cowboy and Western Poetry Contest, accepting submissions from residents of the small town of Hooker, Oklahoma 4th grade through 12th and in the Adult division. Winners  of the contest will be announced at the Library Saturday, April 16th at 2:30  pm. Residents need to decide what rhymes with "bobbed wahr" and bring in their entries by closing time of 6:00 pm on April 14th.

Library Director Carolyn Blackwelder writes that she is always glad for an opportunity to clarify the origins of her city's name, and shared some information from Lost Trails of the Cimarron by Harry E. Chrisman.

"The Legend of Hooker Threlkeld"

John “Hooker” Threlkeld was so nick-named after General “Fighting Joe” Hooker of Civil War fame, some say. Others say he received his name after an old cattleman on the Beaver River whose name was Hooker. Still others say he received his name by being such a “Hooker—of cattle”—that is, a top roper. Wherever he received that nickname, we know how the town of Hooker, got it’s name for it was named after John “Hooker” Threlkeld. Hooker was born in Kentucky, November 134, 1846. He came west with his parents to Missouri. On May 15, 1864, he joined up with a freight outfit and bullwhacked west from Omaha to Virginia City, Montana with his two brothers. In 1873, Hooker came to No Man’s Land where he spent the next thirty years in the saddle. He was foreman for the OX Ranch many years. When the OX withdrew to Montana after the disastrous blizzards of 1886, Hooker was given their side camp on the Frisco, later the Tom Stratton Ranch. That year Hooker married Hannah Davis of Greeley, Kansas. When Hannah’s folks came to that region, Hooker yielded his ranch, the XX Frisco, they called it, to her parents, and he and Hannah went to open up a new place farther up the Frisco. They called the new ranch the Hooker Ranch. He hauled lumber for his new home from Dodge and also built outbuilding of sod and stone....

Old cowboys who have seen Hooker in action described him as one of the really great ropers of the day, a man who could ride quietly into a heard, drop a tight, small, and fast loop from either side of his mount and catch calves standing beside or under their mothers. This type of roping, more so than the sensational run and catch kind, accomplished the day’s work on the range with speed and without ostentation. It was the sort of roping most highly regarded by the cowmen themselves..... He died December 5, 1939 at Redondo Beach, California.

Posted 4/4

April 18, 2011
Cowboy Poetry Week at the Weber County Main Library  Ogden, Utah 
~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

From Stan Tixier:

Monday, 4/18/11 7 PM, Main Library, 2464 Jefferson Ave, Ogden, UT 84401

Steve Spencer, poet; Dave Anderson, singer.

Posted 1/3

April 18, 2011
Cowboy Poetry Week at the Weller Public Library  Waitsburg, Washington  ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

From Susan Matley:

Monday April 18, 5 PM, Cowboy poetry and music celebration, Weller Library,  Waitsburg, WA., 212 Main Street, Waitsburg, WA 99361 509/337-8149.

Posted 2/21

April 18, 2011
Cowboy Poetry at the Milton-Freewater Library ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week   Milton-Freewater, Oregon

From Susan Matley and the Columbia Chapter of the Western Music Association:

“Coyote” Joe Sartin at the Milton-Freewater Library, with Keith Anderson. 6 PM.

Posted 4/11

April 19, 2011
Cowboy Poetry Week at the Weber County North Branch Library  North Ogden, Utah  ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

From Stan Tixier:

Tuesday, 4/19 7 PM, North Branch, 475 E 2600 N, North Ogden, UT 84404

Matt and Bob Urry, poets; Judy and Jan Erickson (Drifter and Miss Judy), singers

Posted 1/3

April 19, 2011
Fourth annual Cowboy Poetry and Music at the Prescott Library  ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week  Prescott, Washington

From Josh Westbrook:

Our event will be Tuesday, April 19th at 7 pm at the Prescott Lions Hall.  There will be entertainment from Cimarron Sue and Robin Dale, an open mic to share cowboy poetry, and the winners of the poetry contest and the tall tale contest will be announced. 

A coloring contest, with art by local resident Don Hollenbaugh, will be judged by the audience that night.  The Friends of the Prescott Library will be providing food and help with setting up and taking down the event.  The library district will provide free books for children attending the event as well.

Here's a gallery of our 2010 event:

Posted 3/30

April 19, 2011
Cowboy Poetry at the Goldendale Library  ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week  Goldendale, Washington

From Naomi Fisher:

Cowboy Poetry Open Mike with special guest Ned Bodie

Tuesday April 19th

5:00 to 7:00pm

at the Goldendale Community Library
131 W Burgen
Goldendale, WA 

(509) 773-4487 for more information

Posted 3/30

April 19, 2011
Cowboy Poetry at the Herriman Library ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week   Herriman, Utah

From Susan Matley and the Columbia Chapter of the Western Music Association:

Terri and Steve Taylor of STAMPEDE! are brand new Columbia Chapter members. They’ll be entertaining at the Herriman Library, 13198 So. 5600 W., with poets Don Korth and Laurie Tye, starting at 7 PM.

Posted 4/11

April 20, 2011
Cowboy Poetry Week at the Weber County Southwest Branch Library  Roy, Utah  ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

From Stan Tixier:

Wednesday 4/20 7 PM, Southwest Branch, 1950 W 4800 S, Roy, UT 84067

Sam DeLeeuw, poet; Robin Arnold, singer

Posted 1/3

April 20, 2011
Cowboy Poetry and Music at the Old Rock Library
 ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week   Crested Butte, Colorado

John Nelson and Rex Rideout offer cowboy poetry and music Wednesday, April 20, 7:00 PM, at the Old Rick Library, Crested Butte, Colorado.

Posted 3/30

April 20, 2011
Cowboy Poetry at the Pendleton Library ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week   Pendleton, Oregon

From Susan Matley and the Columbia Chapter of the Western Music Association:

“Coyote” Joe Sartin at the Pendleton Library, with Duane Nelson and Marty Campbell, starts at 6 PM.

Posted 4/11

April 20, 2011
Cowboy Poetry at the Mariposa County Library ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week   Mariposa, California

Wendy Brown-Barry appears at the Mariposa County Library on Wednesday, April 20, at 10 AM. Read a news article here and visit her web site at

Posted 4/11


April 21, 2011
Cowboy Poetry and Music at the Montrose Library ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week Montrose, Colorado

John Nelson and Rex Rideout offer cowboy poetry and music Thursday, April 21, 7:00 PM at the Montrose Library, Montrose, Colorado.

Posted 3/30

April 21, 2011
Heritage of the American West Performance Series  Spearfish, South Dakota  ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

From Francie Ganje:

Cowboy Culture….
Heritage of the American West Presents Award Winning Cowboy Humorist

Spearfish, SD – Riatas, rangelands, remudas, cowboys, cattle and spurs; it’s all part and parcel of cowboy culture and the stories that cowboys tell.

And few tell it any better or with more humor than Andy Nelson, poet, author and radio personality awarded by the Western Music Association and the Academy of Western Artists, who will bring his unique brand of cowboy wit and wisdom to the stage for the Heritage of the American West Performance Series, Thursday, April 21, 2011.

Nelson is a modern day cowboy with a somewhat twisted funny bone.  Not a somber poet by any means, his poetry captures the essence of the stockyard more so than the courtyard.  "Andy has extraordinary stage appeal,” says Margo Metegrano, editor of Cowboy “He wins over a crowd immediately with his hilarious tales and physical humor, and he's a master at keeping up the pace throughout a performance."

Held at the High Plains Western Heritage Center, Spearfish, SD, the performance is a tip of the hat to Cowboy Poetry Week, celebrated around the country April 17 – 23, 2011.  In South Dakota, Governor Dennis Daugaard has signed an official Proclamation noting the observance that celebrates written and oral history and contemporary stories of cowboy and western culture. Designations from neighboring states of Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and Nebraska, along with the original Senate Resolution creating the designation of Cowboy Poetry Week, will all be on display prior to the stage performance.

As part of the preshow exhibit and reception beginning at 6:00 pm, visiting authors and poets, Pat Frolander, Sundance, WY and Roberta Saggo, Spearfish, will sign and discuss their most recent works, Grassland GenealogyBlack Hills Gold Rush Towns, and Spearfish.

Legendary saddle maker Jerry Croft, Deadwood, SD, will host a Riata Roundup Exhibition open to anyone who would like to share their expertise as well.  “The use of the riata traces its history from Spain and Mexico”, relates Heritage Center Executive Director Peggy Ables.  “The vaqueros made them and used them for work but also for entertainment. Very few people know how to handle a riata like Jerry – it’s quite a show.”

With ticket purchase that includes free admission to the museum, people are encouraged to tour the blacksmith exhibit and the leather shop exhibit in the upper level.  The connection to blacksmithing with performer Andy Nelson comes by way of his and brother Jim’s farrier business – and the inspiration behind some of Nelson’s prose and stories.  The leather shop exhibit is a replica of Jerry Croft’s famous saddlemaking workshop and includes many of his personal memorabilia.

The live stage performance gets underway at 7:00pm and pays tribute to the first recipient of “The Badger… Excellence in Cowboy Poetry” presented to Elizabeth Ebert, Thunder Hawk, SD.  “From the greater High Plains Region come poets and writers whose work is performed from Carnegie Hall to the Alzada Community Hall to the Smithsonian Institute and the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.  These writers and orators and their compositions are national treasures, comparable to the country’s most well known traditional cowboy poet, Badger Clark," observes Heritage Performance Series producer Francie Ganje.  “This recognition is about preserving the works of writers who we are so fortunate to call friend and neighbor in this five state area of the Heritage of the American West Performance Series and the High Plains Western Heritage Center.”

Elizabeth has been an invited performer to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering at Elko, Nevada, many times, has received Best Female Poet for the Academy of Western Artists and others honors.  Among her current publications and recording are a book, Crazy Quilt and a CD, Live from Thunder Hawk. She is also part of the acclaimed CD, Where the Buffalo Rhyme, which was recorded with her friends, poets Yvonne Hollenbeck, Rodney Nelson, and Jess Howard.  Her poetry is included in many anthologies, including Cooling Down, Cowgirl Poetry, Humorous Western Verse, and Graining the Mare.

Long-time admirer Baxter Black, well known in cowboy western poetry and entertainment, notes, “To say that I admire Elizabeth's writing seems meager comment on her talent. She writes from inspiration with such graceful force it's like her pen has power steering.  There are so many first class pieces in her books, most contemporary cowboy poets would covet even just one so good in their armory.”

The doors to the Heritage Center and Theater open at 6:00 pm.  Admission includes touring the museum and complimentary pie at Perkins Family Restaurant in Spearfish. 

Tickets for the Heritage of the American West Performance are $9 advance and $12 day of show, available at the High Plains Western Heritage Center, Spearfish, SD or by calling 605-642-9378.

Francie Ganje adds:

There will be guest appearances by: Yvonne Hollenbeck, Slim McNaught, Pat Frolander, and Elizabeth Ebert.

A recording of the show will be broadcast on the radio Saturday, April 30, 2011, on KBHB 810AM at 1:05 pm (MT).

See our feature about the Heritage of the American West Show

Posted 4/13

April 21, 2011
Cowboy Poetry Week at the Ogden Valley Branch Library  Huntsville, Utah  ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

From Stan Tixier:

Thursday, 4/21 7 PM, Ogden Valley Branch, 131 S 7400 E, Huntsville, UT 84317

Stan Tixier, poet; Brian Arnold, singer.

Posted 1/3

April 21, 2011
Cowboy Poetry and Music at the Montrose Library ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week  Montrose, Colorado

John Nelson and Rex Rideout offer cowboy poetry and music Thursday, April 21, 7:00 PM at the Montrose Library, Montrose, Colorado.

Posted 3/30

April 21, 2011
Cowboy Poetry and Music at The Dalles Library ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week  The Dalles, Oregon

From Rita Squires:

In celebration of the 10th year of Cowboy Poetry Week, The Dalles Public Library is pleased to host local cowboy poet Duane Lee Nelson. Join us on Thursday, April 21st at 7:00 p.m. to hear some great cowboy poetry and enjoy some refreshments.

[Find additional information in the library's newsletter at:]

Posted 4/4

April 22, 2011
Grande Ronde Western Music and Cowboy Poetry Festival  La Grande, Oregon ~ Celebrating Cowboy Poetry Week

From Susan Matley and the Columbia Chapter of the Western Music Association: