Image © Lori Faith Merritt/Photography By Faith®
 

Curly Musgrave
1943-2009

Visit www.CurlyMusgrave.com.

Below:

"A Cowboy Farewell"
A Quiet Fund
The Stay-at-Home Benefit  updated 2/16
Celebration of Curly's Life updated 1/13
Program and more from the Celebration of Curly's Life  1/1
8
Radio Programs
updated 12/31
Remembrances, Photos, and More (two pages)  updated 1/18
 

Find our feature about Curly Musgrave with some of his poetry and lyrics here.

Singer, songwriter, poet, and musician Curly Musgrave —so dearly loved and respected, a man whose grace and goodness touched all who had the privilege of knowing him died Sunday, December 13, 2009.

Curly had been challenged by a number of undiagnosed illnesses in the past few years, and on Monday, December 7, was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor.

Curly's long-time performing partner, Belinda Gail, was at the Monterey Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival, upholding their performance commitment, when Curly died. Throughout the event, she received the support of the entire festival, which had been dedicated to Curly. (Read an article here.)

Curly was a proud and wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and, quite recently, he became a great grandfather.


Image © Lori Faith Merritt/Photography By Faith®
Kathi and Curly Musgrave

You can send condolences to Kathi Musgrave, Curly's wife of 44 years, and their family at:

PO Box 512
Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352


Image © Lori Faith Merritt/Photography By Faith®

You can write to Belinda Gail at:

PO Box 729
Crestline, CA 92325


A "Celebration of Curly's Life" was held January 9, 2010, near Ontario, California. Find more information below.


Read below about a "quiet fund" memorial and "stay-at-home benefit" and how you can help the family.


photograph by Lori Faith Merritt  www.photographybyfaith.com

Below:

"A Cowboy Farewell"
A Quiet Fund
The Stay-at-Home Benefit
 
Celebration of Curly's Life
Program and more from the Celebration of Curly's Life 
Radio Programs

Remembrances, Photos, and More (two pages) 
 

Find our feature about Curly Musgrave with some of his poetry and lyrics here.


"A Cowboy Farewell"


   

Find more about Curly Musgrave's music in our feature here.



Belinda Gail shared this photo, taken by Curly's sister. Pamela Vadino. Pamela Vadino provided all of the impressive photography on Curly and Belinda's last album,
Forever West. Of the photo, Belinda says that "... it looks like the 'real' Curly, so relaxed and joyful."


Curly Musgrave and Belinda Gail created songs from several poems by Minnesota rancher, writer, poet, and songwriter Diane Tribitt. One of those songs was "A Cowboy Farewell," which also included the collaboration of R.W. Hampton (and the original piece was inspired by an idea by Will Dudley).

Curly, Belinda, and RW were planning to record the song for a forthcoming CD (read more about that below in the Quiet Fund section).

Diane comments, "A person often cannot find words to express sorrow, but it seems this is almost like how Curly would explain his goodbyes to everyone. It was in place over a year ago. We would never, ever have guessed it would turn out like this."

A Cowboy Farewell 

The mountains are covered in blankets of snow.
Don't reckon I'll be 'round to see you this spring.
The echoes have fallen of the the lone hoot owl callin';
Now he sits by my window and I know what he brings.
 
My cowboyin' days, they were truly amazing
Found life before death in the cool mountain air
Now I'm ready to wander new pastures up yonder
And I'm ready to ride the four winds that blow there.
 
I'll soon walk the Red Road, and join the great circle
To sing cowboy songs from the sweet bye-and-bye
Till we meet, till we meet, there at Jesus' feet
I'll be ridin' that heavenly ranch in the sky
 
I've rode all the rank ones, down to my last run.
I've bulldogged the devil in three seconds flat.
My years have been many. True love's found me plenty.
Ain't a cowboy on earth who could want more than that.
 
Instead of a halo I'd like a gold buckle;
Some jingle-bob spurs with my brand on each side;
A riggin' bag waitin' at those pearly gates where
there's broncs, bares, and bulls for us cowboys to ride
 
I'll soon walk the Red Road, and join the great circle
To sing cowboy songs from the sweet bye-and-bye
Till we meet, till we meet, there at Jesus' feet
I'll be ridin' that heavenly ranch in the sky
 
Adios, mi compadres. Farewell, Corazon.
Goodbye to Chinook winds that sing soft and low.
Don't wanna be late when my pals are all waitin' for me
and my spirit is restless to go
 
I'll soon walk the Red Road, and join the great circle
To sing cowboy songs from the sweet bye-and-bye
Till we meet, till we meet, there at Jesus' feet
I'll be ridin' that heavenly ranch in the sky
I'll be ridin' that heavenly ranch in the sky

© 2009, All rights reserved; please do not repost without permission.
 

A Quiet Fund

In his memory, the Musgrave family would very much like to produce the gospel album that Curly and Belinda had been working on. If you would like to make a donation to a fund to help make that possible, you can donate to this "quiet fund" in two ways, electronically or by mail. Individual amounts will not be recorded or transmitted, and those who wish to remain anonymous may request that.

In addition, an associated "stay-at-home" benefit by Andy Nelson and Jim Nelson of Clear Out West (C. O. W.) radio will air (read more about that below).

Texas writer and poet Linda Kirkpatrick has agreed to collect donations. Those donations will be pooled, and then sent to the Musgraves, along with the names of those who have donated (except those who prefer to remain anonymous). All donations, of any value, can make a difference.

Individual amounts will not be recorded or transmitted, and those who wish to remain anonymous to the Musgraves may request that. Only Linda will have the detailed information, which she will keep confidential, even from the rest of those involved with the benefit. Linda has generously offered this service in previous benefits, which have been accomplished with quiet success and sensitive confidentiality.

Donations for this fund were accepted through February 15, 2010


You can send condolences to Kathi Musgrave and her family at :

PO Box 512
Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352

and you can write to Belinda Gail:

PO Box 729
Crestline, CA 92325


Stay-at-Home Benefit
 

Andy Nelson and Jim Nelson of Clear Out West (C. O. W.) radio have a special "stay-at-home" benefit show in honor of Curly Musgrave, the week of January 4-10, 2010 on the radio.

The show is available on demand now, throughout the month of January. Listen here.

The show includes great interviews with Curly Musgrave, his music and poetry, and more. The playlist includes Curly Musgrave reciting his poem, "Thanks," and singing his songs "Cowboy True," "Range and Romance," "The Irish Drover," and "A Cowboy Farewell." He is joined on "A Cowboy Farewell" by Belinda Gail and R.W. Hampton. The lyrics, from a poem written by Diane Tribitt, are above.


photo by Linda Kirkpatrick

 


Celebration of Curly's Life


 

A Celebration of Jim "Curly" Musgrave's Life

was held

Saturday, January 9, 2010

at:

Pomona First Baptist Church

586 N. Main St

Pomona, CA 91768

 

Belinda Gail wrote:

Curly Musgrave's family and I would like to invite you all to a Celebration of Curly's Life. There is oh, OH so much to celebrate!!!

The time will be filled with the things Curly loved the most, his family, his friends, and of
course the pulse of his soul...music and poetry. And if we can manage a few horses roaming around...we'll do that too!

....
                                    Blessed Trails from The Musgrave Family and Belinda Gail

On January 11, 2009, Belinda wrote:

Curly's celebration was everything we'd hoped it would be. Everyone involved was awesome and I and the Musgrave family are soooooo grateful to not only everyone involved but to all who attended to celebrate this beautiful life. It was captured on video which the family will make available as soon as possible. Our love to you all!!!!
 

The program from the Celebration of Curly's Life is on page 3


Image
© Lori Faith Merritt/Photography By Faith®

Photographer Lori Faith Merritt (www.photographybyfaith.com) shares photographs from the Celebration of Curly's Life on page three here.

Jack Hummel shared this photo from the Celebration of Curly's Life (enhanced by Paulette Tcherkassky and shared by Dave Bourne, used by permission):

From left: Andy Nelson, Gary Robertson, Mike Fleming, Diane Tribitt, next 4 are the Tumbling Tumbleweeds, (behind flowers) Jack and Joe Hannah, Jean Sudbury (Tumbling Tumbleweeds), Joyce Woodson, Juni Fisher, Belinda Gail, Lon Hannah, R.W. Hampton, Patty Clayton, Patty Bourne, (behind Patty) Jon Messenger, Dave Bourne, Dave Stamey, and Rusty Richards

 



  Diane Tribitt, poet, writer, and editor of CowboyLegacy.org
writes:

I am so very please to present the PhotoShow that was played at Curly Musgrave’s Celebration Of Life. It is a wonderful portrayal of his life, his family, and his Western heritage....

The videos are each backgrounded by the voice/music of Curly or Curly & Belinda. The family wishes to share these videos with Curly’s friends who were unable to attend the Celebration, so please help pass the word that the video clips are now available at CowboyLegacy.org...under the PEOPLE tab.

This is a free membership site, but to become a member you must first subscribe and create a personal password. After that is done, you simply log in to access all the stories, videos, photoshows....


 

Radio Programs
Your recollections, photos, and notices are welcome for posting here.  Email us.


Radio notices:

CowTrails, December 20 (will be archived)
Calling All Cowboys, week of December 16-23
Ralph's Back Porch, December 21 (and on demand after)
Backforty Bunkhouse, December 26 (and on demand after)
O.J. Sikes, week of December 28 and occasionally after
Around the Campfire, week of January 2
Clear Out West, January 4-10 (and on demand now through January 31)
Cowboy Jubilee, January 9
Cowboy Culture Corner, December 13 and January 10

Details below:
 

  Ralph's Back Porch plans an tribute to the memory of Curly Musgrave on their call-in internet radio show on Monday, December 21, 2009. The show also includes a chat room.

You can tune into the show Monday, 7-9 PM Central time at www.blogtalkradio.com/ralphsbackporch.


    Andy Nelson and Jim Nelson of Clear Out West (C. O. W.) radio will air a special "stay-at-home" benefit show in honor of Curly Musgrave, the week of January 4-10, 2010 on the radio.

The show is available on demand now, throughout the month of January. Listen here.

The show includes great interviews with Curly Musgrave, his music and poetry, and more. The playlist includes Curly Musgrave reciting his poem, "Thanks," and singing his songs "Cowboy True," "Range and Romance," "The Irish Drover," and "A Cowboy Farewell." He is joined on "A Cowboy Farewell" by Belinda Gail and R.W. Hampton. The lyrics, from a poem written by Diane Tribitt, are above.

[2006 photo of Jim Nelson, Curly Musgrave, and Andy Nelson by Linda Kirkpatrick]


  Charley Engel ("Chuckaroo the Buckaroo") of Calling All Cowboys radio will will be airing a lengthy set of Curly Musgrave's songs and poems on
the show posted here, available on demand 12/16/09 - 12/23/09.


  PJ and Dallas McCord of Cowboy Culture Corner  had a three-hour tribute to Curly Musgrave on their December 13, 2009 show. They will have another dedication to Curly on the radio show on January 10, 2010.


  O. J. Sikes writes, "I will be doing a tribute to Curly on my internet show the week of December 28. It will be playing all that week, around the clock, on the “latest show” on the BostonPete web site and will be repeated from time-to-time during 2010.


  Western Music Association DJ of the Year Barb Richhart devoted a portion of her December 20, 2009 CowTrails show to the memory of Curly Musgrave. She played some of his most-loved songs and talked about Curly and the first time she listened to his music. The show is streamed live at www.ksjd.org and playlists and archived shows are available here.


  Joe Baker of the Backforty Bunkhouse will be doing a tribute to Curly on Saturday, December 26 during his "Cowboy Hour" programmaing, beginning at 6AM (MST). You can listen on the internet at the Live to W-105 link at www.backfortybunkhouse.com and the archived show will be available on demand starting later that day.
 


From Judy James: Cowboy Jubilee with Judy James will be having a tribute to Curly's life on January 9th. The show will air from 7:30 - 9:30 CST Saturday, January 9th and can be heard on the internet at www.thetexanradionetwork.com. The show will be upbeat and positive; how else can you talk about Curly?? For more information, contact Judy at cowboyjubilee891@yahoo.com.


  Marvin O'Dell writes: Around the Campfire's tribute to Curly Musgrave on Heartland Public Radio will be aired beginning January 2nd and throughout that week. Listeners should check the "Schedule" on the HPR web site (www.hpr.org) for showtimes.

 


Remembrances, Photos, and More
 

Newest posted below, here.

Lori Faith Merritt (www.photographybyfaith.com) shared these happy photographs of Curly and Belinda:


Image © Lori Faith Merritt/Photography By Faith® 


Image © Lori Faith Merritt/Photography By Faith®
 


  From Peggy Malone:

Curly Musgrave....Dec. 13, 2009

It may seem selfish and may seem wrong
when God took you home where you belong
We tried to keep you forevermore
But God willed you back to heaven's door
Where Angels greeted you with sweet smiles
No pain, no worry, no more trials
God knew you struggled and knew you tried
The way you lived gave your family pride
So now, Dear Curly, we'll not complain
Our loss is real, but it's heaven's gain


  Listen to Curly Musgrave's 2005 appearance on National Public Radio's What's in a Song, where he sings "Escalante Adios." What's in a Song is produced in conjunction with the Western Folklife Center.


  Andy Nelson of Clear Out West (C. O. W.) radio shares photos:


Jim Nelson, Curly Musgrave, Baxter Black, Kathi Musgrave, and Andy Nelson in 2005 at the Sevier County Roundup, Sevier, Utah

A hilarious "women's" fashion show took place one year at the Western Legends Roundup in Kanab, Utah. Pictured are Western actors Bill Smith, Buck Taylor, LQ Jones, and blowing him a
kiss is Neil Sommers.
 


  Charley Engel ("Chuckaroo the Buckaroo") of Calling All Cowboys radio writes on December 16:

I just heard of Curly's passing last night. He was such a gentle man and a kind soul. We spoke by phone just a few months ago when he and Belinda Gail had to cancel a house concert that was to be held here in Bend, Oregon. It sounded at the time like he had licked his health problems so it was quite the shock to hear that he is gone. I remember seeing him and Belinda during one of their very earliest performances together at the now-defunct High Desert Western Arts Gathering and told them afterward, "Wow! Each of you is a terrific artist. But together you are way more than just the sum of your parts. You create MAGIC on stage!"

A big chunk of magic has dissipated into the ether with the passing of Curly Musgrave.
 


  Dallas McCord of Cowboy Culture Corner writes of the first time he met Curly:

I remember the first time I met Curly. He was performing at a gathering in Lewiston,
Idaho hosted by Charlie and Kathy Camden.

I heard the most wonderful voice singing with a guitar that combined to make my
neck hair stand up. We spoke for a while about music and songwriting and moved on to future shows that we were attending.

Curly learned that I was a stage manager for the Santa Clarita, Ca. gathering and
asked who to talk too and how to get on the show. Curly called me at home and said he was not able to get on the schedule for that show and asked if I could help get him in. I always had 15 minutes every hour on my stage and told Curly that the time was his if he wanted to perform. I secured some meal tickets and a entry pass and Curly performed. My God, did he perform. He sold his CDs at my stage and later told me it was near $3,000.00 worth.

The following year he was there again to perform on my stage when Michael Marks
told me that a group had cancelled and he asked if I would fill the blank spot on my
stage. I said "I can do better than that. Curly Musgrave is here and he will fill all the
spots for the weekend."

Curly teamed up with Michael Fleming and the two of them tore the house down. From then on Curly was a featured performer at the show. Our friendship grew and I was always proud to call Curly my friend. As a matter of fact, every time we met Curly would greet me with "hello friend."

Curly's father did not encourage him to play the guitar. However, Curly wanted to play
guitar while his father played the mouth harp so he worked at it and became one of the
best pickers I've ever stuck an ear too.

He will be missed by all who knew him and those who've only heard his music. I will have another dedication to Curly on my radio show on the 10th of January. Jim, stake a claim out for me.


Read our Fall, 2007 Before the Song column here about to collaboration among Curly Musgrave, Belinda Gail, and Virginia Bennett on the award-winning song, "El Fuego."


Peg and Mel Spry write:

As "fans" of Curly and Belinda we are truly saddened by the "going on" of a great man. Not only will we will remember his singing, and his song writing, but will never forget his smile, his kindness as he greeted us so warmly. Our thoughts and prayers are for Kathy and family, Belinda Gail and all those who loved Curly. He will be missed, but not forgotten as his songs will live on.


Gary Allegretto (www.myspace.com/harmonicowboy) shares photos:



Curly at Visalia's Fall Roundup show several years ago with Pat Richardson and me.
 

Playing together on stage at Visalia's Fall Roundup show with Mike Clark and me.

Curly, Belinda, and me this summer after our performances August 2009 at the Big Bear Cowboy Gathering


Maggie Edwards of San Diego writes:

As one of Curly's many devoted fans I am so saddened to learn of his passing. This is a deep loss to Western Music and to all the innumerable people his decency, wit, and kindness surely touched over the years.

When he and Belinda performed in San Diego in June, 2007, he and Les Buffham were kind enough to pose for me to take this picture.



 


Lori Faith Merritt (www.photographybyfaith.com) shares photos and a comment:


Image © Lori Faith Merritt/Photography By Faith® 

The first time I saw Belinda sing with Curly, in 2005. I was mesmerized by their joined voices.


Image © Lori Faith Merritt/Photography By Faith®
Curly, Too Slim (of the Riders in the Sky), Joey Miskulin (of the Riders), Marilyn Tuttle, Woody Paul (of the Riders), Ranger Doug (of the Riders) and Joe Hannah at the
2007 Western Music Association Awards

 


  Bob and Marie Mann of Big Hat Promotions (where there is a link to this tribute page) write:

Curly was a loving and humble man who touched so many. The respect and love that Curly earned is more than many of us will ever know.

Jay Snider’s great poem, "Four Little Words," states it well. “There’s a good fella.”

We're pleased to be able to share Jay Snider's poem:

Four Little Words

Four little words have stuck in my mind
From the time I was just a small child
“There’s a good feller” is what he would say
When he talked of the men he admired

I remember those men he talked about
Sure ‘nuff cowboys, tough, but kind
They said what they meant and meant what they said
These men are gettin’ harder to find

“There’s a good feller,” meant he was true to his word
That’s all you expect of a man
You knew for sure he was proud to meet you
By the genuine shake of his hand

“There’s a good feller,” meant you could depend
On this man no matter the task
Never got too tough, too cold, or too late
For his help, all you need do is ask

“There’s a good feller,” meant he had a light hand
Be it with horses or cattle or crew
He spent most of his life learning this cowboy trade
And he’d be honored to teach it to you

“There’ a good feller” meant don’t ask him to do
What ain’t on a true and honest track
He knows it’s easier to keep a good reputation
Than it is to try to build one back

“There’s a good feller,” meant he’s a fair-minded man
He helped write cowboyin’s unwritten laws
He won’t ask you to do what he wouldn’t do
Yet knows, at times, the short end you’ll draw

“There’s a good feller,” meant, when he’s down on his luck
He can still hold his head way up high
‘Cause he did his best and gave it his all
He knows with faith and God’s help he’ll get by

“There’s a good feller,” just four little words
And their meaning won’t run all that deep
But when Dad would use ‘em to describe certain men
You knew they were at the top of the heap

“There’s a good feller,” just four little words
But they’ve always been favorites of mine
If after my trails end, my name’s brought up
“There’s a good feller” would suit me just fine

©  Jay Snider, All rights reserved
These words may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


  Gary Morris of OldWestAttitude.com (where there is a link to this tribute page) writes:

Curly was a great and talented man and will be seriously missed.
 


Gary Brown, founder of the Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival, shared a link to a video of a session at the 2006 event, which includes a moving performance by Curly Musgrave. Curly speaks, with great emotion, about how he came to write "Father to Father" and performs the song.

The video was made by Dan Klevesahl, Monterey Cowboy Poetry & Music Festival Board Member and technical director and is available on YouTube:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7A_VmG1Nyc


Newest

Remembrances and photos continued on Page 2, newest noted below and posted here.
 

The program from the Celebration of Curly's Life is on page 3.

 

Page 2 includes photos and remembrances from:

  Don Endsley of the Great American Wild West Show

Journalist and photographer Jeri Dobrowski (www.jeridobrowski.com)
 

  Rick Huff, radio and television producer, reviewer, songwriter, and Western Music Association board member

  Poet and writer Linda Kirkpatrick 

  Diane Tribitt, poet, writer, and editor of CowboyLegacy.org

Larry Wines, Tied to the Tracks, Acoustic Americana Music Guide

  Sam Jackson, poet and producer of the National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo

  Author and speaker Charley Green (www.WillRogersandCharley.com)

  Diane Tribitt, poet, writer, and editor of CowboyLegacy.org (poem)

Western musician Nancy Lee

WMA Radio DJ of the Year Barb "Western Belle" Richhart of Cowtrails

news article from RimoftheWorld.net

Radio host, poet, writer, and emcee Andy Nelson

photographer Jack Hummel

  Diane Tribitt, poet, writer, and editor of CowboyLegacy.org (photoshow from the Celebration of Curly's Life)

  Mark Bedor's article in The Western Way

Newest

Curly's nephew Chris Reading sends a remembrance

Photographer Lori Faith Merritt (www.photographybyfaith.com) shares photographs from the Celebration of Curly's Life on page three here.

Go to Page 2


The program from the Celebration of Curly's Life and more from that event is on
page 3
(thanks to Andy Nelson for the program)

 

photograph by Lori Faith Merritt  www.photographybyfaith.com

Your recollections, photos, and notices are welcome
 for posting here.  Email us.

 


 

 

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