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Formed in 1988, the non-profit Western Music Association (WMA) exists to preserve and promote the traditional and contemporary music and poetry of the American West and the American cowboy. It is made up of many hundreds of active members, including elected volunteers who serve on its Board of Directors, known for its openness and effectiveness. The organization also has a group of notable individuals on its Advisory Board.

The WMA's Annual Western Music Festival is a popular, well attended event. The festival, held in November each year, welcomes the public, and offers entertainment, seminars, youth programs, open stages, vendors, a members' meeting, jam sessions, and more.

Cowboy poets have long been welcome as members in the Western Music Association, and in 2006 the organization strengthened that acceptance by introducing three new awards: Female Poet of the Year, Male
Poet of the Year
, and Best Collaboration of Poet and Musician. For 2007, the organization added two additional awards: Best Cowboy Poetry Book and Best Cowboy Poetry CD. Awards are selected by the organization's members in two rounds of mail voting. Read more about WMA and poets below.

Visit the Western Music Association web site for membership information, a directory of members, and more.

One of the benefits of WMA membership is WMA quarterly magazine, The Western Way, which includes features, regular columns, reviews, and more. We're pleased to have a regular column in the magazine, Before the Song, which focuses on cowboy poetry and Western music collaborations and includes a roundup of recent cowboy poetry books and recordings.

  Below:

2010 Nominations

2009 Proclamation from Governor Bill Richardson

2009 Media Release

2009 Award Winners

2008 WMA Award Winners and Top Five Nominations

2008 Press Release

2007 WMA Award Winners and Top Five Nominations

2007 Media Release

WMA Welcomes Cowboy Poets

2006 WMA Winners and Top Five Nominations

 

Elsewhere at CowboyPoetry.com:

Report and photos from the 2008 Festival

Photos and more from the 2007 Festival

Report and photos from the 2006 Festival

 


2010 Western Music Association Nominees

 

Following are the 2010 Western Music Association (WMA) nominees. Members will choose the winners, which will be announced at the WMA's 2010 Showcase and Awards Show, November 17-21, 2010 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Visit www.Westernmusic.org for information.

TRADITIONAL WESTERN ALBUM BY AN INDIVIDUAL


Come Ride With MeDave Stamey

Ghost Riders, Searchers & Cowpokes: The Timeless Songs of Stan Jones – Keeter Stuart

Just in Case – Bill Barwick

Let ‘er Go, Let ‘er Buck, Let ‘er FlyJuni Fisher

My Sacred Ground – Fred Hargrove

Ride Away – Rich Flanders

Roads to Colorado – Liz Masterson

Whispers of The West – Barry Ward

 


TRADITIONAL WESTERN ALBUM BY A DUO/GROUP


Frontier Cowboy Songs, Volume 1 – Syd Masters & The Swing Riders

Ranch Life 101 – Sweethearts in Carharrts (Yvonne Hollenbeck, Liz Masterson, Jean Prescott)

Romance With the Range – Prickly Pair

Way Out West – Richard Lee Cody & Mary Kaye

Westerners – Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue

 


WESTERN SWING ALBUM
 

Cookin’ With Carolyn – Carolyn Martin

Oklahoma 1955 – Les Gilliam

Willie and The Wheel – Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel

 


POETRY/SPOKEN WORD/STORYTELLING ALBUM


History in the BarnJessica Hedges

Poems of the Trail – Steve Deming

The Poetry of Larry McWhorterLarry McWhorter

ShalakoJoe Herrington

Sorting TimeYvonne Hollenbeck

 


COLLABORATIVE/COMPOSITE ALBUM
 

Harmonicowboy – Gary Allegretto

I Wanted to Fly – Sandy Reay & Friends

Lassoed Live at the Schermerhorn – Riders In The Sky with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra

Something in the Air – Nancy Thorwardson

Writes and Co-Writes, Volume 2Les Buffham

 

BEST ORIGINAL SONG (audio links at www.westernmusic.com/awards-finalists.html )

 

"Already Gone"

Author: Sandra L. Reay

Artist: Bob Turner, Vocalist - Group: Sandy Reay and Friends

Album: I Wanted to Fly

 

"Come Ride With Me"

Author: Dave Stamey

Artist: Dave Stamey

Album: Come Ride With Me

 

"Cowboy Waltzing Across Her Mind"

Author: Mary Kaye Knaphaus

Artist: Mary Kaye Knaphaus

Album: Clean Outta Luck

 

"Equine"

Author: Brenn Hill

Author: Brenn Hill

Album: Equine

 

"Hills or Ireland"

Author: Barry Ward

Artist: Barry Ward

Album: Whispers of the West

 

"Homeward Bound"

Author: Mary Kaye Knaphaus

Artist: Richard Lee Cody & Mary Kaye

Album: Way Out West

 

"Just Lucky I Guess"

Author: Bill Barwick

Artist: Bill Barwick

Album: Just In Case

 

"That's What I Call Cooking"

Author: Carolyn Martin, Dave Martin

Artist: Carolyn Martin

Album: Cookin' With Carolyn

 

"Thirteen Voices"

Author: Music-Ken DeAngelis/ Lyrics: Ken DeAngeles & Amy Ober

Artist: Rich Flanders

Album: Ride Away

 

"The Wyoming Waltz"

Author: Terri Taylor

Artist: Terri Taylor

Album: Cowgirl Way

 

 

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
 

Cookin’ With Carolyn – Carolyn Martin

Cowboy Poet: The Poems of Larry McWhorter

Ghost Riders, Searchers & Cowpokes – Keeter Stuart

Lassoed Live at the Schermerhorn – Riders In The Sky with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra

Ride Away – Rich Flanders

Roads to Colorado – Liz Masterson


OUTSTANDING INSTRUMENTALIST – MALE


Gary Allegretto

Johnny Gimble

Joey Miskulin (Riders In The Sky)

Rich O’Brien

Ranger Doug (Riders In The Sky)

 


OUTSTANDING INSTRUMENTALIST – FEMALE


Jeanne Cahill (Call of the West)

Devon Dawson (The Texas Trailhands)

Karen Howell-Chapman (Rodeo Kate – The Texas Trailhands)

Suze Spencer Marshall

Jean Sudbury (The Tumbling Tumbleweeds)

 


OUTSTANDING VOCALIST – MALE


Richard Lee Cody

Les Gilliam

R. W. Hampton

Barry Ward

Johnny Western

 


OUTSTANDING VOCALIST – FEMALE


Judy Coder

Juni Fisher

Mary Kaye Knaphaus

Carolyn Martin

Liz Masterson

 


OUTSTANDING PERFORMER IN POETRY, STORYTELLING, SPOKEN WORD – MALE


Les Buffham

Joe Herrington

Waddie Mitchell

Andy Nelson

Red Steagall

 


OUTSTANDING PERFORMER IN POETRY, STORYTELLING, SPOKEN WORD – FEMALE


Doris Daley

Sam DeLeeuw

Yvonne Hollenbeck

Dee Strickland Johnson (Buckshot Dot)

Diane Tribitt

 


OUTSTANDING ENTERTAINER – INDIVIDUAL


Gary Allegretto

Bill Barwick

R. W. Hampton

Sourdough Slim

Dave Stamey


OUTSTANDING ENTERTAINER – DUO


KG & The Ranger

Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue

Open Range

Richard Lee Cody & Mary Kaye

Yampa Valley Boys

 


OUTSTANDING ENTERTAINER – GROUP


Asleep at the Wheel

Riders In The Sky

Sons of the Pioneers

The Tumbling Tumbleweeds

Wylie & The Wild West

 


OUTSTANDING SONGWRITER


Liz Anderson

Stephanie Davis

Dave Stamey

Ian Tyson

Barry Ward

 


CRESCENDO AWARD – INDIVIDUAL, DUO, GROUP


Trails West

Carr Family Cowboy Band

Jessica Hedges

Nevada Slim & Cimarron Sue

Richard Lee Cody & Mary Kaye

 


CRESCENDO AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING YOUTH
 

Carin Mari & Pony Express

Chelsea Beck

Naomi Bristow

Kristyn Harris

Cora Rose Wood

 


RADIO DJ/RADIO PROGRAM


Al Krtil – Early Morning Trails – WRSU-FM

Jim & Andy NelsonClear Out West Radio

Ranger Doug & Side Meat – Classic Cowboy Corral – XM Sirius Satellite Radio

Barbara Richhart – Cowtrails – KSJD Dryland Community Radio

O.J. Sikes – Western Music Time

 


OUTSTANDING POETRY/STORY TELLING COLLECTION


A Cowgirl Remembers When – Dawn Nelson

JonahAndy Nelson & Nikki Mann

The Night Ol’ Flukie FounderedDW Groethe

Riding with JimAndy Nelson & James F. Walker Nelson

Views from the SaddleClark Crouch

 


 

2009 Proclamation from Governor Bill Richardson


2009 Media Release


For the sixth year the Cowboy entertainers and their fans from all over the  North American continent are riding into Albuquerque! The occasion is the 21st annual Western Music Association Showcase & Awards Show, November 19th through 21st at the Marriott Hotel on Louisiana at I-40. And a Cowboy Church wraps up things on Sunday morning November 22nd.

By participation of noted singers and Cowboy Poets, the WMA's event is one of the world's largest, presenting more than eighty acts on three daytime stages (free and open to the public) and in gala night shows for which tickets may be purchased at the hotel convention desk.

"People who appreciate acoustic instrumentation really warm to contemporary Western Music," says WMA national Board Member and New Mexico Music Commissioner Rick Huff. "Many are surprised to learn so-called 'Cowboy Music' didn't go away with the singing cowboy movies of the 30s and 40s. In fact more people are involved in making Western Music now than at any time in its history! If you don't believe it," Huff grins, "just stop by!!"

Partial proof of that statement is in the WMA Awards Show, Western Music's "Grammy." Honored are the preceding year's top Male & Female Vocalists, Group, Songwriter & Song, Poet, CD of the Year and more. Daily attendees also enjoy Harmony and
Yodeling Competitions, jam sessions, Western vendors and a giant music mercantile to let them take home some hard-to-find gems.


 

The 2009 Western Music Association Award Winners

  The Western Music Association held its 21st Annual Western Music Association Festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico, November 19-22, 2009 and presented its annual awards.

Award winners include:

Entertainer of the Year: Dave Stamey

Female Poet: Doris Daley
Male Poet: Waddie Mitchell

Cowboy Poetry Book:
Trail Mix by Diane Tribitt
Cowboy Poetry CD:
Beneath a Western Sky by
Doris Daley

Poet/Musician Collaboration: Les Buffham and Judy Coder, "Song Of The Mourning Dove"

Traditional Duo/Group: Sons of the San Joaquin
Traditional Album: Juni Fisher for
Gone for Colorado

Cowboy/Western Swing Duo/Group: Asleep at the Wheel
Cowboy/Western Swing Album:
Hang-n-Rattle by Wylie & the Wild West

Female Performer: Juni Fisher
Male Performer: Bill Barwick

Instrumentalist: Curly Musgrave

Crescendo Award:
Horse Crazy

Songwriter: Marvin Odell
Song: "Jesus and Roy,"
Marvin O'Dell
President's Award: Marvin Odell for the
Silver Screen Cowboys Project

Radio DJ: Barbara Richhart

Western Radio Station:
Ralph's Back Porch

"Marilyn Tuttle Award": Prickly Pair and the Cactus Chorale

WMA Hall of Fame Inductees:
Flying W Wranglers, John Avery Lomax, and Rich O'Brien

Bill Wiley Award: Ray Amerine

Yodeling Award contest winners:
Youth:
Naomi Bristow
Adult:
Ryan Hildebrand

Harmony Award contest winners:
Duo:
The Outlaw & Miss Devon
Trio: Horse Crazy
Open Category:
Journey West


The 2008 Western Music Association Award Winners

 

  Winners of the Western Music Association (WMA) awards were announced at the organization's twentieth annual Western Music Festival November 20-23, 2008 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Winners in cowboy poetry categories are:

FEMALE POET OF THE YEAR: Yvonne Hollenbeck
MALE POET OF THE YEAR:  Les Buffham
COWBOY POETRY CD OF THE YEAR: Pieces of the Past by Yvonne Hollenbeck
COWBOY POETRY BOOK OF THE YEAR: Arizona Women by Buckshot Dot (Dee Strickland Johnson)

BEST SONG COLLABORATION OF POET AND MUSICIAN: "Dining Out" by Jean Prescott & Yvonne Hollenbeck

Music-category winners are:

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR:  Dave Stamey
SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR: Juni Fisher
FEMALE PERFORMER OF THE YEAR: Belinda Gail
MALE PERFORMER OF THE YEAR: Dave Stamey

COWBOY/WESTERN SWING DUO/GROUP: Wylie and the Wild West
COWBOY/ WESTERN SWING ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Bucking Horse Moon by Wylie and the Wild West

TRADITIONAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Oklahoma, Where the West Remains by R.W. Hampton
TRADITIONAL DUO/GROUP:  Belinda Gail & Curly Musgrave 

SONG OF THE YEAR:  "If I Hadn't Seen the West" by Joyce Woodson  
CRESCENDO AWARD: The Tumbling Tumbleweeds
INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR: Jeanne Cahill (Call of the West)

Radio-category winners are:

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR: KFDI - Wichita, Kansas
RADIO DJ OF THE YEAR:
Johnny Western
 

Additional awards of tribute were presented, selected by the Board of Directors:  

BILL WILEY AWARD: Mary Ryland

HALL OF FAME:  Lloyd Perryman, Dale Warren, Bing Crosby, Tommy Doss, and Ian Tyson

The winners of the Harmony and Yodeling contests were (thanks to Lori Faith Merritt for the list):

HARMONY:
Best of Show: The Tumbling Tumbleweeds
Trio:
Journey West
Duo:
Vince and Mindi
Youth:
Carin Mari and Pony Express


YODELING:
Youth:
Cora Rose Wood
Teen:
Carin Mari and Pony Express
Male:
Larry Wilder
Female:
Judy Coder

 


The Top-Five Nominees
2008

 

The top five nominees in all cowboy poetry categories are:

MALE POET OF THE YEAR 
Les Buffham
Van Criddle
Andy Nelson

Pat Richardson
Michael Whitaker


FEMALE POET OF THE YEAR
Buckshot Dot (Dee Strickland Johnson)
Doris Daley
Sam DeLeeuw
Yvonne Hollenbeck
Diane Tribitt


BEST SONG COLLABORATION OF POET AND MUSICIAN
"Born to Be a Cowboy" by David Anderson & Sam DeLeeuw
"Dining Out" by Jean Prescott & Yvonne Hollenbeck
"Shades of the West" by Doris Daley & Eli Barsi
"Thinkin' About Montana" by Walt Richards & Les Buffham
Where the Wild Horses Run" by Terri Taylor & Curly Syndergaard
 

COWBOY POETRY CD OF THE YEAR
Good for What Ails You
by Doris Daley
Of Horses & Men by Jay Snider
Pieces of the Past by Yvonne Hollenbeck
Sixteen Horses by Van Criddle
Spreadin' Sunshine by Sam DeLeeuw


COWBOY POETRY BOOK OF THE YEAR
Arizona Women
by Buckshot Dot (Dee Strickland Johnson)
Tim McCoy: A Wyoming Poet by Dick Hall
Tradin' Tales from a Montana Porch by Ken Overcast
Trail Mix by Diane Tribitt
Western Images by Clark Crouch

The top-five nominees in other categories are:

FEMALE PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
Eli Barsi
Jeanne Cahill (Call of the West)
Patty Clayton
Juni Fisher

Belinda Gail


MALE PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
Bill Barwick
Don Edwards

R.W. Hampton
Curly Musgrave
Dave Stamey
 

TRADITIONAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Ghosts of Tombstone by Trails and Rails
If I Hadn’t Seen the West by Joyce Woodson
Oklahoma, Where the West Remains by R.W. Hampton
Old Friends by Dave Stamey
Sweethearts in Carhartts by Jean Prescott


TRADITIONAL DUO/GROUP
Call of the West
Belinda Gail & Curly Musgrave
 
Riders In The Sky
Sons of the San Joaquin
Trails and Rails


SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR:
Les Buffham

Juni Fisher
Curly Musgrave 
Dave Stamey
Joyce Woodson


SONG OF THE YEAR
"Bitter Creek" by Marvin O’Dell
"Born to be a Cowboy" by David Anderson &  Sam DeLeeuw
"If I Hadn’t Seen the West" by Joyce Woodson
"Keepin’ Your Head Above Water" by Devon Dawson
"Thinkin’ About Montana" by Les Buffham & Walt Richards
 

INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR
Jeanne Cahill (Call of the West)
Ray Doyle
(Wylie & the Wild West)
Joey Miskulin
(Riders in the Sky)
Curly Musgrave

Walt Richards (Trails and Rails)


COWBOY/WESTERN SWING DUO/GROUP
Asleep at the Wheel
Call of the West
Riders in the Sky
The Texas Trailhands
Wylie and the Wild West


COWBOY/ WESTERN SWING ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Bucking Horse Moon by Wylie & The Wild West
Jumping Time by The Time Jumpers
Keepin’ Your Head Above Water by Devon Dawson
Singin’ Down the Road by Judy Coder & Pride of the Prairie
Timeless by The Quebe Sisters Band


CRESCENDO AWARD
Carin Mari & Pony Express
Kevin Davis
Sam DeLeeuw
Sons & Brothers
The Tumbling Tumbleweeds


ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Bill Barwick
Juni Fisher

R.W. Hampton
Riders in the Sky
Dave Stamey


RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR
KFDI – Wichita, Kansas
KRLC – Lewiston, Idaho
KNMB – Ruidoso, New Mexico
KOTS – Deming, New Mexico
KSJD – Cortez, Colorado


RADIO DJ OF THE YEAR
Joe Baker
Marvin O'Dell
Andy & Jim Nelson

O.J. Sikes
Johnny Western


Press Release
November 4, 2008

 

The Western Music Association’s twentieth anniversary edition of its International Western Music Festival (and Cowboy Poetry Gathering) will be held in Albuquerque November 20th through noon on the 23rd. This marks the fifth consecutive year the event has been held in the Duke City and the second at the Albuquerque Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, Louisiana at I-40.

As opposed to “Country,” Western music basically deals with the life, loves, lore and locale of the cowboy and cowgirl. The WMA began as an “appreciation club” for the Sons Of The Pioneers, but once it was discovered how many artists were creating and performing new music in the Western genre, the focus of the organization broadened. This year’s festival will showcase more than eighty Western music acts and cowboy poets from across the U.S, Canada and England.

Thursday’s activities include workshops for performers, fans and youth; a huge Western music mercantile, and an evening concert featuring Wylie & the Wild West from Washington state. Wylie Gustafson’s voice is especially famous worldwide for two simple yodeled syllables online: “Ya-HOO!!” Three simultaneous daytime stages on Friday and Saturday are free to the public and tickets for all evening events and festival packages are for sale at the door.

Those interested can get an advance look on Saturday, November 15 at the Art Gallery 66 Gallery (artgallery66.net) in Bernalillo as the New Mexico WMA chapter unveils its new “Happy Trails Theater” performance stage. Bring your own chair and the music, barbecue and fun starts at noon and will feature Academy Of Western Artists Female Vocalist of the Year Kip Calahan, the current AWA Male Vocalist of the Year Jim Jones, the award winning “Cowboy Swing” group Open Range from Montana, New Mexico’s popular Syd Masters & The Swing Riders and a special appearance by California performer Keeter Stuart, nephew of the legendary Stan “Ghost Riders In The Sky” Jones.


  Winners of the Western Music Association (WMA) awards were announced at the organization's 19th Annual Western Music Festival, held November 15-18, 2007 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. WMA members select the nominees and winners.

In 2006, the WMA introduced three new awards for cowboy poetry: Female Poet of the Year, Male Poet of the Year, and Best Collaboration of Poet and Musician. For 2007, the organization has added two additional awards: Best Cowboy Poetry Book and Best Cowboy Poetry CD. (See a list of the top five nominees in all categories here at the BAR-D.) The winners in poetry categories are:

MALE POET OF THE YEAR: Les Buffham

FEMALE POET OF THE YEAR: Yvonne Hollenbeck

COWBOY POETRY CD OF THE YEAR: What Would Martha Do by Yvonne Hollenbeck

COWBOY POETRY BOOK OF THE YEAR:  From My Window by Yvonne Hollenbeck


photo by Lori Faith Merritt, www.PhotographyByFaith.com
Yvonne Hollenbeck, with her awards presented by Jim and Andy Nelson

BEST SONG COLLABORATION OF POET AND MUSICIAN:  "El Fuego" by Curly Musgrave & Virginia Bennett


photo by Jeri Dobrowski, www.jeridobrowski.com
Curly Musgrave and friends Susan Parker, Margo Metegrano, and Belinda Gail
call Virginia Bennett to give her the news
 

 

Winners in music categories are:

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR: Lynn Anderson


photo by Jeri Dobrowski, www.jeridobrowski.com
Joe Baker presented Lynn Anderson's award


MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR: Dave Stamey


photo by Jeri Dobrowski, www.jeridobrowski.com
Dave Stamey

TRADITIONAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR:  Red Rock Moon by Curly Musgrave & Belinda Gail


photo by Jeri Dobrowski, www.jeridobrowski.com
Belinda Gail and Curly Musgrave

TRADITIONAL DUO/GROUP: Sons of the San Joaquin

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR: Dave Stamey

SONG OF THE YEAR: "I Hope She'll Love Me" by Juni Fisher & Joe Hannah


photo by Jeri Dobrowski, www.jeridobrowski.com
Joe Hannah and Juni Fisher

INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR: Tim Johnson - Sons of the San Joaquin

WESTERN SWING DUO/GROUP: The Texas Trailhands


photo by Jeri Dobrowski, www.jeridobrowski.com
Devon Dawson

WESTERN SWING ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Cowgirl by Lynn Anderson

CRESCENDO AWARD:  The Quebe Sisters Band

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR: Riders in the Sky


photo by Lori Faith Merritt, www.PhotographyByFaith.com
Riders in the Sky with Steve Taylor

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR: KWMW - Ruidoso, NM

RADIO DJ OF THE YEAR: Marvin O'Dell


photo by Jeri Dobrowski, www.jeridobrowski.com
Marvin O'Dell with Bill Barwick

Additional awards of tribute were presented, selected by the Board of Directors:  

Pioneer Trail AwardMarilyn Tuttle


photo by Lori Faith Merritt, www.PhotographyByFaith.com
Marilyn Tuttle with Joe Hannah and Ranger Doug

Hall of Fame:  Rex Allen Jr., Fleming Allen


photo by Jeri Dobrowski, www.jeridobrowski.com
Johnny Western presents Rex Allen Jr. with the Hall of Fame Award

The Bill Wiley Award:  Margo Metegrano

The popular, well attended event welcomes the public, and offers entertainment, seminars, youth programs, open stages, vendors, a members' meeting, jam sessions, and more. More than eighty poets and musicians perform on daytime stages and nightly concert venues. The 2007 festival was attended by over 480 registered attendees and the public. Special evening shows included concerts by Riders in the Sky and by Lynn Anderson, a "Barn Dance" show featuring more than 30 entertainers, and "Best of the Best" closing show featuring top poets and musicians.

Read a recent media release about the event in our feature here.

See more photos from the 2007 event here.

Visit the WMA web site for more.

 


The Top-Five Nominees
2007

 

The top five nominees in all cowboy poetry categories are:

MALE POET OF THE YEAR 
Les Buffham
DW Groethe
Don Kennington
Andy Nelson
Jay Snider

FEMALE POET OF THE YEAR
Virginia Bennett
Buckshot Dot (Dee Strickland Johnson)
Doris Daley
Sam DeLeeuw
Yvonne Hollenbeck

BEST SONG COLLABORATION OF POET AND MUSICIAN
"Born to Be a Cowboy" by David Anderson & Sam DeLeeuw
"Dining Out" by Jean Prescott & Yvonne Hollenbeck
"El Fuego" by Curly Musgrave & Virginia Bennett
"Shades of the West" by Doris Daley & Eli Barsi
"Where the Wild Horses Run" by Terri Taylor & Curly Syndergaard

COWBOY POETRY CD OF THE YEAR
16 Horses
by Van Criddle
Good for What Ails You by Doris Daley
Harvey's Moon by Andy Nelson
Of Horses & Men by Jay Snider
What Would Martha Do by Yvonne Hollenbeck

COWBOY POETRY BOOK OF THE YEAR
Arizona Women
by Buckshot Dot (Dee Strickland Johnson)
From My Window by Yvonne Hollenbeck
In the Company of Horses by Virginia Bennett
Unhobbled by Pat Richardson
West River Waltz by DW Groethe.

The top-five nominees in other categories are:

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Lynn Anderson
Kip Calahan
Belinda Gail

Juni Fisher
Jean Prescott

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
David Anderson
Bill Barwick
Don Edwards

Curly Musgrave
Dave Stamey

TRADITIONAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Born to Be A Cowboy by David Anderson
Cowgirl by Lynn Anderson
Cowgirlography by Juni Fisher
Red Rock Moon by Curly Musgrave & Belinda Gail
Sweethearts in Carhartts by Jean Prescott

TRADITIONAL DUO/GROUP
Call of the West
Curly Musgrave
& Belinda Gail
Riders In The Sky
Sons of the San Joaquin
STAMPEDE!


SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR:
Liz Anderson
Les Buffham

Juni Fisher
Jack Hannah
Dave Stamey


SONG OF THE YEAR
"Cowboy Standard Time" by Bill Barwick
"The Creakin' of the Leather" by Curly Musgrave & Belinda Gail
"I Hope She'll Love Me" by Juni Fisher & Joe Hannah
"I Rode In as a Stranger" by Liz Anderson
"Where the Wild Horses Run" by Terri Taylor & Curly Syndergaard

INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR
Jean Cahill - Call of the West
Douglas B. Green - Riders In The Sky
Tim Johnson - Sons of the San Joaquin
Curly Musgrave
Washtub Jerry


WESTERN SWING DUO/GROUP
Asleep at the Wheel
The Quebe Sisters Band
STAMPEDE!
The Texas Trailhands
Wylie and the Wild West


WESTERN SWING ALBUM OF THE YEAR
American Fiddler by Tim Johnson
Colorado Swing by Nancy Thorwardson
Cowgirl by Lynn Anderson
Far Away by George Dickey & Nancy Lee
Western Sky by Judy Coder & Pride of the Prairie


CRESCENDO AWARD
The Booher Brothers
Jon Messenger
The Quebe Sisters Band

Trails & Rails
The Yampa Valley Boys


ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Bill Barwick
Kip Calahan
Riders In The Sky
Sons of the San Joaquin
Dave Stamey


RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR
KFDI - Wichita, KS
KWMW - Ruidoso, NM
KRRM - Rogue River, OR
KRLC - Lewiston, ID
KSJD - Cortez, CO


RADIO DJ OF THE YEAR
Al Krtil
Andy & Jim Nelson

Marvin O'Dell
O.J. Sikes
Johnny Western


  2007 Media Release

 

IT AIN’T COUNTRY:  WESTERN MUSIC ALIVE AND WELL!

            ALBUQUERQUE – October 24, 2007 – The Duke City and the state of New Mexico are preparing to host the Western Music Association’s huge International Music Festival for the fourth consecutive year.  This year’s event is the WMA’s 19th annual get-together for Cowboy musicians and poets from across the United States, Canada and as far away as Great Britain and will be held November 15th through 18th at the Marriott Albuquerque Hotel & Convention Center.

            “We’re really excited to have the festival return here,” said WMA board member Rick Huff, one of two national representatives from New Mexico.  “Apparently we’ve impressed everyone with the growth of the event since it moved here.”

            More than eighty different Western Music acts and Cowboy Poets will perform on daytime stages and nightly concert venues.  Special shows with Riders In The Sky and Lynn Anderson with Taos’ popular South By Southwest are also scheduled along with Award Showcases for other top national performers.

            As Huff enthusiastically points out, “Western Music…and I mean the real stuff…songs about Cowboy life, loves, lore and locale…is America’s forgotten indigenous music.  Every year more and more people learn not only that it’s not dead, but it’s actually growing bigger than ever as it flies under the media radar!  The world knows it, and America is finally finding out!”

            Cowboy Poets will have increased visibility this year as well.  From her office in California Margo Metegrano, the founder of the nation’s foremost website for the genre, CowboyPoetry.com, praised the WMA’s outreach, saying “the Western Music Association respects the long tradition of ‘bards and balladeers.’ Their (five) additional awards exclusively for poets are indicative of the level of commitment, and I join the large number of poets who are looking forward to taking part in the 2007 Festival.”

            Event tickets and day passes will be available at the door and the schedule is on the WMA website www.westernmusic.org. For more information, local contact numbers are (505) 265-1582 or (505) 232-3184. 

 


 


WMA Welcomes Cowboy Poets

 

Cowboy poets have long been welcome as members in the Western Music Association (WMA), and in 2006 the organization strengthened that acceptance by introducing three new awards:  Female Poet of the Year, Male Poet of the Year, and Best Collaboration of Poet and Musician. For 2007, the organization has added two additional awards: Best Cowboy Poetry Book
and Best Cowboy Poetry CD. Awards are selected by the organization's members in two rounds of mail voting.

The Best Collaboration of Poet and Musician award is particularly fitting in its recognition of poets' important contributions to Western music, as many of today's best songwriters work with poets to create top songs. The first-ever winners of the award in 2006 were poet
Yvonne Hollenbeck and songwriter Jean Prescott for their song, "How Far is Lonesome." The song, which is on Jean Prescott's Embers of Time CD, began as a poem, included in Yvonne Hollenbeck's award-winning book, Where Prairie Flowers Bloom.

Other finalists  in the Best Collaboration category included the poet and songwriter pairs of
Joel Nelson and Curly Musgrave ("Men Who Ride No More");  Les Buffham and Mike Ley ("Nobody Kisses Their Horse Any More"); Les Buffham and Dave Stamey ("Spin that Pony"); and Debra Hilll/D. Enise and Jon Messenger ("Spirits of Truth").

Yvonne Hollenbeck  was also named the 2006 Female Poet of the Year. She comments, "It is not only exciting to win an award, but to be the first ever recipient of the Female Poet of the Year award by the Western Music Association was a particular honor, and wonderful.  This is especially true after having attended the best-organized convention I have ever witnessed and seeing firsthand the hard work and dedication by the many talented people who make up the organization. It was a double pleasure to have won the song collaboration award with Jean Prescott, to have the opportunity to get to work with various singers and musicians, and also to see the WMA recognize the marriage between songwriters and poets through this award.  I feel truly blessed to be a part of the Western Music Association and what it stands for."

The other finalists for Female Poet of the Year were
Buckshot Dot (Dee Strickland Johnson), Doris Daley, Linda Kirkpatrick, and Sam DeLeeuw.

Wyoming's popular poet, emcee, humorist, and radio co-host
Andy Nelson was named Male Poet of the Year. Andy expressed his reaction to receiving the award, "As a WMA Board member who has been working with the whole Western Music Association membership to strengthen the participation of and acceptance of cowboy poets, receiving this award was a nearly indescribable experience. The idea that all the hard work of so many people culminated in only one person (me) receiving the award gave me unforgettable feelings of gratitude and humility."

The other finalists for  Male Poet of the Year were Don Kennington, Gary Robertson, Les Buffham, and Jay Snider.

The 2006 awards for poets, musicians, and others were presented at a standing-room-only event at the Western Music Association Awards Show and Festival in November in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The popular festival, which welcomes the public, offers entertainment, seminars, youth programs, open stages, vendors, a members' meeting, jam sessions, and more.

In announcing the two new, additional awards for cowboy poets in 2007, Best Cowboy Poetry Book and Best Cowboy Poetry CD, WMA President Steve Taylor commented,  "We received so much positive reaction that we felt it was well deserving to add the additional award categories," He reminded poet members,"... This is your organization and every vote counts."

For their first year in 2007, the book and CD awards have a two-year window of eligibility; books and CDs released in 2005 and 2006 are eligible for nomination. Nominees must be WMA members.

The WMA's commitment to poets is further reflected in its quarterly magazine, The Western Way. The magazine carries a top-ten cowboy poetry playlists from member DJ's and includes reviews of cowboy poetry books and recordings. The Western Way now also includes a regular column, "Before the Song," which focuses on cowboy poetry and Western music collaborations and includes a roundup of recent cowboy poetry books and recordings.

The WMA is a thriving organization, with nearly 700 members. In recent years, attendance at the Awards Show and Festival has increased exponentially. In 2006, the awards luncheon and evening shows—all top-quality events featuring poets and musicians— were filled beyond capacity.
 

A version of this article by Margo Metegrano, appears in the May/June, 2007 issue of Cowboy Troubadour and the June, 2007 edition of the Backforty Bunkhouse newsletter


 

The 2006 Western Music Association Award Winners

 

  The winners of the Western Music Association (WMA) awards were announced at the first-class 18th Annual Western Music Association Festival, held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, November 16-19, 2006. 

The WMA put out a warm welcome to poet members, and also introduced awards that recognize cowboy poets: Female Poet of the Year, Male Poet of the Year, and Best Collaboration of Poet and Musician.

The winners in all categories for 2006:

Female Poet of the Year:  Yvonne Hollenbeck


photo by Lori Faith Merritt, www.PhotographyByFaith.com
Yvonne Hollenbeck

Male Poet of the Year: Andy Nelson


photo by Lori Faith Merritt, www.PhotographyByFaith.com
Andy Nelson

Best Collaboration of Poet and Musician:  
            "How Far is Lonesome," Jean Prescott/Yvonne Hollenbeck

Traditional Duo/Group:  Belinda Gail and Curly Musgrave


photo by Lori Faith Merritt, www.PhotographyByFaith.com
Belinda Gail and Curly Musgrave

Female Vocalist of the Year: Juni Fisher


photo by Lori Faith Merritt, www.PhotographyByFaith.com
Juni Fisher

Male Vocalist of the Year:   Dave Stamey

Traditional Album of the Year:  Sons of the San Joaquin: Way Out Yonder

Instrumentalist of the Year:  Joey Miskulin

Radio DJs of the Year:  Andy and Jim Nelson, Clear Out West (C. O. W.) Radio


photo by Lori Faith Merritt, www.PhotographyByFaith.com
Andy and Jim Nelson

Western Swing Duo/Group:  The Texas Trailhands

Western Swing Album of the Year:  Wylie and the Wild West: Live at the Tractor

Crescendo Award:  Eli Barsi  and STAMPEDE!  (tie)


photo by Lori Faith Merritt, www.PhotographyByFaith.com
Kip Calahan with STAMPEDE! (Terri Taylor, Steve Taylor, and David Anderson)

Songwriter of the Year:  Jack Hannah


photo by Lori Faith Merritt, www.PhotographyByFaith.com
Lindalee Green and Jack Hannah

Song of the Year:  "For the Freedom"R. W. Hampton

Entertainer of the Year:  Dave Stamey

Radio Station of the Year:  KNMBRuidoso, New Mexico

The WMA awards, given to their members, are voted on by members.  Additional awards of tribute were presented:  

The Bill Wiley Award:  Stan and Alma Tussing  
Pioneer Trail Award:  Liz Anderson
Hall of Fame:  Sons of the San Joaquin, Carl T. Sprague

Willie Schooler was given a tribute by Jon Messenger


The Top-Five Nominees
2006

 

The top-five nominees in all categories for 2006:

Female Poet of the Year:  

Buckshot Dot (Dee Strickland Johnson)
Doris Daley
Linda Kirkpatrick
Sam DeLeeuw
Yvonne Hollenbeck

Male Poet of the Year:

Andy Nelson
Don Kennington
Gary Robertson
Les Buffham
Jay Snider

Best Collaboration of Poet and Musician:

"Men Who Ride No More," Joel Nelson/Curly Musgrave
"Nobody Kisses Their Horse Any More," Les Buffham/Mike Ley
"Spin that Pony," Les Buffham/Dave Stamey
"Spirits of Truth," Jon Messenger/Debra Hill/D. Enise
"How Far is Lonesome," Jean Prescott/Yvonne Hollenbeck

Traditional Duo/Group

Belinda Gail and Curly Musgrave
Judy Coder and the Pride of the Prairie
Riders in the Sky
Sons of the San Joaquin
STAMPEDE!

Female Vocalist of the Year

Belinda Gail  
Jean Prescott
Juni Fisher
Kip Calahan
Terri Taylor

Male Vocalist of the Year

Curly Musgrave
David Anderson
Dave Stamey
Don Edwards

R. W. Hampton

Traditional Album of the Year

Eli Barsi: Shades of the West
Jon Messenger: Spirit
Les Buffham: Les Buffham and Friends
R. W. Hampton: I Believe
Sons of the San Joaquin: Way Out Yonder

Instrumentalist of the Year

Curly Musgrave
David Anderson
Jeanne Cahill
Joey Miskulin
Rich O'Brien

Radio DJ of the Year

Andy and Jim Nelson
Joe Baker
Johnny Western
Marvin O'Dell
OJ Sikes

Western Swing Duo/Group

Asleep at the Wheel
Open Range
STAMPEDE!
The Texas Trailhands
Wylie and the Wild West

Western Swing Album of the Year

Bobbie Flores Band: Too Many Ribers
Lon Hannah: Cause I Always Wanted to
Nancy Thorwardson: Colorado Swing
Scotty Fitch: A Hundred Years Too Late
Wylie and the Wild West: Live at the Tractor

Crescendo Award

Eli Barsi
Lost Canyon Rangers
O'Brien Family Band
STAMPEDE!
The Quebe Sisters

Songwriter of the Year

Curly Musgrave
Dave Stamey
Donnie Blanz
Jack Hannah
Les Buffham

Song of the Year

"A Cowgirl's Dream"Janet McBride
"For the Freedom"
R. W. Hampton
"Lord of the Rollin' Hills"
Sons of the San Joaquin
"Nighttime Out on the Range"
Jerry Campbell/Robert Wagner
"Where the Very Same Cottonwoods Grow"
Jack Hannah

Entertainer of the Year

Curly Musgrave and Belinda Gail
Dave Stamey
Riders in the Sky
R. W. Hampton
Sons of the San Joaquin

Radio Station of the Year

KBECWaxahatchie, Texas
KFDO
Wichita, Kansas
KIIM
Tucson, Arizona
KNMB
Ruidoso, New Mexico
KRLC
Lewiston, Idaho

See the Western Music Association web site for information about membership, the annual festival, and more.   

 


 

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