The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Eight,
is a special
The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Six (2011) is a compilation of vintage and contemporary recordings of some of the best cowboy poetry. A wide range of voices present tales that express this venerable art form, words that uncover "the heartbeat of the working West."
Additional Texas voices are heard: J.B. Allen (1938-2005), whose image is on the Cowboy Poetry Week poster in a painting by Duward Campbell, recites his poem, "The Medicine Keepers." Joel Nelson recites his tale of "The Song of the Packer" and Linda Kirkpatrick recites Berta Harte Nance's ((1883–1958) defining poem, "Cattle." Top cowboy troubadour Don Edwards lends a spoken-word piece, "The Devil's Hatband." Premier singer, songwriter, and cowboy poet Red Steagall tells his "McCorkle and the Wire."
Jay Snider recites a modern
classic, "The Bear Tale," by Sunny Hancock
(1931-2003). Noted reciter Randy Rieman
opens the CD with a fragment of "Looking Backward" by
Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950) and Jesse
Smith recites Kiskaddon's "Forgotten."
Dick Morton presents
"Beyond the Range," and Jerry Brooks recites "The Old Prospector" by
Clark, Jr. (1883-1957).
Every year's CD includes a radio public service announcement about the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry. This year, it is delivered by popular singer, songwriter and poet Brenn Hill.
The BAR-D Roundup
cover images are vintage photos of poets or their forebears. This year's
legendary fiddler and cowboy
(1931-2008) and his dog, Hank. Frankie McWhorter was the father of
cowboy and poet Larry McWhorter
(1957-2003) and grandfather of reciter Abi McWhorter. The photograph was
taken in about 1986 by Kris Erickson (www.hankthecowdog.com).
legendary fiddler and cowboy Frankie McWhorter (1931-2008) and his dog, Hank. Frankie McWhorter was the father of cowboy and poet Larry McWhorter (1957-2003) and grandfather of reciter Abi McWhorter. The photograph was taken in about 1986 by Kris Erickson (www.hankthecowdog.com).
Inside each year's CD, a contemporary ranch family photo is featured. For 2011, there's a photo of Andrea McWhorter Waitley, Frank Waitley, and Abi McWhorter, along with Sunday, a horse started by Larry McWhorter as a two-year old. Sunday, who was ridden by four generations of McWhorters, was nearly 30 when he died in 2010.
Poems and permissions were generously donated by poets, musicians,
families, organizations, and publishers.
What's inside The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Six (2011)
The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Six (2011) is a compilation of vintage and contemporary recordings of some of the best classic and contemporary cowboy poetry. A wide range of voices present tales that express this venerable art form, words that uncover "the heartbeat of the working West." Among the themes of this edition's collectio
n are the passing down of traditions through generations, enduring friendships, connections, and the Lone Star state.
This sixth CD opens with noted horseman, reciter, and poet Randy Rieman setting the tone for "old friends," with an excerpt from "Looking Backward," a poem by Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950):No, you haven't made a fortune
And your hair is white. You're old
But you wouldn't trade your memories
Not for heaps of shinin' gold.
And whenever you get lonely
You just hold a grand review
Of the places and the hosses
And the people that you knew.
You can hear the songs and stories
You can see the camp fires blaze
As you live again the glories
Of your grand old cow boy days.
Respected cowboy and poet J.B. Allen (1938-2005)—whose image is on the Cowboy Poetry Week poster in a painting by Duward Campbell—speaks to cowboys' tradition of writing poetry in his poem, "The Medicine Keepers":
A man might live and work beside
The fellers 'round the wagon
And never say two words unless
It's just hooraw and braggin'.
But sometimes in the solitude
Of some ol' line camp shack
He smoothes a fruit can label out
And writes there on its back.
And still amongst the workin' hands
The words come now and then
To write a livin' history
Of the stock, and earth, and men.
The late Buck Ramsey, in his introduction to J.B. Allen's book, The Medicine Keepers, writes of J.B. Allen, "More than most cowboys, he held to the ways and memories...thought and talked the old lingo" and states, "...in my opinion he is the best living writer of traditional cowboy verse."
We take to the trail with stories of the wider working West and songs of the earth itself with popular reciter and former miner Jerry A. Brooks' rendition of "The Old Prospector" by Charles Badger Clark, Jr., 1883-1957:
There's a song in the canyon below me
And a song in the pines overhead,
As the sunlight crawls down from the snowline
And rustles the deer from his bed.
With mountains of green all around me
And mountains of white up above
And mountains of blue down the sky-line
I follow the trail that I love
and with rancher, writer, poet, and National Endowment for the Arts Fellow Joel Nelson's lyrical "Song of the Packer":
Down from the peaks and the pinnacles
and up from the canyon's floor
through passes and fountains of immature mountains
where big-hearted rivers roar
comes a sound that is mostly imagined
by the wildest stretch of the mind
only to blast out from some promontory
like ten philharmonics combined.
Can you hear...
it's the song of the packer
the ballad of men, horse, and mule
who gamble on hands dealt by nature
where earth and the elements rule
Texas writer and poet Linda Kirkpatrick introduces her home state—a thread running through this volume of The BAR-D Roundup—with Berta Harte Nance's (1883–1958) defining poem, "Cattle":
Other states were carved or born
Texas grew from hide and horn.
The Texas cowboy's style comes through in a delightful recording of the traditional "Windy Bill," delivered by National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, and the man called the "spiritual leader" of the cowboy poetry "tribe," Buck Ramsey (1938-1998):
Windy Bill was a Texas man—
Well, he could rope, you bet.
He swore the steer he couldn't tie—
Well, he hadn't found him yet.
But the boys they knew of an old black steer,
A sort of an old outlaw
That ran down in the malpais
At the foot of a rocky draw.
Sadly missed cowboy, musician, and poet Larry McWhorter (1957-2003) and top cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell offer the perfect complement to "Windy Bill" in Larry McWhorter's "Cowboy Count Yer Blessings":
Two waddies rode together
O'er the western half so great
A buckaroo from Utah
And a hand from the Lone Star state.
Hot debates were often floored
Of grazin' bits or spades,
Centerfire or double rig
Leather straps or braids.
The stick part as you might guess
In talk of right and wrong,
Was whether you should dally up
Or if you should tie on.
The two poets had long wanted to record the poem together, but did not have the opportunity to do so before Larry McWhorter's untimely death. In 2010, Larry McWhorter's close friend, Texas singer and songwriter Jean Prescott, produced an outstanding album of Larry McWhorter's work, The Poetry of Larry McWhorter, which includes his recordings and some of his poems recited by his friends. With the help of technology, Waddie Mitchell was able to finally realize their intention to record together and the collaboration is included on the 2010 album.
Texas singer, songwriter, and poet Andy Hedges' recitation of Larry McWhorter's "Trilogy for Cissy," also from The Poetry of Larry McWhorter, is striking in its illustration of the breadth of Larry McWhorter's writing. The tender story of a cowboy's faithful companion comes to us in a moving performance:....
The face which couldn't decide if it desired to be blue or white,
so it split the difference, popped out like a jack-in-the-boxscrambling atop her siblings to reach me, hindered by stubby legs and pot bellyShe failed at leaping into my arms but found her mark in my heart.
Oklahoma rancher, poet, and songwriter Jay Snider changes the somber mood and brings true comic relief with Sunny Hancock's (1931-2003) modern classic "The Bear Tale," which turns the old cowboy "purt near roped a bear" boast on its head:
I was up in the Sycan Black Hills Camp
workin' for old Z-Cross,
This was my own piece of country,
I was cook and crew and boss.
The afternoon of that year
was comin' on as I recall,
Meanin' summer'd hit the caprock
and slid right down into fall.
So, I'm a-ridin' along that mornin'
lookin' out beneath my hat.
I thought I'd make a little circle
down through Silver Dollar Flat,
And maybe brand some big slick yearlin'
with the address of this farm,
Because I sure did need to limber up
my old stiff ropin' arm.
I'd been just kinda' travelin'
down this little open draw
When I came around a corner
and I's amazed at what I saw.
I pulled my horse up, sat there a-gawkin'
and my eyes went plumb agog,
'Cuz there's a big old brindle he-bear
diggin' ants out of a log.
Heading back to the Lone Star state for a bit, celebrated cowboy troubadour and Texan Don Edwards' "The Devil's Hatband," from his recent American album, addresses the past—or perhaps the present—in a spoken word and a capella piece:
Well the country's all shot to pieces now, the range is all gone, the old time cowboy's gone, the roundups are over and the old trails are all penned with wire. They say that heaven is a free-range land, goodbye, goodbye, fare ye well. Barbed-wire fence is the devil's hatband and barbed-wire blankets down in hell, goodbye, goodbye and fare ye well. The devil's hatband. It sewed the shroud of the old cattle land, cut off our freedom, cut up our horses, cut up our cows, and put a Spanish bit on free enterprise...
Past Texas Poet Laureate, singer, songwriter, radio and television host and entertainer Red Steagall likewise straddles the past and present with his grand, ghostly story of "McCorkle and the Wire":
McCorkle rode into the Whiskey Flat Camp
On a lathered-up walleyed blue roan
He was talkin' in circles, clean out of his head,
And shakin' right down to the bone.
He said, "Early this morning' I was out ridin' fence,
About six—it was just gettin' light.
I was checkin' for breaks from the rim of Bates Draw,
When I seen a blood curdlin' sight.
Late in the '90s they fenced off the grass.
Most people thought it was wrong.
Some carried fence pliers, made their own laws,
But the open range era was gone.
This feller was bad about cutting a fence,
Paid no mind at all to the law.
The ranchers had taken about all they could take.
They set up a trap in the draw.
Moving from Texas to Montana, posts for that wire say something about the man who put them there in Montana ranch hand, songwriter, and poet DW Groethe's poem, "This Old Post":
He drug this cedar,
an' most of that line,
from many a mile away.
Did it by horse,
hard sweat and grit.
Did it for the love of dream.
Deep and solid...straight an' true
an' he knew, by God, he'd win.
South Dakota rancher, writer, and poet Linda M. Hasselstrom's "Death of the Last Cowhand" honors another old timer, as we head back to back to Texas with the story of Tom Blasingame (1898-1989), who worked seventy-three years as a cowboy:
The JA hands
found him just past sunset, stretched out
on the prairie, boots on,
hat across his face. The horse stood guard.
Old Tom had not one scratch or bruise.
The hands who found him figured he'd be proud
he wasn't pitched. "Must have known
he was in trouble," said the cattle foreman.
Colorado writer and poet Jane Morton, who often writes of her family's ranch history, tells of her connection to the land, where she is rooted as firmly as a post, in "Ground Tied":
I left the prairie long ago,
but she did not leave me.
She’s in my heart, my blood, my soul.
She’ll never let me be.
My need for space and solitude
The prairie wisdom I absorbed
has served me well elsewhere.
Arizona cowgirl and poet Carole Jarvis introduces modern-day cowboys in her "Lovin' the Life":
There's laughter out in the dining room
and I pause in what I'm doin',
And smile, and think about those boys
who'll be drinkin' this coffee I'm brewin'
There's buckaroos Luther and Corky,
young Randy from up near Cheyenne,
Deacon, he "jiggers" the outfit,
gray-haired Mike, who they call the Old Man.
They rode out before dawn lit the sky,
and rode back as darkness closed in.
After all those hours in the saddle,
you'd think humor would wear pretty thin.
Humorous stories of the lives of ranching men and women get told by South Dakota ranch wife and poet Yvonne Hollenbeck, in "Sorting Time":
They always call you "honey"
when they need help, don't you know;
so I donned my coat and chore boots
and I followed him out through the snow
The men, they're all a-horseback,
I'm afoot and on the gate;
I have to be real quick to think
and never hesitate.
Now back to hubby's signals...
...I will never understand
why in this "high-tech" world we live in
there are no standard signals for the hands.
and by North Dakota rancher, rodeo cowboy, writer, and poet Rodney Nelson, in "Gift Rift":
I'm glad I've gained the wisdom
that middle age brings
I've learned to give the missus
only useful things
Boy, it's been a dandy system,
and another of my views,
It doesn't hurt to give her things
that I can also use!
Like that tow-rope that I gave her...
that was really smart.
She always gets to use it
when my tractor falls apart!
and by South Dakota ranch wife and poet Elizabeth Ebert, in "Cowboy Courtin' Time":
Sometimes the pickup's even washed
(Will wonders never end?)
But like as not he's brought along
His trusty cowdog friend.
The cowboy'll open up the door
And hold it while you enter.
You know he's gettin' serious
'Cause he sits you in the center.
A hairy face on one side
A mustache on the other,
And both of them are squeezin' in
'Til you think you're gonna smother.
They've got you snuggled there between
Just a pawn within their game.
I doesn't matter where you turn
'Cause they kiss about the same.
Utah sheepman and poet Sam Jackson offers a wry observation about sheep and cattle in "Comfort First":
Cowpunchin's our trade, but we ain't afraid,
when coziness comes into play—
To cut out the bull, admittin' that wool
outshines cowhide socks any day!
Popular poet Doris Daley, raised in Alberta's ranching country, uses her signature wit and wordsmithing to suggest a new cowboy lexicon, in "A Baxter of Blacks":
Collective nouns-how droll, how poetic!
But where are the nouns with a cowboy aesthetic?
Mr. Webster, I fear, lacked in western perspectives
So I offer my word list of cowboy collectives.
A gavel of auctioneers
A marble of fattened steers.
A Bodacious of bucking Brahmas
A shank of Tony Lamas.
A clutch of John Deere tractors
A Clint of western actors.
A chip of coffee shop mugs
An Ian of Navajo rugs.
An annoyance of all-know-its.
An Elko of cowboy poets.
California artist, former rodeo cowboy, and poet Pat Richardson, known for his deadpan delivery and over-the-top humor, considers poetry criticism in "The Evaluation":
"I'd rather be lost in the desert
with a case of spectacular scours,
I'd rather be staked to an anthill
and left there for twenty-four hours."
"I'd rather be gut-shot and beaten,
I'd rather go stark raving blind;
I'd rather be snake-bit and poisoned,
than read your poem one more time."
And the humor is left in the dust raised as the mustangs kick up their own in Utah writer and poet Rod Miller's "A Bolt of Broomtails":
Across alkali flat and sandhill,
Over the sage-covered plain
The mesteñada flows like fabric,
Dancing ahead of its dusty train.
The late Larry McWhorter's young teen-aged daughter, Abi McWhorter, carries on the tradition as she recites her father's poem, "Therapy," with its message of the deep bond among nature, horses, and riders:
The early predawn silence
Is like music to the ear
Of the rested and contented
Who take the time to hear.
I've missed the predawn silence
Not found upon the track
The world says one must follow,
But I shall have it back.
Wyoming poet, former farrier, writer, radio host, and popular emcee Andy Nelson tells of an experience in town that evokes a nostalgia for the cowboy life, in "The Box-R Cavvy":
I watched them run the Box R cavvy,
Through the middle of town today;
On a rain covered asphalt street,
In Wyoming, the third week of May.
It shocked my subconscious being,
And my cowboy core came alive;
A dormant corner of my past,
Awoke as I witnessed the drive.
Wyoming cowboy, poet, and reciter Jesse Smith honors the cow horse with his recitation of Bruce Kiskaddon's (1878-1950) "Forgotten."
Yes, he used to be a cow hoss
that was young and strong and fleet
Now he stands alone, forgotten,
in the winter snow and sleet.
Fer his eyes is dim and holler
and his head is turnin’ gray,
He has got too old to foller—
"Jest a hoss that’s had his day."
They’ve forgotten how once he packed ‘em
at a easy swingin’ lope.
How he braced his sturdy shoulders
when he set back on a rope.
They have turned him out to winter
best he can amongst the snow.
There without a friend and lonesome,
Do you think he doesn’t know?
He stands still. He aint none worried,
fer he knows he’s played the game
He’s got nothin’ to back up from.
He’s been square and aint ashamed.
Fer no matter where they put him
he was game to do his share
Well, I think more of the pony
than the folks that left him there.
Former rodeo champion and poet Bob Schild writes of friendship, a changing world, and hope in his "Ode to a Friend":
This life's been a grand undertaking
On a long and a tortuous trail;
Emotions and dreams kept us floating
Like ships breaking waves at full sail.
We've partaken of visual wonders...
Watched the trout rise to harvest a fly—
While mountains—shaken by thunder—
Flashed neon 'neath lightning-framed sky...
It's peculiar, the road we have traveled,
And, no doubt, we'd transverse it again.
Do not bolt as the world comes unraveled,
But, drive on, for great goodness remains.
Colorado reciter and poet Dick Morton leaves us with words to ponder, those of Sharlot Hall, (1870-1943), who looks "Beyond the Range":
Now, here I cache the useless pack
I nevermore shall need;
And here I take the Longest Trail
Wherever it may lead.
Beyond the Range—beyond the range
Oh, strong and sure and free!
I quest for more than life has brought
And more than eyes can see.
Out, out beyond the farthest star,
Beyond the last lone peak;
More fair than desert-born mirage
The Glory Land I seek.
No monuments are on the trail,
The way is dim and strange—
But light of God is on the land
That lies Beyond the Range.
The Center's Cowboy Poetry Week celebration—recognized by unanimous U.S. Senate resolution and by twenty-two states' governors and officials—is held each April during National Poetry Month. Each year, The BAR-D Roundup CD and the celebration's poster (by top Western artist Duward Campbell in 2011) are offered to libraries in the Center's Rural Library Project. The outreach program is a part of the Center’s commitment to serve rural communities and to preserve and promote our Western heritage.
We need your support to continue and expand these programs. Read below about how you can be a part of it all.
Track list for The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Six (2011)
2. THE MEDICINE KEEPERS J.B. Allen (1938-2005)
from The Medicine Keepers (1998)
11. McCORKLE AND THE WIRE Red Steagall
from The Wind, the Wire and the Rail (2005)
12. THIS OLD POST DW Groethe
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup
13. DEATH OF THE LAST COWHAND Linda M. Hasselstrom
from Bitter Creek Junction (2000)
14. GROUND TIED Jane Morton
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup
15. LOVIN’ THE LIFE Carole Jarvis
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup
18. COWBOY COURTIN’ TIME Elizabeth Ebert
from Live From Thunderhawk (2002)
19. COMFORT FIRST Sam Jackson
from Western Poet (2010)
20. A BAXTER OF BLACKS Doris Daley
from Beneath a Western Sky (2008)
21. THE EVALUATION Pat Richardson
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup
22. A BOLT OF BROOMTAILS Rod Miller
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup
23. THERAPY (Larry McWhorter, 1957-2003) Abi McWhorter
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup
24. THE BOX R CAVVY Andy Nelson
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup
25. FORGOTTEN (Bruce Kiskaddon, 1878-1950) Jesse Smith
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup
26. ODE TO A FRIEND Bob Schild
from Wild Rides and Jails (2010); bbarbwholesale.com
27. BEYOND THE RANGE (Sharlot Mabridth Hall, 1870-1943) Dick Morton
recorded for The BAR-D Roundup; email@example.com
28. CENTER FOR WESTERN AND COWBOY POETRY RADIO PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT (PSA)
by Brenn Hill
All rights are reserved by the artists and owners of the included tracks.
Special thanks to Kris and John Erickson; Andrea McWhorter Waitley and family; Jean Prescott; Bette Ramsey; Alice Hancock; Margaret Allen; Steve Green, Charlie Seemann, and the Western Folklife Center; Scott O’Malley and the Western Jubilee Recording Company; Brenn Hill; Jerry A. Brooks; DW Groethe; Joe Baker; Francie Ganje; Charley Engel; Totsie Slover; P.J. and Dallas McCord; Graham Lees; Jim Thompson; Jeri Dobrowski; Andy Nelson, engineer and co-producer (with Margo Metegrano); and to all the poets, reciters, families, publishers, and organizations for poetry and permissions.
The BAR-D Roundup is dedicated to all those who proudly carry on the ranching tradition.
Order Information for The BAR-D Roundup
Volume Six (2011)
The BAR-D Roundup: Volume Six (2011) is available, postpaid, for $10, and is offered to new and renewing supporters of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry at the $40 level and above.
Proceeds from The BAR-D Roundup support the Center. CowboyPoetry.com is a project of the Center.
You can order by mail using the form here or send $10 (check or money order in U.S. funds) per copy to:
PO Box 1107
Lexington, VA 24450
Postage is included for the U.S. and Canada. Add $5 US for other countries.
You can also pay by a secure, on-line credit card payment (a Paypal account is not required) here.
Find order information for all CDs here, including special discount offers.
CowboyPoetry.com is a project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc. a non-profit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Act. Contributions are fully deductible for federal income tax purposes. The BAR-D Roundup fair market value is $15 and no amount of the $20 donation for its postpaid delivery is tax deductible as a charitable contribution.
About the cover art and inside photo for The BAR-D Roundup: Volume 6 (2011):
The BAR-D Roundup cover images are vintage photos of poets or their forebears. Inside each year's CD, a contemporary ranch family photo is featured.
The BAR-D Roundup: Volume 6 (2011) CD cover art features
legendary fiddler and cowboy Frankie McWhorter (1931-2008) and his dog, Hank. Frankie McWhorter was the father of cowboy and poet Larry McWhorter (1957-2003) and grandfather of reciter Abi McWhorter.
The image is from a photograph taken by Kris Erickson in about 1986:
© Kris Erickson, www.hankthecowdog.com
Kris and her husband John Erickson (author of the popular Hank the Cowdog series (www.hankthecowdog.com), were long-time friends of Frankie McWhorter. John Erickson told us, "The original, uncropped version of the photo showed my four year old son, Mark, sitting on the porch with Frankie, a cat in his lap. We were visiting Frankie at the Camp Creek Ranch in Lipscomb County, and Kris was getting some photos for my book."
About Frankie McWhorter's dog, coincidentally named Hank, John Erickson comments, "
He was a cowdog who got mixed reviews."
John Erickson co-wrote
Cowboy Fiddler (as told by Frankie McWhorter in 1991), which was reprinted in a revised edition in 1997 as Cowboy Fiddler in Bob Wills' Band.
John Erickson is also the author of a popular book about writing,
Story Craft, and dozens of additional books, including LZ Cowboy; A Cowboy's Journal 1979-81, about his own cowboy experiences.
Essayist, novelist, poet, and cowboy Amy Hale Auker writes about Frankie McWhorter in her 2011 collection, Rightful Place:
He offered us a song about riding the eternal range, his mouth a wide grimace of pain, but his voice true to every note. His fiddle sang a song mimicking a longhorn bull's bellow and danced through a song about a horse no one could ride. He listened to us with one hand cupped around his ear, a wide smile, and all of his attention. Just as his camp is nestled in the Canadian River prairie country, so he lives, nestled among the memorabilia of a life lived with the land and his music. He invited us to sit and stay awhile in a room full of cigarette smoke and stories and songs, each illustrated with the wave or scrape of his bow.
His fiddle says what words cannot. We heard songs he wrote while sitting on the porch looking out over Camp Creek, songs he learned on the JA wagon when it stayed out for months at a time, and stories of people, horses, and ranches that no longer exist. We listened to music that arthritis cannot mar and techniques cannot duplicate because it is rooted in a lifetime of art. We heard lyrics to "Good-by Ol' Paint" that we had never heard before.
In the late evening, he invites us to walk out to his saddle house, a shrine to the days when he rode the prairies and a few thousand rough horses. He leans close to us as his stories take him back to a time when he moved with more surety and his bones did not ache. "A horse can only think of one thing at a time." The swollen, knotted wrists move in a practiced gesture, distracting an ornery company horse that is trying to make his yesterday mornings interesting. Old-time methods and wisdom spill from him like jewels, and we scoop up all that we can.
We stand with our backs to the evening sun watching two old horses graze and stomp at flies, as much in retirement as the man who feeds them each morning. He looks out over the prairie and tells us that he is moving to town. He is bothered by the fact that he lives here, taking up one of the camps on a big working cow outfit when his stirrups are crisscrossed with cobwebs and his headstalls are brittle with age. This old cowboy's sense of place is strong, though he doesn't own this short-grass country that encourages a man to love, to survive, to know, a land that nurtures abilities unappreciated in the modern world. He tells us that he doesn't want to impose on these kind of people any longer, but his voice breaks, and he turns his head away. He'll put off the move as long as possible so that maybe it won't be necessary.
As the sun sets, he will play his fiddle and look over the cottonwoods of Camp Creek.
Amy Hale Auker, “Frankie” from Rightful Place. © 2011 Amy Hale Auker. Reprinted by permission of the author and Texas Tech University Press, www.ttupress.org. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.
Read about Amy Hale Auker and Rightful Place in our feature here.
Abi McWhorter about about age two-and-a-half, with her grandfather, Frankie McWhorter
Inside The BAR-D Roundup: Volume 6, there's a 2005 photo of the Waitley family: Andrea McWhorter Waitley, Frank Waitley, and Abi McWhorter, along with Sunday, a horse started by Larry McWhorter as a two-year old. Sunday, who was ridden by four generations of McWhorters, died in 2010, at about age 30.
Larry McWhorter's friend Jean Prescott told us that while Sunday was gentle enough the for babies and grandbabies, Sunday frequently bucked off Frankie McWhorter, much to his amazement and frustration.
We welcome photo submissions for future editions of The BAR-D Roundup. Cover images will be vintage family cowboy and ranching photos, and inside, contemporary ranch family photos will be featured. Email us for information about sharing your family photos.
Listen to (and download) the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry Public Service Announcements
Each volume of The BAR-D Roundup includes an audio Public Service Announcement (PSA):
Listen to the 2011 30-second public service announcement from the CD by Brenn Hill, popular cowboy singer, songwriter, and poet (www.brennhill.com).
Listen to the 2010 30-second public service announcement from the CD by Joe Baker, radio host and proprietor of the Backforty Bunkhouse (www.backfortybunkhouse.com).
Listen to the 2009 30-second public service announcement from the CD by Baxter Black, top cowboy poet and philosopher (www.baxterblack.com).
Listen to the 2008 30-second public service announcement from the CD by Francie Ganje, radio host and director of South Dakota's Heritage of the American West show.
Listen to the 2007 30-second public service announcement from the CD and to an expanded 60-second version, both by poet, humorist, and radio host Andy Nelson.
Email us for audio clips for your broadcast or web site (or download them directly).
About The BAR-D Roundup: Volume 6 (2011) and Cowboy Poetry Week
SAN FRANCISCO—The tenth annual Cowboy Poetry Week (April 17-23, 2011) sponsored by the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry (www.CowboyPoetry.com), celebrates a venerable and popular folk form. Cowboy poetry records the voices of the working West, a tradition—stories of cowboys, ranchers, and Western writers—that spans three centuries. The Cowboy Poetry Week celebration includes many events taking place in communities, libraries, and elsewhere.
Center Director and CowboyPoetry.com managing editor Margo Metegrano comments, "Cowboy poetry preserves a history as it tells the stories of our working West. As importantly, it conveys compelling modern accounts of an endangered way of life to those who may have little information about this important segment of our population. Cowboy poets are great ambassadors from the rural world."
Inaugurated in 2002, Cowboy Poetry Week was officially recognized by unanimous resolution of the United States Senate. The celebration, with a special focus on rural libraries with its Rural Library Project, is held during the third week of April each year, in conjunction with National Poetry Month in the United States and Canada.
Twenty-two states' governors and other officials have issued Cowboy Poetry Week proclamations. Texas Governor Rick Perry has commented, "...cowboy poets have played a large part in preserving western heritage and culture through oral and written poetry. While history books inform us of the past, cowboy poetry has allowed us to truly experience the past. Through cowboy poetry, we have been allowed into the emotions and thoughts of those making history. We can feel the excitement, sympathize through hardships and hear their hopes and dreams. Cowboy poets have inspired and informed, bringing to their many fans education, art, and the best of our heritage and history." Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer has commented, "In the tradition of written and oral history, cowboy poets preserve our rich cultural history, opening the door for the generations to come to discover the heritage of the years past....we are proud of our numerous well-respected contemporary cowboy poets and look forward to the next generation of storytellers..."
"Pilgrim," a painting by noted Texas artist Duward Campbell, was selected as this year's Cowboy Poetry Week poster art. The painting depicts Texas cowboy J.B. Allen (1938-2005) and his horse Pilgrim. Posters are sent to libraries as a part of the Center's Rural Library Project and are available to Center supporters.
The BAR-D Roundup, the Center’s annual compilation recording of the best in classic and current cowboy poetry is also offered to libraries. Each edition includes vintage recordings of poets reciting their own works.
This sixth annual edition of The BAR-D Roundup has several threads running through it. Among them: the passing down of traditions through generations, enduring friendships, connections, and the Lone Star state. Itincludes several poems written by Texas poet Larry McWhorter (1957-2003) and poems from two respected Texas poets who are also National Endowment for the Arts Fellows, Joel Nelson and Buck Ramsey (1938-1998). J.B. Allen is included, as are top Texas cowboy troubadour Don Edwards, who lends a spoken-word piece, and popular past Texas Poet Laureate, singer, songwriter, and cowboy poet Red Steagall. There are many additional tracks of classic and contemporary poems, most from poets who frequently please audiences from today's gathering stages, including Randy Rieman, Linda M. Hasselstrom, Waddie Mitchell, Doris Daley, Elizabeth Ebert, DW Groethe, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Pat Richardson, Jay Snider, Linda Kirkpatrick, Andy Nelson, and others.
CowboyPoetry.com is a central resource for cowboy poetry and associated Western arts, a project of the non-profit Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry. Cowboy poetry's enduring popularity is celebrated year round at CowboyPoetry.com, in a growing number of publications and recordings, and at hundreds of regional gatherings, most notably the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, which marked its 27th year in 2011.
Read more about Cowboy Poetry Week, including selected references and links and see news about poets' activities here.
How to submit a poem for consideration for future compilations
As co-producer Andy Nelson has quipped, we need a CD as big as a pizza to include all of the poems we'd like to include on the annual cowboy poetry compilation CD.
Selections are made by invitation, and from the CDs in our library. You are welcome to submit a CD or a track by mail for consideration. The receipt of such submissions will be acknowledged, but we regret that we don't have the resources to comment further on CDs or tracks. All CDs and tracks that are received are listened to and considered.
If you've submitted a CD previously and want to suggest a particular track for consideration, please email us with that information.
As always, we're looking for quality: well written poems, well recited, on a professional-quality recording. These CDs are a growing archive of the best contemporary and classic recitations. Their focus is the real working West.
Also, for this project, there are these considerations:
the track must be royalty-free for unrestricted radio play
you must own complete rights to any poetry and music on the track
poetry must be your original poetry or be in the public domain or be used with written permission (supplied to us) by the author, who must also be willing to permit reproduction of the track, without compensation or royalties
any background music must be your original music, or be in the public domain; we cannot include tracks with licensed music
The CD is offered to rural libraries, is distributed to radio stations for air play, is used as a premium for supporters of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, and is sold.
Those donating tracks receive copies of the recording. There is no additional payment and no royalties are paid.
We're continually considering selections for forthcoming annual compilation CDs.
Send submissions to: CowboyPoetry.com, PO Box 330444, San Francisco, CA 94133.
Please Support CowboyPoetry.com
Cowboy poetry is a vibrant folk form, enjoyed for over a hundred years by readers and listeners who appreciate the inspiration, history and humor embodied in its stories of the working West. Its enduring popularity is celebrated at CowboyPoetry.com, a central resource for cowboy poetry and associated Western arts, a project of the non-profit Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry.
The Center's Cowboy Poetry Week celebration—recognized by unanimous resolution by the U. S. Senate—is held each April during National Poetry Month. The BAR-D Roundup CD and the celebration's poster are offered to libraries through the Center's Rural Library Project, in fulfillment of the Center's mission to preserve and promote our Western heritage.
If you appreciate projects such as The BAR-D Roundup, please show your support.
Become a supporter, make a donation, perhaps in memory of someone who treasured our Western Heritage: Make a difference.
You can make a donation by check or money order, by mail (please use the form here for mail to PO Box 330444, San Francisco, CA 94133) or by a secure, on-line credit card payment through PayPal (a PayPal account is not required):
CowboyPoetry.com is a project of The Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, a tax-exempt non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Act. Contributions to the Center are fully deductible for federal income tax purposes.
Authors retain copyright to their work; obtain an author's
permission before using a poem in any form.
CowboyPoetry.com is a project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc., a Federal and California tax-exempt non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.