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There's an old coyote wailin' as the twilight paints the sky
There's a western wind that's singin' a cowboy lullaby
When the cattle start to settle underneath the nightherd's wail
And those ghostly riders rumble, they are Echoes of the Trail

From the canyons of Chihuahua, to the blue Dakota grass
Far across the wide Missouri, to beyond the Beartooth Pass.
Came the Longhorns and the drovers, then the pilgrims and the rail
Destiny displaced the Red Man, like the Echoes of the Trail

                                                   from Echoes of the Trail by Johnny Kendrick


Founded in 1997, the annual Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering in Fort Scott, Kansas, is a favorite with performers and audiences alike.

Johnny Kendrick and Arnold Schofield founded the event, which is sponsored by the Historical Association of Bourbon County, the Bourbon County Arts Council, Fort Scott Community College, and various other local businesses and individuals.  Fort Scott Community College provides their buildings, grounds, maintenance staff, additional funding, and more.  

Find 2016 information here.

Find 2015 information here.

Find 2014 information here.

Below you'll find:

2013 Information

2011 Information

2010 Information

2009 Information

2008 Information

2007 Information

2006 Information

Find links to many reports here.

Johnny's Kendrick's song, Echoes of the Trail

The Echoes of the Trail CD





2013 Information

June 7-9, 2013



RFD-TV's Best of America by Horseback is joining forces with the 7th Annual Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering to offer a premier cowboy experience.

Join the riders of America by Horseback as they explore the back country of Bourbon County, Kansas as it was in the days of the cattle drives, on a thousand acre ranch. The ride will be filmed by RFD-TV for future airing.

Enter the Cowboy Poetry and Music contest held in conjunction with the 17th annual Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering held in the historic, frontier town of Fort Scott, Kansas at Fort Scott Community College. Come listen to great Western poetry and music, peruse the Western Arts and crafts, partake of hot coffee and cowboy grub at the Chuckwagon, and fellowship together Sunday morning around the Chuckwagon at Cowboy Church.

Winner of the Western Poetry and Music Contest will receive: trophy buckle, 2 hours of studio recording time and will be filmed by RFD-TV to be aired with the trail ride.

For info on the Best of America by Horseback trail ride go to www.bestofamericabyhorseback.com/upcomingridesevents.html

For info on the 17th annual Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Contest go to: echoesofthetrail.com 

Western Poetry and Music Contest Info Contact: Judy Houser 620-223-0736 - howserconsulting@gmail.com; Diann Tucker 620-224-7054 - tuckerquarterhoses@hotmail.com





2011 Information


Organizers of the 15th annual Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering say this is the most exciting year for them, because the one and only original cowboy balladeer, Don Edwards, will grace the Danny and Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center stage as part of the June 10-12 weekend at Fort Scott Community  College in Fort Scott, Kan.

Each year, Echoes of the Trail brings in over a dozen excellent cowboy poets and singers, plus saddle makers, braiders, artists, and purveyors of fine western home décor and western clothing. In addition, wainwright Dennis
Williams and his wife Donna serve authentic cowboy "grub" from an authentic chuck wagon, while authentic southwestern fare by Chile Diablo, Taste of the West is served indoors.

But this is the first year that Echoes will close the Academic Bldg. at 5  p.m. on Saturday, June 11th, and present Don Edwards in the Fine Arts Center, which is part of the campus. Opening for Edwards at 7:30 p.m. will be Echoes of the Trail founder,
Johnny Kendrick and his sons Jackson and Sam.

Don Edwards was selected by actor/producer Robert Redford for an important role in the movie Horse Whisperer. Redford said of Edwards, "He is the real deal." Edwards paints a sweeping landscape of the American West with
his ballads about the everyday life of those who lived it. He is an historian, author, and musicologist, unusually well-versed in cowboy lore and musical traditions. He has the soul of a poet, but never glamorizes or romanticizes his music. His songs deal with bad weather, petty motivations, sadness, nostalgia, and longing as the norm.

Fort Scott is indeed fortunate to welcome such a legend, and Echoes of the Trail organizers hope fans will fill the auditorium June 11th, and that they also will come out for the Friday night, June 10th show, starring
Geff Dawson along with regular Echoes performers Sam Kiefer, Joe Lester, Ken Lorton, and Steve Spalding.

Del Shields of RFD-TV will be at Echoes to advertise "Best of American by Horseback", and we have asked him to perform after the kids recite their winning poems, which will be about 3:10 p.m. Saturday, June 11th, in the FSCC Academic Bldg. Round Room. Echoes was one of the first places Del performed many years back, and now he is a well known and loved performer. When he first started, he just recited. Now he sings, plays guitar, and yodels, too! He was featured during several Echoes of the Trail Gatherings, and we are so glad he has time for us this year! It's going to be an awesome show this year!!

There will be southwestern food in the snack bar, provided by Buck Rowland of Arma, Kan., on Friday evening and all day Saturday. Chuck wagons meals will be at noon Saturday and Sunday morning after Cowboy Church. A free will offering is asked for the chuck wagon food.

In addition, 12 cowboy poets and singers will perform in two Academic Building areas all day June 11th. They will be Harold Carpenter, Richard Dunlap, D. J. Fry, Sam Kiefer, Joe Lester, Ken Lorton, Abe Reddekopp, Jerry Schleicher, Cliff Sexton, Royce Smithey, Steve Spalding, and Barry Ward.

At 3 p.m. in the Round Room, area students who win the annual kids' cowboy poetry contest will read or recite their work, and there will be an open microphone immediately after. Steven Spalding and Jerry Schleicher will
again present a workshop on writing cowboy poetry and music on Saturday, time to be announced later.

Sunday morning, June 12th, former Nashville singer and licensed minister Steven Spalding will conduct Cowboy Church, and a hearty chuck wagon breakfast will be served afterward.

There is plenty of free parking near the Academic Bldg. and adjacent Danny and Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center. Tickets will be available soon at Country Cupboard on Main Street in Fort Scott, and on www.echoesofthetrail.com . Tickets for the entire weekend, including the Don Edwards show, will be $20 per person. For the Don Edwards show only, the ticket price will be $15. For more information, see the web site or call

Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering web site




2010 Information

See a report on the 2010 event here.

14th Annual Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering at FSCC is Almost Here!

The cowboys will ride into Fort Scott, Kan. June 11th to sing and play guitar, tell cowboy tales, cook western “grub” at an authentic chuck wagon, and sell all sorts of western gear and decorative items.

In the Fort Scott Community College Round Room on Friday, June 11th, Johnny Kendrick and his sons, the “Branchy Boys” will perform at 7 p.m. after the opening by Steve Spalding, Wanda Cothren, Jerry Schleicher, and Geff Dawson. If you come early, you can buy some excellent Mexican food from Jeannie and Buck Rowland of Arma, Kansas. Their “Chili Diablo, Taste of the West” will be in the snack bar Friday night and all day Saturday.

Then, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 12th, a dozen cowboy poets and musicians will entertain non-stop on two stages while vendors sell art, tack, jewelry, CDs, and much more in the halls of the FSCC Academic Building. Ronald Stranghoner of Iola, Kan. will demonstrate how a saddle is made, and there will be saddles for sale as well. Outdoors, Becky Koger of El Dorado Springs, Mo. will have a trailer full of western clothing to buy! Collette LeFebvre Davis will be back with her new partnership, “Redbrickroad Catering,” and she will have some scrumptious breads and sweets to buy. Also new this year will be Lisa Johnson selling goat’s milk soap on Saturday in the FSCC halls. David “Rowdy” Yates of Mound City, Kan. has again made a one-of-a-kind, gorgeous buckle for the Silent Auction, and he and wife Barbara will again sell collectibles. Back again will be Country Cupboard with their array of great western home décor, books, and more; and Joe and Kathy Lester with their leather goods, western clothing, home décor, and much more. Lynn Chaney will again display her hand-made needlework, done in western/southwestern themes. Ken Lorton will be demonstrating deer-hide braiding and selling his wonderful hand-made tack, bracelets, neck ties, and more. Steve Spalding not only will be selling his art and many CDs and DVDs, but also has sewn some novelty items in addition to purses! All performer CDs, DVDs, and even tapes will be on sale also.

At noon, Dennis and Donna Williams will again cook up an authentic, tasty chuck wagon meal, available to all for just a free will offering! Then, at 1 p.m. Published writer and cowboy poet Jerry Schleicher and nationally-known cowboy and country gospel recording artist Steve Spalding will lead a cowboy poetry/song writing workshop in Room A122.

At 3 p.m. June 12th, the 5th graders who won our cowboy poetry contest will read their winning entries. This year, organizers have added a second category, so that six students will win cash prizes. One category is cowboy poetry that is based on the student’s concept of the cowboy way of life in the old West. The new category will be for poems based on actual historical figures and events during the “cowboy days.” Teachers and principals in three counties in Kansas and two counties in Missouri were invited to participate. Students at Eugene Ware and Winfield Scott in Fort Scott, as well as Pleasanton, KS, and Sheldon, Mo. submitted entries. Poetry Chairman Gary Wimmer says the committee judged well over a hundred original poems.

All poems had to be at least 14 lines, rhyming, and telling a true story of a character in western history, or a story about life on the trail in the Old West. Winners of the Traditional category are 1st Place: Piper Bolen of Pam Ham’s 6th grade class in Pleasanton; 2nd Place, Grant Goldston of Stacia Weilert’s 5th grade class at Winfield Scott in Fort Scott; and 3rd Place, Gabrielle Allen of Winfield Scott. In the Historical category, winners were 1st Place, Makayla Robertson of Linda Jackson’s 5th grade class at Eugene Ware in Fort Scott; 2nd Place, Angelina Fosanella of Mrs. Ham’s 6th grade in Pleasanton, Kan.; and 3rd Place, Jennifer Ewing of the Pleasanton 6th grade. First Place awards are $50. Second Place winners receive $30; and Third Place students will receive $20.

All winning students, their parents, and their teachers have received complementary tickets to the 14th Annual Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering and an invitation for the students to read or recite their poems to an audience at 3 p.m. in the Fort Scott Community College Round Room June 12th.

The Echoes of the Trail Steering Committee wishes to thank the teachers who encouraged their students to learn about the history of the American cowboy and taught them to write cowboy poetry. Echoes of the Trail is dedicated to the memory of the men and women who trained horses, roped, herded, guarded and branded cattle, and otherwise lived the legendary life on the trail in Kansas and what was the “Wild West.”

Following the presentation, the microphone will be open to all until 4 p.m.

At 7 p.m. June 12th,
Johnny Kendrick, Arnold Schofield, and Cliff Sexton will introduce the show, followed by Abe Reddekopp, D. J. Fry, Harold Carpenter, and Joe Lester, who will open for our featured performer, Del Shields of Humboldt, Kan. After the break to wind up the Silent Auction, Shields will entertain from 8:20 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Shields participates in the “Best of America by Horseback” RFD TV show, which is still airing the film of Del and others riding horseback and entertaining from Mexico to Canada in May 2009. Del performed at Echoes in 2004 during the Cowboy Poetry Contest sponsored by the Heartland Chapter of the Academy of Western Artists, and won third prize. Since then, he has had much success. He has released two CDs, “Son of the Prairie Wind,” and “A Little Bit Western.” and appeared on satellite radio in addition to RFD TV. He is in the process of publishing a book of his original cowboy poetry, called “New Trails and Old Cowboy Tales.”

This year, Cowboy Church will be held at 9 a.m. so that attendees won’t have to wait so long for the chuck wagon breakfast that follows.

Tickets are on sale at Country Cupboard on Main St. in Fort Scott, and will be available at the door. Admission is $15 for the entire weekend, or 2/$20 for Senior Citizens. Children 12 and under are admitted free. There is a free will offering for chuck wagon meals. You won’t want to miss this nostalgic and memorable Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering at Fort Scott Community College June 11-13, 2010. See http://www.echoesofthetrail.com or call 620-223-0736 for more information.

Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering web site




2009 Information


A nostalgic weekend of cowboy tales and music is coming to the Fort Scott Community College June 12-14, 2009. The 13th annual Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering starts Friday, June 12th at 7 p.m. with Johnny Kendrick and Sons, Richards, Mo., Kendrick is one of the founders of Echoes of the Trail, and began his singing career in Branson, Mo. His sons have inherited their dad's talent and now appear with him at the annual gathering. Johnny is an authority on and writer of authentic cowboy music, and performs his own and
traditional cowboy music. He wrote "Echoes of the Trail," the event theme song, and has been nominated for Academy of Western Artists awards.

Saturday, doors are open at 9 a.m., and entertainment begins at 10 a.m., with a dozen talented cowboys telling funny and mournful tales, singing, playing guitars, and more on two stages.

The halls of the FSCC Academic Building will be filled with fine horse tack, deer hide braiding, original western and southwestern art, CDs, books, clothing, jewelry, and everything western. Outdoors, chuck wagon cooks Denny and Donna Williams of Neosho, Mo. will dig pits in the ground and cook up authentic trail "grub" for a noon meal Saturday and Sunday morning breakfast. Mexican food, including breakfast, will be available in the snack bar by Jeannie Rowland's Chili Diablo, Taste of the West. Erie's Bridget Becker plans to bring her barbecue, funnel cakes, and more, which she will serve up outdoors.

At 3 p.m. Saturday, the winners of the student cowboy poetry contest will read or recite their poems. For the rest of the hour, the microphone will be open to anyone who wants to read or recite cowboy poetry or stories; or sing or play cowboy music.

Saturday night at 7 p.m., event founders
Johnny Kendrick and Arnold Schofield will open the show along with cowboy poet/singer Cliff Sexton, followed by six of the best cowboy poets and musicians in the four-states. Also Saturday evening, the silent auction of western art and decorative items will culminate. Proceeds go toward next year's gathering, according to event organizers.

This year, Echoes welcomes back cowboy poets/musicians Gerry Allen, Harold Carpenter, Richard Dunlap, D. J. Fry, Joe Lester, Donna Penley, Ron Ratliff, Steve Spalding, Neal Torrey, and Jake White. Most of Echoes performers are members of the Missouri Cowboy Poets Association and live in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Many raise livestock today, have worked on ranches or in rodeo, and have performed all over the United States and Canada. Sam Kiefer actually graduated from the FSCC rodeo program and is a present day cattleman. Last year he touched hearts with his poem about rodeo coach Dan VandeWynkel, now deceased.

The family-oriented trip back to the old West will end Sunday morning at 10 a.m. with inspirational poems and hymns by our performers during Cowboy Church, and a hearty chuck wagon breakfast following. Bring your lawn chairs.

For more information, including a detailed schedule and information on the performers, log onto http://echoesofthetrail.com. The telephone contact is 620-223-0736. Tickets will be available at the door and are now at Country Cupboard on Main Street, Fort Scott. For all shows, cost is $15. Kids 12 and under admitted free. Senior Citizen pricing is 2 tickets for $20. Chuck wagon food asks only a free will offering. Again this year, the entrance will be on the south side of the FSCC Academic Building.


2008 Information

The 12th annual Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering is proud to feature co-founder Johnny Kendrick & Sons on Friday night, June 13th, and Barry Ward on Saturday night, June 14th. Fans will enjoy some new performers this year, and will welcome back the ones they love to hear. Returning after an absence is Gerry Allen, famous for his spoof on "Ghost Riders in the Sky," and new to the program will be Steven Spalding, who started out in Nashville and sounds like Johnny Cash, and Sam Kiefer, who recited on the open microphone
last year.

Fans will enjoy old favorites Harold Carpenter, the tall, lanky cowboy who spins a rope while he spouts droll humor; Wanda Cothren, the Kiamichi Songbird with the golden voice; guitarist/singers Richard Dunlap, D. J. Fry, and Joe Lester, and Del Shields; plus cowboy poets extraordinaire Ron Ratliff, Jake White, and Ron Wilson. Six of the entertainers will open for Johnny Kendrick Friday night, and the other six will open for Barry Ward.

All 12 cowboy poets/singers will entertain non-stop Saturday, June 14th, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on two stages in the Fort Scott Community College Academic Building, and open microphone will be at 3 p.m. after the student cowboy poets recite their winning pieces.

In the air-conditioned halls, a plethora of new vendors of fine western art, jewelry, and clothing will display their wares. A special addition will be Fort Scott's own Key Industries with their new line of Western Wear, plus some summer togs. Key plans to donate part of their sales to Echoes of the Trail, and we really appreciate it. Returning will be old timers Kathy and Joe Lester of Bar Broken Heart Saddlery; Ken Lorton and Donna Carruthers with their deer hide braiding; Lynn Doughty of Out West Gallery with his entertaining western caricature carvings; Buck Rowland and his huge array of fine tack; Country Cupboard with their great cowboy décor; and Shirley Willis with her fine silver and turquoise jewelry. Also, there will be all sorts of fine western items to bid on in the Silent Auction that ends Saturday night.

Duane Feighner will welcome guests with his haunting flute melodies, and Jeanne Rowland will serve up her excellent "Chili Diablo Taste of the West" fare. Outdoors, Don Collop and others will serve up morsels the old time cowboys only wished they could taste!

To end a perfect weekend, we'll worship and sing old time hymns with Barry Ward, Steven Spalding, Richard Dunlap,
Johnny Kendrick, and the other cowboy poets/singers Sunday morning during Cowboy Church out by the chuck wagons. A hearty chuck wagon breakfast will follow.

For more info, call 620-223-0736 or log onto


2007 Information


See a report on the 2007 event here.

This was the announcement information:

Echoes of the Trail Features Two Special Musicians This Year

Fans will enjoy two featured performers this year, in addition to founder
Johnny Kendrick and a dozen other talented cowboy poets and musicians. A fifth and sixth grade student cowboy poetry contest is another new feature.

The 11th annual Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering at Fort Scott Community College will bring back folklorist
Jim Hoy Friday night, June 8th, along with six cowboy poets and musicians. Hoy performed to a full house last year, entertaining with song and guitar as he educated fans on the lore of the Kansas Flint Hills cowboy. Hoy interacts with the audience and encourages questions. Born on a stock ranch near Cassoday, Hoy has lived in the Flint Hills all his life. He has authored and co-authored nine books and hundreds of articles on the history of the Great Plains, including the syndicated column, Plains Folk, which he writes with Jim Isern. In 1996 he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. His performance is financed in part by the Kansas Humanities Council.

Following Friday night’s opening with founders Johnny Kendrick and Arnold Schofield, Echoes of the Trail welcomes back Donna Penley, a former barrel racer and author of several books of cowboy poetry. Donna volunteers in a horse therapy program near her home in Haysville, Kan., and wrote a heartwarming poem about an autistic child who not only spoke, but sang for the first time when she was placed on a horse. With Donna will be Kiamichi Songbird Wanda Cothren, whose silver voice has wowed crowds at Echoes each year. Horseshoer/trainer/cowboy musician Delbert Shields also returns, taking time from his “Best of America by Horseback” TV tour. Following Jim Hoy will be Ron Wilson, 2004 A.W.A. Heartland Chapter Horizon Award winner, plus cowboy preacher/poet Ron Ratliff, and cowboy singer D. J. Fry.

Saturday, after fans enjoy a full day of cowboy entertainment, Barry “Bear” Ward will perform Saturday night, along with six more cowboy poets/singers. Barry was well received at Echoes in 2002, and this year his two “side men,” Tony McGee and Travis Jantz, will join him. “Bear” is a fourth generation Western Kansas farmer, and writes Christian, Western, and cowboy music based on his life experience. He excels on the guitar, and his booming voice conveys his feelings. According to his web site, www.barrywardmusic.com, the subjects of his songs range from a married man’s humorous observations in “The Look,” to a heart-wrenching true story of a rancher whose son was killed on horseback. Barry says “I believe that the Lord has blessed me with the gift of being aware of my surroundings and the ability to capture that moment in verse and song.”

Ward has recorded four CDs and a DVD. He has been nominated Male Performer of the Year by the Western Music Association, and performs all over the U.S., including a 2003 performance in Carnegie Hall in New York, N.Y., as part of the Great American Cowboy Concert.

Before and after Saturday night’s featured performer, nationally known cowboy poet Gail Burton, rope-spinnin’ humorous cowboy poet Harold Carpenter, Cowboys for Christ member and Cowboy Church leader Richard Dunlap, past rodeo bull rider and poet
Jay Jones, rawhide braider / cowboy musician Joe Lester, and mule skinner and Shepherd of the Hills performer Jake White will entertain with tales and songs of life on the trail.

Halfway through the Saturday evening show, the silent auction of fine western art and other unique items will end. Winning entries in the student welding contest and more will be auctioned live at that time.

All day Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the 12 talented cowboy poets and musicians will entertain fans on two stages. There will be an open microphone at 3 p.m. in the Round Room, and winners of the new 5-county student cowboy poetry contest will read or recite their work at that time.

This year, even more fine horse “jewelry” and tack will be sold in the halls, along with western art, home décor, and more. An added treat will be cowgirl poet Judith Johnston who’ll shine your boots or oil yer saddle!

There will be plenty of cowboy and southwestern food at Echoes this year. Outdoors, Denny Williams and Don Collop will again cook up authentic, delicious cowboy “grub” for Saturday’s noon meal and Sunday’s cowboy breakfast. A free will offering is asked for chuck wagon meals. Joining them “just for fun,” will be Lynn and Judy Doughty with their chuck wagon and Lynn’s hilarious cowboy and Indian carvings.

Buck Rowland of Buckaroo’s Saddle and Tack of Arma, Kan. will bring his new bride, Jeanne to the gathering this year, along with her delicious “Chili Diablo Taste of the West.” Near the Academic Building entrance, Jeanne will sell queso and chips, quesadillas, and other Mexican treats with plenty of chipotle peppers. At the Commons Area Snack Bar, Harold Hicks and the FSCC Relay for Life Team will sell Harold’s famous chili, along with homemade cookies and other goodies.

Because we are bringing both Jim Hoy and Barry Ward to Echoes this year, we have had to increase ticket prices. However, we are offering a senior citizen discount, which will be available at locally at Country Cupboard, by mail, and at the door. Seniors may buy two tickets for $20, admitting them to all Academic Building shows. This is a discount of $5 per ticket, since admission to all day Saturday plus both evening shows will be $15 per person. Children age 12 and under will be admitted free. A ticket to just one evening show and all day Saturday also will be offered for $10.

Log onto EchoesoftheTrail.com to view photos of past events and links to Jim Hoy, Barry Ward, and other western web sites. Watch the site for a detailed schedule and more information, or call 620-223-0736. Send checks for advance tickets to Echoes of the Trail, 2280 Hackberry Rd., Fort Scott, KS 66701.

Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering web site


2006 Information

See a report on the 2006 event here.

This was the announcement information:

Mark your calendars for a rip-roarin' 10th annual Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering and Celebration of the West, June 9 - 11, 2006 at Fort Scott Community College, Fort Scott, KS! 

We'll kick off the event Friday night at 7 p.m. with Johnny Kendrick and friends performing, followed by Jim Hoy of Emporia State University.  Jim will present "Boots and Stetsons," courtesy of the Kansas Humanities Council History Alive program. Jim is a well-known historian with a passion for cowboy lore who was with us way back when Echoes first began. He uses song and guitar to tell the story of the American Cowboy. You'll learn a lot and be entertained at the same time! 

Then, Saturday morning at 10 a.m., we'll start a marathon of cowboy poets and musicians performing on the two stages in the Academic Building while chuck wagon cookies stir up some great vittles out under the old Sycamore tree. Lining the halls will be purveyors of fine tack, silver and turquoise jewelry, leather goods, wild rags and other duds, western art, books and CDs, and fancy things fer yer bunk house. 

Ken Lorton will be on hand demonstrating his skill at braiding deer hide and selling his fine, hand made bolos and tack. He's on the program to spout a little cowboy poetry, too. New to the bunch this year will be John Sheehan of Coventry Leather in Wichita. S & S Outfitters of Edna KS and Joplin, MO also will display some wonderful western things for the first time this year. We get a "two-fer" with Joe and Kathy Lester. Joe does leather work, sings, and plays guitar. Kathy creates all sorts of decorative items for the home, wild rags, and western clothing. Their table is right next to the Round Room where the poets perform, where it's been for nearly 10 years! Other long time vendors include Rick Trouslot's Bunkhouse Art and Judy Renard's Country Cupboard (a shop in Fort Scott).

There'll be an open microphone for those not on the program, and we hope you all will come and enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow cowpokes.

At 7:00 Saturday night, founders Arnold Schofield and Johnny Kendrick will kick off the evening program of cowboy poets/musicians. A couple of old timers you'll enjoy are Harold Carpenter of Sedan, KS and Jake White of Springfield, MO. Harold is known for his droll humor, spouted as he executes fancy rope tricks. Jake has been a performer at Branson's Shepherd of the Hills and is a polished cowboy poet. During the evening, we'll auction off a low-numbered, signed Gary Hawk Echoes of the Trail print, prize winning metal art hand welded by Fort Scott students, and other great western items.

Other Missouri Cowboy Poets Assn. members you'll hear are Gerry Allen, Gail Burton, Wanda Cothren, Jimmy Couch, Delbert Shields, Richard Dunlap, D. J. Fry, John Hybsha,
Jay Jones, Joe Lester, Abe Reddekopp, Cliff Sexton, Neal Torrey, and Leroy Watts. Chuck wagon cookies Don Collop, Kenny Gordon, and Denny Williams have been known to get up on stage and trade insults, too! Lynn and Judy Doughty will be on hand with their chuck wagon, as well. Ask Lynn about his wonderful hand carved western figures.

Sunday morning, we'll hold our usual Cowboy Church out by the chuck wagons. It's always a wonderful outpouring of spiritual poems and old time hymns accompanied by our cowboy poets/musicians. To end a most enjoyable weekend, the camp cookies will stir up a hearty breakfast cooked over the coals. 

All this for only $7 at the door, or $5 in advance. Kids 12 and under free.

No charge for outdoor activities and only a free-will offering asked for the chuck wagon grub. You couldn't find a better weekend of family fun anywhere for that price!

To top it off, Fort Scott has plenty of fine antique shops, a restored 1840's fort, historic downtown and churches, Victorian bed and breakfasts, and much more.


2005 Photos and Echoes of the Trail Trophy Saddle


Harold Carpenter speaks at Cowboy Church

Dennis Williams cookin' up Sunday breakfast

Farrier Charlie Comstock, pounding out a tool the old fashioned way.

Diners at The Red Barn Restaurant in Fort Scott, Kan. were the first to see the Echoes of the Trail 2005 trophy saddle. The custom-made commemorative saddle by Double J Saddlery of Yoakum, Texas is valued at $1,500. Ten local sponsors purchased the saddle from S&S Western Wear of Edna, KS, and Timberline Mall, I-44 / Range Line, Joplin.

Red Barn owners Rick Kirby (left) and Jack Coonrod (right) display 
Echoes of the Trail saddle at their Fort Scott restaurant.

This is the second year that the Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering and Celebration of the West is offering chances on a hand-made ranch roper saddle for $5 donation per ticket. The winning ticket was drawn June 11, 2005, during Echoes of the Trail at Fort Scott Community College. The saddle was on display at the sponsors' places of business and at other public functions until the winning ticket was drawn in June. 

The saddle was won by Debbie Romero.  Above is a photo of her children with Echoes of the Trail Master of Ceremonies Gary Wimmer.

Fort Scott businesses contributing to purchase of the saddle are Animal Care Center of Fort Scott, 601 E. 10th Street; City State Bank, 1012 Highway 69; Fort Scott Livestock Market, Inc., Old Highway 54; Key Industries, Inc.,
400 Marble Road; McDonald's Restaurant, 23rd and S. Main; Mercy Health Center, 401 Woodland Hills Blvd.; The Red Barn Restaurant, 2193 Musket Road; Rockin' Horse Farms, John and Jan Spencer, 816 E. National; Shepherd Team Auto Plaza, South Highway 69; and Tucker Brothers Quarter Horses, 746 215th St..

Double J Saddlery is a well-known and respected saddlemaker whose quality and workmanship sets the standard in the industry. Custom trees are handmade of wood, fiberglass reinforced and covered with a superior material called Armor-coat, far superior to other coverings. The company uses U.S.-made Herman Oak skirting leather, and all hardware is stainless steel. All saddles are handmade to order at the factory in Yoakum, Texas. The custom-stamped and dyed Echoes of the Trail logo on the fenders make the saddle a true collector's item as well as one the winner will be proud to
ride into the roping arena, on the ranch, or on the trail. 

The 9th annual Echoes of the Trail brought cowboy poets, musicians, artists, craftsmen, chuck wagon cooks, blacksmiths, and purveyors of quality western merchandise to Fort Scott for a weekend of family entertainment and education about the Old West, June 10-12, 2005. 

Updated August 10, 2005


Echoes of the Trail, by Gary Hawk

The framed, limited edition prints of this painting are $150 each, $15 of which goes to
Echoes of the Trail. Unframed prints are $75, with same benefit to Echoes.
 Contact Judy Howser.

Echoes of the Trail 2004

by Judy Howser

I was pleased with the turnout at Echoes of the Trail this year, even though the weather was intermittently rainy, and the thunder rolled! The performers were terrific, the chuck wagon "grub" delicious, and the trade show full of high quality western items.

We were sorry to hear that
Norm Rourke was ill and unable to participate in the AWA Heartland Chapter contest. Delbert Shields, a horse trainer, farrier, leather worker, and cowboy poet from Humboldt, Kan. competed in Norm's place. I am glad I didn't have to judge that contest. All of the poets were outstanding. Delbert reminded me of Baxter Black, and the grand prize winner of the AWA convention tickets, Ron Wilson, looked a lot like Gunsmoke's Matt Dillon! Ron was a really smooth entertainer, and I could see why he won the Horizon Award. He also dressed the part, in leather chaps and all. I expect we'll hear a lot more from him. 

The winner of the music category, Dave Boyd, did a touching poem about his Grandpa, and his deep faith was apparent as he sang original religious pieces.

Kathy Reed of Westheart was in charge of the contest, and she asked
Johnny Kendrick to sing his "Echoes of the Trail" ballad, since she could not stay for Saturday's performances. I never tire of hearing that beautiful song. 

Saturday, we heard some great cowboy poetry and music by Dave Boyd, Gail T. Burton, Wanda Cothren, Richard Dunlap, D. J. Fry, Jay Jones, Johnny Kendrick, Joe Lester, Arnold Schofield, Cliff Sexton, Jake White, and Ron Wilson. Chuck wagon "cookies" Dennis Williams, Kenny Gordon, and John Hybsha also took turns at the mike, trading insults and telling tall tales.

As a finale to the evening show, Hall of Fame fiddler and banjo player Buster Jenkins and his wife Betty brought the house down with their foot stompin', rip-roarin' concert. They played all the really old tunes, interspersed with history and humor, and they received a well-deserved standing ovation! Buster has written a book about his long life as a western entertainer, and I can't wait to read it.

Lynn Doughty graciously displayed his fantastic wood carvings, and carved on a new figure as he sat in among them. His characters are hilarious caricatures and depict scenes reminiscent of "Stampede" cartoons, except that they are three dimensional! Lynn said he experimented by taking a torch to one of his carvings, and the result is a hilarious, "crispy crittered" cowboy holding an umbrella that is nothing but spokes. Of course, the old guy was hit by lightning! Check out Lynn's web site:

Gary Hawk also graced us with his presence and I watched him paint a beautiful snow scene with a rustic cabin in the woods. He said he came to the gathering to show his support of Echoes of the Trail, and we really appreciate that. Gary painted "Echoes of the Trail" and donated the first 10 prints to us. Also, he is doing a series of watercolor workshops in Fort Scott.

Ken Lorton of Warsaw, Mo. demonstrated the nearly lost art of braiding deer hide, and he donated a bolo tie for us to give away. Ken will be at the Cal Farley Boys Ranch event, showing youngsters how to braid. Artist Susan Marie also was plying her trade, working on a watercolor.

Shannon Wrango of Kansas Saddlery in Leon, Kansas was at Echoes with her wonderful array of everything from soaps to rope baskets to western duds. She donated a CD and a sweet smelling soap. Shirley Willis of Colcord, Okla. had a huge array of her gorgeous silver and turquoise jewelry, and she donated a silver money clip with a longhorn steer head on it. Kathy and Joe Lester of Kansas, Okla. again displayed their handiwork, from Joe's braided leather to Kathy's wild rags and broomstick skirts. They kindly donated a southwestern vase.  Other vendors included painter Susan Marie from Royal, Ark., Anna Mayberry of H & M Valley Ranch Store in Willow Springs, Mo., Clyde and Joanne Searles of Wann, Okla., Rich Trouslot's Bunkhouse Art of Walton, Kan., Judy Renard's Country Cupboard of Fort Scott, Ka., wainwright Dennis Williams of Neosho, Mo., Elby Magee's Owl Valley Saddle Shop of Osawatomie, Kan., Kathy Reed's Corner of Time of Fort Scott, and Chuck and
Ramona Campbell's Caps and Jackets of Paola, Kan.

Before drawing for the saddle winner, we drew names for the donated items, then put them back in for a chance to win the roping saddle hand made by Double J Saddlery of Yoakum, Texas. Clyde Searles, a craftsman from Wann, Okla. who makes decorative items from horseshoes, horseshoe nails, and barbed wire was the lucky winner of the trophy saddle from S & S Western Wear, Edna, Kansas. He said he nearly fainted when his name was called. With tears glistening in her eyes, wife Joanne said he will definitely use the beautiful saddle. They must be living right, because last year at Echoes of the Trail, they won prints by Don Dane and Gary Hawk!

The saddle was purchased by ten generous Fort Scott businesses, and all the proceeds go toward Echoes of the Trail expenses. We thank committee member Diann Tucker of Tucker Quarter Horses for arranging the saddle purchase.

We heard that after Saturday night's show, our cowboy poets/musicians jammed until the wee hours at their headquarters, the historic Courtland Hotel/Bed and Breakfast. Sunday, the rain let up enough for 130 people to enjoy inspirational cowboy poems and sing old time hymns with Friday and Saturday's performers, followed by a hearty chuck wagon breakfast. It was a perfect ending to a great weekend. The Echoes of the Trail Steering Committee thanks cowboypoetry.com for giving us the opportunity to advertise our gathering on this popular web site. 

See you all at Echoes of the Trail June 10 - 12, 2005!

2004 Horizon Award

The Academy of Western Artists Heartland Chapter held its first annual Horizon Award competition for cowboy music and poetry in conjunction with the Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering in Ft. Scott, Kansas.  Contestants competed in either music or poetry categories with the Horizon Award winner being chosen from the 1st place winners.  The 2004 Horizon Award went to cowboy poet Ron Wilson of Wamego, Kansas, who won 2 full passes to the AWA convention in Ft. Worth, Texas.  Other winners were:

         Ron Wilson - 1st
         Neal Torrey - 2nd
         Delbert Shields - 3rd

         Dave Boyd - 1st
         Mike Gracy - 2nd

Winners were awarded radio promotion time on KOFO 1220 am in Ottawa, Ks.; and other promotion opportunities.  

Echoes of the Trail 

Thank you friends, for comin' out tonight.
I know Echoes of the Trail will treat you just right.

This event was begun eight years ago,
By Johnny Kendrick and Arnold Schofield, as you may know.

Partnering with others, including Fort Scott Community College, 
This event celebrates western history, arts, and knowledge.

Thanks to our wonderful hosts in Bourbon County,
Our western heritage generates a great bounty.

From great poets and craftsmen and chuckwagon cookin',
It's fun to shop, listen and do some lookin'.

We thank the Heartland Chapter of AWA
For bringin' these artists together today.

Thanks to the committee for tending to every detail,
So that we can experience the Echoes of the Trail.

© 2004, Ron Wilson  www.ronscowboypoetry.com

Award Winner Ron Wilson

Echoes of the Trail, 2002

by Judy Howser

John Kendrick and Arnold Schofield founded Echoes of the Trail, and next year will be our 7th annual gathering. Fort Scott Community College graciously provide their buildings, grounds, maintenance staff, additional funding, and more.

This year we added a colt starting clinic by poet-singer-rancher Cody Holmes and a cow dog demonstration by Duff and Laura Sandness, and we hope to continue with those next year. We had a great turnout for those events as well as around the chuck wagons all weekend and at Cowboy Church on Sunday morning. Our wonderful "cookies" fed everyone bacon, sausage, flapjacks, biscuits 'n gravy, eggs, coffee, and juice after Cowboy Church out by the chuck wagons.

On the stage this year, Neal Torrey introduced his hand-made wooden friend "Mossback Charlie," whose comments had 'em rollin' in the aisles. Another highlight was when Barry "Bear" Ward performed a patriotic number from his soon to be released CD, which included a tribute to veterans. He received a standing ovation! Native American flute player Duane Feighner returned again to entertain the crowd with his haunting melodies and interesting stories of life on the "rez." Other memorable performances included Harold Carpenter's quips, poetry, and fantastic rope tricks; Cookies Don Collop and Dennis William hilariously tales from the chuckwagon perspective; Cody and Dawn Holmes singin' Roy and Dale type duets; Gerry Allen with his hilarious spoof on Ghost Riders in the Sky; Wanda Cothren's marvelous crooning and yodeling; Johnny Kendrick with his eyes closed, making the ladies swoon as he effortlessly wails out his Echoes of the Trail and other original songs.

Others giving 15 minute segments of heartfelt, original poetry and song were  Cliff Sexton, Jerry White, Flint McPeak, Jay Jones and Richard Dunlap.

Next year, Judy and Lynn Doughty plan to display more of his elaborate western carvings as a special show indoors. He usually sets up outside, with his chuck wagon as a backdrop, and his intricate cowboy and Indian wood caricatures displayed there. I'm sure he'll do that again, too, but he has done some larger scenes I'm sure the public will love to view. Each year we have new vendors of items like fine silver and turquoise jewelry made by Native American silversmith Shirley Willis or LaVern Watts (wife of MCPA co-founder Leroy Watts); fine hand tooled leather tack by poet-singer Joe Lester or Elby Magee's Owl Valley Saddle Shop; home made pottery by Fort Scott's Bobbi Kemna; fine pencil drawings by Arthur Armstrong; lots of western items from Judy Renard's Country Cupboard; great Frankoma pottery, toy pistol display, and much more from the Rock Bottom Gun Shop; etc.

In addition, we always have prints of Gary Hawk's wonderful "Echoes of the Trail" and other water color paintings of his on sale (for which he used our founders, Arnold Schofield and Johnny Kendrick, as models for reference drawings. Prints are $75 unframed, $150 framed). We own the original painting, but we would be willing to sell it for the right price, and we auction one or two of the first 10 prints each year.

Each year, we also raffle off an evening of cowboy poetry and music by John Kendrick, Cliff Sexton, and Arnold Schofield, in addition to other special items, like Wanda Cothren's fine hand-tooled leather work.

We sorely missed LaVern and Leroy Watts this year. LaVern fractured her sternum in a serious auto accident and was unable to attend. She's on the mend, though, and we know nothing will keep them away next year. Gary Hawk usually makes an appearance, and sometimes gives watercolor painting demos. This year, however, his father was ailing, and he needed to be with him.

The same goes for vendors Jim and Kathy Reed of Westheart. Jim's dad was quite ill, and they were unable to be with us. Fans were disappointed when they couldn't buy any of those hard-to-find tapes of old favorite country musicians from the Reeds this year. Our hearts and prayers go out to them, and to Deb and Jay Jones, who recently lost their son. We pray for healing for each one.

Well, I could go on and on, as you can see. Echoes of the Trail is a wonderful gathering, and each year some heartwarming, serendipitous thing happens to make it even more special.

Happy Trails,
Judy Howser

Echoes of the Trail by Johnny Kendrick


Echoes of the Trail

There's an old coyote wailin' as the twilight paints the sky
There's a western wind that's singin' a cowboy lullaby
When the cattle start to settle underneath the nightherd's wail
And those ghostly riders rumble, they are Echoes of the Trail

From the canyons of Chihuahua, to the blue Dakota grass
Far across the wide Missouri, to beyond the Beartooth Pass.
Came the Longhorns and the drovers, then the pilgrims and the rail
Destiny displaced the Red Man, like the Echoes of the Trail

Wail away you old coyote, though city lights make starshine pale
We will gather to remember, and hear Echoes of the Trail
They say the good old days are over and better days have come and gone
But there'll always be a cowboy tellin' stories, singin' songs.

Ridin' circle on a good horse, and doin' his job without fail
Who will watch a purple sunset hearin' Echoes of the Trail.
Wail away you old coyote, though city lights make starshine pale
We will gather to remember, and hear Echoes of the Trail

© 1997 Johnny Kendrick, Prairie Rose Music BMI

Johnny Kendrick says:  My good friend Arnold Schofield suggested this as a name for a cowboy poetry gathering at Fort Scott, Kansas. While we were getting things ready for the second go round, I made up this song.  See our feature about Johnny Kendrick here.

The Echoes of the Trail  '98

The Echoes of the Trail '98 CD, recorded live on June 19, 1998 at Fort Scott, Kansas, is a showcase of musicians, storytellers, and poets. The fifteen tracks include:

Echoes of the Trail by Johnny Kendrick
Miriam Thompson, 1844 by Kaye Kuhlman
Old Pard by Buzz Benson
Dad's Old Boots and The Search by Leroy Watts
When I Talk to Horses and The Stud? by Debra Coppinger Hill
Sierry Petes by Gail Gardner recited by Don Collop
Mail Order Bride and The Biker and Cowboy by Harold Carpenter
Doubt if He's Ever by Richard Dunlap
Snakes by Francine Robison
From a Dog's Point of View by Jack DeWerff
Grass and Water, I Can't Yodel Yodelin' Love Song for You by Gerry Allen
The Rancher and the Cowboy and What it Takes by Cliff Sexton
What It's Worth and A Cowboy's Christmas Prayer by Gail Burton
Take Me Back to West by Debra Coppinger Hill, sung by Gerry Allen
Amazing Grace harmonica by Red Stradley

$15 postpaid from:

Echoes of the Trail Cowboy Gathering web site






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