About R. W. Hampton
Contacting R. W. Hampton


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About R. W. Hampton

R. W. Hampton is one of the leading Western Entertainers in America today.  Blessed with a wonderfully rich baritone voice, R. W. has a quality of genuineness about him that resonates when he’s on stage, in person or just through the words of his songs. For R. W. has lived what he sings about, and the world of early mornings, hard work, rough horses, maverick cattle and new ranges fits him. After twenty years in the entertainment business, R. W. is still pure cowboy, singing about what he loves best.  Working cowboys in today’s world are unique on their own, but being genuine in a day when even reality television programs are set-up and staged is even more refreshing, and R. W.’s audiences and fans appreciate that.  

R. W. was born to be a cowboy. Although he grew up in a Texas town, he has lived and worked on ranches all over the American West. His start came with a summer wrangling job at Philmont Scout Ranch in the mountains of Cimarron , New Mexico . The work felt good. Whether driving cows, shoeing horses, singing around the campfire, or leading horse rides in the high country, R. W. knew it was the life he was destined for.  continued below...

photo © 2005, Henry Benson
R. W. Hampton at Monterey, 2005, performing The Last Cowboy



Born to be a Cowboy

Donnie Catch a Horse

The Master's in Everything

For the Freedom

Rodeo Man


Born to be a Cowboy

The painted walls of Palo Duro, how my heart can see them yet
As a boy of eighteen summers long before I knew regret
There I rode the bold unwilling and my loop was keen and true
And even in the dead of winter the sky seemed always blue

Where oh where is Bud Delaney, he could ride and ride 'em tall
Haven't seen him since he quit here, ten years ago last fall
I hear he moved out east of Kingman and he's taken different ways
But a better hand at punchin' cows there wasn't in his day

And it's been saddle horse and catch twine that has been my life
Some say it's been my downfall, for the world has passed me by
The life I live I freely chose, I'm at it yet tonight
I was born to be a cowboy and I will be ‘til I die

We were camped on Rita Blanca, me and Bud and Steve and Paul
At ol’ Dick Shepard's wagon, way up in the fall
Colder than the dickens, but when the work was done
We’d catch a fresh horse and lope to town just lookin' for some fun  

In the heat of summer brandin', we’d get an early start
Jingle in the horses, saddle in the dark
Ride out on the mornin' without a spoken word
The ring of spur, the fall of hoof was all that could be heard

Repeat Chorus

I first laid eyes on Darcy Taylor at the Channing Christmas Ball
The daughter of a circuit preacher, the fairest of them all
I knew I could never have her but I loved her just the same
And I still get that old time feelin' when I hear her name

Photographs and trophy buckles, the things you hold with pride
As eyes grow dim won't mean as much, as what you've got inside
But I've got lots of memories, to me, worth more than gold
And I can say I'm ready Lord any time it's time to go

Repeat Chorus

© 1994, R. W. Hampton, All rights reserved
These lyrics may not be reprinted or reposted without written permission.

See R.W. Hampton perform "Born to be a Cowboy" at the 2009 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mja7PxbQI0Y.


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Donnie Catch A Horse

I left my home so long ago, oh, I’ve rambled near and far
I traded my old boots and spurs for a cry and moan guitar
What I lost along the way the good Lord only knows
But I ain’t sold my saddle yet and while I still got the time to go...

I’m singin’,
Donnie catch a horse for me, you know the one that I never could ride
Jake, ya snub him up real close, gonna give it another try 
Me and Tom’ll ride the cedar breaks and the wild ones rope and tie
Bonnie Gray, if you’re still free, won’t you be a cowboy’s bride?  

From the Bighorns to Dakota line, where the Belle Fourche River runs
I rode a many frozen mile but I had a lot of fun
I ran my first wild horses there, Lord, I’ve never been the same
I long to see the sun go down on the Thunder Basin Range

Repeat Chorus

I got a gal that’s true to me, she’s waited for so long
She’s wanted nothing more from life than a family and home
First thing in the mornin’ I’ll ride out and see her pa
Then she and I are gonna settle down at the head of a cottonwood draw

Repeat Chorus

© 1998, R. W. Hampton, All rights reserved
These lyrics may not be reprinted or reposted without written permission.

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The Master's in Everything

Gather 'round boys
And I'll sing you a song
The words, they are simple
It shouldn't take long

If you ride for cattle
O're the mountains and plains
Take time to ponder
Just who sends the rains

Well, the rain in the spring
Brings the summer to bloom
The sun burning warm in the heavenly blue
The autumn brings winter, the ice and the snow

That's His perfect circle and so on it goes

From the four winds that blow to the whippoorwill call
From the green leaves of spring to the gold in the fall
From sunrise to sunset and all in between
The Master's in everything that you see
The Master's in everything that you see

Well, if you've seen the lightning on a hot summer night
Or found a new mother her young by her side
Your breath stolen clean from a mountain top view
Well, the horse you're a ridin's a gift from Him too
So listen my friend if you've cause to doubt
Open your eyes and He's all about
In a wondrous creation abounding with love
By the Father and Son it's ruled from above

Repeat Chorus

© 2006, R. W. Hampton, All rights reserved
These lyrics may not be reprinted or reposted without written permission.


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For the Freedom

The snow’s all but gone from the Sangre de Cristos
The high country soon will be bare
As the cottonwoods bloom along the sleepy slow Cimarron
Oh, how I wished I was there 

I’ll bet Danny has grown a foot since I’ve been gone
Little Katie turns seven this spring
Just hold them and kiss them
And tell them I love them, for who knows what tomorrow might bring       


Raise the stars and stripes for me every morning
Say a prayer for me each night
Remember, remember, please, always remember
It’s for the freedom we love, that I fight
It’s for the freedom we love that I fight

Got a letter from Dad, some cookies from Momma
Got the card that you sent, yesterday
And I carry your picture in my left front pocket
It sort of helps me when I am afraid

‘Cause this desert’s a hell, when the wind blows the sand up
The nights here are black, cold and long
But from what I can tell, the folks here sure need us
And that’s why I’m singing this song

Repeat Chorus

The Captain just came in and gave us our orders
I’ll guess we’ll be moving out soon
Just know that I love you and if something should happen
You and the kids, Dear, will know what to do

Repeat Chorus

© 2005, R. W. Hampton, All rights reserved, from I Believe
These lyrics may not be reprinted or reposted without written permission.

This song was selected as the 2006 Western Music Association Song of the Year

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Rodeo Man

I'm drivin' tonight by this rodeo moon
Amarillo by morning, maybe someday soon
A lonesome rodeo cowboy, comin' round again
Got this rodeo fever, and I can still make Cheyenne


And I'll drive all night long
I'll ride in the next rodeo
I'll cry for the love I left at home
And I'll sing this lonesome cowboy song

I guess that I was born to run this endless trail, my friend
From Austin to Boston, I've been there and back again
If this ol' wore-out truck can make Fort Worth town
I'll unload my ponies, and I'll lay my money down


Don't you cry for me, I am what I am
I chose this life, I'm a rodeo man
I'll drive all night long
I'll ride in the next rodeo
I'll cry for the one I left at home
And I'll sing this lonesome cowboy song
And I'll drive all night long
I'll ride in the next rodeo

from Austin to Boston, by Colter Hampton and R.W. Hampton
© 2010 Cimarron Sounds (BMI). All rights reserved. Used by permission
These lyrics may not be reprinted or reposted without written permission.

R.W. Hampton writes in his song comments for the Austin to Boston CD here at his web site:

Rodeo and ranching are a way of life for my family and they go hand in hand. Rodeo can be addictive though because no matter how much hard luck you had in the arena today, there's always the promise of better luck tomorrow and the prize money that goes along with it. Rodeo and the optimism that seems to drive a man on to the next show is the spirit that embodies the American West.

I'm proud to include this song because it was written by a true "Rodeo Man" my son, Colter Hampton, who has chased that dream and won his share of buckles, saddles and prize money; but also tasted the disappointment of defeat and had to go on to ride again. For this song Colter also added his talents in the background vocals, like a ghostly voice from the arena dust of a long forgotten bronc ride.



Austin to Boston



Back Home
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Cowboy's Prayer
Dream on Little Dreamer
Danny Boy
Driftin' Again
Wherever You Are
Rodeo Man
You Don't Know Me
Job for a Cowboy

R.W. Hampton  comments, "There's a lot of great music out there that speaks to the values I believe in. I don't want to be known as a singer who just does cowboy songs; I want to be known as a cowboy who sings great songs."

From the official announcement:

Austin to Boston is the 12th album of new material by the award-winning cowboy artist and arguably his most eagerly anticipated. Prior to the album's release, the first European focus track, "Cowboy's Prayer," debuted at #2 on the UK Hotdisc Top 40 chart and quickly rose to #1, where it enjoyed a three-week reign. And pre-release tunes from the album posted on
Hampton's Facebook fan page have helped push his 'friends' past the 17,500 mark—a remarkable achievement in today's cowboy world.

Hampton recorded Austin to Boston in Los Angeles with Joe Diblasi as producer, engineer and arranger, and Gary Bright as executive producer and producer. Drawing from their extensive contacts, Hampton was able to record with some of the finest studio musicians working today, including Grammy Award-winning dobro player Al Perkins, bagpiper Eric Rigler, who played Irish whistle on Celine Dion's Grammy winning "My Heart Will Go On" from the movie Titanic, steel player extraordinaire Jay Dee Maness from the Desert Rose Band and legendary accordionist Frank Marocco.

Find audio samples, complete song notes, order information, and more for Austin to Boston at R.W. Hampton's web site.

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Oklahoma...Where the West Remains!

Recipient of the Wrangler Award, the National Heritage Award
 from the
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum


Vocals and narratives performed by RW Hampton. Includes:

Where the West Remains: Overture, by Edna Mae Holden and Richard E. O'Brien
Intro to the Story  (narrative)
Where the West Remains, by Edna Mae Holden and Richard E. O'Brien
Before the Journey (narrative)
The Journey, by R. W. Hampton
Run of the Cherokee Outlet, by Edna Mae Holden
Native Peoples (narrative)
Words on Talking Leaves, by Richard E. O'Brien
Keeper of the Plains, by Edna Mae Holden
Up the Trail to Kansas (narrative)
A Cowboy I Will Stay, by Edna Mae Holden and R.W. Hampton
Wick Doss (narrative)
Wish I'd Stayed in Jail, by Richard E. O'Brien
Cowboys (narrative)
101 Ranch Cowboy, by Richard E. O'Brien and Edna Mae Holden
Always the Weather (narrative)
Dusty Skies, by Cindy Walker
What Beautiful Country  (narrative)
Oklahoma Hills, by Jack Guthrie & Woodie Guthrie)
Faith (narrative)
On Jordan's Stormy Banks, traditional
It's Worth Coming Home (narrative)
Oklahoma Towns, by Edna Mae Holden and Merele Harmon
Bob Wills  (narrative)
We've Taken Bob Back To Tulsa, by Richard E. O'Brien
Legends & Icons (narrative)
Will Rogers' Last Flight, by Tim Spencer and R.W. Hampton
The Beauty of the State (narrative)
The Everlasting Hills of Oklahoma, by Tim Spencer
Freedom Isn't Free (narrative)
For the Freedom, by R. W. Hampton
Where the West Remains: Finale, by Edna Mae Holden and Richard E. O'Brien
Where the West Remains: Soliloquy, by Edna Mae Holden and Richard E. O'Brien


From the first strains of the overture in Oklahoma...Where the West Remains!, listeners are swept into the state's colorful, vast, and varied history. Created in part in celebration of Oklahoma's 100 years of statehood, the CD is a "journey in story and song," featuring R.W. Hampton, Rich O'Brien, and Oklahoma's Enid Symphony Orchestra.

The inspired production takes listeners along the Cherokee trail, introduces them to cowboys, Native Americans, and Buffalo Soldiers; looks into trail drive, ranching, and rodeo life; celebrates favorite sons including Will Rogers and Bob Wills; and the journey continues, up to the present day. This is no dry history. R.W. Hampton sets the tone as he introduces the people and the state, "...made up mostly of folks who were lookin' to be somewhere else... a refuge and melting pot Native Americans, immigrants of all kinds for outlaws, in-laws, former slaves and just about every other group that you can imagine. All with one thing in mind: new beginnings." The tales and songs are compelling, and the whole project is cinematic in mood and vision, treating listeners to a rich and entertaining real Western experience.

Oklahoma writer, musician, and attorney and Oklahoma native Edna Mae Holden—descended from four generations of Oklahoma ranchers— conceived the project. She worked for three years with Rich O'Brien, R.W. Hampton, and Douglas Newell, the Music Director of the Enid Symphony Orchestra, and others to, as she writes, "convert 'Where the West Remains' from a little melody that was just bouncing around in my head." Edna Mae Holden has recorded an album of original cowboy music (These Canyon Walls); published articles in Cowboy Magazine, Western Horseman, and Persimmon Hill; and served on the Working Ranch Cowboys Association board and currently serves on the board of the National Ranching Heritage Center.

The production, chosen as an official Oklahoma Centennial Commission event, includes songs and music written by Edna Mae Holden, Rich O'Brien, R.W. Hampton, Tim Spencer, Cindy Walker, and others. R.W. Hampton delivers the moving narrative presentation and songs, and his entrancing voice is backed up by the music of Rich O'Brien and the Chisholm Trail String Band and the Enid Symphony Orchestra. A highlight of the recording is a new version of R. W. Hampton's award-winning "For the Freedom," performed with the Enid Symphony. (You can listen to the entire song at R.W. Hampton's MySpace site).

A performance of Oklahoma... Where The West Remains was presented November 18, 2007 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. The "Where the West Remains" web site has more information about the production.

The Oklahoma...Where the West Remains! CD is available for $20 from R.W. Hampton's web site, where there's additional information.

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I Believe



He Bought My Soul
I Believe
How Big is God?
Someone Much Greater Than I
This Ole House
Wedding Song (Will You Be Mine)
Until Then
For the Freedom
Known Only to Him
The Master's in Everything
Homeward Bound

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The Troubadour
A Red, Red Rose
The Oregon Trail
Aura Lee
Katy Wells
North To Kansas
Rock of Ages/Shall We Gather At The River
Yellow Stripes
Cole Younger
The Buffalo Skinners
What Have You Got Planned Tonight Diana?
One More Ride
Bill Venero
Rose of the San Joaquin/Tramps & Hawkers
Curly Joe
Old Faithful
It's Only Me
Silver Trails
After All These Years
Cowboy True

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Always in My Heart



When She Cries "Don't Go"
Adobe Walls
Back Home to Lisa
Lily Dale
Cowboy and the Queen
Shelly's Winter Love
It's You I'm Missing Most of All
Bend in the River
When It Rains
For Only Loving You
Blue Spanish Eyes
What Does She See
Whispering Pines
Alberta Rain

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Last Cowboy



Born to be a Cowboy - Prelude
Howdy and a Handshake
Night Rider's Lament
Headed West to Fort Worth/Whoopee Ti Yi Yo
Wild Young Horses
Jake & L.C. in Yellowstone
Autumn Melody
Canadian River Waltz
Preacher & Deacon/Precious Memories
Ghost Riders in The Sky
Ballad of Hazel O'Neil
Texas, The Springtime And You
Travelin' Light
Back In the Saddle Again
Ten Line Movie
Sunset Trail
Ranges of My Mind
Born To Be a Cowboy - Reprise


Visit www.RWHampton.com for order information, or call 800-392-0822

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R. W. Hampton has a number of additional recordings available, including:

Our First Noel, 2005 (with Curly Musgrave, Belinda Gail and Kip Calahan)
I Believe, 2005  
Troubadour, 2003 (Real West) 
Always In My Heart, 2001 (Real West)
The Last Cowboy - His Journey, 1999
Then Sings My Soul, 1998
Ridin' The Dreamland Range, 1997
Born To Be A Cowboy, 1996
The One That I Never Could Ride, 1994 (Adobe Records)
Travelin' Light, 1984

Visit www.RWHampton.com for order information, or call 800-392-0822



rwhamptonj.jpg (18105 bytes) About R. W. Hampton  (continued from above)

He worked at Philmont for three years and then took a riding job at the Red River Ranch near Springer, New Mexico the summer after high school.  His parents were anxious for him to get a college education, which he tried, but soon found he was more interested in riding a horse and playing his guitar than attending class.  Consequently, he left school, loaded his saddle and headed for the Spade Ranch in New Mexico .  

Like a lot of young cowboys, R. W. got the urge to see new ranges after a few years.  From the Spade Ranch he went to the IL Ranch of northern Nevada and then back to New Mexico and Texas to the 4T and K Cross Ranches, the Quien Sabe and the LS Ranches, where he started colts along with taking his place among the cowboy crew.  Although he relished life on the Canadian River ranches, he still had the urge to drift which sent him to the ZX Ranch of the Oregon desert and then to the Pickerel Land and Cattle Company of Wyoming .

All the while R. W. played guitar and sang cowboy and western songs, an interest he had pursued since high school.  On the ranches where he worked he wrote songs based on his experiences.  Most of the time he played and sang to entertain in bunkhouses and at roundup wagons; but periodically he was invited to sing in public.  As time drew on, R. W. received more invitations, many of which paid considerably more than cowboy wages.

As a result, R. W. came to a point where he had to make a decision.  The demands of performing while holding a ranch job were much too difficult.  In 1988 he decided to see if he could make a living playing music.  The decision was monumental because he went from a ranch job, earning $800 a month with a house and beef, to an uncertain attempt to make a living in a new career.  Invitations came sporadically at first, but eventually grew to include performances at rodeos, cowboy poetry gatherings, performing arts centers, churches, corporate events, and private functions. 

In 1985 R. W. added to his resume when he worked in Kenny Rogers’ movie Wild Horses.  The role was a treat for him as it gave him opportunity to sing and play his guitar in the film and to work with Ben Johnson, Richard Farnsworth, and Buck Taylor.   He has appeared in ten movies since, including The Tracker with Kris Kristofferson and two other Kenny Rogers films, The Gambler III and a documentary of the American cowboy.

Along the way R. W. has performed all over the United States including The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and The Smithsonian Institution in Washington , D.C.   He has also appeared at cowboy events in Australia and Brazil .

His peers in the Western entertainment industry have honored his performing and songwriting numerous times.  In 1996, R. W. received the Academy of Western Artists ’ first Will Rogers Awards honoring him with both Male Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year.  A year later, his album, Ridin’ The Dreamland Range, won recognition as the group’s Album of the Year.  The Academy named R. W. its Male Vocalist of the Year again in 1999 and 2002.  Most recently, the membership of the Western Music Association voted him Top Male Performer for 2004.

One of R. W.’s most creative efforts is the one-man stage play, The Last Cowboy, he wrote with his brother, Jeff, and playwright Dave Marquis in 1993. Set in the year 2025, R. W. plays an aging cowboy who recounts the history of the American cowboy through monologue and song. The show has received high praise not only for R. W.’s performance, but for his insightful interpretation of the cowboy past as well.  In addition, his album, The Last Cowboy—His Journey, which was inspired by the play, received a Wrangler Award in 2000 from the National Cowboy Museum and Western Heritage Center for Excellence in Dramatic Presentation and Original Music Composition.

Today R. W. lives with his wife and their family on their Clearview Ranch at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains south of Cimarron, New Mexico. He has eleven albums to his credit over the past 20 years. In between headlining at cowboy poetry gatherings and western music events across the nation, R. W. spends most of his time at the ranch doing the work he loves.  His life is guided by his faith, his love for his family, and his desire to share cowboy life with his audiences.

© 2002-2006, All rights reserved R. W. Hampton

Contacting R. W. Hampton




R. W. Hampton's schedule

US Merchandise Orders: 800-392-0822


Management & Booking

Brian Ferriman
Personal Manager
Savannah Music (USA) Inc.
205 Powell Place, Suite 214
Brentwood, TN  37027
Phone:  615-369-0810

Record Label

Cimarron Sounds
PO Box 150
Cimarron, NM 87714
Phone: 575-483-0042





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