2019 Cowboy Poetry Line Up

Lavern "Straw" Berry - Cordell, OK

“Straw” Berry lives in Cordell, Oklahoma in the west-central part of the state. He grew up on a ranch raising sheep and cattle (and believe it or not, turkeys), and was part of the third generation of Berry’s to work on the ranch. He and his father work a small cow/calf  and wheat operation in Washita County, Oklahoma, and he starts a few colts. He has been doing cowboy  poetry since about 2000, and has been an invited performer at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and the Cowboy Symposium in Lubbock, Tex

Joe Dan boyd - Winnsboro, tx

Joe Dan Boyd, born and raised on a crops and cattle operation in Wood County, TX, influenced by Tex Ritter, Gene Autry, Bill Pollard and Herb Cater, became a serious writer in 5th grade, published at age 14 in Farm & Ranch Magazine, worked at Fort Worth Star-Telegram, National FFA Magazine, Farm Journal Magazine, author of Judge Jackson & The Colored Sacred Harp and is a founding member of Winnsboro Live Poets Society.

Teresa Burleson - Weatherford, TX

Teresa Burleson is an award winning poet whose poems are inspired by her personal experiences, her heritage and the Western way of life. She has an appreciation for the agricultural industries and the people who make their lives in it. Her passion for her Western Heritage is also how she makes her living. Her position as Director of the Stockyards Museum, in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, allows her the opportunity to promote and perpetuate the local history and that of the historic cattle drives that passed through Fort Worth.

She is honored to be voted the Western Music Association, 2017 Female Poet of the Year and her CD, The Calf Book, was named 2017 Poetry CD of the Year. She has been in the Top 5 Nominees for Female Poet of the Year with the Western Music Association (WMA) in 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. In 2010 she was awarded the Cowgirl Poet of the Year by the Academy of Western Artists.

Don Cadden - Alpine, TX

Don and Pam live in the mountains south of Alpine.  A regular at the Alpine Gathering since 1990, Don and Pam now both serve on the Gathering committee. Don was the 2014 recipient of the Heritage Award. He has performed his music and poetry at numerous other gatherings in Texas, Colorado, Canada, and Arizona. He performs songs and poems that he has written, as well as the cowboy classics. He also wrote and published “Tied Hard and Fast – Apache Adams, Big Bend Cowboy”, a book on the life and adventures of Adams.

Bob Campbell - Kilgore, TX

Bob is a singer/songwriter grounded in the folk traditions of old English ballads, authentic cowboy songs and the ballads of Texas and the American west. “I grew up helping my Dad raise cattle on old family land outside of Marshall in the deep, rolling hills of Northeast Texas,” Bob says. “Early on, I learned how to work and developed a love and respect for cowboys, critters and the natural world that is with me yet. Red Steagall, Buck Ramsey and Chris LeDoux are a few of the many artists who have recorded and performed Bob’s songs. Over 30 recordings of his songs have been released on western albums. “Roundup Time” was named Song Of The Year in 1997 by the Academy of Western Artists. Bob is a former Artist-In-Residence with the Texas Commission-On-The-Arts. He has recorded one CD, “The Golden West” and one children’s album, “Bob Campbell and Kids, Too!”

Allan Chapman - Decatur, TX

A three time Grammy nominee, winner of the American Song Festival, a Clio winner, nominated for Song Of The Year by the Academy of Western Artists and The Western Music Association – with songwriting credits going back thirty plus years for performers like The Oak Ridge Boys, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, George Jones, Sandy Posey and numerous international recording artists – Allan Chapman has been writing and producing music most of his adult life. A former College English literature teacher, Allan gave that up “to run away and join the music circus” writing songs in Nashville, New York City and Los Angeles.

In the late 1980’s Allan returned to Texas to help run the family ranching operation and stayed. The subject matter for the western songs he writes now ranges from the day to day experience of today’s rural ranchers to the history of the Great American West. His CDs have been critically acclaimed both in the United States and in Europe. His CD Sixth Generation (tales of the west) was nominated for Western Album of the year – 2009 by the Western Music Association. His song Boxcars Of Juarez is a top-20 play winner on the Americana Radio Network.

Allan is married to the fiddle instrumentalist extraordinaire – Rodeo Kate.

"Doc" davis - winnsboro, tx

Doc Davis, singer-songwriter and poet, has a love for the old west.  Doc has family ties to the Winnsboro area going back to the mid 1800’s.  After he built James Town Wild West Town in Arizona to teach kids and adults about the old west, he returned to his hometown in 2008 to recreate some of the local history here. When he’s not involved with that he spends his time with a music ministry to local nursing homes.

Pipp Gillette - Crockett, TX

Pipp Gillette lives and works on the family ranch near Lovelady, Texas, where his grandfather started raising cattle and cotton in 1912. Pipp and his late brother Guy received the Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Traditional Western Album of 2011 and the 2013 Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Original Western Composition for their performance of the Waddie Mitchell song “Trade Off.” Drawing on a lifelong interest in Western history and music, Pipp plays traditional cowboy music on guitar, banjo, harmonica and bones. Pipp’s first solo CD, Singing Songs by Waddie and Pipp received the Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Traditional Western Album of 2016. His newest CD, Pipp Gillette with Lloyd Wright was released fall 2018.

Chris Isaacs - Eager, AZ

A three-time winner of the Academy of Western Artists “Will Rogers Award”, Chris Isaacs is a poet and storyteller who has lived the life that he writes about. He has seen life from a cowboy’s point of view for all of his 60-plus years, and his poems and stories are alive with the heart and humor of life from a cowboy’s point of view. He can usually find the funny side of any situation, and is considered by many to be one of the finest humorists in the country.

   Chris has been published in numerous magazines, including American Cowboy, Western Horseman and Cowboy Magazine. He has two books of his work published, Bringing it Home, and Rhymes, Reasons & Packsaddle Proverbs. The latter was nominated for the “Western Heritage Award” by the Cowboy Hall of Fame and winner of the “Will Rogers Medallion Award for Excellence” by the Academy of Western Artists. He also has five albums of his poetry recorded. His album “Both Sides” was voted “Poetry Album of the Year” for 1997, by the Academy of Western Artists. In 2002, his album “Out With the Crew” was voted the same honor. 2005 found him the recipient of the Western Heritage Award by the Wickenburg Az CofC, the Gail I Gardner Award from the Arizona CPG and in 2009 he was inducted into the Arizona Culture Keepers.

Linda Kirkpatrick - Leakey, TX

Linda Kirkpatrick grew up on a ranch in the Frio Canyon, an experience that gave her the knowledge to follow cowboy and ranch themes in her work. She has published two books, Somewhere in the West and Tales of the Frio Canyon, three chapbooks, and numerous articles and cowboy poems. Tales of the Frio Canyon won a Gold Will Rogers Medallion award for Best Non-fiction Western and a Gold Will Rogers Medallion award for Best Layout and Design.

She has been an invited performer at the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Alpine, Texas, for 20 plus years. Her hobbies include writing, chuck wagon cooking and genealogy.

Gary Robertson - Byars, OK

Gary is the 2016 recipient of the Academy of Western Artists Buck Ramsey Award for Cowboy Poet of the Year.  He has also published his first book of original Cowboy Poetry, “A Treasure Trove of Memories.

Gary has been writing for as long as he can remember.  He started publishing and performing his poetry in the early ‘90s.  Prior to that, he told his poems around tailgates, in branding pens, in tack rooms, cafes and bars to anyone that couldn’t out run him.  In addition to his new book, Gary has three CDs of his work, and he has been published in several national publications (including “Cowboy Poetry: The Reunion“) and he has been an Honored Guest at CowboyPoetry.com.

Hailey Sandoz with Kristyn Harris

Hailey Sandoz is a Texas-bred musician, following a less-trodden path among millennials. Her music is rooted in western swing, bluegrass, jazz, and celtic music. This remarkable young performer captures the attention of audiences young and old through her dynamic performance and representation of “the official music of Texas.” Known for her exciting fiddling, charming personality, jazzy vocals, creative composing and arranging skills – there’s not much this 18 year old can’t do. Western swing is her most fun wheelhouse, but her multi-genre versatility is also being recognized in Country, Bluegrass & Jazz. Her versatility and ability to improvise lends to guest performances, album recordings, and custom ensembles. Making her way around the world, Hailey has performed internationally at the Equiblues Festival in France and travels full-time with Grammy-Award Winner Bobby Flores and his Yellow Rose Band; as well as appearing as a solo artist with various artists. Hailey has been awarded for her achievements by earning the awards: 2016 Academy of Western Artist Young Artist of the Year, 2015 Western Music Association Crescendo Rising Star, 2015 Western Music Association Youth Harmony winner, and numerous Celtic fiddling wins.

Performing with Hailey will be Texas-bred musical powerhouse, Kristyn Harris. She is noted for her shimmering vocals, solid swing rhythm guitar style, unique songwriting, award winning yodel, and captivating stage presence. At 24 years, she is the youngest person in history to be awarded the International Western Music Association Entertainer of the Year, which she has received 3 years in a row (2016, 2017, 2018). She is also a 3-time recipient of the IWMA Female Performer of the Year (2014, 2015, 2018), and was named the Ameripolitan Music Awards Western Swing Female Artist of the Year (2017) and the Pro Cowboy Country Artist Association’s 2017 Entertainer of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year. Her singing has been praised as “timeless” with “the warmth and power of Texas sunshine”. Most recently you might have seen Kristyn featured on ABC’s American Idol, where she performed a traditional western yodeling song for the judges and was granted a ticket to Hollywood.

Jay Snider - Cyril, OK

Jay Snider was born into a ranching and rodeo family in southwest Oklahoma. Today, he makes his home in Cyril with his wife, Sandi. His dad was a top roper and rodeo cowboy; his granddad was a brand inspector for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. Jay rodeoed during his early years. He now stays busy raising cattle and ranch horses and team roping.

Explaining the reason behind his pursuit of Cowboy Poetry, he says: “I’ve been researching the cowboy way for life for nearly 60 years. I felt a need to preserve some of the stories I heard from the old timers, and I wanted to try to relive some of my own experiences. Fortunately, cowboy poetry seems to appeal to most people. I thank God for the greatest super-hero of all times: the American Cowboy.”

He has appeared at many of the major cowboy gatherings across the US and has made four appearances at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Elko, Nevada. He also appeared on Country Music Television’s Christmas in Cowboy Country, hosted by Clint Black. Jay was named in the 2005 Best of the Best at National Cowboy Poetry Rodeo, Kanab, Utah and as the 2008 Academy of Western Artists’ Top Male Poet

Doug Tolleson - Sonora, TX

Doug was born in Fort Worth Texas and learned to play guitar from his Father and uncles, sitting on porches and tail-gates. He says he started writing songs as a kid because “it was easier than trying to learn everybody else’s…” He grew up in and around construction and agriculture, and started in the cow business at 12 when his Grandfather gave him two bred heifers. He partnered with his Dad and Grandfather and later paid for his first year of college on money earned from the herd that grew from those heifers. A lifelong interest in animals and rangeland has led to him a career in the research and education side of ranching. A graduate of Texas A&M, he has worked on several commercial and research ranches around Texas and Arizona. He and his wife Lana currently live on the Texas A&M experiment station ranch between Rocksprings and Sonora. Doug has played music all around the Southwest including the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering, the Arizona Strip Range Livestock Workshop, Museum of Northern Arizona, the Panhandle Plains Museum, the Uvalde Grand Opera House, and the Big Texan Steak Ranch.

Conrad Wolfman - Winnsboro, tx

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Conrad developed a love for poetry while attending Richland College in Dallas in 1998. Since then he’s written numerous poems in all styles. For the past several years Conrad has hosted the “Winnsboro Live Poet’s Society” which meets the third Friday of the month at 6 pm.

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