They form a distinctly western genre of folk art, and this
February cowboy poets will be presenting their blend of
song and storytelling for Olympic audiences as part of the
2002 Olympic Arts Festival.
As a signature event of the 2002 Olympic Arts Festival,
cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell, along with the poets featured
in the documentary, "Why the Cowboy Sings,"
performed at the Capitol Theater on Tuesday, February 12
at 8:00 p.m. More on this may be available at saltlake2002.com.
Hosted by one of America's favorite cowboy poets, Waddie
Mitchell, "Why the Cowboy Sings" originally premiered
on KUED-7 Thursday, December 6 and encored Monday, February
11 at 8:00 p.m. Pieces of the documentary were to be projected
as a backdrop to the stage performance on February 12, to
show the stark winter landscape from several of the performer's
home ranches. See more about the documentary
Aside from Waddie Mitchell, performers were to include:
Larry Schutte, a buckaroo from northern Nevada who sings
cowboy songs with a genuine honesty that can only come from
a life in the saddle; Glenn Ohrlin, a singer from the old
cowboy tradition who joins the show from his ranch near
Mountain View, Arkansas; Henry Real Bird, a Crow Indian
informed by a tradition of ancient horsemen's knowledge;
and Montana songwriter Stephanie Davis, who brings the joys
of a winter ranch community dance to life with her western
swing band. Two other performers, not featured in the documentary,
rounded out the evening: Texas cowboy poet Joel Nelson and
Navajo humorist and cowboy Vincent Craig.
"Why the Cowboy Sings" takes viewers to far-flung
ranches of the West-to the winter landscapes where poetry
and song warm the outback American spirit. Folklorist Hal
Cannon journeys across the West to discover why ranch people
cherish their unique musical traditions. Both the documentary
and stage show are created by the Western Folklife Center.
The documentary was produced by the Center's Taki Telonidis
and Founding director Cannon and the stage show is directed
by Hal Cannon and Roadside Theater director Dudley Cocke.
The encore KUED broadcast of this documentary was accompanied
Last Cowboys, at 7:00 p.m., and Elko:
A Cowboy Gathering, airing at 9:00 p.m.
"KUED is proud to showcase the uniquely western art
form of cowboy poetry and cowboy song," says Larry
S. Smith, general manager of KUED. "We hope that KUED
viewers will find our evening of cowboy-oriented programming
an enriching and entertaining celebration of western folk
The "Why the Cowboy Sings" concert was to
take place Tuesday, February 12 at the Capital Theater in
Salt Lake City. It was a signature event of the 2002 Olympic