Gold Card member Marvin Shoulders dies at age 89 | TSLN.com

Gold Card member Marvin Shoulders dies at age 89

Marvin Clifford Shoulders, a PRCA Gold Card holder and a member of one of rodeo’s legendary families, passed away Jan. 20, at Saint Johns Hospital in Tulsa, OK. He was 89.

Born on Feb. 19, 1921, Marvin was the first of four sons born to Joe and Ellen Shoulders. Growing up in east Tulsa, and working in his father’s automotive body shop, Marvin soon realized that he did not like pounding fenders, and decided it was a lot easier job to ride bulls instead. The hard part was having to “sneak off” to rodeos on the weekends because his Dad did not approve of the idea at all.

After noticing their big brother’s success in winning money at the local rodeos, Marvin’s younger brothers, Joe and Jim, decided they also liked the rodeo idea, and soon followed in Marvin’s footsteps. When Jim was 14, Marvin put him on his first bull at a small rodeo in Oilton, OK. Jim won $18 and the rest is history.

Jim Shoulders went on to win 16 World Championships in professional rodeo and became a legend in the sport and one of the most famous cowboys of all time.

Marvin never won a world title, but he was one of the top contestants on the pro rodeo circuit for many years in bull riding and steer wrestling. He also judged or announced at several rodeos across the nation. At many rodeos, while he was announcing, Marvin would hand the microphone to someone else, and then come down out of the announcer’s stand to dog a steer or ride a bull.

Freckles Brown once said that Marvin Shoulders rode the “unrideable bulls” better than anyone he ever knew. He said the best bull ride he ever saw was when Marvin rode a notoriously mean and rank bucking bull, No. 1 Blue of Homer Todd’s famous string. For several years, Marvin was the only man to ever get him ridden, and he rode him four or five times.

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Marvin said he never had any real severe injuries during his rodeo career – broken ribs a few times, a broken leg or arm a couple of times, a biceps muscle in his right arm torn completely in two. One of the most painful was when a bull he was on leaped into the air and then fell upside down on him splitting his pelvis in half.

He said that one took a while to heal before he could ride again.

In 1946, Marvin married Norma Holmes, a beautiful and fiery redhead from Henryetta, OK. Norma was a champion trick rider, and was hired by Gene Autry to perform at all of his Flying A Rodeos. For several years, Norma was one of four women riders selected to appear in the 52-performance run of Autry’s rodeo in the nation’s most famous sports arena, New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Together, Marvin and Norma played a big part in the golden age of rodeo. They were both early members of the first united group of rodeo cowboys, the Cowboys’ Turtle Association. Both were also lifetime members of the PRCA.

Marvin was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Jim Shoulders; and his wife of 40 years, Norma Shoulders. Survivors include: two sons, Tony Shoulders and wife Cindy of Emory, TX; and Mike Shoulders of Tahlequah, OK; and brothers, Joe Shoulders of Collinsville, OK; and Bob Shoulders of Catoosa, OK.

Marvin Clifford Shoulders, a PRCA Gold Card holder and a member of one of rodeo’s legendary families, passed away Jan. 20, at Saint Johns Hospital in Tulsa, OK. He was 89.

Born on Feb. 19, 1921, Marvin was the first of four sons born to Joe and Ellen Shoulders. Growing up in east Tulsa, and working in his father’s automotive body shop, Marvin soon realized that he did not like pounding fenders, and decided it was a lot easier job to ride bulls instead. The hard part was having to “sneak off” to rodeos on the weekends because his Dad did not approve of the idea at all.

After noticing their big brother’s success in winning money at the local rodeos, Marvin’s younger brothers, Joe and Jim, decided they also liked the rodeo idea, and soon followed in Marvin’s footsteps. When Jim was 14, Marvin put him on his first bull at a small rodeo in Oilton, OK. Jim won $18 and the rest is history.

Jim Shoulders went on to win 16 World Championships in professional rodeo and became a legend in the sport and one of the most famous cowboys of all time.

Marvin never won a world title, but he was one of the top contestants on the pro rodeo circuit for many years in bull riding and steer wrestling. He also judged or announced at several rodeos across the nation. At many rodeos, while he was announcing, Marvin would hand the microphone to someone else, and then come down out of the announcer’s stand to dog a steer or ride a bull.

Freckles Brown once said that Marvin Shoulders rode the “unrideable bulls” better than anyone he ever knew. He said the best bull ride he ever saw was when Marvin rode a notoriously mean and rank bucking bull, No. 1 Blue of Homer Todd’s famous string. For several years, Marvin was the only man to ever get him ridden, and he rode him four or five times.

Marvin said he never had any real severe injuries during his rodeo career – broken ribs a few times, a broken leg or arm a couple of times, a biceps muscle in his right arm torn completely in two. One of the most painful was when a bull he was on leaped into the air and then fell upside down on him splitting his pelvis in half.

He said that one took a while to heal before he could ride again.

In 1946, Marvin married Norma Holmes, a beautiful and fiery redhead from Henryetta, OK. Norma was a champion trick rider, and was hired by Gene Autry to perform at all of his Flying A Rodeos. For several years, Norma was one of four women riders selected to appear in the 52-performance run of Autry’s rodeo in the nation’s most famous sports arena, New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Together, Marvin and Norma played a big part in the golden age of rodeo. They were both early members of the first united group of rodeo cowboys, the Cowboys’ Turtle Association. Both were also lifetime members of the PRCA.

Marvin was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Jim Shoulders; and his wife of 40 years, Norma Shoulders. Survivors include: two sons, Tony Shoulders and wife Cindy of Emory, TX; and Mike Shoulders of Tahlequah, OK; and brothers, Joe Shoulders of Collinsville, OK; and Bob Shoulders of Catoosa, OK.

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