Cowboy Jam by Jeri Dobrowski: Western Traditions in the Limelight |

Cowboy Jam by Jeri Dobrowski: Western Traditions in the Limelight

Western traditions take center stage in April with two events honoring those who embody the heritage of the American West: the Western Heritage Awards and Cowboy Poetry Week.

Held at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City (, the Western Heritage Awards honor and encourage the legacy of those whose works in literature, music, film and television reflect the significant stories of the American West. As the Oscar statuette is to the Academy Awards, the Wrangler – a bronze sculpture of a cowboy on horseback – is to the Western Heritage Awards. Winners in 15 categories were recognized April 18.

Wylie Gustafson, who fronts Wylie & the Wild West, won Outstanding Original Western Composition for “Where Horses are Heroes” from his Song of the Horse album. Gustafson sang his award-winning song during the gala. (Listen to a track snippet at Randy Huston and daughter Hannah Huston won Outstanding Traditional Western Album for Cowboys and Girls. Young Hannah also took home the New Horizons award. (Listen to four full-length tracks from their album at

In literature, Linda L. Osmundson’s How The West Was Drawn: Women’s Art was named Outstanding Juvenile Book. The Poacher’s Daughter by Michael Zimmer was selected as Outstanding Western Novel. The Outstanding Nonfiction Book went to A Lakota War Book from the Little Bighorn: The Pictographic “Autobiography of Half Moon,” Castle McLaughlin, author.

Montana’s Charlie Russell: Art in the Collection of the Montana Historical Society, Jennifer Bottomly-O’Looney and Kirby Lambert authors, was named Outstanding Art Book. Debra Bloomfield’s Wilderness was selected as Outstanding Photography Book. The Goatherd by Larry D. Thomas was recognized as the Outstanding Poetry Book.

“Not For Sale,” an article by Bob Welch that appeared in American Cowboy Magazine, was named Outstanding Magazine Article.

In the film category, Outstanding Theatrical Motion Picture award went to “The Homesman” by The Javelina Film Company and Ithaca Films. Outstanding Documentary went to “The Road to Valhalla” by Lone Chimney Films.

The “Klondike” Miniseries by Discovery Networks, in association with Entertainment One and Nomadic Pictures, won Outstanding TV Feature Film. Outstanding Fictional Drama went to Hell

on Wheels Episode 410: “Return to Hell,” AMC/Endermol/Entertainment One/Nomadic Pictures. Outstanding Western Lifestyle Programming went to “Stateline: Cowboys of Color,” by OETA, the Oklahoma Network.

Additionally, Cotton Rosser and John Hughes were inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners, James Coburn and Ken Maynard were tapped for the Hall of Great Western Performers, and Harvey Dietrich was presented the Chester A. Reynolds Award.

This year’s ceremony was streamed live at The Wrangler Network offers video coverage of rodeos and bull riding plus western lifestyle and country music events. Look for the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s logo among links to assorted rodeos, ropings and country music events.

In ranching communities and beyond, from Florida to Washington, poets, musicians and others are taking part in events celebrating the 14th annual Cowboy Poetry Week. Running April

19-25, the official poster features a painting of cowboy, ranch manager and poet Trey Allen by artist Don Dane. Allen and the poster are featured in the April 2015 issue of Western Horseman.

Hundreds of libraries in Cowboy Poetry Week’s associated Rural Library Program have received this year’s poster and invitations to receive the forthcoming CD, The BAR-D Roundup: Volume

Ten. Each year, a new compilation CD of top classic and contemporary cowboy poetry is offered to many rural libraries across the West.

The prices of six of the available previous volumes of The BAR-D Roundup CDs (3, 4, 5, 6, and 7) have been lowered to $10 each, postpaid ($15 outside the U.S.), while quantities last.

A bundle of all the available CDs, Volumes 3-9, including the 2013 double-CD Christmas collection, is available for $75 postpaid ($90 outside the U.S.). Volume 8 is $25 separately;

Volume 9 is $20.

Order through PayPal: Bundle (Volumes 3-9); Volume 3; Volume 4; Volume 5; Volume 6; Volume 7 or by mail to, PO Box 695, St. Helena, CA 94574.

A project of the Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry and, Cowboy Poetry Week brings together artists and web visitors from around the world in celebration of the arts and life of the real working West. Stop by for news and poetry or visit the Facebook page for postings. You can also follow them on Twitter.

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