Why the Cowboy Sings
Free to Watch • 56m
Join Hal Cannon on a winter time quest across the West to discover what makes cowboys sing. On the journey hear the songs and stories of: Stephanie Davis, Larry Schutte, Glenn Ohrlin, and Henry Real Bird.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Stephanie Davis is a fourth-generation Montanan known for her well-crafted songs and poetry. Her songs have been covered by many artists from Garth Brooks to Joey and Rory. In addition to opening shows for and playing in Garth's band, she has been a frequent guest on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion." These days Stephanie hangs her hat in the Texas hill country near Austin, where she writes, sings and attempts to co-exist with the astounding variety of varmints inhabiting her place.
Mountain View, AR
Glenn Ohrlin was born in Minneapolis in 1926 and was a cowboy virtually all of his life. At age 14, his family moved to California, and at age 16 he left home to become a rodeo bronc rider in Nevada. He worked as a ranch hand and rode the rodeo circuit for a number of years. He ranched and ran a cow outfit in the Ozark hills near Mountain View, Arkansas. Glenn was best know as a collector and performer of cowboy songs, range balladsm stories and poems. Named a National Endowment for the Arts' National Heritage Fellow in 1985, Glenn had a mesmerizing style that is understated, powerful and hilarious. He died in 2015.
Henry Real Bird
Henry Real Bird, a native Crow Indian, grew up ranching on the battlegrounds of the Little Big Horn on the Crow Reservation in Montana. A former rodeo cowboy, now renowned poet, Henry lives in and draws inspiration from the land of the Little Big Horn Valley. Horses picture large in Henry's creative work, and he rides eight to nine hours daily. His latest book is "Wolf Teeth." He also mentors youth, recently teaching poetry reading and writing at the Wind River Reservation Arapaho Ranch Safari summer field program.
Larry Schutte has buckarooed for nearly 50 years on many of the large ranches of northern Nevada. He is accomplished at making intricate horsehair ropes (mecates), and he recites and sings classic cowboy poems and songs in a voice that rings with the truth of first-hand experience. Originally from Twin Falls, Idaho, Larry moved from Oasis, Nevada, to the Tonopah, Nevada, area to continue his buckarooing career on a different range, claiming that the change will keep him young.
Made possible by:
The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation
The R. Harold Burton Foundation
The Dick Burton Foundation
Wes and Sue Dixon
Brought to you by the Western Folklife Center, using story and cultural expression to connect the American West to the world.
Up Next in Free to Watch
The Horse Trade
Sunny deadpans a yarn about trying to come out on top a booger of a deal. Sunny Hancock performs "The Horse Trade" at the 5th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Sunny Hancock was born and reared on a ranch outside of Williams, Arizona. He was either in or close to the cow busine...