Wylie sets Joel Nelson's acclaimed poem to music, bringing new life to this equine ode. Wylie Gustafson performs "Equus Caballus" during the 37th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering "Rodear Year."
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Singer, songwriter, rancher, horseman, and the original, world-famous Yahoo!® yodeler, Wylie Gustafson is a real-life cowboy born into a fourth-generation ranching family on the empty sprawl of Northern Montana. He proves himself a never-boring entertainer as well as a highly adept songwriter. When not performing, Wylie raises and trains cow horses on his family ranch near Conrad, Montana. He is especially known for his songs that celebrate America’s culture of ranching and farming. Wylie has just been inducted into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame.
Joel Nelson has been a cowboy since age six when he helped on a cattle drive to the railroad. For more than 30 years, Joel made his living working on cow outfits in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Hawaii, specializing in breaking colts. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Forestry and Range Management, has built custom saddles, and served in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division. He was a founder of the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Alpine, Texas, and a 2009 recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship. He and his wife, Sylvia, run Corriente cattle in the beautiful West Texas ranch country.
"Equus Caballus" words by Joel Nelson & music by Wylie Gustafson. "Equus Caballus" was originally written as a poem by Joel Nelson to celebrate the Year of the Horse for the 19th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
Filmed by Kier Atherton in Conrad, MT, on Jan. 6, 2021.
Made possible by the Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation and by the multitude of staff, artists, volunteers, and community members working behind the scenes to make this show happen.
Brought to you by the Western Folklife Center, using story and cultural expression to connect the American West to the world.