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Gig Stories

My First Elko Cowboy Poetry

Elko Cowboy Poetry Elko Cowboy Poetery Poster, I have one.

First Trip to

Elko Cowboy Poetry - 1986

First Trip to Elko Cowboy Poetery Elko Cowboy Poetry Poster.

First trip to Elko Cowboy Poetry

Must have been early Jan in 1986. Well my friend and partner, "The Reverend B. Wright or as he will be called in this story, Buddy, called me one day and asked me if I wanted to go to Elko, NV. He had a gig for the two of us and I was kind of some sort of Tahoe Ski Bum musical type with no gigs and could afford to miss a few days of skiing so I asked, what's it pay? He told me rooms, food, and some amount of cash, so how could I turn him down? "Where we playing'?" Buddy was my friend, excellent singer and bass player and we worked together a lot, so I figure he had landed some casino country gig out there in Elko. Turns out it wasn't a musical performance more of a sound man gig for some sort of Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Well of course the question arose, "Cowboy Poetry Gathering?" "What's that?' He told me he didn't really know and asked if it made a difference, to which I of course said,"No." "How we gonna get there?" "Takin' your car!" "How's it running?" "Perfect I said." I had recently purchased a 19-- something or other Subaru hatchback, Some sort of off green with a price tag of about $350.00 Great ski car my friend Dano, nicknamed, "The Pickle." So like a week went by and off we went. Mt. Rose Hwy to Reno and then east, for 6 more hours. When we got to Elko, we found out that the recording and sound company that hired us had taken pretty good care of us. The Red Lion was the nicest hotel in Elko back then and probably still is. We met our boss, he was doing sound at the big venues and we were to do sound at the smaller Western Music venue, "In the Police Station?" We walked right under the police station sign and into a fair sized room with a very nice stage, which a guess a lot of people might ask, "Why is there a nice size room with a very nice stage doing in a police station?" I think one of the key things about living in the great State of Nevada, especially in the more rural areas is, "Don't ask."  So I didn't. What I did ask myself was, "I wonder when I get paid?" "I think I want to go home to Tahoe." Not even guessing that I was about to have a life altering experience. We were doing the sound for the cowboy musicians who were kind of a plus to the Cowboy Poetry that was taking place in the Convention Center. In addition to doing the sound we were to operate this highly advanced high speed cassette tape recorder and burner( can't remember if they used the term burner back then). Highly advance because we could record the performance, put the original tape in the burner, and it would dup like 10 cassettes at once. Once we burned about 30 or 40 we would take to the sales area. So you could listen to a performance and be able to purchase the event within a few minutes. The best part of the performance was back at the early days the performers where really for the most part working cowboys. The good part was the performances where very authentic, but the downside was some where a little to earthy. I remember one cowboy who turned a hurdy gurdy and sang a ballad abut hurdy gurdyhorses cattle, sheep and something about their lives and how it mixed with ranch life that was pretty interesting for the first 3 minutes of his twenty minute cowboy ballad. Mostly, the cowboy singers and entertainers were awesome. Some slightly unrefined, and slightly out of tune, didn't take away from the charm. I mean how you gonna beat a cowboy yodeler who's dog yodeled with him. First Trip to Elko Cowboy Poetry

Home of the late night jam. After the shows, many of the musicians would have their own little jam gathering upstairs at the Stockman's Hotel. Cheap drinks, some fine tunes and no closing time in Nevada all added to the weekend that was turning out to be a real "Hoot." Like my music and stories?

First Trip to Elko Cowboy Poetry Gene Autry First Trip to Elko Cowboy Poetry Roy Rogers                                                                  My childhood hero's started popping up in my mind as some the cowboys played Hollywood type Cowboys songs. Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Sons of the Pioneers, Bob Wills etc., where being executed flawlessly by some of the headlines. One of the great things about the Elko Poetry was that many times the jams would be filled with the headliners. I'm not ashamed to say that more then a few jams I left in the early morning with some great if not sketchy memories. First Elko Cowboy Poetry                                                                                               

I guess what triggered the memories of the Western (country NOT) Music is my father, I was told he took a road trip to California on Route 66 after the war. (WWII)  Along the way he got a few Western albums and added to the collection as the years passed. As I kid I listen to all of them, so when when I heard all of those great tunes, my ears just perked up with joy.

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  • August 27, 2019
    Fat Cat, Reno, NV