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December, 2003

From Les Gilliam “The Oklahoma Balladeer”

Hello Friends:

Cowboy Cruise Deadline

In our last newsletter, I told you about the Cowboy Cruise on Carnival Cruise Lines coming up on February 22-28, 2004. The deadline to make your reservation has been set as December 1, so call immediately. (There might be a few openings up to December 15.)  There will be lots of food, fun and cowboy music. The entertainment will feature the Prairie Rose Wranglers, Mindy Petersen and myself. Mindy is the granddaughter of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Ports of Call will include Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. For reservations, call Village Tours and Travel in Wichita, KS at 800-333-0312 or 316-721-4455. Hope you will join us.

 Martha’s Fourth Cookbook

In response to so many requests, Martha has published her fourth cookbook in the “Range” series.  The title is “Tastes on the Range”. This book contains over 800 recipes, many submitted by fans, friends and entertainers. The book also includes an interesting review of the Arbuckle Mountains in southern Oklahoma. I spent much of my youth in and around those mountains. Gene Autry’s ranch was on the southern slopes of these mountains.  And Roy Rogers and Dale Evans made a movie titled “Home in Oklahoma” in these mountains, including Turner Falls, a photo of which is in the cookbook. Plus Roy and Dale were married there at the Flying L Ranch. Geologists say the Arbuckles were taller than the Rockies at one time before erosion reduced their size. To order the cookbook, see the product section below. 

 My Ninth Album Now Available

My new CD is titled “It’s Time to Sing a Song”. On this album you will hear a true western sound with lots of harmony in the style of the Sons of the Pioneers. And you will enjoy the great acoustical instrumental work of Jim Farrell and Stu Stuart of the Prairie Rose Wranglers. The CD includes 8 classics such as Vaya Con Dios, The Wayward Wind, When the Work’s All Done This Fall and others. I wrote 4 originals for the album including the Dalton’s Last Ride, The Old Ranch House and the title cut. And ladies, when your man gets too big for his britches, just have him listen to the song I wrote, titled,  “One Less Than You Think”.  See the Product section below to order.

Prior Album

My 8th album, titled  “My Special Memories” has been well received. One of the songs I wrote,
”When Bob Wills Comes to Town” made the top 10 songs on the Western Swing Music Chart this past summer. The cover of the CD is a photo taken in my hometown of Gene Autry, OK and shows me when I was 10 years old, along with Minnie Pearl, PeeWee King and his band. 

 Hastings, Nebraska in September, 2004

I will be the headliner for the “Miles of Memories Country MusicFest & RV Rally”, September 9-11, 2004 at the Adams County Fairgrounds in Hastings, Nebraska. Tex and Mary Schutz will host this three day festival of country, cowboy and gospel music, plus theme shows and activities for jammers and RVers. 

Also appearing will be Call of the West, Terry Smith, Terry Raff, The O’Brien Family, Charley Groth, Pat Boilesen, Bob & Sheila Everhart and many more. All indoors and temp-controlled. Lots of great camping on the grounds and motels nearby. Find out more at

 Silver Dollar City in 2004

Yes, my band and I will be going back to Branson next year. It will be our 8th consecutive year to work the Great American Music Festival at Silver Dollar City in Branson. The dates for our appearance there are October 6-10 and 13-17. (Closed Mon. & Tues. in Oct. 2004)

 Thanks For Your Support

 A special thanks to all who sponsored and/or attended any of our performances in 2003.  We hope to see you again real soon.

 Merry Christmas

Martha and I would like to extend to each of you a special Merry Christmas as we celebrate and give thanks for the birth of our Lord Jesus. And we also wish for you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2004. The years are rolling by so quickly and I hope we can all appreciate and enjoy the blessings we are receiving each day.

 Email Addresses

If you have an email address, please send it   so we can send our newsletter by email plus other occasional messages.

With much love and thankfulness,