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Melody Trail

December, 2006

Hello Friends:

Governor’s Arts Award

On November 29, 2006, I received the 2006 Governor’s Arts Award from Governor Brad Henry of the Great State of Oklahoma for many years of serving and paying tribute to Oklahoma and keeping western music alive. It is a great honor and I was very pleased to receive it.

Silver Dollar City

The Silver Lake Band and I want to thank all of you who came to see us at Silver Dollar City in Branson in October. It was our 10th consecutive year to play for the Old Time Barn Dance there. We did 45 shows, each show being different. Almost every show was Standing Room Only. They have already hired us back for next year for the period of October 10-27, 2007. Hope you can come join us for lots of music and fun.

Gene Autry, Oklahoma – 2006

It was so good to see many of you at the 15th Annual Gene Autry, Oklahoma Film and Music Festival in my home town. I have been fortunate to have been a part of every one of them. This event just keeps getting better and bigger each year. See below for information about what is being planned for next year.

Gene Autry, Oklahoma – 2007

Gene Autry, the man, was born on September 29, 1907. So, next year would have been his 100th birthday. Big plans are coming together to celebrate Gene’s 100th in a special way. The dates are September 26-30, 2007. Headliners include Riders in the Sky, Johnny Western, Les Gilliam, Steve Mitchell, Call of the West, Janet McBride, Tex and Mary Schutz and many more. Also attending will be several western movie and TV stars including Dale Robertson and Dale Berry plus two of Gene Autry’s leading ladies, Donna Martel and Roberta Shore. Others are expected. Tickets will go on sale May 1, 2007, so call early to be sure you get the seats you want (580-294-3047). There will be a time to meet and visit with Riders in the Sky. The Saturday night show is expected to be a sell-out so a simultaneous show, The Tumbleweed Jamboree, will be presented in the north building on the Tumbleweed Stage. I am told that I will be on both shows on Saturday night. Call of the West, Jeanne and Jerome, will join me for several appearances during the festival. I can assure you that this will be one of the greatest and most exciting western festivals anywhere, anytime, thanks to the hard work of Mary Schutz and Elvin and Flo Sweeten. You will be glad you came!!

In addition, I would like you to consider being a sponsor of this big festival. Sponsorships start at $50 and go up to $2000 with each level receiving more gifts, tickets, recognition and many other benefits. You may check this out on the new website or contact Elvin Sweeten at 580-294-3047 or

California – 2007

As part of the annual tribute to Gene Autry, I have been invited to come to California August 4-9, 2007. This is a private weeklong celebration by the Gene Autry Fan Club, the name of which is “Gene Autry’s Friends”. Some of you may remember that Johnny Western was the band leader and guitarist for Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch Band in Johnny’s younger days. Well, Johnny will be with us in California for this event along with John Buttram, the nephew of Gene’s sidekick, Pat Buttram. John looks and sounds so much like his Uncle Pat that it is eerie. And Johnny and I are also excited about it because Mrs. Autry has invited us to join her in her skybox and watch the Angels play the Red Sox. As you may recall, Gene Autry was the owner of the Angels from inception until his death and Mrs Autry is still active with the team and the American League.

Latest CD

As I mentioned last time, my latest CD is titled “Harmony of the West”. Joining me on the CD are Jeanne Cahill and Jerome Campbell, known as “Call of the West”. Not only did they provide great vocal harmony and instrumental work, Jeanne produced and engineered the project. Harold Widup, d.j. with “AM1070,the Ranch”, of Wichita, Kansas told me that this CD is the best CD he has heard in several years. Now that it a great compliment. This same message came from several other disc jockeys.

Thanks to all events in 2006

Our thanks to each and every one who attended or had a part of any of our shows in 2006. Our special congratulations go to Ray and Donna Schiltz for their 55 years together. And thanks to all who acknowledged the 50th Wedding Anniversary which Martha and I celebrated on August 31, 2006.

2007 Schedule

I continually add events throughout the year. Please check my website now and then since I update the schedule on the website around the first of every month.


We seem to be losing more and more of our friends and relatives. I guess that goes with our age. But the recent loss of our good friends Bruce Dillman, Bob Seal and Rufus Kingore has been tough. I thank the families of these great men for allowing me to pay tribute to them at their memorial services.

Email Addresses

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

Merry Christmas

Martha and I want to extend to each of you a Very Merry Christmas as we remember the birth of our Lord Jesus. And we thank you so much for your friendship and support. Hope to see you soon. Stay in touch.

Phone - 580-762-4837
Cell - 580-761-1703