Billy Dean received a basketball scholarship to attend East Central Junior College in Decatur, MS, where he majored in physical education, but instead of wearing a whistle around his neck, he opted for a guitar strap. Inspired by Merle Haggard, Marty Robbins, and Dean Martin, he played the club circuit along the Gulf Coast in Florida and used national talent contests as a vehicle for his music. He made the finals of the Wrangler Country Star Search in 1982, then won as a Male Vocalist champ on Ed McMahon’s Star Search program in 1988. Even before the release of his debut album, Young Man, he’d already gone on tour as an opening act for Mel Tillis, Gary Morris, and Ronnie Milsap. In the midst of recording, Dean also dabbled in television. He contributed to commercials for Valvoline, McDonald’s, and Chevrolet, and had an acting role in the brief Elvis series on ABC-TV in 1990. He landed bit parts on soap operas and dramas, including “Wings” and “One Life To Live”, and even hosted the 1994 season of ABC in Concert Country. His movie accolades include Maverick (1994), Blue Valley Songbird (1999) and Kenny Rogers: The First 50 Years (2011).
Dean followed up his debut album with a self-titled 1991 effort for EMI; Fire in the Dark appeared two years later. A 1994 greatest-hits package included the song “Once in a While,” written for the soundtrack to the Luke Perry rodeo vehicle 8 Seconds. A greatest-hits collection so early in an artist’s career might seem strange, but Dean had already charted seven singles, including “Only Here For A Little While”, “Somewhere In My Broken Heart”, “You Don’t Count The Cost”, “Only The Wind”, “Billy The Kid” and “If There Hadn’t Been You”. After three studio records and a live, fan-club-only disc, Dean issued Love Songs through Capitol in 2000. The collection of previously released material was followed by another collection for Capitol/EMI in 2002.
Billy recorded and produced the 2004 album “Let Them Be Little” on his own. Dean knew this album would either reintroduce him to the country format or be his swan song. But he wanted to show the world “that I still had some good music left in me”.
Then a funny thing happened. As Dean and his manager, Doc Gonzales, hit the road in an SUV promoting the album to radio by themselves, a group of stations began playing tracks from the album. Dean’s cover of John Denver’s “Thank God I’m A Country Boy” began climbing Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, peaking at No. 27.
That got the attention of Curb Records, which signed him to a new deal and helped him land a top 10 hit with the album’s title track. Airplay of the song turboed Dean’s album to a No. 8 debut on Billboard’s Top County Albums chart with first-week sales of more than 18,000 copies. A Christmas music album, The Christ (A Song for Joseph), followed in late 2005. Included on the album was a duet with his daughter Hannah.
In 2013, Billy took over the lead role (formerly played by Kenny Rogers), playing Hank Longley, in “The Toy Shoppe” (a musical written by Kenny Rogers and Kelly Junkerman) at the Starlite Theater in Branson, Missouri.
Lacy J Dalton
She’s one of the most instantly recognizable voices in music – the woman People Magazine called “Country’s Bonnie Raitt”. From the first time Lacy J Dalton caught the public’s ear, that soulful delivery, full of texture and grit, has been a mainstay of Country Music. When you sit to listen to a Lacy J Dalton album, you find yourself pulled in by the very power and heart of this vocalist, because she’s not merely performing a ten-song set, she’s bringing each and every tune to life. It’s as if they were all written especially for her.
Lacy J Dalton’s music is a product of her wide-ranging musical tastes. She was born in Pennsylvania, into a family of musicians. Her father played a variety of stringed instruments, sang and wrote country songs. Her mother played guitar, wrote and sang harmony and her sister played piano and guitar. Lacy’s early influences were the classic country music of the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s and later, the Folk and Rock sounds of writer/artists like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Fred Neil.
She’s always been a writer and an artist who loved music with a message and lyrics that somehow brought a new awareness to the listener. She retains this love of material with a purpose, and her song choices reflect that appreciation. Lacy J Dalton was already a Regional star in California when she went to Nashville. Her National success appeared immediate; another case of an “overnight” star that’d paid dues for a long time.
Lacy’s success was powered not just by the artist’s recordings, but by a stage show that truly electrified audiences. She quickly became one of the few women who could successfully open a show for the likes of Hank Williams, Jr, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard or Charlie Daniels. Not only could she do it, but she left audiences across the country hollering for more. Her hit records are legendary million-airplay cuts: “Hard Times”; “Crazy Blue Eyes”; “Hillbilly Girl with the Blues”; “Takin’ It Easy”; “Everybody Makes Mistakes”; the worldwide hit, “Black Coffee” and her signature song, “16th Avenue”, the Anthem for Nashville songwriters voted one of Country’s Top 100 Songs ever by Billboard Magazine. Voted Best New Female Artist by the Academy of Country Music in 1979, she brought home numerous Grammy nominations and 3 prestigious Bay Area Music Awards for Best Country-Folk Recording, appearing with the likes of Neil Young, the Grateful Dead and Grace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane.
But Lacy has never been one to rest on her laurels. In 2004, she co-produced her first Independent CD, “The Last Wild Place” with her then husband and Business Manager, Aaron Anderson and old friend, Tom Bocci. She used her long time band, The Dalton Gang. The CD was a great critical success. It went #1 on the World Country Independent Chart. The song, “Slip Away” became the #1 single on that chart as well. A year and a half later, the CD went #1 on the American Western Music Chart and once again, “Slip Away” went #1 on that chart. Less than a year later, “Slip Away” was used in the sound track of Clint Eastwood’s daughter, Alison’s Sundance film, “Don’t Tell”. Ironically, over the 20 years since it was written for her, 4 major record companies in Nashville had refused to allow Lacy to record “Slip Away”, one reason for her foray into the unchartered waters of Independent recording.
Over the last couple of years, Lacy has toured promoting her new music, which has been called “Americana”, delighting both her old Country fans and new listeners all over the world. In 2006, the song, “She Could Run”, a poignant song about a race horse, went #1 for months over 900 other songs on the worldwide Internet Radio Station, KOCR out of Fort Worth, Texas. At this writing, the song “This is Our Time” with David Frizzell, Lacy J, Merle Haggard and others is the #1 airplay song in every country in Europe and hitting in Australia, New Zealand, Africa and South America as well. The video of that project “David Frizzell and Friends” is also a hit worldwide. In addition, a television special called “Family Reunion” with Roy Clark, TG Sheppard, T Graham Brown, Jeannie Seely, Helen Cornelius, David Frizzell, Mo Bandy, Joe Stampley, Ed Bruce, Jimmy Fortune, Crystal Gayle, Larry Gatlin and a host of others is selling well here and abroad. Lacy is featured singing the classics, “Black Coffee” and “16th Avenue”. Her former duet performances include George Jones, Eddie Rabbitt, Bobby Bare, David Alan Coe, Glen Campbell. Lacy’s collaboration with Willie Nelson on his “Half Nelson” CD was a high spot for her. Lacy was the only woman on that recording, which included singing legends Ray Charles, Neil Diamond, Merle Haggard, Julio Iglesias, George Jones, Carlos Santana, Mel Tillis, Hank Williams and Neil Young, and was awarded a Gold Record for it.
Lacy is presently recording 2 new CD’s – the first, called “Songs of the New West” is a collection of Outlaw Country songs which include many as yet unrecorded songs by Lacy and friends, along with classics like, “Wild Horses” by the Rolling Stones and “Friend of the Devil” by the Grateful Dead. In addition, fueled by feelings generated by what Lacy describes as a “Thermonuclear Divorce” from longtime husband and partner Aaron Anderson, she is working on a CD called “What Don’t Kill You Makes You Strong” after the title track of that same name.
Early 2009 finds Lacy at work on the soundtrack of a major motion picture and is involved deeply in the work of preserving and protecting America’s Wild Horses with her non-profit Nevada corporation, “The Let ‘em Run Foundation”. “Let ‘em Run” recently received a large donation from the Silver Spur Awards in Hollywood. That show is put on by the “Reel Cowboys”, an organization of famous stuntmen and Western movie actors like James Garner, Hugh O’Brien, Harry Carey Jr., Dan Haggerty and many more.
Gary Allegretto is a cowboy singer/songwriter/musician whose rare abilities on the harmonica are virtually one-of-a-kind. His jaw-dropping performances have captivated audiences at concerts and festivals around the globe. His is a talent steeped in Western tradition that was honed early-on; growing up in Flagstaff, Arizona, where his background includes employment as a forester ranger and USFS firefighter on an elite hotshot crew, as well as extensive ranch hand work in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. Gary holds a Bachelor of Science degree in forestry and natural resource management from Northern Arizona University, which honors him as an “Alumni of Distinction” in its mentorship program.
American Cowboy Magazine calls Gary Allegretto’s musicianship “Amazing. You’ve never seen – or heard anything like him”. Indeed, Gary brings something very unique to an event – he is quite simply one of the best harmonica players you’ll ever see or hear. Furthermore, he is also a remarkable singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Gary’s music draws from the very roots of Western music and his imaginative and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny songs paint pictures from his diverse life experience. His talents recently earned him an Academy Of Western Artists (AWA) “Will Rogers”Award. As a solo artist Gary has been honored with True West Magazine’s Best of the West Award. He’s received five Western Music Association (WMA) Award nominations, including Outstanding Entertainer Award and Outstanding Instrumentalist Award. Further, Gary has earned two Grammy Award nomination considerations for his unique brand of songwriting and music. His album “Harmonicowboy” was also nominated for WMA Album Of The Year and “Allegretto/Espinoza” was a top-five finalist nominee for AWA Western Album of the Year.
Gary’s music has been featured on soundtracks for television and major motion pictures. His harmonica can currently be heard in the Cowboy Campfire scene of Disney’s hit movie “The Good Dinosaur”. Hohner, the world’s top harmonica manufacturer, professionally endorses Gary as an artist and recently released Gary’s own signature model harmonica.
Gary has been a featured headline performer at many of the top cowboy gatherings including those in Elko, Santa Clarita, Alpine, Golden, Durango, Vinton, Heber City, Arizona Folklore Preserve, Cortez Cultural Center, Big Bear, Spirit of the West, Monterey, Cochise, and Kamloops (BC, Canada) and the WMA gathering in Albuquerque – many in consecutive years. In addition to his performances, Gary also offers Western gatherings his popular harmonica workshops.
Mike was born and raised around Asheville, North Carolina. He played most all sports in school, and played professional baseball for a few years with the New York Yankees farm system. Music was always important to him. He started performing around Asheville after he got a band together.
Mike traveled to Nashville and recorded six singles with an independent label Picap Records. He moved to Nashville in 1984 and stayed there nineteen years singing and writing songs. He has performed with Ricky Skaggs, Jim Ed Brown, T. Graham Brown, Gene Watson, David Frizzell and others over his career.
In 2003, Mike and his wife Lulu moved to Roundup Montana to get away from it all. He plays a lot of solo jobs, as well as with a band called Plug Nickels. And he has written 140 more songs in Montana. He has been the Entertainment Director for the Roundup Independence Days Extravaganza for 8 years. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 406-323-1412.
We are always so happy to have Susie Knight performing at our event! You will find her performing on all stages and hanging out with the kids!! You never know what she will be doing….singing, poetry, being silly with the kids, roping … just never know!
Hanging her hat in Conifer, Colorado, Susie Knight has entertained audiences of all ages from Washington to Kansas and from Canada to Arizona with her own brand of cowgirl poetry and music. A former barrel racer, riding instructor, and all-around ranch hand, Susie Knight is sought after for her exceptional stage presence and story-like delivery of a woman’s perspective on ranch life, rodeo, remudas, and romance.
- 2014 & 2016 Western Music Assn. Female Poet of the Year
- 2016 Western Music Assn. Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year: Fillin’ Tanks
- 2016 Cowboy Idol Musician-Runner Up
- 2013 Cowboy Idol Poet
- 2013 Academy of Western Artists’ Cowgirl Poet
- 2012 Western Music Assn. Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year: Western Wordsmith
By the end of 2015, Susie Knight was #5 on the WMA’s Top 40 List of Most Heard Cowboy Poets on Radio. Susie Knight is Colorado’s own All-Around Cowgirl Entertainer!
Les & Nancy Brockus
They will be performing in the American Rock Bldg (3) both days. Les and Nancy have combined their talents to provide a wide range of musical styles and songs from the classics of the 40’s and 50’s to Country Western, Pop, Gospel and more.
They perform music for dances, swap meets and festivals, anniversaries, birthdays, private parties and a wide variety of special occasions, and are suitable for all ages.
Word of mouth has them busy, so please contact them soon to make your event a hit! Be sure to get their information at the event! For More Information or Bookings, please Call: (208) 741-0644 or (208) 741-0435.
Jim is a lifetime rancher on the east slope of the Wolf Mountains in southeast Montana. He says he’s been married to Marge for a long time! They have three grown children, a son, Mike, with them on the ranch, and two daughters, successful in their own endeavor’s, but take an interest in the ranch and come and help when possible.
They do their work horse back and try to preserve the old cowboy ways. His poetry is about what he knows, ranching and the cowboy way of life. He strives for authenticity and he is highly flattered if a real cowboy or rancher tells him, “I could sure see that happening when you told about it.” Most of his poetry is humorous, but he has several serious ones that he likes to do in the right setting.
Jim has written and recited poetry for thirty years or more and performed in many venues throughout Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, and for the last ten or so years, at several gatherings in Alberta and Saskatchewan. He has recorded three CD’s and is currently starting to work on another one.
His CD’s Are: The View from the Head of the Creek The Way it Really Is Thinkin’ About Life
Bodie will be back with us again this year taking care of our stage in the Ranch & Home building (1) AND entertaining for us all! Bodie is an accomplished entertainer from Lewiston, ID and has been performing for folks for over 35 years now! He takes time out of his busy schedule with his radio shows and recording studio to help us out every year.
He was just 14 when he got his first guitar and has always loved country and western music. He loves to entertain for all kinds of venues especially the Cowboy Gatherings and Award Shows when he can find the time.
We are pleased to have The Desert Country Dancers perform again this year! They will be performing Saturday at about 4:00pm (check “Event Schedule” as time gets closer for a definate time) in building 3 which will be named the American Rock Building for the event.
She will also be giving lessons after the performance!
To get in touch with Beth for lessons, go to her website: Beth Trost