Farm Talk

Area Farm & Ranch News

June 5, 2012

Echoes of the Trail set June 8-10

Parsons, Kansas — The 16th annual gathering of cowboy singers, storytellers, artists, and other craftsmen will be June 8-10 at Fort Scott Community College.

Friday evening at 7 p.m., the weekend show will kick off with a special concert by members of 3 Trails West, a Kansas City area group who sing close harmony reminiscent of the Sons of the Pioneers.

The group also play acoustic and steel guitar, and do Western Swing. Spokesman Garry Bury said that they always like to support cowboy poetry gatherings, and want to make new friends in Fort Scott. Johnny Kendrick will open for this new group.

Saturday’s outstanding entertainers will include much loved cowboy humorist Harold Carpenter of Sedan, Kan.; Missourians Richard Dunlap and D.J. Fry, who do rousing duets with guitar and mandolin; our own composer/musician Johnny Kendrick; former FSCC rodeo team member Sam Kiefer, Lebo, KS; singer/guitarist Joe Lester, Kansas, Okla.; prize-winning cowboy poet Steve Porter, Fountain Inn, S.C.;  RFD TV’s Best of America by Horseback co-host Del Shields of Humboldt, Kan; gospel singer extraordinaire Royce Smithey, Bonham, Texas; cowboy preacher and former Nashville star Steven Spaulding of Nixa, Mo.; and humorist and great reciter Jake White of Brookline, Mo.

In answer to many requests from fans, Johnny Kendrick will perform alone and during the day on Saturday, June 9.

Another change this year will be showcasing all the performers on the Round Room stage rather than on two stage areas.

Cliff Sexton, usually in charge of performances in a classroom setting, will share master of ceremonies duties with Gary Wimmer this year.

Again this year, there will be a workshop on writing cowboy poetry and music at one p.m. in Room A122 of the FSCC Bailey Hall.

The workshop is open to the public as part of the admission price, and will be given by veteran songwriter and country gospel recording artist Rev. Steve Spalding.  

Participants will receive tips on choosing a theme or topic for their songs or poems; the differences between serious and humorous songs, stories and poems; and the use of metaphors, rhyme schemes and other writing tools.

Parents, grandparents, teachers, and children look forward to hearing this year’s three winning fifthgrade cowboy poets read their original work in the Round Room at 3 p.m.

The first place winner, Jenna Grado, will receive a $50 prize. Second place Karli Wright will receive $30, and 3rd place Patience Richwine will receive $20 from kids’ contest chair Gary Wimmer.

The children and their parents and teachers have received complementary tickets to Echoes of the Trail.

Echoes of the Trail co-founder Johnny Kendrick, along with Uniontown cowboy poet/singer Cliff Sexton, Joe Lester, Steve Porter, and Royce Smithey will give Saturday night’s show at 7:30 p.m. in the Bailey Hall Round Room.

There will be Southwestern food in the snack bar Friday evening and all day Saturday, by Buck Rowland’s “Chile Diablo Taste of the West,” and a noon chuck wagon meal outdoors by Donna and Dennis Williams at the authentic chuck wagon on Saturday and again Sunday morning.

Sunday morning at 9 a.m., Rev. Steven Spalding will lead Cowboy Church while the smell of campfire smoke and good ol’ chuck wagon cookin’ wafts across the crowd on the south lawn behind the Academic Building. Organizers recommend bringing lawn chairs, and a free-will offering will be asked.

For more information and the program, see: or call 620-223-0736. Tickets are $20 for the entire weekend or $10 for 3 Trails West only. They are available at Country Cupboard on Main Street in Fort Scott, and on:, and will be available at the door. Children 12 and under will be admitted free of charge, and a free-will offering is asked for the chuck wagon meals.£


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