Western Song Presentation

Placer Miners

The coIorful history of the American cowboy covers a surprisingly brief span of time...mainly a couple of decades, but it has left it's myth-making imprint on the American psyche as has no other segment of our past. It takes in the American war between the states, the westward migration in the frenzy for land and gold, and the inception of the railroad.
The music of that time and place is very real, and possesses all of the vigor and unpretentious charm and the rustic poetry of those freedom-loving individualists whose way of life did so much to form the very personality of our nation.
Some of this music drifted to the west from the older southern states with post civil war refugees from Reconstruction, some of it was brought directly from Ireland by Irish Immigrants who helped to build the railroads and then moved off to the cow camps for want of any other employment.
Many of our cowboys were Black Americans who sought a fresh landscape to match the glory of their new-won freedom. Each of these groups contributed its musical influence to the songs and tunes we now associate with our western  heritage .... hoedowns, rags, one steps, waltzes, ballads, satirical songs. love songs. comical ditties, and the results live on as pure America.

Range Crew


Explore some of the older songs from the western states.
These songs include ballads which have travelled to the west and songs which have been made up by the people of the west.
There are cowboy songs, gold rush songs, outlaw ballads, Mormon songs and many others


This presentation sets the songs in place and time with the use of old photographs in a Powerpoint presentation as well as narratives about the songs and the history.