Cowboy Poetry from Alpine, Texas

Gather in Alpine Feb. 15-17, 2024 or watch our films

Andy Wilkinson

Waddie Mitchell

Amy Hale

Charlie Goodnight: His Life in Poetry and Song Awes Crowd

The Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering filled the Morelock Auditorium on the SRSU Alpine campus for the Saturday Night Show on Feb. 18, 2023. Ticket sales ended on Saturday morning when the hall reached capacity.

This western opera about the life of Charles Goodnight, comprised of 15 poems and 14 songs written and composed by Andy Wilkinson, is considered a masterpiece of Texas music and literature. Noted author John R. Erickson wrote an appreciative essay about the work in the Fall 2022 issue of the National Ranching Heritage Center's Ranch Record. He said, "Andy's songs and poems don't just rhyme, they are built of sentences that deliver emotional content that speaks to every age about danger and courage, the vastness of the prairie, and the power of the wind." He continues, "'White Women's Clothes' captures the wrenching story of Cynthia Ann Parker better than anything I have read or heard." You can read the complete article here.

Barry Corbin, known for his portrayal of Charles Goodnight in a one-man play called Charles Goodnight's Last Night and in this show, said, "What is important today about Charles Goodnight is the man's unshakable belief in right and wrong. He lived by a code, which most people on the frontier did. And that's almost unheard today. . . . When Charlie Goodnight ran his ranch, his first priority was to make sure the hands were fed and could make a living. And in return for that, he had their absolute loyalty."

This production featured many singers, reciters, and musicians who have performed the work before: Barry Corbin, Alissa Hedges, Andy Hedges, Donnie Maines, Lloyd Maines, Chuck Milner, Waddie Mitchell, B. Byron Price, Rod Taylor, Emily Wilkinson, and Andy Wilkinson. They were joined by others new to the piece: Jim Bradley, Dale Burson, Pipp Gillette, Maggie Rose Hedges, Don Richmond, Dave Stamey, Ian Wilkinson, Pixel Wilkinson, and Sterling Wilkinson.

2023 Schedule Highlights

2023 Schedule Highlights

  • Charlie Goodnight: His Life in Poetry and Song (Saturday night show)
  • Chuckwagon breakfasts at Poet's Grove
  • Keynote address from historian B. Byron Price
  • "A Taste of the Gathering," with 11 performers
  • Five other ticketed shows
  • Suppers at the Alpine Civic Center
  • Free sessions in six locations
  • Youth Poetry Contest winner performances
  • Two open mic sessions
  • See the full schedule

  • 2022 Keynote Address:
    Vess Quinlan

    Filmed by John and Erika Moore, this keynote from Colorado rancher and poet Vess Quinlan is wrapped with music from Rod Taylor, and begins with footage from the chuckwagon campfire. About 17 minutes long.

Randy, Rod, and Dale

Joel Nelson

The Legacy Lives On — Our Second Film of Poetry and Music

Hear poetry and music from Gail Steiger and Amy Hale, poetry by Ray Fizgerald, and music from Dave Stamey and Mikki Daniel. Filmed by John and Erika Moore on location in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas. Both of our films are available for a 1-year rental for $10 each. Rent or watch now. Already have an account on our site? You can give a film rental to anyone at no cost. Sign in to your account, copy your personal gift link, and send it via your own email to your desired recipient.

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