June 8, 2009
Armed with cups of coffee and sweet rolls in hand, Peggy and I headed to a front table in our favorite coffee shop, Camilla’s Kafe in downtown Fruita, Colo. I am always amazed that this mother of four and grandmother of six, who has been married to Billy 47 years this month, still has the enthusiasm of youth. This cowgirl, who takes care of two of her daughter’s horses, Peppy and Shadow wasn’t dressed in western attire. Instead she was wearing a gray vest with Disabled American Veterans sewn on the back and a small DAV on the front.
“I play for our disabled veterans every year at their happening in Snowmass. It is inspiring to see what they can do skiing and other winter sports in spite of their wounds or loss of limbs. They gave me this vest and I love to perform for them every year.” (She didn’t mention it but she does volunteer her talent by playing at various nursing homes in the Grand Valley).
“I brought you some things for the interview that you might want to read for your article,” she offered, handing me the spring issue of “Western Way,” which contained an article about “Cochise County Cowboy Poet & Music,” held annually in Sierra Vista, Ariz., on the second full weekend in February. She was the headliner for Feb. 2009, Friday night’s program and the first to take the stage. The reviewer wrote, “No one takes the stage better than Peggy Malone and she doesn’t need an amplifier for that charm either.”
“It’s so much fun to perform there, Peggy grinned. “The town has banners downtown welcoming the cowboy poets and musicians to this three-day affair. They asked me back for next year but I have already booked something locally and I can’t go back on my word,” she asserted in true cowgirl style.
“And here is something I just wrote called, “Barnyard Aerobics,” Peggy laughed, as she starting reciting it between gulps of coffee.
“While cleaning out the horse tanks, of six inches full of ice,
I got to contemplating of city folks, warm and nice.
They’re probably sitting easy … counting calories and the like.
Fake sugar in their coffee, ridin’ that stationary bike.”
In 2006, Peggy Malone was inducted into the Colorado Cowboy Country Music Association. This Emmy Award winner, singer and songwriter is known as “the little girl with the big voice.” We saw that for ourselves when she performed two years ago in Ridgway, Colo., for the John Wayne True Grit Festival. We were sitting across the street eating on the True Grit’s Restaurant’s balcony. We knew, although we couldn’t see her, that had to be Peggy singing on stage.
“That was a fun show,” she admitted, “and Angie Dickinson, one of the honored guests, is one classy lady. As Angie left with two, big, bodyguards escorting her, she turned around and asked if I wanted to take a picture of the two of us together. She is still so beautiful. And I dedicated the western song, ‘I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart’ to Gerry Weaver, widow of Dennis Weaver, another classy lady. Gerry was surprised but she loved it.”
In 2006, Peggy Malone was inducted into the Colorado Cowboy Country Music Association’s Hall of Fame. She has a CD titled, “Singin’ a Cowboy Song.” She has so many credits it’s hard to list them all: She has played for Pre-Shows for Larry Mahan and LeRoy Van Dyke, played on same stage as little Jimmy Dickens and Tom T. Hall, sang at Expo 2000, World’s Fair in Germany and from 1990-1995 was the featured artist for the famous “Chief Joseph’s Trail Ride,” among other performances.
Her favorite singer is Merle Haggard but said she “likes so many, like Willie Nelson and George Jones. Willie and I have something in common,” she smiled. “He got his guitar in 1957, like I did.”
She acknowledged she got her singing talent from her mother, who is 94 years old, living in an assisted living residence outside Boston. “I get to fly there and see her at least twice every year. She still sings all the time and entertains her fellow seniors at the home,” she bragged.
“I’m proud of all our kids. Our daughter, Beth Malone, is a singer/actress. Right now she is in an off-Broadway production in New York. She will be performing in Aspen in June for three months. We’re excited that she’ll be so close to home for the summer.”
Peggy’s future schedule includes a June taping production in Denver for the upcoming TV Show, “Colorado Country Music Hall of Fame” (CCMHOF). It will air on Aug. 5, at 7:30 p.m. and every Wednsday after that. “It will be like the old radio show I used to do on KLAK when we lived in Denver, like a Nashville show,” Peggy added, excitedly.
“On September 2-5, I’ve been invited to Armstrong, B. C., Canada for their Western Fair and Rodeo. It sounds like it will be so much fun,” she said, ending the interview as she headed home to take care of her ‘hosses’.
Randy White, Publisher of Western Horseman magazine wrote, “Don’t know who has more fun, her or her audience.” Dick Spencer, former publisher of Western Horseman magazine penned, “Get’s a large crowd in a toe-tapping Country-Western feeling in a hurry.”
Yes, sir-eee, that’s our Peggy Malone!