Western Heritage Awards | TheFencePost.com

Western Heritage Awards

Candy Moulton
Encampment, Wyo.

Candy MoultonWrangler Winners, from left Thadd Turner, Byron Price, Elliott West, Paul Hutton, Dusty Richards, Sherry Monahan and Steve Moulton.

The only reason I attended the Western Heritage Awards at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City last month was to meet Sam Elliott and he did not show.

Just kidding. I really went because Steve was one of the winners of the beautiful Wrangler Award, but I will say I had hoped to meet Sam Elliott. And in fact I also hoped to meet Tom Selleck, who was there, but whom I also did not get to meet although my friend Sherry did (and even got her photo taken with him).

The awards weekend started for us with a long drive from Wyoming to Oklahoma City. In north-central Kansas we encountered torrential rain, enough that in one small town I was concerned about driving down the main street as there was so much water flooding over it. Oklahoma City itself was wet and soggy the entire time we were there.

Steve sang at the Jingle Jangle Mingle event, taking the stage in front of the spectacular sculpture “End of the Trail.” He was preceded by LeRoy Jones, winner of the Wrangler for Outstanding Song, and followed by Andy Wilkinson and Andy Hedges, winners of the Wrangler for Outstanding Western Album with their offering, “Welcome to the Tribe.” It was a gala affair with winners of the Wrangler awards signing books and CDs, lots of visiting, good entertainment and food.

On Saturday morning we were at the Cowboy Hall early for a sound check, and then stayed for the unveiling of the new U.S. Postal Service stamps, “Cowboys of the Silver Screen.” These stamps recognize four legends of the movies – Gene Autry, William S. Hart, Tom Mix and Roy Rogers.

The dedication ceremony opened with Don Edwards singing the National Anthem, followed by speakers, and the unveiling of the 44-cent first-class stamps and 28-cent stamped postal cards, which went on sale nationwide April 17.

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“The Postal Service has a long-standing tradition of honoring men and women who have helped define our great nation,” said James C. Miller III, of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors. “Today, we continue that tradition by celebrating the ‘Cowboys of the Silver Screen’ – William S. Hart, Tom Mix, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers – four extraordinary performers who helped make the American Western a popular form of entertainment. They rode the silver screen nearly a century ago, and decades from now, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will talk about them when discussing the history of film, radio and television.”

Stamp artist Robert Rodriguez of Los Angeles created the artwork under the direction of art director Carl Herrman of North Las Vegas.

On hand in addition to Edwards and postal officials were National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum President Charles Schroeder, and relatives of Tom Mix and Roy Rogers.

“We are delighted that the Postal Service selected these popular stars for the ‘Silver Screen Cowboys’ series,” Schroeder said. “Each of these fine actors took seriously the values they would model in their film careers. Collectively, they used their considerable talents to make the American Western movie a popular and inspirational form of entertainment. We at the National Cowboy Museum believe they did something of lasting importance, and we hope these beautiful stamps remind folks everywhere to revisit their message. It surely remains relevant to our culture today.”

Gene Autry was a successful radio performer prior to becoming the silver screen’s first singing cowboy star, known for his distinctive singing style and easygoing personality. Autry entertained countless fans in nearly 100 films and recorded more than 600 songs, including the popular hits, “Back in the Saddle Again,” and “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

He is a 1969 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee.

Before making his first appearance on the silver screen in 1914, William S. Hart (1864-1946) starred on Broadway and in theatrical productions nationwide. During his cinematic career, the acclaimed actor insisted on authentic depictions of the Old West and its people. He frequently played a stalwart, tough-as-nails cowboy.

As one of the most popular stars of silent Westerns, Tom Mix (1880-1940) made his movie debut in 1909. In his action-packed movies, he displayed athleticism, fearlessness and expert riding and roping abilities. In 1922’s Sky High, for example, he climbed the steep walls of the Grand Canyon, leaped deep chasms, dropped from a plane into the Colorado River, lassoed villains and rescued a damsel in distress. Dewey, Okla., is the home of the Tom Mix Museum.

Often remembered for his signature hit song, “Happy Trails,” Roy Rogers (1911-1998) sang his way to silver screen stardom in the late 1930s, and by 1943 Republic Pictures was calling him “King of the Cowboys.” For millions of fans, Rogers was the essence of the Western hero – the good guy with the white hat, warm smile – and exemplary Christian character. Rogers is an 1980 inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

I stood in line with stamp collectors to purchase some of the first-day covers of the new stamps. Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at local Post Offices, at The Postal Store website at http://www.USPS.com/shop, or by calling (800) STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in a larger envelope addressed to: Cowboys of the Silver Screen Stamp, c/o Postmaster, 4025 West Reno Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73125-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by June 17, 2010.

A tour of the museum itself was in order after the stamp ceremony, and then it was time to prepare for the Awards ceremony itself, which attracted about 1,000 people and honored Steve along with several of my other friends: Paul Hutton, Sherry Monahan and Thadd Turner for their work in a documentary about Wyatt Earp; John Monnett for his magazine article; Dusty Richards for his novel; Byron Price who is director of the University of Oklahoma Press, which won for an art book; Elliott West, for his history of the Nez Perces; and the singer-songwriters Andy Wilkinson, Andy Hedges, and of course the incomparable Don Edwards. Oh, yes, Tom Selleck was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers, there was good music, food, and lots of fun during the evening and both Steve and I are glad to have been a part of it.

After the awards had all been presented we returned to the hotel and had a chance to join Don Edwards, the two Andys, Waddie Mitchell, Michael Martin Murphy and more entertainers in an informal jam session where we really appreciated the music, poetry and fellowship. It was a great way to end what was a fun experience, even if Sam Elliott did not make an appearance.

The only reason I attended the Western Heritage Awards at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City last month was to meet Sam Elliott and he did not show.

Just kidding. I really went because Steve was one of the winners of the beautiful Wrangler Award, but I will say I had hoped to meet Sam Elliott. And in fact I also hoped to meet Tom Selleck, who was there, but whom I also did not get to meet although my friend Sherry did (and even got her photo taken with him).

The awards weekend started for us with a long drive from Wyoming to Oklahoma City. In north-central Kansas we encountered torrential rain, enough that in one small town I was concerned about driving down the main street as there was so much water flooding over it. Oklahoma City itself was wet and soggy the entire time we were there.

Steve sang at the Jingle Jangle Mingle event, taking the stage in front of the spectacular sculpture “End of the Trail.” He was preceded by LeRoy Jones, winner of the Wrangler for Outstanding Song, and followed by Andy Wilkinson and Andy Hedges, winners of the Wrangler for Outstanding Western Album with their offering, “Welcome to the Tribe.” It was a gala affair with winners of the Wrangler awards signing books and CDs, lots of visiting, good entertainment and food.

On Saturday morning we were at the Cowboy Hall early for a sound check, and then stayed for the unveiling of the new U.S. Postal Service stamps, “Cowboys of the Silver Screen.” These stamps recognize four legends of the movies – Gene Autry, William S. Hart, Tom Mix and Roy Rogers.

The dedication ceremony opened with Don Edwards singing the National Anthem, followed by speakers, and the unveiling of the 44-cent first-class stamps and 28-cent stamped postal cards, which went on sale nationwide April 17.

“The Postal Service has a long-standing tradition of honoring men and women who have helped define our great nation,” said James C. Miller III, of the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors. “Today, we continue that tradition by celebrating the ‘Cowboys of the Silver Screen’ – William S. Hart, Tom Mix, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers – four extraordinary performers who helped make the American Western a popular form of entertainment. They rode the silver screen nearly a century ago, and decades from now, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will talk about them when discussing the history of film, radio and television.”

Stamp artist Robert Rodriguez of Los Angeles created the artwork under the direction of art director Carl Herrman of North Las Vegas.

On hand in addition to Edwards and postal officials were National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum President Charles Schroeder, and relatives of Tom Mix and Roy Rogers.

“We are delighted that the Postal Service selected these popular stars for the ‘Silver Screen Cowboys’ series,” Schroeder said. “Each of these fine actors took seriously the values they would model in their film careers. Collectively, they used their considerable talents to make the American Western movie a popular and inspirational form of entertainment. We at the National Cowboy Museum believe they did something of lasting importance, and we hope these beautiful stamps remind folks everywhere to revisit their message. It surely remains relevant to our culture today.”

Gene Autry was a successful radio performer prior to becoming the silver screen’s first singing cowboy star, known for his distinctive singing style and easygoing personality. Autry entertained countless fans in nearly 100 films and recorded more than 600 songs, including the popular hits, “Back in the Saddle Again,” and “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

He is a 1969 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee.

Before making his first appearance on the silver screen in 1914, William S. Hart (1864-1946) starred on Broadway and in theatrical productions nationwide. During his cinematic career, the acclaimed actor insisted on authentic depictions of the Old West and its people. He frequently played a stalwart, tough-as-nails cowboy.

As one of the most popular stars of silent Westerns, Tom Mix (1880-1940) made his movie debut in 1909. In his action-packed movies, he displayed athleticism, fearlessness and expert riding and roping abilities. In 1922’s Sky High, for example, he climbed the steep walls of the Grand Canyon, leaped deep chasms, dropped from a plane into the Colorado River, lassoed villains and rescued a damsel in distress. Dewey, Okla., is the home of the Tom Mix Museum.

Often remembered for his signature hit song, “Happy Trails,” Roy Rogers (1911-1998) sang his way to silver screen stardom in the late 1930s, and by 1943 Republic Pictures was calling him “King of the Cowboys.” For millions of fans, Rogers was the essence of the Western hero – the good guy with the white hat, warm smile – and exemplary Christian character. Rogers is an 1980 inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

I stood in line with stamp collectors to purchase some of the first-day covers of the new stamps. Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at local Post Offices, at The Postal Store website at http://www.USPS.com/shop, or by calling (800) STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in a larger envelope addressed to: Cowboys of the Silver Screen Stamp, c/o Postmaster, 4025 West Reno Ave., Oklahoma City, OK 73125-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by June 17, 2010.

A tour of the museum itself was in order after the stamp ceremony, and then it was time to prepare for the Awards ceremony itself, which attracted about 1,000 people and honored Steve along with several of my other friends: Paul Hutton, Sherry Monahan and Thadd Turner for their work in a documentary about Wyatt Earp; John Monnett for his magazine article; Dusty Richards for his novel; Byron Price who is director of the University of Oklahoma Press, which won for an art book; Elliott West, for his history of the Nez Perces; and the singer-songwriters Andy Wilkinson, Andy Hedges, and of course the incomparable Don Edwards. Oh, yes, Tom Selleck was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers, there was good music, food, and lots of fun during the evening and both Steve and I are glad to have been a part of it.

After the awards had all been presented we returned to the hotel and had a chance to join Don Edwards, the two Andys, Waddie Mitchell, Michael Martin Murphy and more entertainers in an informal jam session where we really appreciated the music, poetry and fellowship. It was a great way to end what was a fun experience, even if Sam Elliott did not make an appearance.

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