Featured Performers

Another great line-up of performers will appear at the
24th Annual Nebraska Cowboy Poetry Gathering & Old West Days!

Trey Allen
One of the most popular cowboy poets in America, Allen has been writing about his life as a cowboy for most of his lifetime. After humble beginnings in Texas, he made his way through a rodeo career, breaking colts, shoeing and eventually managing a ranch at Hooker, OK. He now manages the Moyer ranch in the northern Flint Hills of Kansas, south of Manhattan. Although being a full-time cowboy limits his ability to travel a lot, he enjoys performing at some of the major gatherings in the midwest.

Doris Daley
We are excited to announce the return of top Canadian Poet, Doris Daley, who will be the official host for all ticketed shows at this years gathering and will entertain you with some of her award winning poetry.  Doris was born and raised in Southern Alberta ranch country, and now makes Black Diamond, Alberta her home.  Doris writes cowboy poetry that celebrates the humor, history and way of life of the west. Doris has been a repeat performer at every major gathering in the US and Canada, from a command performance for Canada’s Governor General, to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington D.C., to a recent tour of Ireland.  Doris will also be hosting a  poetry writing workshop on Saturday morning.

Mary Kaye
Mary Kaye Knaphaus is perhaps the most popular female western singer today, and it is no wonder.  In 2013 she was named the Western Music Association’s top singer/songwriter; won the coveted Spur Award from the Western Writers Association for her Butch Cassady song, “Any Name Will Do”, and has won many other awards in the past few years.  This Texas raised lady married a Utah Cowboy and makes her home on a pioneer homestead where she lives the lifestyle she writes about.  Western Horseman said of her, "Some Western singers and musicians are all about preserving traditional cowboy songs. Others strive to write and sing songs about contemporary cowboy life...Mary Kaye does both well, and with an authenticity that appeals to not only purists, but also those seeking something fresh."

Susie Knight
Susie Knight has been writing cowboy songs and poetry since age 15. She has owned and shown AQHA horses for 30 years. She's lived and worked on ranches in Illinois, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Colorado. She's a professional clown and storyteller and continues to school horses for private owners. Susie and her husband, Dave, make their home at Conifer, Colorado.  Susie was named “Cowgirl Poet of the Year” this past November by the Western Music Association.

Doc Mehl
Hailing from Westminster, Colorado, Al “Doc” Mehl traces his family roots to central Kansas, where his grandfather raised six children on the family homestead. With one foot in the past and one in the present, Doc weaves the history and the mystery of the West into his original “west-clectic” poetry and music.  His feet got wet a few years back when he attended his first cowboy poetry gathering right here in Valentine, and has been hooked ever since.  He now has award-winning CDs of original music, and writes outstanding cowboy poetry.  His CD, “The Great Divide,” was named “Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year” in 2013 by both the Western Music Association and the Academy of Western Artists.

Cowboy Culture, Dakota Style
Popular cowboy singer, Paul Larson of Rochford, singer/poet Robert Dennis of Red Owl, and poet Bonnie Krogman of Wood, all live the cowboy lifestyle and ranch in western South Dakota.  They will combine their talents into one great package of entertainment as the each return to the stage of Nebraska’s Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and each return due to popular demand. 

3 Trails West
Steeped in cowboy tradition, this group of seasoned musicians from the Kansas City area where years ago, 3 trails headed West, and where folks sang songs about cattle drives, pretty girls back home, nature’s splendor, and living the life of a cowboy, 3 TRAILS WEST reflects the romanticism of the western lifestyle and nostalgia of the silver screen cowboys.  And just to spice things up, they will throw in a little western swing music in the likes of Bob Wills, or some classic bluegrass, blended with outstanding vocals and harmonies.  3 TRAILS WEST is perhaps the most up and coming group in western entertainment today and will have your toes tapping and hands clapping as they bring their top-notch entertainment to our 2015 edition of Old West Days in Valentine!

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