The COWBOY UP! Podcast
Welcome to the Cowboy Up Podcast.
This is where cowboy H. Alan Day and dude rancher Russell True team-up to talk all things Western. They share adventures from the range, from the seat of a plane’s cockpit, from the back of a horse. (You may wonder how they lived to tell their tales!) And they roundup some darn interesting guests. Horse lovers, horse trainers, chuckwagon chefs, ranchers, artists, writers, authors, nature lovers, and more. It’s the West now and then.
E30S3 These Boots Were Made for Riding
Cowboy boots! They’re a staple of western wear. But what’s the history of the cowboy boot? Who originally designed it and how did it become so popular? Russell and Alan speak with Zach Lawless, the CEO of Hyer Boots, whose great-grandfather is credited with designing the first cowboy boot.
E29S3 Ride Lonesome: A Classic Reel of the West
Without a doubt, “Ride Lonesome” is a classic Western. Starring the great Randolph Scott, the movie was filmed in 17 days. In his new book, award-winning screenplay writer Kirk Ellis takes a deep dive into what made this film so iconic. He saddles up to the ranch to talk with Russell and Alan about the movie, how it influenced future western flicks, and what it took to write his book “Ride Lonesome.”
E28S3 Long Distance Trail Riding with Gillian Larson
What does it take to ride 2600 miles on horseback? How do you prepare meals? Haul water? Care for your horse? Best ask someone who has logged thousands of miles long distance riding. Gillian Larson is that person. She’s accumulated over 10,000 miles riding the backcountry and what’s more, with the same two horses. Gillian chats with Russell and Alan about her many adventures and how she is now teaching others how to “thru-ride” trails around the West.
E27S3 Hellraising & Trailblazing Women of the West
As acclaimed authors Bob Boze Bell and Jana Bommersbach write, “We know all about the bandits and bad boys, the gunfighters and goons, but not the women who held it all together with grit and spit. The reality is plain: there never would have been a settled West without the women—Native and Mexican women here first; Black and White women who followed—all settling the vast, unknown and scary lands beyond the Mississippi River. But they’ve never gotten their due. If they’re mentioned at all, it’s as whores or tough-living Calamity Janes. Here’s the good news: You don’t have to dig deep to find remarkable stories of the remarkable women of the West—you just have to care enough to dig.” Bob and Jana join Russell and Alan to talk about what they found on their literary dig and how it eventually turned into their new book “Hellraisers & Trailblazers: The Real Women of the Wild West.”
E26S3 Our Beloved Dogs
Without a doubt, W. Bruce Cameron loves dogs. But unlike most dog lovers, he also writes about them. The New York Times bestselling author has over 30 books in print featuring four-legged friends. His book “A Dog’s Purpose” was adapted to the silver screen and became one of the longest running feature films about dogs. Bruce joins Russell and Alan to talk about his career and introduce his new book, “Love, Clancy: Diary of a Good Dog.”
E25S3 So Who Really Wrote “Here Comes Santa Claus?”
Did you guess Gene Autry? Many people do. But the famed singer only sang it, he didn’t write it. Ginia Desmond reveals the true story about how this well-loved holiday song came to be. A screenplay writer and movie producer, Ginia also talks with Russell and Alan about her award-winning feature film, “Lucky U Ranch,” as well as what’s in the moviemaking chute for next year.
E24S3 What’s Good for the Planet is Good for You
So says Eric Perner, cattle rancher, mechanical engineer, and co-founder of REP Provisions By working with nature (instead of against it), regenerative agriculture holds incredible promise for healing the planet while feeding our communities real food. Eric joins Russell and Alan to share the science, as well as his astounding personal experiences, behind this approach to maintaining healthy land and, as Alan Day likes to say, “happy grass.”
E23S3 Horses, Hyphens, and Human Rights
Pardhis Madhavi was born in US after her Iranian parents fled Iran in the 1980s. Overtime, Pardhis developed a love of horses and learning. Both have played significant roles in her life, helping her help others and endure her own hardships. Now a provost at the University of Montana, Pardhis speaks with Russell and Alan about the national and international paths she has traveled.
E22S3 Where Did They Come From?
Genealogy is all the rage. That’s because we seem to have an innate curiosity about our ancestors. David A. Bowles grew up knowing the story of his family, at least back to the early 1800s. A Texan who grew up on a ranch, David became a storyteller. He joins Russell and Alan to share some fascinating stories of his pioneering family.
E21S3 Their Legends Live On
Even if you don’t know about their lives, you probably recognize their names. Wild Bill Hickock and Buffalo Bill Cody were considered heroes and the greatest plainsmen of their time. Award-winning author Bill Markley chats with Russell and Alan about the truths and myths surrounding these two legendary westerners.
E20S3 How Many Hats Can One Person Wear?
A bunch, if you’re Anne Montgomerty. This Arizonan joins Russell and Alan to talk about her varied career as a sports TV host, referee, journalist, professor, high school teacher, novelist, wild horse love, and more. There’s tons here to inspire you to aim high and try new things!
E19S3 The Man Who Gave Levis to the World
When you hear the word “Levis,” you think of jeans. That’s because Levi Strauss invented them and made them world renown. Historian and author Lynn Downey, who was the archivist for the Levi Strauss company for 25 years, chats with Russell and Alan about the man who immigrated from Germany and left an enduring legacy in the USA.
E18S3 Junior Bonner
What do you think of when you hear the name Junior Bonner? Most likely Steve McQueen, cowboys, cattle, the West. But do you know the famed movie was filmed entirely in Prescott, Arizona? And it’s celebrating its 50th anniversary? Stuart Rosebrook, whose father Jeb Rosebrook wrote the “Junior Bonner” screenplay, shares the inside scoop with Russell and Alan about the making of the movie and how it became embedded in western culture.
E17S3 The Story of a Modern Day Cattle Rustler
Jon Armour never expected to meet a cattle rustler. But as it turns out, he unwittingly became good friends with one. Jon was so shocked to learn the truth about his upstanding, popular buddy, that he had to write a book about him. Jon joins Russell and Alan to talk about his new book BRANDED, a fictionalized account of the most notorious cattle rustler of our time.
E16S3 Enlightened Equine Hoofcare
Steve Hebrock knows horses, especially horses’ hooves. They are a living part of the entire horse and thus, have a relationship with the horse’s body and mind. Steve saddles up to White Stallion to talk with Russell and Alan about how natural equine hoofcare is done and how it affects a horse’s overall well-being.
E15S3 Meet Micki Fuhrman
Without a doubt, Micki Fuhrman is multi-talented. She performed at the Grand Ole Opry before age twenty. Since then, she’s written songs and stories and books. And now she has a new album of western songs that already has won awards. She joins the cowboys to talk about her sources of inspiration and her journey as an artist who is in love with the West.
E14S3 Desert Chrome: Water, a Woman, and Wild Horses in the West
Kathryn Wilder lived in many places around the West. Today, she makes her home on the Colorado Plateau in southwestern Colorado, near a herd of wild horses. This is where she got to know Chrome, a wild mustang that profoundly affected her life. She speaks with Russell and Alan about her experiences with the wild horses and the BLM, as well as her personal journey, all described in her award-winning memoir, Desert Chrome.
E13S3 Wild Horse Fire Brigade
Growing up on a ranch, William Simpson was more than familiar with the habits of ranch horses. He never anticipated that wild horses would be so different. After spending extended time with a herd in northern California, he realized that these horses might just be able to play a role in preventing wild fires. Bill joins Russell and Alan to share how his research and innovative ideas resulted in the non-profit organization, Wild Horse Fire Brigade.
E12S3 Dude Ranch Guests: From Hollywood to New York City
You never know who you’re going to meet at a dude ranch. Pam and Ralph Ventura have been guests at White Stallion for over 45 years, and they’ve loved every minute. They visit with Russell and Alan about why they keep coming back to the ranch and about the adventures they’ve had in their own careers working among the famed and fortuned.
E11S3 Equine Medicine
Larry Shamis, DVM, has spent a career practicing equine medicine and surgery. He talks with Russell and Alan about some of the horses he’s met, cases he’s dealt with, and how these days, fewer vets are specializing in equine health. What does that mean for ranchers, cowboys, and horse lovers? Give a listen as the vet and the cowboys weigh in on this important subject.
E10S3 The Horse Lover Rides Again
Some stories you just can’t forget. They’re too unique, too big, too awesome. Alan Day’s story about creating the first government-sponsored wild horse sanctuary and caring for and training 1500 wild mustangs is one of those stories. In honor of his book “The Horse Lover” being released in a new format, Alan shares some of the wild and crazy adventures he had on Mustang Meadows Ranch.
E9S3 Behind the Scenes of Horse Racing
You place your bet. Take your seat. And pretty soon, they’re off! Sleek, strong, beautiful horses racing around a track. But for all that to happen, a lot of people have to lend a hand. Mike Weiss knows this. He has spent his career in horse racing wearing more hats over the years than most. He joins Russell and Alan to talk about what it takes to keep a track operating and the horses running.
E8S3 The Dude Ranching Getaway
Should a dude ranch getaway be on your bucket list? With over 90 dude ranches in the United States, the dude ranch vacation is becoming more and more popular. What makes it so unique? Horses, of course. But there’s so much more. Today’s guest visits with Russell and Alan to talk about the magic he’s been finding for the past 10 years during his dude ranch getaways.
E7S3 Battle of the Alamo
Thomas D. Clagett’s newest historical novel “Line of Glory” follows the imagined hopes, fears and destinies of four people involved in the infamous 1936 Battle of the Alamo. Clagett, who had a long and successful career in film and freelance writing, chats with the cowboys about what might have happened all those decades ago in what is now San Antonio, TX.
E5S3 Howard Post: One of the Best of the West
Howard Post grew up on a ranch and fully intended to become a cowboy. Then he won an art contest at an early age. His paintings have been exhibited at the Autry Museum of the West, the Smithsonian, numerous galleries and can be found in private collections of the rich and famous. A cowboy at heart, Howard saddles up to the ranch to talk with Russell and Alan about his illustrious career.
Bonus Episode – The Cowboy Up Podcast with Voices of the West – Life was better when the TV shows were about cowboys rather than lawyers.
“Life was better when the TV shows were about cowboys rather than lawyers” Emil Franzi
Welcome to a bonus episode of The Cowboy Up Podcast … Russell and Alan and our cowboy guest had other cowboy work come up and they had to tend to those chores and duties. So we called on our good friend Harry Alexander to tell about his program and podcast called Voices of the West. Voices of the West emerged from a Tucson Arizona legendary character.
Emil Franzi was known as the political talk show host throughout southern Arizona. But he also got tired of the politics and began a great addition to his program in which he shared all kinds of stories and legends and the history of the western way of life.
Emil has now hung up his spurs but his good friend Harry Alexander carries on the tradition in a wonderful and facciful podcast that has that very unique subtitle. So our producer Stan Hustad took some time to talk to Harry about the program that shares the western and cowboy code way of life.
E4S3 Think Like a Horse with Grant Golliher
Horse whisperer, leadership expert, and author Grant Golliher has spent a lifetime around horses. He knows how they think. What’s more, he knows how that thinking can help humans. Grant joins Russell and Alan to talk about what leaders—from business CEOs and execs, to politicians, celebrities, and others—learn from horses at the Diamond Cross Ranch in Wyoming.
E3S3 Got Cowboy Culture?
The cowboy life. It’s at the heart of western culture. And it fascinates fans of the American West from west to east and around the world. Russell and Alan give an inside peek into what the cowboy life is like now and then. As Alan likes to say, “This one’s a bunch of fun.”
E2S3 The Legendary Patania Family
There are silversmiths, and then there are the Patanias. As third-generation Sam Patania likes to say, beginning with his Sicilian-born grandfather, the artists in his family use jewelry as their canvas. Sam speaks with Russell and Alan about his family’s exceptional silversmithing and design talents and how Patania creations became part of the Smithsonian’s permanent collection.
E1S3 Bodywork for Horses
To start off Season 3, we bring you equine bodywork expert Jim Masterson. Humans aren’t the only creatures who experience physical stress and tension. Horses do too. Masterson has developed a unique, highly effective method for relieving horses of aches and pains, a process that also builds trust between human and horse. What’s more, anyone can learn the Masterson Method!
E50S2 A Rodeo Star in the Making
Ciarra Arzaga doesn’t even recall the first time she rode a horse. She was too young. But she does remember learning how to rope. Now sixteen, Ciarra regularly competes in roping and other rodeo events—and regularly wins. She talks about her technique, favorite horses, and future plans with Russell and Alan.
E49S2 Dare to Make a Movie
Larry Martin knows writing. An award-winning author, he’s penned over 60 novels, mostly westerns, plus more than a handful of screenplays. But making a movie? Martin had never tried his hand at something so out of his artistic wheelhouse. He joins Russell and Alan to share his story of how he brought his new feature film “Eye for Eye” to the silver screen.
E48S2 Meet Johnny Boggs
Johnny Boggs may or may not own a six-shooter, but this western writer has won six Spur Awards for his novels and short stories. He joins the Cowboy Up team to talk about his illustrious career in journalism and fiction writing and how he adopted the West after a childhood spent in the South.
E47S2 Ever Shoe A Horse?
There’s no doubt about it. Shoeing horses is hard work, but it’s work that needs to be done. And who usually gets to do it? In this, case two veteran cowboys. You betcha, Russell and Alan have shod more horses than they can count. And here they are, shoeing another one at White Stallion Ranch.
E46S2 Swappin’ Cowboy Stories
In honor of Memorial Day, Russell and Alan recall their families’ involvement with war. Those who fought, almost fought, as well as others. In true cowboy fashion, one story leads to another and to another. Be prepared to chuckle, laugh, and shed a tear or two. A hats off and a cowboy salute to all the brave souls who served the United States of America.
E45S2 What Happened to the Widows?
On June 25, 1876, General George Custer and some 200 soldiers perished in the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Their wives soon learned of the outcome. They were now widows. How these women coped and survived is the subject of the new book, “The Widowed Ones,” written by New Times bestselling author, actress and comedienne, Chris Enss. She chats with Russell and Alan about what she discovered about these brave and amazing women.
E44S2 Cowboy Music with Bill Ganz
For 25 years, The Bill Ganz Western Band regaled audiences with cowboy music. Local bars, rodeos, even Tucson’s symphony hall—the band played it all. Bill Ganz, the guitar-picking founder, joins Russell and Alan to talk about his career and the future of western music. And you betcha, Bill sings some tunes exclusively for our podcast listeners!
E43S2 The Forgotten Botanist
In 1870, a talented young woman packed up her bags and bid adieu to a damp and chilled East Coast. Sara Plummer Lemmon would spend the remainder of her life in the West leaving a legacy still visible today. And yet, she remains in the shadows of history. Wynne Brown, author of the award-winning biography, “The Forgotten Botanist: Sara Plummer Lemmon’s Life of Science and Art” brings to light the many accomplishments of this remarkable woman.
E42S2 A Place of Thin Veil
Gallup, New Mexico is not known as a tourist destination. Yet, this community situated near the Four Corners is rich in diversity and history. Longtime resident and past mayor of Gallup, Bob Rosebrough, joins Russell and Alan to talk about his new memoir, “A Place of Thin Veil,” which brings to life the stories, mysteries, and evocative landscapes of this part of the Land of Enchantment.
E41S2 Water, Water Everywhere?
The Colorado River is at its lowest levels. Is climate change the culprit? Unexpected urban growth? Mismanagement over the decades? To sort through these questions, Russell and Alan chat with experts Eric Kuhn and John Fleck, co-authors of “Science Be Dammed,” a look at how this valuable resource has evolved over the past 100 years.
E40S2 Dale Evans: The Queen of the West
She was a lover of music and determined to find her way into the limelight. And that she did. Dale Evans rose to fame as an actress, singer, and wife of Roy Rogers. Historian Theresa Kaminski, author of the new biography “Queen of the West: The Life and Times of Dale Evans,” shares some fascinating, behind-the-scenes stories with Russell and Alan about this Hollywood superstar.
E39S2 Happy Birthday, Sandra Day O’Connor!
The Supreme Court Justice turns 92 this year. What a life, what a legacy! To help celebrate both, Sandra’s son, Scott O’Connor, joins Russell and Uncle Al to share stories about what life was like with a mom who shattered glass ceilings and made friends not just across America, but around the world.
E38S2 Meet Brianna Markum-McClain: Roper, Wrangler, and Rodeo Star
If you start roping at age five, are you destined to rope in rodeos – and win? Brianna Markum-McClain would argue yes. This talented cowgirl chats with Russell and Alan about what it’s like to grow up on a ranch, own a rodeo company, and be headed to Vegas for team roping finals!
E37S2 Storytelling the Cowboy Way
Saddle up and give a listen to Russell and Alan as they swap stories from the range. You’ll also hear from a few western writers coming live from the Tucson Festival of Books where they shared their stories. Storytelling – it’s the cowboy way then and now!
E36S2 Makin’ Bacon with Neil Dudley
Bacon and eggs. Bacon and beans. Bacon in a BLT. Bacon has long been a cowboy’s staple and is savored by millions. Today, Russell and Alan speak with Neil Dudley, cowboy, rancher, podcast host, and VP at Pederson’s Farms, a producer of natural and organic bacon and meats. Fair warning—this episode will set your mouth to watering, so get your fry pan ready!
E35S2 A Touch of the Cowboy & the Thrill of the West
Listen up dudes and dudines! This one’s for you. Award-winning author, curator, and historian Lynn Downey shares some stories straight from the history of dude ranching. From the funny to the unbelievable to the eye-popping, dude ranching has not only impacted the travel industry, but also embedded its way into fashion, food, and, of course, fun.
E34S2 Meet C.J. Box
Are you one of the millions of C.J. Box fans? Then you’ll be thrilled to hear that he has a new book releasing. “Shadows Reel” is his 22nd novel featuring Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett and his wife Marybeth, and this one is filled with discoveries that put the Pickett family in a pair of killers’ crosshairs. C.J. chats with Russell and Alan about “Shadows Reel” and a writing life that includes over 30 published books with sales exceeding 10 million in the US alone.
E33S2 Great Stories and Songs from the heart of a cowboy who is a Cowboy at Heart
Indeed David Rychener is a cowboy at heart. Just like so many of us who love to listen to the lore and legends and the stories of The Cowboy Up Podcast. Today David drops in and tell stories and sing songs for Russell and Alan and you will be delighted at what you learn, what you hear, and it just might even touch your heart.
E32S2 Tales, Treasures, and the Tastes of Tombstone, the town that was too tough to die.
When the subject of Tombstone Arizona comes up everybody who’s heard of it has some thoughts and opiniona. So join us for some more stories about Tombstone and all of the legends and lore that go with it. But let’s do something different, let’s talk about the Taste of Tombstone, as our guest Sherry Monahan tells you about what they would eat and perhaps you can join them at the Tombstone cookbook.
E31S2 Where did the horses come from and other great western stories you’ve never heard before
Get ready for an interesting hour as three old Cowboys tell stories about legends of the west and the history of Arizona. Russell and Alan sit down with a cowboy cup of coffee and have a great conversation with Western historian Jim Turner. You will be amazed as you discover all kinds of things that you never knew before, and even something about the nature of the human condition. Stories from yesterday with meanings for today. Time to saddle up.
E30S2 Tony Hillerman: A Life
Tony Hillerman is a legendary western writer. His bestselling novels introduced readers to the Diné (Navajo) culture through characters Navajo Tribal Police detectives Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. Now, fans have a chance to meet the man behind the novels. New York Times bestselling author James McGrath Morris researched and wrote the definitive biography about Hillerman. He joins Russell and Alan to talk about his new book “Tony Hillerman: A Life.”
E29S2 Wild Horse Adventures
What do you get when you mix a 35,000-acre South Dakota ranch with an excess of unadoptable wild horses imprisoned in feedlots and one heck of a brilliant idea? Alan Day’s answer: the first government-sponsored wild horse sanctuary. He knows because he started that sanctuary. Yep, 1500 wild mustangs came to live with him on his ranch and the whole bunch, including Alan and his cowboys, had more adventures than they could’ve ever imagined. Listen in to hear!
E28S2: Buffalo Soldiers of the Southwest
The history of the Buffalo Soldiers is not only fascinating but is firmly embedded in Arizona history. Charles Hancock, former president of the Southwest Association of Buffalo Soldiers, joins Russell and Alan to talk about the important role these soldiers played, share some of their heroic stories, and explore what’s being done to honor and preserve their legacy.
E27S2: Meet Tom Tatum
Tom Tatum, who divides his time between Telluride and Taos, wears many hats, among them author, movie producer, director, rancher, land conservationist, solar energy company CEO. Tatum talks with Russell and Alan about his new face-paced western novel “Adobe Daze” and how his personal experiences informed the story.
E26S2: Natural Hoof Care for Horses
Ring in the New Year with this enlightening episode featuring Steve Hebrock, one of five master hoof care specialists in the world. Your horse’s feet will appreciate it! Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and safe 2022.
E25S2: A Cowboy Christmas Story
In this delightful episode, Alan shares stories about Rastus, who arrived at the Lazy B as a nine-year-old orphan and where he worked as a cowboy for the remainder of his life. From the entire podcast crew, we wish you a delightful and very Merry Christmas.
E24S2: Terror on the Santa Fe Trail
We may not hear much about the Jicarilla Apache, but they were fierce warriors who raided wagon trains and fought the calvary. In fact, they soundly defeated the U.S. Army in the Battle of Cieneguilla. Award-winning author and historian, Doug Hocking, shares details from his new book “Terror on the Santa Fe Trail” with Russell and Alan and the role Kit Carson played during that tumultuous time.
E23S2: Rawhide Riatas: Essential Cowboy Gear
A cowboy’s gear is not complete without a rope. But ropes can break. Dick Schorr, a retired rancher and veterinarian, is an expert on riatas. New ones, old ones, and ones in need of repair. He chats with Russell and Alan about the art of rope making and the workshops he has given around the country.
E22S2: The Greatest Untold Railroad War
Back in the late 1870s, the owner of the Santa Fe Railroad, William Barstow Strong, and the owner of the Rio Grande Railroad, General William Jackson Palmer, found themselves at war. Historian John Sedgwick, author of the new book “From the River to the Sea: The Untold Story of the Railroad War that Made the West,” joins Russell and Alan to talk about what took place as these two powerhouses fought over land and money.
E21S2: Stunt Men of the Silver Screen
Most of us will never rob a train on horseback or purposefully fall from the saddle of a horse. As movie stunt men, Bobby Stevens and Rob Jensen have done both multiple times. They chat with Russell and Alan about the thrills that come with the work, as well as the occasional broken bone and bruised body.
E20S2: Art of the Southwest
The Southwest is filled with iconic images, from saguaro cacti to adobe homes to brilliant sunsets. Thousands of artists have captured these images. Mark Sublette, owner of Medicine Man Gallery and host of the “Art Dealer Diaries Podcast,” joins Russell and Alan to talk about southwestern art including paintings by the acclaimed Maynard Dixon, one of the most revered artists of the West.
E19S2: Cowboy is a Verb with Richard Collins
Richard Collins knows cowboying. He also knows ranching and land conservation. The Arizona native and author of the books “Cowboy is a Verb” and “Riding Behind the Padre” talks with Russell and Alan about his experiences with the Canelo Hills Coalition, a group of ranchers and Forest Service and BLM employees that came up with innovative ways to manage grazing in a habitat occupied by endangered species.
E18S2: Pearl Hart: Wildcat of the Wild West
Not many women bandits have roamed the West. Probably the most notorious and the one who made headlines around the country is Pearl Hart. Author and historian John Boessenecker saddles up to the ranch to chat with Russell and Alan about WILDCAT, his new book about Pearl’s forays and adventures in the Arizona territory and beyond.
E17S2: Drives, Hikes, and History with Roger Naylor
Need a Fall nature fix? Whether you want a scenic drive or a hiking trail, travel writer Roger Naylor can get you going in the right direction in the stunning Grand Canyon State. Roger joins Russell and Alan to offer ideas and paint some tantalizing word pictures of what to expect. And the cowboys, well, they chime in with adventures had in the natural wilds of the West.
E16S2 Water Challenges of the West
Water is in short supply these days, especially in the West. But conservationists, experts, and others are addressing the issue with innovative ideas for capturing and containing water. Jeff Hampton is one of those concerned and creative folks. He joins Russell and Alan to talk about ways to manage our life-sustaining resource—water.
E15S2: Jo Mora: Renaissance Man of the West
Jo Mora (1876-1947) was more than just multi-talented. A painter, sculptor, cartoonist and photographer, who settled in California, he also learned to speak Hopi and Navajo, wrote and illustrated children’s books, and published charts and maps. Peter Hiller, an expert on the life and times of Jo Mora, talks with Russell and Alan about the accomplishments of this “renaissance man of the West.”
E14S2: Myth-Busting the West
Two members of Western Writers of America, Bill Markley and Kellen Cutsforth, roll up their sleeves and dig into the truth behind some western legends. Co-authors of the upcoming book “Stand Off at High Noon: Another Battle over the Truth in the Mythic Wild West,” these two historians join Russell and Alan to dish about notorious figures and infamous events of the Old West.
E13S2: Meet Carol Markstrom
From college professor to award-winning singer and songwriter, that’s Carol Markstrom. Twice named Western Female Vocalist of the Year, Carol saddles up to the ranch, guitar in hand, to speak with Russell and Alan about her career path and many successes including her most recent album “Mile After Mile.”
E12S2: The Wild Bunch Film Festival
It started six years ago in Willcox, AZ and has grown exponentially. Now screening over 60 films during the four-day weekend spectacular, the Wild Bunch Film Festival is a place for western film lovers to gather. Founder Rock Whitehead and childhood actress Dawn Lyn, who starred in the movie “Shootout” with Gregory Peck, join Russell and Alan to talk about this year’s fest highlights.
E11S2: Cowboy Culture Gets a PR Boost
Those eager to preserve the western way of life and cowboy culture come from all walks of life. This week, Russell and Alan speak with two Arizonans who make change through government channels. Kevin and Joe DeMenna saddle up to the ranch to talk about how they use their public relations and political consulting talents to get things done on the range and even the racetrack.
E10S2: Bareback Riding: More Than a Hobby for This Cowboy
Cowboy Jim Liles began his 20-year career as a bareback rider around the age of 13. More than fifty years later, he can still recount stories of the many times those broncs broke his bones, including some bones more than once. And yet, bareback riding has remained his life’s passion, and the broncs have remained the horses he loves most. The founder of the Bareback Riding Hall of Fame and Museum, Jim joins Russell and Alan to talk about his rodeo adventures and his efforts to preserve cowboy culture.
E9S2: Cowboys Don’t Need Tall Tales!
Why tell a tall tale when the truth is so crazy it’s barely believable? In this episode, Russell and Alan confirm that truth is indeed stranger than fiction. When you’re out on the range, on the back of a horse, in the cockpit of an airplane, you’re living adventures guaranteed to be told around the campfire for decades to come. So, grab a seat, roast some marshmallows, and give a listen as two cowboys tell true tales from the range.
E8S2: Following Frederick Loring
When author and historian Lynn Downey learned about Frederick Loring, she instantly became fascinated. Loring was an up-and-coming author from the East Coast when he ventured west in 1871 at the age of twenty-three. Downey joins Russell and Alan to share her adventures retracing parts of Loring’s journey around the West and what she learned about the man and the beauty and brutality he encountered.
E7S2: Cowboy Musings from Kent Reeves
Kent Reeves packs a lot of interests and talent in his wheelhouse. Land conservation. Photography. Cowboy poetry. And he chats with Russell and Alan about it all from his home in California where he founded Rancher to Rancher (R2R), a network of ranchers and ecologists focused on environmentally sustainable land-management practices. What’s good for the land is good for the earth!
E6S2: Murder, Mystery & Suspense with author Shannon Baker
Shannon Baker lives on the edge of the Tucson desert with her “crazy Weimaraner and favorite human.” She also lived in Flagstaff for a few years and spent 20 years in the Nebraska Sandhills, where cattle outnumber people by more than 50:1. She joins Russell and Alan to talk about her mystery series, some set in the desert, some in the Sandhills, and how her experiences, play out on the page—with added embellishments, of course!
E5S2: Behind the Scenes at a Dude Ranch
Like any hospitality business, dude ranching can be full of surprises. Tombstone Monument Ranch manager Michelle DeSplinter reveals some of the challenges, laughs and joys she’s encountered during her years working at a dude ranch. Let’s just say you can’t always predict what the day will bring!
E4S2: Exploring Tombstone with Burt Devere
Russell and Alan continue exploring the history of Tombstone, AZ, this time with special guest Burt Devere, whose great-grandfather settled in the area in the late 1800s. Burt shares some fascinating stories from then and now. (What would you do if you witnessed a train robbery?)
E3S2: National Day of the Cowboy
This year, we celebrate the 17th annual National Day of the Cowboy. Last year, we interviewed founder Bethany Braley, who is dedicated to preserving cowboy culture and heritage. Here’s the special reprise of our interview with her. Hats off to you, Bethany!
E2S2: Back at it in Tombstone
Russell and Alan continue exploring Tombstone, Arizona, where they chat with longtime resident Steve Goldstein, owner of Big Nose Kate’s Saloon. If you spend enough time in the town, you’ll most likely meet Goldstein, otherwise known as “Mr. Tombstone.” So how did a guy from the Bronx find his way to this best-of-the-West setting? Bet you’ll never guess!
E1S2: Meet Craig Hensley
Actor and playwright Craig Hensley knows the West, old and new. Born and raised in Arizona, he was headed toward a career as a forest ranger when he heard the call of “show biz.” Hensley has accumulated acting credits in film, television and theater from New York to Los Angeles and numerous locales in between. He also wrote and starred in the stage production, “Wyatt: Last Words.” Hensley speaks with Russell and Alan from historic Tombstone, AZ, where he lives with his wife Gina and Golden Retriever, Coosa.
E50: The Legendary Pony Express
Many of us have heard about the Pony Express, founded in 1860. But did you know this “start-up” mail delivery service only operated for 18 months? Expert Jim DeFelice, author of “West Like Lightning,” joins Russell and Alan to sort through the fact and fiction associated with the legendary Pony Express. [True or False: Buffalo Bill Cody rode for the Pony Express. Listen for the answer!
E49: Horse ‘in Around
No cowboy is without a saddlebag or two of horse stories. And Russell and Alan are no exception. Joining in with his own share of tales about horses ridden and loved and wrecks survived is lifelong cowboy Mac Mackenny, who hails from Calgary in Alberta, Canada. If you want to hear some wild, western adventures that not even the best fiction writer could concoct, then give a listen, right here, right now.
E48: Blockbuster Western Fiction with Michael Punke
You may know bestselling author Michael Punke from his blockbuster novel “The Revenant,” also an Academy award-winning film starring Leo DiCaprio. Well, Punke has picked up pen again and this time turned out “Ridgeline,” a riveting story set in 1866 Wyoming. He joins Russell and Alan to talk about the true events and characters behind this new novel already optioned for the silver screen.
E47: The Sonoran Desert’s Culinary Heritage
Carolyn Neithammer has been writing ethnobotanies, cookbooks, and biographies about the Southwest for her entire career. Her most recent book, “A Desert Feast,” explores how Tucson came to be honored as the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the U.S.. Caroline, Russell and Alan dig into the culinary heritage of the Sonoran Desert—and just what parts of the prickly pear cactus are edible.
E46: Art and the Historical “Folk Hero”
Artist Thom Ross has had a lifelong love of American history, storytelling and painting. Not surprisingly, his art focuses on the “folk hero,” like Billy the Kid, rather than on the mythical “folk hero,” like Paul Bunyan. Thom chats with Russell and Alan from Due West, his studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
E45: The Greatest Gambling Story Ever Told
When he was sixteen years old, Mark Paul snuck into the Santa Ana racetrack and was smitten. Over decades, Paul traveled the world attending horse races and placing bets. But no bet was bigger and more dangerous than the one placed in Tijuana on the Derby. Paul joins Russell and Alan to share his Seabiscuit meets Narcos adventure.
E44: The Real and Imagined West with Stuart Rosebrook
The West endures in the archives of museums and libraries. It also endures in novels and movies. Historian Stuart Rosebrook chats with Alan and Russell about some of the great writers and film makers, as well as the real characters and events, that inform us about the West then and now.
E43: Black Cowboy Rodeo Heroes
They ride horses, rope calves, buck broncos, ride and fight bulls, and even wrestle steers. They are Black cowboys, and the legacies of their pursuits intersect with those of America’s struggle for racial equality, human rights, and social justice. Journalist and author Keith Ryan Cartwright joins Russell and Alan to talk about his timely and fascinating upcoming book “Black Cowboys of Rodeo: Unsung Heroes from Harlem to Hollywood and the American West.”
E42: Ranch Pets: From Horses to Javelinas
May is National Pet Month! And don’t we love our pets. Russell and Alan share some of their favorite pet stories with guests at White Stallion Dude Ranch. A little hawk named Sylvester. Two javelinas named Sandra and Ann. And dogs, horses, and more. If you love animals (or just some great stories) join in!
E41: Cowboy Poetry with Doris Daley
Doris Daley is a renowned cowboy poet, emcee and humorist—or as she prefers, a “western poet.” Her 20-year performance career includes appearances with the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the Saskatchewan Opera Company. Doris joins Russell and Alan from Alberta, Canada to share her wordsmithing and love of the West. It’s a cowboy celebration of National Poetry Month.
E40: Jim Jones: Singer, Songwriter, Storyteller
Sometimes nothing lifts the heart and soul like a good western tune. Jim Jones has plenty of them—and plenty have won prestigious awards. He joins Russell and Alan to talk about his career as a solo musician and a member of the trio The Cowboy Way and as an author of western novels. He even has his guitar within reach. Give a listen!
E39: Mustang Saviors: Inspiring New Documentary
Director and producer David Glossberg never anticipated making a documentary about wild mustangs and military vets. But when he learned about the high suicide rate of veterans and how wild mustangs have been helping that rate decrease, he felt called to action. The result: Mustang Saviors, an award-winning film that, as you’ll discover in this episode, will lift your spirit and renew your hope.
E38: The Authentic Western Life
Mark Bedor returns to the ranch to talk all things western. Mark is the host and director of the TV show, “Today’s Wild West,” a half-hour magazine show that combines his experience as a television news anchor and reporter with his love of the West. Winner of a 2021 Western Heritage Award, “Today’s Wild West” airs on over 70 PBS channels.
E37: Writing the Frontier with Nancy E. Turner
Arizona author Nancy E. Turner started college when her children were full-grown. After earning a triple major in creative writing, music and studio art from the University of Arizona, Turner went on to become a bestselling author of many novels. She joins Russell and Alan to talk about her new novel “Light Changes Everything,” which Publisher’s Weekly describes as a “satisfying, immersive, and often heart-pounding tale of one indomitable young woman’s frontier life, touched by tragedy and hope.”
E36: Military Wives: Women Who Helped Settle the Frontier
In honor of Women’s History Month, award-winning author and historian Jan Cleere joins Russell and Alan to discuss her new book Military Wives in Arizona Territory: A History of Women Who Shaped the Frontier. Most of these women journeyed from the East and knew little of the hardships and challenges waiting in the Arizona Territory. But these brave, bold women persevered and left a legacy that endures today.
E35: Horse Crazy in NYC and Around the World
Sarah Maslin Nir, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and New York Times reporter, fell in with horses by age two. But growing up in New York City meant horses weren’t readily accessible. Maslin Nir speaks with Russell and Alan about how she managed to seek out horses throughout her life and how those equine relationships sustained and healed her, a journey she relates in her new memoir Horse Crazy: The Story of a Woman and a World in Love with an Animal.
E34: Cowboy, Horse Lover, and Raconteur: Randall Dale
What happens when three cowboys get together? Well, the stories start to flow, especially when all three were raised on Arizona ranches, are horse lovers to the core, and have written books about their adventures. So refill that coffee and settle in for an entertaining and enlightening conversation between Russell, Alan and their guest Randall Dale.
E33: Learning the Language of Horses
Anna Twinney communicates with horses on a daily basis. The founder and owner of the Reach Out to Horses® program, Twinney takes horsemanship to a new level using body language, energy work, animal communication and other healing modalities. She joins Russell and Alan to share her experiences and insights gleaned while working with horses and horse lovers from around the world.
E32: What’s the News in Loveland, CO?
Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. Grass-fed cattle. Cutting-edge land conservation. Award-winning historical novel trilogoy. All good things, and all connected to the energy, passion and creativity of David M. Jessup. Give a listen as Russell and Alan chat with David about his many accomplishments on the front range of the beautiful, bold Rocky Mountains.
E31: Lynn Downey: Author, Archivist, and Authentic “Dudine”
Although Lynn Downey was raised around cowboys and horses, she never inherited the horse gene. Instead, she got the love-of-western-history gene. Russell and Alan chat with Lynn about her career curating and archiving for museums and businesses and writing award-winning books about dude ranching, Levi Strauss & Co, Sonoma, CA, Wickenburg, AZ and more!
E30: Tucson, AZ: Not Just for Horse Lovers
Over the past decade, Tucson has become a literary hub. The Old Pueblo is now home to the Tucson Festival of Books, the 3rd largest book festival in the country. Hundreds of talented writers, including National Book Award finalists and Pulitzer Prize winners, live in Tucson and the surrounding southern Arizona area. Lynn Wiese Sneyd, author, literary consultant to the Tucson book fest, and all-around book nerd, joins Alan and Russell to talk team penning, publishing, and, of course, books.
E29: What Really Happened in Tombstone?
On October 26, 1881, a gunfight between a group of lawmen and outlaw cowboys occurred at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, AZ. It lasted all of 30 seconds. The infamous shootout has been the basis for books, movies, and TV shows. And yet, controversy remains over what really happened. Bestselling author Tom Clavin, whose newest book is “Tombstone: The Earp Brothers, Doc Holliday, and the Vendetta Ride From Hell,” joins Russell and Alan to shed light on this landmark event.
E28: Loop Rawlins, World Renown Trick Roper
Tucson native Loop Rawlins is one of the most versatile western performers in the world today. His act of trick roping, whip cracking and fancy gun spinning thrilled audiences in Vegas and national sports stadiums, at corporate and private events, and even on America’s Got Talent. Meet this fascinating talent who is keeping the spirit of the West alive.
E27: Meet the Inimitable Bob Boze Bell
He’s an illustrator, an author, a storyteller extraordinaire. He’s written a book about Wyatt Earp and three books about Billy the Kid. He grew up in Kingman, AZ along Route 66 and currently is the owner and editor of True West Magazine. There is only one Bob Boze Bell, and it’s time you meet him.
E26: Guns of the Old West
Russell and Alan chat with two gun experts and historians. From the pioneer days through the Civil War into the 20th century, the evolution of guns is fascinating. This episode is sure to leave you with a new appreciation of the guns used in western movies. (Can you name the gun featured in Silverado, True Grit, Dances with Wolves, Legends of the Fall, and How the West was Won?)
E25: It’s Here! It’s Here! It’s a New Year!
Turn the calendar. Open the gate. And say hello to 2021! Russell and Alan review the challenges of the past year and also challenges they’ve faced in the past. What does it take to get through tough times, as well as prepare for a ride into new pastures, hopefully greener ones? Sometimes cowboys know best.
E24: The Equus Film & Arts Festival Rides Again!
Lisa Diersen, Founder and Executive Director of the EQUUS Film & Arts Festival, and associate Julianne Neal make a virtual tour stop at the ranch to speak with Alan and Russell. Every horse has a story, and it’s the mission at the EQUUS Film & Arts Fest to share those stories through film, art and literature. No matter what your interest is in horses—dressage, equine therapy, saving wild mustangs, trail riding, or simply loving a horse—the festival has something for you.
E23: Meet Marshall Trimble: The Will Rogers of Arizona
He’s an author, songwriter, storyteller, performer, cowboy, college prof, and Arizona’s own state historian. As the Arizona Historical Foundation’s executive director says, “His homespun wit and unassuming demeanor often serve as a smokescreen to his incisive talents in the scholarly arena.” You’re in for a treat because you’re about to meet Marshall Trimble.
E22: Holiday Traditions, Celebrations & Libations in the Old West
‘Tis the season to celebrate, even in these crazy, strange times. But how have holiday celebrations evolved over the decades? Culinary and western historian Sherry Monahan chats with Alan and Russell about what Christmas and other holidays looked like on the Victorian western frontier. Differences? Yes. But traditions remain!
E21: Where Cowboys and Celebrities Converge
Alan and Russell talk with guest Bill Markley, a western writer and history buff, whose experience with Hollywood’s silver screen began where Alan’s left off. And to think, it all happened in South Dakota. Can you guess the topic? Tune in to find out!
E20: Cowboy Hats: Icons of the West
Few westerners know hats better then master hatter Jimmy Harrison, fondly known as Jimmy “the hat man.” He’s been shaping and cutting down hats since he was young and in rodeo with his buddies. Eventually, he became the owner of Double H Custom Hat Company in Darby, MT and Wickenburg, AZ, where he creates and manufacturers hats for customers worldwide. Jimmy joins Russell and Alan to share the secrets of cowboy hat making.
E19: Extraordinary Women of the Old West
Russell and Alan chat with historian and author Chris Enss. Some of the most famous names in history, not to mention film and pop culture, populate her 40+ books. Her newest book is “No Place for a Woman: The Struggle for Suffrage in the Wild West.” Learn more about Chris at www.chrisenss.com.
E18: Remembering John Wayne
In 1907 in the small town of Winterset, Iowa, Marion Robert Morrison was born. As an adult, he would change his name to John Wayne. A Hollywood legend, Wayne remains an integral part of western film and culture. Russell and Alan chat with Brian Downes, the executive director of the John Wayne Birthplace and Museum. Tune in to their conversation now! As The Duke would say, “We’re burning daylight.”
E17: When Life Is Stranger than Fiction
On a ranch, the unexpected is just part of life. You might say it’s the expected. From quirky individuals who move in as neighbors to horse wrecks and pickup wrecks, the unanticipated flavors ranch life with the kick of a habanero pepper flavoring hot sauce. Russell and Alan share stories that they’ll never forget, and neither will you!
E16: A Travel Writer’s Take on Awesome Arizona
Roger Naylor, an award-winning travel writer, avid hiker, and road trip junkie, joins Russell and Alan. Roger has been exploring and delighting in the Grand Canyon since he moved from Ohio to attend Northern Arizona University four decades ago. His scope of knowledge wows the two lifelong Arizonans. Check out Roger’s new book “Arizona’s Scenic Roads and Hikes: Unforgetable Journeys in the Grand Canyon State.”
E15: Cooking and Conversation on the Ranch and Over the Range
Russell and Alan enjoy learning from one another and sharing stories. One question remains. Should Alan’s blue-ribbon beef jerky be renamed?
E 14: Captured on Camera
Wild horses tend to be a shy bunch, but for photographer Jan Drake, they are beautiful and fascinating subjects. Jan joins Alan and Lynn Wiese Sneyd to talk about her experiences out on the range both as photographer and as a volunteer for the Intermountain Wild Horse and Burros program and Wild Horses of America Foundation. Jan’s new book is “Wild Horses of the West,” a coffee table collection of over 200 photos of wild horses.
E13: Dude Ranching DNA
Dude rancher Russell True and cowboy H. Alan Day team up in Tucson, Arizona to talk all things Western. They’ll share adventures from the range, from the seat of a plane’s cockpit, from the back of a horse. (You may wonder how they lived to tell their tales!) And they’ll have a roundup of guests, Western writers, horse lovers, chuckwagon chefs, ranchers, nature lovers. It’s the West now and then.!
E12: Gotta Love Your Mentors
Ever have a mentor who impacted your life, a person who you’ll remember forever? Russell and Alan reflect on their mentors and offer up some inspiration and lessons to help us get through these crazy times. They also talk about being mentors and paying it forward. If you have a mentoring story you’d like to share, email us at email@example.com and we’ll get it posted on our social media.
E11: How Many Hats Can A Cowboy Wear? Ask Ross Knox
Ross Knox learned about life from the saddle. A wrangler, mule packer, leather braider, and renown cowboy poet, Knox offers up some western adventures, along with a few inspiring poems. And it’s not everyone who has a song written about them, but Knox lays claim to that one, too!
E10: Veterans, Their Families & Wild Mustangs
Deborah Plum, co-founder of Base Camp for Veterans, Inc., and Jeff Cook, wild mustang trainer at Dream Horse AZ, join Russell and Alan to talk about the unique program being offered to veterans and their families. At the center of the program: wild mustangs, those four-legged creatures capable of helping us grow and transform.
E9: The Lady Who Led the Way
Alan shares more stories about his sister, Sandra Day O’Connor, the woman who started Stanford at age 16, graduated from law school at 22, found her way to the Arizona legislature and eventually to Washington, D.C. A most timely conversation. 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women the constitutional right to vote. Many women opened doors and paved the way for Justice O’Connor, and she in turn opened doors for future generations of women.
E8: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice
Ranch life is not the easiest. One thing it does, however, is build character. Alan reflects on how being raised on a cattle ranch in the hard-scrabble, high desert of Arizona influenced his sister, Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman nominated and confirmed to the United States Supreme Court.
E7: Diana Madaras and the Spirit of Western Art
Award-winning artist Diana Madaras is equally well known for her bold, colorful Southwest art as for her generous charitable giving. Diana owns Madaras Gallery in Tucson, Arizona, which features her work, and is president of the non-profit Art for Animals Foundation, a charity she founded in 1999 to help abused, injured, and orphaned animals. Voted Tucson’s Best Visual Artist nine times, she has been featured in national magazines, as well as television shows produced by NBC, CBS and PBS affiliates. Diana joins Russell and Alan at White Stallion Ranch, where she frequently sets up her easel and paints.
E6: Celebrate “The National Day of the Cowboy”
Guest host Lynn Wiese Sneyd talks with Bethany Braley, the executive director and publisher of National Day of the Cowboy, a non-profit dedicated to preserving pioneer heritage and cowboy culture. Saturday, July 25, 2020 marks the 16th annual celebration of National Day of the Cowboy, and the start of another year supporting western artists, photographers, writers, filmmakers, and cowboys and cowgirls across the country. This is one fantastic group!
E5: Training, Adopting & Saving Wild Horses
Russell and Alan talk with horse whisperer and author of Lessons from Horses Randy Helm about the future of America’s wild horses. Alan shares how he came to start the first government-sponsored wild horse sanctuary in South Dakota and the tragic request issued one day by the Bureau of Land Management. Learn more about Alan’s experiences in his award-winning memoir The Horse Lover: A Cowboy’s Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs.
E4: Wild Horses and Inmates—Partners in Prison
Russell and Alan invite Randy Helm to the ranch. An experienced horse whisperer, Randy is the supervisor of the Wild Horse Inmate Program (WHIP) at the Arizona State Program. This incredibly successful program takes wild horses out of captivity and puts them in the hands of men who are in captivity, but who are eager for the opportunity to train the animals. A truly win-win situation – and these days, don’t we need to hear stories like this one. For more information about Randy and WHIP, visit here.
E3: For the Love of Horses
Chess is a game. Tennis is a sport. But horse riding is an adventure. So let’s go to the ranch and hear Russell and Alan who have over 100 years of experience and stories about loving, caring, grieving and riding horses. These two cowboys will move your spirit, touch your heart, and maybe even bring a tear or two! There isn’t a better way to spend the next half hour of your life than to just to listen right here.
E2: True Tales of the West with Guest Mark Bedor
Russell and Alan chat with guest Mark Bedor, an avid horseman who wears many hats. Writer, photographer, news reporter, anchor, producer, author, musician and host of the TV show “Today’s Wild West” — Mark has done it all. Check out the Quigley shoot, the sentimental meaning of spurs, and one of the most important cowboy mantras. Ears on… this one’s for you!
E1: Raised a Cowboy, Always a Cowboy
Meet Russell True and Alan Day, two cowboys who’ve lived big lives in big spaces. Russell grew up on White Stallion Dude Ranch in Tucson, AZ. Alan was raised on Lazy B, a 200,000-acre cattle ranch straddling the high deserts of Arizona and New Mexico. What was it like to grow up with cowboys and horses and make a hand by age five? Find out here as Russell and Alan share some high-tale, horse lovin’ adventures.