Tuesday, 13 December 2011 by Chuck Kelly
The 3rd Annual Cowboy Christmas Ball is just over a week away --- Make your plans now to attend this holiday concert, featuring Western Music Hall of Famer Michael Martin Murphey on Saturday, December 10, at the Bell County Expo Center.
The world-famous event benefits the Bell County Youth Fair Livestock Show and Rodeo Scholarship Fund.
The popular multiple Grammy nominee is a huge advocate for and believer in western youth activities such as FFA and 4-H and returns this year with his live "cowboy" music and dancing along with heavy hors d'ourvres, a silent auction and cash bar in the Judge John C. Garth Arena.
"The Cowboy Christmas tradition becomes more of a treasure to me every year," the Dallas, Texas native commented. "It brings people the warmth, nostalgia and joy of an old fashioned Christmas. People have made it a part of their life and that is a great comfort to me. I'm glad the audience has fun with it but I'm having just as much fun. I switch out cowboy poetry and change the stories between songs."
Murphey, well-known for singing and performing, has garnered six gold albums and recorded hit songs that include "Wildfire", What's Forever For", "Carolina in the Pines" and others. He also is the author of New Mexico's state ballad "The Land of Enchantment".
Murphey's love of the outdoors began at an early age when he visited his grandfather's ranch, sleeping out on the porch under the Texas stars and listening to the older man's stories and cowboy songs. He went on from there to become the "Singing Cowboy Poet" and a prominent musical voice for the western horseman, rancher and cowboy.
The first Cowboys' Christmas Ball was held in Anson, Texas in 1885 and Murphey has played in Anson every year since 1991.
As he returns again to Bell County this year, he described the show for those who may be seeing it for the first time.
"The show is made up of Christmas music, my hit songs, cowboy poetry and classic cowboy music," he explained. "The music is the essence of the show but we use special effects and rear-screen projection to support the music. The straight-forward, nostalgic songs of my "Cowboy Christmas-Cowboy Songs II" album are always in demand."
Those attending this year's Cowboy Christmas Ball are encouraged to dress in Western attire and be prepared to "have a ball". The doors open at 6:00pm Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Bell County Expo Center. Remember, the event benefits the Bell County Youth Fair Livestock Show and Rodeo Scholarship Fund.
For tables, individual tickets or more information, call (254) 933-5305.