Nancy Flagg's blog

“Songs of the Cowboy.” April 12, 2019

“Songs of the Cowboy.”  This episode was inspired by a songbook called “Songs of the Cowboys” by Ron Middlebrook.  You’ll hear traditional cowboy songs sung by performers of the past and present. Many of the songs have been voted as Top 100 Western Songs of All Time. Gold nuggets, every one!

“Cow Mooo-sings.” March 29, 2019


California cow. Photo by Nancy Flagg

"Cow Mooo-sings." Today's show is  a light, fun episode. When you think about cowboys, what is it that they have in common?  Well, lots of things, but how about the source of their name: "Cows". Cows or Cattle are the underpinning of cowboy culture but they don't get enough individual attention. So, today's show is called "Cow Mooo-sings" and is an ode to called our bovine partners. All the songs and cowboy poetry will be about these critters and I hope that you'll find it "A-mooo-sing!"

“2018 Academy of Western Artists Winners.” March 22, 2019

“2018 Academy of Western Artists Winners.”  Every year, the Academy of Western Artists gives awards to the best Western musicians, poets and artisans. The winners from 2018 were just announced and you’ll hear works from some of them on this episode of “Cowboy Tracks.”

“Cowboy Moon.” March 1, 2019


Free use photo:

“Cowboy Moon.”  When you think of cowboys from the old west, do you see them sitting around the campfire? It’s a dark night, the fire is crackling, perhaps coyotes are howling and the moon shines its bright light over the land. You can see why so many cowboy songs back then and today are inspired by the quiet and powerful presence of the moon. Today’s episode is dedicated to songs about the moon. 

“Bluesy and Jazzy.” Feb. 22, 2019


Upright bass, photo by Nancy Flagg

"Bluesy and Jazzy." Western music has lots of musical influences, including blues and jazz.  For example, western swing is a jazz form. Today's show will be all western songs that have strong blues or jazz elements, drawing on form, instrumentation (we'll hear sax, trumpet, clarinets), improvisation, chord progressions and rhythms. I hope you enjoy this melange of musical sounds.

"Strong Western Winds." February 15, 2019

"Strong Western Winds." This episode's songs are about wind. Wind's physical power is featured in many western songs because it is such a big factor in cowboy work, range and animal duties, farming and more. But, wind is also the spirit of the universe. Its invisible yet powerful force often symbolizes movement and change, such as in the phrase "the winds of change." In today's  songs there are both the physical and  representational dimensions of the wind. Teacher  Bert McCoy says that: "the wind plays its own music." That's so true but the wind also inspires music, as we will hear...