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Home » Santa Clarita News » KHTS Around The Barn Up For Western Music Association Award

KHTS Around The Barn Up For Western Music Association Award

headshotMikeDowler2By Carol Rock and Leon Worden/SCVTV

“Around the Barn,” our Saturday morning show featuring Western entertainment and down-home chat has been nominated for Radio Show of the Year in the annual Western Music Association Awards competition.

The program airs on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and is hosted by Nancy Pitchford Zhe of Heads Up Therapy on Horseback, Bobbi Jean Bell of Out West Boutique and Western Cultural Center in Old Town Newhall and veteran KHTS host Mike Dowler.

While it’s a first-time nomination for the show, several recording artists who have performed at OutWest over the past year are looking to reprise their past success at this year’s awards banquet November 19 in Albuquerque.

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Topping the list in nominations is WMA board member Juni Fisher for Outstanding Songrwriter, Entertainer of the Year, Original Song (“Yakima,” about Walk of Western Stars honoree, the late movie stuntman Yakima Canutt, who lived in the Acton-Agua Dulce area) and Best Traditional Album by an Individual (“Let ‘er Go, Let ‘er Buck, Let ‘er Fly”).

The harmonic trip of The Tumbling Tumbleweeds are also in the running for Entertainer of the year and Best Album by a Group (“Blaze Across the West”).



OutWest owners Jim and Bobbi Jean Bell with The Tumbling Tumbleweeds in November

Ray Doyle of Wylie and the Wild West is nominated for Outstanding Instrumentalist, while Mary Kaye Knaphus and Judy Coder are competing for Outstanding Female Performer.

SCVTV produced the OutWest performances of all five for television – Fisher, Doyle, Knaphus, Coder and The Tumbling Tumbleweeds. They can be seen in the ‘music’ category on

There is no WMA category for television shows.

In addition, several regular performers at the annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival are in the running for top honors in the genre.

Festival host and performer R.W. Hampton is nominated for a spot in the WMA’s Hall of Fame, in addition to Entertainer of the Year, Outstanding Male Performer and Best Individual Album (“Austin to Boston”).

Crooner Don Edwards is also nominated for Outstanding Male Performer and Best Individual Album (“American”).

Jack Hannah of the group Sons of the San Joaquin is nominated for Best Songwriter and the group is up for Entertainer of the Year.

Waddie Mitchell is looking for another win in the Cowboy Poetry Category, while Belinda Gail is in the mix with Fisher, Coder and Knaphus for Outstanding Female Performer. Festival favorite Hot Club of Cowtown is nominated for Western Swing Album (“What Makes Bob Holler”).

Several additional 2011 nominees have performed at the Santa Clarita festival. See the entire list of nominees below. The deadline for voting WMA members to return their ballots is September 15.

Founded in 1988, the Western Music Association is dedicated to fostering the professional growth of individual performers and educating the public about the contributions of Western music to our culture.

The nominees:

Traditional Western Album by an Individual

  • “American” – Don Edwards
  • “Austin to Boston” – R.W. Hampton
  • “The Cowboy Ain’t Dead Yet, Vol. III” – R.J. Vandygriff
  • “Cowboy Country” – Robert Wagoner
  • “Equine” – Brenn Hill
  • “Eyes of a Cowboy” – J Parson
  • “Let ‘er Go, Let ‘er Buck, Let ‘er Fly” – Juni Fisher
  • “Morning Coffee” – Richard Martin
  • “On The Outskirts of Crazy, More or Less” – Brenda Libby
  • “West of the 98th Meridian” – Allan Chapman
  • “Windmill in the Sunset” – Earl Gleason

Traditional Western Album By A Duo or Group

  • “3 Trails West” – 3 Trails West
  • “Blaze Across the West” – The Tumbling Tumbleweeds
  • “Free Rangin’” – Prickly Pair & The Cactus Chorale
  • “My Horse Knows The Way Home” – Horse Crazy Cowgirl Band
  • “RNDNMUP” – T.J. Casey & Jim Reader
  • “Western Tales” – Trails & Rails
  • Western Swing Album
  • “Cookin’ With Carolyn” – Carolyn Martin
  • “It’s A Good Day” – Asleep At the Wheel
  • “Texas To A ‘T’” – The Ball Family
  • “What Makes Bob Holler” – Hot Club of Cowtown

Poetry/Spoken Word/Storytelling Album

  • “The Bar D Roundup, Volume Six” –
  • “Symposium 2011” – Cowboy Poets of Utah
  • “Women of the West” – Sam LeLeeuw

Original Song (songwriter award)

  • “Charles Goodnight’s Grave” – Ian Tyson
  • “Code of the West” – Fred Hargrove
  • “The Eyes of the Cowboy” – J Parson
  • “He Wore A Blue Bandana” – J Parson
  • “Riding Along the Cimarron” – Barry Ward
  • “Smoke of the Brandin’ Fire” – Allan Chapman & Jim Jones
  • “Waitin’ for Spring” – Gary McMahan
  • “Where the Wind Blows A Different Song” – Nancy Ruybal
  • “Yakima” – Juni Fisher

Outstanding Instrumentalist

  • Tom Boyer (Red Hot Rhythm Rustlers)
  • Jeanne Cahill (Call of the West)
  • Jerome Campbell (Call of the West)
  • Gary Cook (Bar D Wranglers)
  • Ray Doyle (Wylie and the Wild West)
  • “Uncle Bob” Goldstein (Syd Masters & The Swing Riders)
  • Gary LeMaster (Sons of the Pioneers )
  • Joey Miskulin (Riders in the Sky)
  • Johnny Neill
  • Rich O’Brien
  • Ric Steinke (Open Range)

Outstanding Performer – Male

  • Bill Barwisk
  • Don Edwards
  • R.W. Hampton
  • Dave Stamey
  • R. J. Vandygriff
  • Barry Ward

Outstanding Performer – Female

  • Eli Barsi
  • Judy Coder
  • Devon Dawson
  • Juni Fisher
  • Belinda Gail
  • Mary Key Knaphus
  • Liz Masterson
  • Joyce Woodson

Outstanding Performer In Poetry/Storytelling/Spoken Word – Male

  • Clark Crouch
  • Waddie Mitchell
  • Andy Nelson
  • Red Stegall

Outstanding Performer In Poetry/Storytelling/Spoken Word – Female

  • Doris Daley
  • Sam DeLeeuw
  • Yvonne Hollenbeck
  • Diane Tribitt

Entertainer of the Year

  • Juni Fisher
  • R.W. Hampton
  • Horse Crazy Cowgirl Band
  • Riders In the Sky
  • Sons of the Pioneers
  • Sons of the San Joaquin
  • Sourdough Slim
  • Dave Stamey
  • The Tumbling Tumbleweeds

Outstanding Songwriter

  • Allan Chapman
  • Juni Fisher
  • Jack Hannah
  • Bruce Huntington
  • Barry Ward
  • Joyce Woodson
  • Crescendo Award
  • 3 Trails West
  • Naomi Bristow
  • Kristyn Harris
  • Vince & Mindi

Radio DJ/Radio Program of the Year

  • Nancy Pitchford, Bobbi Jean Bell, Mike Dowler – “Around the Barn” KHTS AM1220
  • Al Krtil – “Early Morning Trails”
  • Andy & Jim Nelson – “Clear Out West”
  • Ranger Doug & Side Meat – Sirius XM “Classic Cowboy Corral”
  • Barbara Richart – “Cowtrails” – KSJD, Mancos, CO
  • O.J. Sikes – “Western Music Time”
  • Totsie Slover – “The Real West From the Old West,” KOTS, Deming, NM
  • Tommy Tucker – KRLC, Lewiston, ID

Outstanding Western Book (Poetry/Storytelling Collection/Novel)

  • Colorado Moon – Jim Jones
  • A Cowgirl Never Forgets – Dawn Nelson
  • Harkin’ Home – Clark Crouch
  • West Word Ho – Doris Daley
  • Hall of Fame
  • R.W. Hampton
  • Vaughn Monroe

Special Recognition To Be Announced During WMA Awards Show

Pioneer Trail Award

President’s Award

Curly Musgrave Cowboy Spirit Silver Buckle Award

Bill Wiley Award

KHTS Around The Barn Up For Western Music Association Award

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