'Boots, Buckles & Spurs,' 50-Song, 3-CD Deluxe Box Set Celebrates 50 Years of the National Finals Rodeo


The modern American rodeo reaches its pinnacle every year at the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas. What started out in Dallas in 1958, with a total purse of $50,000 -- has grown into a total payout of more than $5.6 million, an annual 10-day 'world series' class event that packs the 17,000-seat Thomas & Mack Center in Vegas with fans who wouldn't think of being anywhere else on earth.

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The heart and soul of the NFR -- aside from the sights and sounds and action taking place in the arena -- is music, country music, specifically the cowboy music that reflects the life and times of these American heroes. In celebration of the upcoming 50th anniversary NFR, which will take place (and be telecast on ESPN2 and ESPN Classic) from December 4-13th, "Boots, Buckles & Spurs" is a new CD box set which will gather 50 favorites from the cowboy rodeo songbook -- from Gene Autry's "Back In The Saddle Again" (1939) to Brooks & Dunn's "Cowboy Town" (2007, the official theme song of the 50th anniversary NFR). The deluxe box set will be available at all physical and digital retail outlets starting November 18th through SONY BMG Nashville/Legacy, a division of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

"Music has inspired world champions and NFR contestants from the time they first swung a rope or got on a bucking animal to the time they competed on the sport's grandest stage," writes Neal Reid, editor of ProRodeo Sports News, in his 1,700-word liner notes essay for "Boots, Buckles & Spurs." "Songwriters have turned to cowboys," he adds, "especially the rodeo cowboy, as a source of inspiration as well."

"Boots, Buckles & Spurs" provides ample proof of his statement, covering every decade from the 1930s (Autry's "Back In The Saddle Again," Patsy Montana and The Prairie Ramblers' 1935 hit "I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart") and the '40s (Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys' 1941 "Dusty Skies," the Sons Of The Pioneers "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" from 1948) - up to the '90s ("Hold On Partner" by Clint Black and Roy Rogers, Suzy Bogguss' version of Ian & Sylvia's "Someday Soon," and Tracy Byrd's "No Ordinary Man," to name a few). Biloxi's cowboy-turned-singer the late Chris LeDoux, who was posthumously inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2005, is remembered with a defining moment, his 1991 track "Hooked on an 8-Second Ride."

The lion's share of "Boots, Buckles & Spurs" selections originate in the 1960s and 1970s -- by an all-star roster of country music artists (some with multiple tracks) headlined by Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Lynn Anderson, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson (on separate cuts and together on their all-time classic "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys"), Guy Clark, Moe Bandy, Jessi Colter, Billy Joe Shaver, and Red Steagall.

Texan Michael Martin Murphey is also featured twice, as pointed out by Reid in his liner notes: "'Wildfire' has been one of cowboy country's most lasting and enduring tunes. [And] Murphey's song 'Born to Buck Bad Luck' is the consummate song about bull riding, and both of these fan favorites are featured on this boxed set."

Throughout "Boots, Buckles & Spurs," the relationship between singers and cowboys, as established on records, movies and television during the course of the 20th century, is a constant reminder of the unique place that the rodeo holds in the heart of every American. "I have been privileged to go to many of those rodeos and to see some of the greatest rodeo cowboys in the world," Reid was told by Charlie Daniels, a regular at the NFR. "It is the greatest rodeo in the world. If you ever get the chance to go to Las Vegas and see the NFR, don't you dare turn it down."

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SOURCE: Legacy Recordings

CONTACT: Randy Haecker, Media Relations of Legacy, +1-212-833-4101,

Web Site: http://www.legacyrecordings.com/