From his earliest days on the remote Nevada ranches where his father worked, Waddie Mitchell was immersed in the cowboy way of entertaining, the art of spinnin’ tales in rhyme and meter that came to be called cowboy poetry, a Western tradition that is as rich as the lifestyle that gave birth to it. Within his stories, told in a voice that is timeless and familiar, are the common bonds we all share, moments both grand and commonplace, the humorous and the tragic, the life and death struggles and triumphs that we each recognize. And yet, Waddie presents his material with personal insights and the lessons learned during his life spent as a buckaroo.
There came a time though, which he relates in his poem “Where To Go,” when he had to choose between being a full-time cowboy (he managed a 36,000-acre ranch in Lee-Jiggs, Nevada) and the art form that he loved so much. In 1984, he helped organize the internationally recognized Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering and gave his first public performance. Since then he has performed internationally for audiences from Los Angeles to New York, Zurich to Melbourne, and all points in-between. With television appearances ranging from The Tonight Show (his neighbor took the first phoned invitation, drove 40 miles to deliver the message to the remotely-based Waddie and returned with a “No Thanks” because it was calving time and he’d never heard of Johnny Carson), Larry King Live, Good Morning America, TNN, The History Channel, PBS, and BBC. Waddie has also been featured in People, Life, New York Times, USA Today, Fortune, National Geographic, the Wall Street Journal, and the Official Program for Super Bowl XXX, along with numerous other appearances, performances, articles and books. In 1994, Waddie founded the Working Ranch Cowboy Association with a mission of creating scholarships and crisis funds for working cowboys and their familes.
Contact Waddie Mitchell —
Scott O’Malley & Associates
tel ~ (719) 635-7776
web ~ www.waddiemitchell.com