Red Steagall

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Red Steagall
Red Steagall at the 2007 Texas Book Festival.
Red Steagall at the 2007 Texas Book Festival.
Background information
Birth nameRussell Steagall
Born (1938-12-22) December 22, 1938 (age 85)
Gainesville, Texas, United States
OriginSanford, Texas, United States
Years active1968–present
LabelsWarner Western Capitol NashvilleDot

Russell "Red" Steagall (born December 22, 1938)[1] is an American actor, musician, poet, and stage performer, who focuses on American Western and country music genres.

Early life and day jobs[edit]

He was born in Gainesville, Texas, United States.[2] He became a bull rider at rodeos while he was still a teenager, but at the age of 15, he was stricken with polio.[2] He took up the guitar and the mandolin as physical therapy to recover the strength and dexterity of his arms and hands.[2] Based out of Amarillo, he formed a dance band, Russell Don & The Premiers making his first recordings (which were unreleased) at Norman Petty Studios in Clovis, New Mexico, in April 1961. Steagall entered a career in agricultural chemistry after graduating from West Texas State University with a degree in animal science and agronomy.[2] After five years spent as a soil analyst for Sand Mark Oil,[2] Steagall then spent eight years as a music industry executive in Hollywood, and has spent the last 40 years as a recording artist, songwriter, and television and motion picture personality. He currently maintains offices outside of Fort Worth, Texas, where he is involved in the production of motion pictures and television shows.

On December 28, 1974, Hee Haw season six, episode 16, Steagall saluted his hometown of Sanford, Texas, population 181.

Television and radio personality[edit]

Steagall made numerous appearances on syndicated television shows such as Hee Haw and Nashville on the Road. He also spent four years as host of the nationally televised National Finals Rodeo, was host of the Winston Pro Tour on ESPN for the 1985 season, and co-hosted the College National Finals Rodeo for the Freedom Sports Network from 1988 through 1991. He was also the host of Western Theater on America One Television.

Steagall currently hosts a one-hour syndicated radio show, Cowboy Corner, on 170 stations in 43 states. Cowboy Corner celebrates the lifestyle of the American West through the poems, songs, and stories of the American cowboy. In 2010, In the Bunkhouse with Red Steagall began airing on the RFD-TV network; as of 2017, Steagall now hosts Red Steagall is Somewhere West of Wall Street for the same channel. His down-home, friendly manner and considerable musical talents make him a favorite of rural America.

Motion pictures[edit]

Steagall had a major role in the motion picture Benji the Hunted, which was released in the summer of 1987. He also appeared in the motion pictures Dark Before Dawn and Abilene. He produced the motion picture Big Bad John, starring Jimmy Dean, Jack Elam, Ned Beatty, and Bo Hopkins, and directed by Burt Kennedy.

Steagall is a trustee of the Pro Rodeo Hall of Champions, honorary member of the Cowboy Artists of America, and former board chairman of the Academy of Country Music.

Musical and literary accomplishments[edit]

Along with Don Lanier, in 1966, Steagall co-wrote the song "Here We Go Again", most notably recorded by Ray Charles.[2]

In 1974, he discovered a then-unknown Reba McEntire and signed her to Mercury Records the following year.[2] He discovered her while she was performing the national anthem at the National Rodeo Finals competition in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.[2] Two years later, in October 1977, McEntire released her first album on Mercury Records, and though most of her Mercury albums were commercial failures, in 1984, she picked up with her big album, My Kind of Country.

In March 1993, Texas Christian University Press published Steagall's first book, entitled Ride for the Brand, a 168-page collection of poetry and songs embracing the Western lifestyle. The book is illustrated by Cowboy Artists of America members Bill Owen, Fred Fellows, Joe Beeler, and Howard Terpning.

In September 2003, Texas Tech University Press published Born to This Land, a joint effort between Steagall and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Skeeter Hagler. The book contains Hagler's black-and-white studies of modern ranching, accompanied by Steagall's award-winning poetry. The Academy of Western Artists named Born to This Land' as recipient of the Will Rogers Award for best book of 2003.

Steagall has won the Wrangler Award for original music five times: 1993 (for his Warner Western album, Born to This Land), 1995 (for the Warner Western album, Faith and Values), 1997 (for his Warner Western album, Dear Mama, I'm a Cowboy), 1999 (for Love of the West). In fall 2002, Steagall released his 20th album, Wagon Tracks, which also won the Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

He released his new album Here We Go Again in August 2007. Here We Go Again features duets with Toby Keith, Reba McEntire, Charley Pride, Ray Benson, Neal McCoy, Larry Gatlin, and Charlie Daniels.

In May 2011, Bunkhouse Press released Steagall's CD Dreamin' of......When the Grass Was Still Deep, featuring eight songs and two poems.

Honors and awards[edit]

The Texas Legislature named Red Steagall the Official Cowboy Poet of Texas in April 1991. Steagall was an early participant in the American Cowboy Culture Association, which holds the annual National Cowboy Symposium and Celebration each September in Lubbock.[3]

Steagall is also the official Cowboy Poet Laureate of San Juan Capistrano, California.

Since 1991, Steagall has hosted the annual Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering in the Stockyards National Historic District of Fort Worth. The event features a ranch rodeo, chuckwagon cookoff, children's poetry contest, Western swing dances, cowboy music and poetry, a trappings show, and horsemanship clinics.

In 1999, Steagall was inducted into the Texas Trail of Fame.[4]

In April 2003, Steagall was inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, joining the likes of Will Rogers, Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Goodnight, and Charlie Russell.[5]

In January 2004, he received the Spirit of Texas Award and was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in Fort Worth.[6]

In April 2005, he was inducted to the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in Belton, Texas.[7]

Red Steagall was named "2006 Poet Laureate of the State of Texas" at the Capital in Austin in the spring of 2005. Steagall is the first "cowboy" poet to be named the poet laureate of Texas.

In 2007, he was inducted into the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.[8]



Year Album US Country Label
1972 Party Dolls and Wine Capitol
1973 Somewhere My Love 42
If You've Got the Time, I've Got the Song
1974 Finer Things in Life 47
1976 Lone Star Beer and Bob Wills Music 27 ABC/Dot
Texas Red 36
1977 For All Our Cowboy Friends
1978 Hang On Feelin'
1979 It's Our Life Tractor
1982 Cowboy Favorites Delta
1986 Red Steagall Dot/MCA
1993 Born to This Land Warner Western
1995 Faith and Value
1996 Cowboy Code Eagle
1997 Dear Mama I'm a Cowboy Warner Western
1999 Love of the West
2002 Wagon Tracks Shanachie
2006 The Wind, the Wire and the Rail Wildcatter
2007 Here We Go Again
2011 Dreamin' of.....When The Grass Was Still Deep Bunkhouse Press


Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country CAN Country
1972 "Party Dolls and Wine" 31 Party Dolls and Wine
"Somewhere, My Love" 22 65 Somewhere My Love
1973 "True Love" 51 80
"If You've Got the Time" 41 If You've Got the Time,
I've Got the Song
"The Fiddle Man" 87
1974 "This Just Ain't My Day (For Lettin' Darlin' Down)" 93 single only
"I Gave Up Good Mornin' Darling" 54 Finer Things in Life
"Finer Things in Life" 52
"Someone Cares for You" 17 17
1975 "She Worshipped Me" 62 single only
1976 "Lone Star Beer and Bob Wills Music" 11 Lone Star Beer and Bob Wills Music
"Truck Drivin' Man" 29 10
"Rosie (Do You Wanna Talk It Over)" 45 Texas Red
1977 "Her L-O-V-E's Gone" 59
"I Left My Heart in San Francisco" 53
"Freckles Brown" 90 For All Our Cowboy Friends
"The Devil Ain't a Lonely Woman's Friend" 72 Hang On Feelin'
1978 "Hang On Feelin'" 63
"Bob's Got a Swing Band in Heaven" flip
1979 "Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues" 41 singles only
1980 "3 Chord Country Song" 31
"Dim the Lights and Pour the Wine" 49
"Hard Hat Days and Honky Tonk Nights" 30


  1. ^ Slatta, Richard W. (2001). The mythical West: an encyclopedia of legend, lore, and popular culture. ABC-CLIO. pp. 331–. ISBN 978-1-57607-151-9. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Colin Larkin, ed. (1993). The Guinness Who's Who of Country Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 392. ISBN 0-85112-726-6.
  3. ^ "National Cowboy Symposium & Celebration, Inc. (Lubbock, Texas)". Archived from the original on August 26, 2013. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
  4. ^ "Red Steagall". Western Heritage from the Texas Trail of Fame. May 26, 2013. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  5. ^ "Hall of Great Westerners". National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  6. ^ "Red Steagall". Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame | Fort Worth Texas. Retrieved March 8, 2020.
  7. ^ "Past Inductees". Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  8. ^ "Hall of Fame Inductees". National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum. Retrieved June 3, 2023.

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