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HPPR Economy and Enterprise

Podcast seeks to stoke interest in cowboy poetry

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In the first 20 years following the Civil War, cowboys who drove cattle from Texas to railheads in Kansas, would improvise poems and songs as a means of fighting boredom on the trail. And that is how cowboy poetry was born.

A new podcast called Cowboy Crossroads is helping to keep that rich tradition alive.

As The Atlantic reports, 36-year-old cowboy and poet Andy Hedges is the host and creator of the podcast Cowboy Crossroads, the aim of which is to connect today’s vibrant cowboy culture with a world only vaguely aware of its existence.

Hedges, who was exposed to the cowboy culture after his family moved to a central Texas town where they rented some PBS documentaries about working cowboys.

His podcast explores cowboy poetry’s ongoing evolution through interviews with cowboy poets like Ross Knox and musicians like Michael Martin Murphey.

In each episode, Hedges attempts to start conversations not steer them because he believes telling a story, rather than pushing an agenda, helps people understand, which can change their perspective.