American Farmers & Ranchers Oklahoma Centennial Express Show
- Dates: Sat, April 28, 2007
- Times: 12:00 PM
- Telephone: 580-252-6692
AMERICAN FARMERS & RANCHERS OKLAHOMA CENTENNIAL EXPRESS SHOW BIOS
Show producers JOHN FORD and DENNIS GRIGSBY are co-owners of LITTLE ORCHARD PRODUCTIONS. They also perform Traditional Cowboy music as THE SIDEWINDERS. Through their affiliation with The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, THE SIDEWINDERS have performed at numerous Museum events, including the prestigious Western Heritage Awards, The Prix de West Art Show and Sale, the Night Before Christmas, and the Cowboy Christmas Ball.
DOUG SAUTER is the head coach of THE OKLAHOMA CITY BLAZERS HOCKEY TEAM and is the Clydesdale Vice-President for EXPRESS RANCHES. Doug is a native of Canada, where he grew up on a ranch near Fairlight, Saskatchewan, population 40, give or take. Doug approached John and Dennis in 2005 to put together the CENTENNIAL EXPRESS SHOW as a way to “give something back” to the people of the State of Oklahoma, which he now calls “home”. Doug is the official spokesperson for the CENTENNIAL EXPRESS SHOW and brings the EXPRESS RANCH CLYDESDALE HITCH and his Clydesdale “Blazer” into the mix, as well.
THE OKLAHOMA FANCY DANCERS is a group of Native American dancers under the leadership of STEVE LITTLEMAN, a former schoolteacher, administrator, and member of the Kiowa and Cheyenne tribes. Steve’s son, KEVIN CONNYWERDY, is one of the featured dancers and the troupe and is highly sought-after nationwide. In addition to appearances too numerous to list, they performed in last year’s opening of the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
WAYNE SPEARS has portrayed the historic figure Gordon W. Lillie, more popularly known as Pawnee Bill, for over a decade. Wayne and his beautiful Appaloosa horse “Y” are the central figures in THE PAWNEE BILL WILD WEST SHOW, which is staged each year near Pawnee, Oklahoma. Wayne and “Y” have appeared in the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, the Great American Circus Parade in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the Calgary Stampede in Calgary, Canada.
CAPTAIN JACK PARKER is a “rural humorist” who grew up on a farm and is proud of it! Raised in Western Oklahoma, the Captain tastefully and humorously shares his experiences with this land and its’ people in a way that provokes both thought and laughter. He brings happiness and pride to those who “live on the land”, fond memories to those that used to, and fun and understanding to those who never have and probably never will.
EMALEA DEL HUDGENS is an 11-year-old singer/guitarist from Grove, Oklahoma. Emalea has been performing since the age of 3. As the 2003 winner of the Patsy Montana Yodeling Contest, she was invited to appear on the nationally-televised Ellen DeGenneres Show to teach the host how to yodel. In addition to numerous appearances throughout the state and region, Emalea has been a featured performer at the Children’s Chuckwagon Festival at The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
GEORGE HOPKINS is a veteran of 30 years with the Oklahoma City Fire Department. His interest in the Old West and period history of the 1880’s led to his portrayal of PROFESSOR HYRUM P. HEDGETHICKET, ESQ. III, medicine man par extraordinaire. This character was based on medicine men who traveled the plains when doctors were few and far between and crowds were drawn with music, magic tricks, and oddities. George and The Professor have performed throughout the Southwest at museums and Cowboy Gatherings and at the Children’s Chuckwagon Festival at the National Cowboy Museum every year since the event’s inception.
GARY OWEN has been delighting audiences with his ventriloquist skills for over 30 years. His act offers a variety of goofy and outrageous characters. Gary highlights his show with his “Human Dummy” routine, in which he utilizes members of the audience as his ventriloquist dummies. Gary has appeared on numerous nationally-televised programs and with more top celebrities than space will allow here. He is a much sought-after voice talent and makes regular guest appearances in Branson, Missouri.
Vocalist AMANDA GRACE HARRIS is a graduate of Oklahoma City University, where she earned her degree in Musical Theater. She has appeared in numerous presentations of Broadway classics, leant her vocal talents to regional and national ad campaigns, and performed with local bands “Dime A Dozen” and “Close To Home”. She has also appeared in the Discoveryland! rendition of the musical “Oklahoma”, where she performed in the lead role of “Laurie”.
THE WARD FAMILY TRICK ROPERS have roots that date back to the famed 101 Ranch near Marland, Oklahoma. Grandmother Norma Shultz Ward has handed down a legacy of rope handling, spanning over 7 decades, to her son Tom, and Tom to his children Alicia, Trista, Deena, Melinda, and Charley. THE WARD FAMILY TRICK ROPERS have entertained thousands of spectators throughout the Southwest with their amazing rope handling and continue to carry on the traditions of the American West.
SAM DOWNS is a retired educator from Ponca City and has, for years, portrayed Oklahoma’s Favorite Son, Will Rogers. His dialog is straight from the Rogers archives and the wit and wisdom of Will Rogers rings as true today as it did when he wrote and performed in the early 20th Century. Sam’s portrayal of this historic character has delighted audiences statewide and has been favorably compared to the Broadway artistry of renowned actor James Whitmore’s one-man show about the legendary Will Rogers.