We are SO lucky to live here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country. And it’s not just because of the scenery, and the people, and the slower pace of life, and the restaurants. It’s because famous country singers come here to play their music!
Now, there are a lot of folks who live in the area who are pretty well-known – we’ve got artists, actors, WWE wrestlers, famous politicians, and other recognizable personalities who have homes here and live here either full-time or part-time. Most of these people love the anonymity of living way out here in the mountains, but there are a few who are very visible members of the community and strive to make Cody the best little town in the Rockies.
One of these personalities partnered with the Park County Travel Council a few years back in order to liven up the slower winter months. Dan Miller, who has been a television personality since the late 1980s on The Nashville Network, ESPN’s (now GAC’s) Extreme Bulls, The Outdoor Channel’s “Best of the West” series, and other television shows through the years, headlines a music show in downtown Cody in the summer, Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue. It’s a fantastic show! Entertaining, funny, western and country music – everyone who goes to the show just can’t believe that kind of quality and talent is tucked away here in little Cody, Wyoming. Anyway, Dan offered to contact his big-name country-music-star friends in Nashville and ask them to come to Cody during our slower season. And come they did!
The Cody Wild West Show series kicked off in January of 2009 with a visit from music legend Lacy J. Dalton. She was followed the next month by country hit-maker T.G. Sheppard. And the next month – what a show – Mel Tillis! Since that flashy beginning, there have been a total of fifteen different acts that have put on shows here in Cody. Gary Morris (“Wind Beneath My Wings”) was here twice, as was the incredible Suzy Bogguss (“Letting Go,” “Someday Soon”). Others who have shown up with fantastic performances include The Kentucky Headhunters, Asleep at the Wheel, BJ Thomas and The Bellamy Brothers.
The concerts take place throughout Cody, although most of them are at the Historic Cody Theatre – that concert hall’s intimate quality (just 300 seats) and amazing sound make for an incredible night of entertainment! However, for groups like the Bellamy Brothers or the Kentucky Headhunters, other venues here in Cody are put to use. In conjunction with the Irma Hotel, last summer the Bellamys (and special guest Suzy Bogguss) played a street dance that was sold out! And the fabulous Texas swing band Asleep at the Wheel played at the Cody Auditorium, also to a packed house, and folks were dancing in the aisles. The high school auditorium is also a location that’s been used frequently, since it’s a better place for entertainers like Mel Tillis, with his 11-piece band!
One of the things that I think is so cool about the concert series is how impressed the performers are with the hospitality they receive while they’re here. As a producer, Dan treats the entertainers with genuine respect and personally makes sure they’re well taken care of. And when I talked to Dan, he said that almost as important as the concerts themselves is the feedback that he receives from the entertainers. He told me, “I’ve known these guys for a long time, and to have them feel as strongly about Cody as I do is very rewarding to me.”
Dan credits the people of Wyoming and Montana, who come to these concerts, for their genuine western hospitality. The audience greets the acts with such warmth and gratitude, the entertainers themselves have been spreading the word in Nashville that Cody, Wyoming is THE place to book a show. Billy Dean (“Only Here for a Little While,” “Billy the Kid”) absolutely loved it when he was here in January of 2010, so much so that he recorded some video with his camcorder and posted it to his Facebook page, along with some footage from the concert that was shot by the Wyoming Office of Tourism!
The best thing is, the hits just keep coming! Dan’s good friend Jim Ed Brown will be making an appearance in Cody at the Historic Cody Theatre on April 30. If you’re going to be in the area, be sure to get tickets – they’re a steal at just $25! Go to http://www.codywildwestshow.com/ to get more information.
Be sure to check the web site often for updates, too – because you never know who’ll show up next here thanks to the Cody Wild West Shows!
Until next time, I’ll be dancin’ up a storm here in Buffalo Bill’s Country!