Annual ceremony recognizing outstanding contributions to Western culture will also honor Michael Martin Murphey, Howard Keel, and Clark McEntire.
OKLAHOMA CITY — The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host the 59th annual Western Heritage Awards, April 12 – 13, 2019, in celebration of creative works in literature, music, film and television that reflect the significant stories of the Western genre. The Western Heritage Awards also celebrate the induction of individuals into the Museum’s esteemed halls of fame.
This year, legendary Hollywood actor Kevin Costner will be inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers along with notable musical and screen performer Howard Keel (1919 – 2004). Inductees into the Hall of Great Westerners for 2019 are Clark McEntire (1927 – 2014), three-time world champion steer roper and father of country music icon Reba McEntire, and George McJunkin (1851 – 1922), a cowboy and former slave who discovered the first Folsom archaeological site.
The 2019 Western Heritage Awards will also recognize Dave Stamey, cowboy entertainer and musician, with the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award. Named in honor of the Museum’s founder, this award is bestowed on a living honoree who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to Western values and ideals. Singer and songwriter Michael Martin Murphey will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his nearly 50 years producing celebrated Western music.
“As the preeminent recognition of quality in Western-themed works for nearly 60 years, the Western Heritage Awards celebrates and encourages the creation of Western literature, music and film with true merit,” said Museum President & CEO Natalie Shirley. “We are excited to once again honor a group of creative individuals who hold steadfast to Western ideals while creating new and groundbreaking works.”
Each award winner and inductee receives a Wrangler, an impressive bronze sculpture of a cowboy on horseback created by Oklahoma artist Harold T. Holden, a 2017 Hall of Great Westerners inductee.
The Western Heritage Awards festivities begin Friday, April 12 at 11:00 a.m. with a workshop featuring Emmy-winning makeup artist Michael F. Blake that is free to the public with Museum admission. This is followed by a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. and an autograph session with honorees at 6:00 p.m.
On Saturday, April 13 at 11:00 a.m. is the Western Heritage Awards Panel Discussion, which is also free to the public with Museum admission. The Western Heritage Awards Cocktail Hour begins at 5:00 p.m., followed by dinner service and the awards ceremony at 6:00 p.m. Reservations are required for all evening events, with discounts available to Museum members. For additional information or to make reservations visit nationalcowboymuseum.org/westernheritage or contact Kaylia McCracken, Events Coordinator, at (405) 478-2250 ext. 218.
Western Heritage Award sponsors to date include, Promoting Sponsors: The Chickasaw Nation, Compellier, IBC Bank and JE Dunn; Inductee Sponsors: Linda M. Davis, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Ingram, Mr. Brent Cummings, Mrs. Howard Keel, Robert A. Funk and Express Ranches and Wyatt and Lisa McCrea; Museum Partners: Devon Energy Corp. and E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation; and Community Sponsors: Allied Arts, Arvest Bank, Continental Resources, OG&E, Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau and MassMutual Oklahoma. Sponsorship opportunities remain available; for more information visit nationalcowboymuseum.org/westernheritage or contact Trent Riley, Membership Manager, at or (405) 478-2250 ext. 251.
The full list of 2019 inductees and honorees includes:
Hall of Great Western Performers Inductees:
• Kevin Costner
• Howard Keel (1919 – 2014)
Hall of Great Westerners Inductees:
• Clark McEntire (1927 – 2004)
• George McJunkin (1851 – 1922)
Chester A. Reynolds Award Recipient: Dave Stamey
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient: Michael Martin Murphey
• Western Novel: The Hunger by Alma Katsu, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
• Nonfiction Book: The Woolly West: Colorado’s Hidden History of Sheepscapes by Andrew Gulliford, published by Texas A&M University Press
• Art/Photography Book: Living Beneath the Colorado Peaks – The Story of Knapp Ranch, by Betsy Knapp, Bud Knapp and Sarah Chase Shaw, illustrated by Todd Winslow Pierce, published by Knapp Press
• Juvenile Book: Hardscrabble by Sandra Dallas, published by Sleeping Bear Press
• Magazine Article: “Long Live the King,” Western Horseman, by Christine Hamilton, Ross Hecox and Susan Morrison, published by Ernie King
• Poetry Book: Landscapes, with Horses by Mark Sanders, illustrated by Charles D. Jones, published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press
• Original Western Composition: “Frontier Symphony,” recording artists Jeff Lippencott with the 46onier Festival Orchestra, composed by Jeff Lippencott
• Traditional Western Album: Sunset on the Rio Grande Revisited, recording artist Syd Masters
• New Horizon: “I’ll Ride Thru It,” recording artist Deanna McCall, produced by Randy Huston and Jim Jones
Film & Television Awards
• Fictional Drama: “A Monster is Among Us”, Yellowstone, S1, E7, starring Kevin Costner, directed and written by Taylor Sheridan, produced by Paramount Network
• Western Lifestyle Program: Red Steagall is Somewhere West of Wall Street, starring Red Steagall, produced by West of Wall Street Film Company
• Theatrical Motion Picture: Ballad of Buster Scruggs starring Tim Blake Nelson, directed and written by Ethan and Joel Coen, produced by Netflix
• Documentary: UmoNhoN Iye The Omaha Speaking, directed and written by Brigitte Timmerman, produced by Range Films, LLC
About the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City is America’s premier institution of Western history, art and culture. Founded in 1955, the Museum collects, preserves and exhibits an internationally renowned collection of Western art and artifacts while sponsoring dynamic educational programs to stimulate interest in the enduring legacy of the American West. For more information, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org.