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Guide to the Carl Thurlo Cowboy Poetry Collection

Carl Thurlo Cowboy Poetry Collection, 1998
1 folder
Location: 0142
Accession #: 2002.051

Thurlo is a cowboy poet and songwriter from Kingston, Oklahoma. This collection contains on publicity pamphlet, booklet, and compact disc (CD) promoting The Ranch Hand.

Carl 'The Ranch Hand' Thurlo hails from Kingston, Oklahoma, a small town close to the Oklahoma, Texas border. But during his years of entertaining, Carl has crossed many borders including the vast ocean. He has appeared on country and western programs across the nation and overseas. He has recorded poems and songs on numerous labels and is heard on various radio programs around the world.

Since he was just a boy, Carl Thurlo enjoyed writing poems. Over the years he wrote a lot of poems and eventually turned some into songs. From time to time he would share a poem or song with a friend or at a gathering and that led to Carl becoming "The Ranch Hand."

"Imagine yourself sitting by a campfire in the company of cowboys, a fire softly crackling and lulling harmonica music floating in the air. And every ear is turned towards one cowboy who is telling a story that draws everyone in. ..."

That's the way some describe the transformation that takes place when Carl Thurlo shares his songs and poems. Carl is a cowboy poet and songwriter who performs as "The Ranch Hand." He is among those who have garnered national acclaim by receiving invitations to appear before the National Cowboy Poetry Society. He also is among those who have appeared at the Oklahoma Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.

Attention from the National Cowboy Poetry Society came after Carl had recorded "Old Blaze" and "The Cowboy and the Lord" with Autumn Records out of Nashville. Producer Harvey Cooper sent a copy to the National Cowboy Poetry Society. Carl said they contacted his asking permission to use the recordings then called back and asked him to appear in person.

Since that time, Carl has covered many miles sharing his poems and songs. He works with the Little Dixie band out of Broken Bow and a Kingston based band called Deep Water. He also performs as the cowboy entertainer at the Red River Dude Ranch west of Marietta.

With his special blend of poetry and music, Carl transports listeners back in time to the days of the cowboy. He made his first record "Truck Driver's Hell" in 1960. Several of his songs have been recorded by artists including Janice Duffy, Christy McEntire and Dale Lay.

Carl has recorded his songs and poems on several record labels, including: Juke Box America in Cleveland, Ohio; D-Jay Records in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Autumn Records in Nashville, Tennessee; G-M Records in Gladewater, Texas; and Midland Productions in Nashville, Tennessee.

Carl received the "Editor's Choice Award" in 1993 and 1994 for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry from the National Library of Poetry. His fame is such that he was invited to appear in Poland as part of a program and was so well received, that he's received an invitation for a return engagement. Carl's friend and co-entertainer, Dale Lay, also lives in Kingston. They get together from time to time, and do several benefit programs for senior citizens and others.

Carl says reciting his poetry is one of his favorite activities. When he recites, guitarist Keiller Park provides background music with a guitar. Carl's poetry is described as having a lyrical quality. And, it requires emotion and feeling to project in recitations. Carl says he guesses he's lucky that he has a voice for recitation.

When he was a young fellow, Carl said he didn't have any plans for his poetry other than just writing for his own enjoyment. Now, as offers come to perform at all types of programs, he says he would like to make some royalties, but notes he also enjoys working benefits for senior citizens, school children and others. As for the future, Carl refers to one of his poems, "Aim High" which ends with "Keep working and pushing with all my heart and soul, And when it's in His favor, I'll reach my goal."

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Scope & Content Note  

This collection consists of three series: Book, Publicity Material, and Compact Disc (CD).

Subject Terms  

Personal Names:
Thurlo, Carl

Subject Headings:

Processing Information  

This collection was accessioned in 2002 and filed along with other small cowboy poetry collections. Archivist Laura Anne Heller created the current finding aid on July 15, 2009.

Ownership & Literary Rights  

The Carl Thurlo Cowboy Poetry Collection is the property of the Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Literary right, including copyright, belongs to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, with the exception of copyrighted artwork images and published literary works, which are the property of the respective copyright holders. It is the responsibility of the researcher, and his/her publisher, to obtain publishing permission from individuals pictured, relevant copyright holders, and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

Restrictions on Access  

The collection is open for research. It is advisable for researchers to discuss their proposed research with staff prior to visiting the Center.

Preferred Citation  

Carl Thurlo Cowboy Poetry Collection, Box ##, Folder ##, Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Related Collections, Exhibits, & Links  

Bud Barnett Cowboy Poetry Collection: A small collection of poetry by Bud Barnett, cowboy poet from the Mojave Desert of California and the northeastern Oklahoma.

Blakeley Cowboy Poetry Collection: Collection contains two publicity stills of cowboy poets and singers, Jim "Curly" Musgrave & Richard Olsen.

Barbara Bockelman Cowboy Poetry Collection: Barbara Bockelman is an Oklahoma native of the Slapout community in Laverne. This collection consists of her own cowboy poetry, the unpublished manuscript A Permanent Home, and an assortment of articles.

Scott Hill Bumgardner Cowboy Poetry Collection: Bumgardner is a storyteller and cowboy poet of Texas history, cowboys, and tall tales. This small collection contains one publicity packet of articles and a publicity photograph.

Hank Elling Cowboy Poetry Collection: This collection features two articles by Hank Elling about cowboys and roundups. Hank Elling is a cowboy singer and musician from Lawton, Oklahoma.

Tim Graham Cowboy Poetry Collection: Graham is cowboy musician and singer who was raised on a farm in the Midwest. This small collection contains a publicity packet whick includes several of his original cowboy poems.

Michael Johnson Cowboy Poetry Collection: Johnson is a humorist, author and international motivational speaker, but also a former professional rodeo cowboy, a former university professor, and has worked in upper level management in industry. This small collection includes a publicity packet.

Fletcher Jowers Cowboy Poetry Collection: Jowers is a singer and songwriter of cowboy music and is known for his "Texas Cowboy approach" to music. This collection contains publicity materials.

Katie Lee Cowboy Poetry Collection: Lee is a native a Tucson, Arizona, and is a western folksinger and author. This collection includes publicity materials and photographs.

Metegrano Collection of James Barton Adams Poetry & Ephemera: This collection consists of photocopied pages concerning the life of James Barton Adams and his poetry.

Carl Thurlo Cowboy Poetry Collection: Thurlo hails from Kingston, Oklahoma, a small town close to the Oklahoma-Texas border. He is a cowboy poet and songwriter of The Ranch Hand.

Neal Torrey Cowboy Poetry Collection: This small collection includes several poems by Neal Torrey, a cowboy poet born in Missouri but raised in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Dallas Turner Cowboy Poetry Collection: Known to radio listeners as Nevada Slim, singer, yodeler, and guitarist Dallas Turner is a native of Yakima, Washington. This collection has publicity materials.

Ray J. Vigil Cowboy Poetry Collection: This collection features several poems by Ray Vigil.

Container List  

Series 1: Book
Catalog # Item Title/Description
2002.051.1 Thurlo, Carl. Ramblin’s of the Ranch Hand: A Collection of Cowboy Poetry, Stories, and Songs. c1998. (Booklet is in Location 156, Box 6, Folder 7 of NCWHM Booklets & Pamphlets Collection)
Series 2: Publicity Material
Catalog # Item Title/Description
2002.051.2 Pamphlet, The Ranch Hand: Cowboy Poet & Song Writer, Carl Thurlo. 8 pages.
Series 3: Compact Disc (CD)
Catalog # Item Title/Description
2002.051.3 The Ranch Hand, by Carl Thurlo. (CD stored in Sound Recordings shelving area, #CD00168)

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