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Guide to the Dallas Turner Cowboy Poetry Collection

Dallas Turner Cowboy Poetry Collection, 2001
1 folder
Location: 0142, Box 1, Folder 15
Accession #: 2002.079

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

Dallas Turner, a native of Yakima, Washington, is known to radio listeners also as Nevada Slim. His other professional radio names are Yodeling Slim Dallas and Cowboy Dallas Turner. He was an orphan as a child and was adopted by Jim and Liz Turner. He grew up as a cowboy on a 5,000 acre cattle ranch. He started singing, yodeling and picking the guitar as soon as he could walk. As a youngster, he learned to play the guitar from Gene Autry and Jimmie Rodgers phonograph records. Other singers the young Dallas Turner enjoyed listening to included Bradley Kincaid, Vernon Dalhart, Tex Owens, Powder River Jack and Kitty Lee and Tex Fletcher.

But his idol was a man he heard on the Mexican border stations. This man—Cowboy Slim Rinehart—was the greatest singer, yodeler, and guitarist the youngster had ever heard. It was this very man that would become his best friend and put the young cowboy on border radio.

Dallas made his first public appearance with Powder River Jack and Kitty Lee in Pendleton, Oregon. He was only 6 or 7 years old. The Turners were at the Pendleton Roundup. Jack and Kitty were entertaining and selling song books. Little Dallas stood on a table and sang "Tying a Knot in the Devil's Tail" while Kitty Lee played her guitar and backed his singing and yodeling. The crowd went wild. Nevada Slim was on his way!

During his career, he had some unusual milestones one might say. He once gave a private command performance for Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt. The great Burl Ives shook his hand and said "Dallas Turner, you sing one hell of a folk song!"

Dallas Turner left the ranch in his teens to try his hand at a career in radio. He won a network program over 12 other folk singers. Nat Vincent, a famous songwriter, became his manager. Vincent got him a recording contract with United Artists records, and a songwriting contract with Ralph S. Peer at Southern Music Publishing Co. He also got him a screen test at Monogram Pictures. He made an impression with the folks at the Monogram studio and was offered the singing lead role in the Whip Wilson series. This role, if successful in 3 years, could lead to his own starring roles. But the studio demanded that he travel with the pictures and make a minimum of 120 one nighters each year in small town theatres. But Dallas turned down the offer. He was making too much money in radio to even consider such a proposition. The record company, in the meantime, had folded. Dallas and Nat Vincent parted but kept in touch as long lasting friends.

Dallas Turner's next manager was George C. Biggar, director of the WLS National Barn Dance in Chicago. Dallas auditioned for WLS. He was accepted for a daily morning show on WLS, a stint on the famous Saturday Night barn dance program and bookings through the famed WLS Artists Bureau. But the contract with WLS had its own nuances. It stipulated that he had to stop broadcasting on the Mexican border stations. But Dallas, again, turned down the offer.

He has appeared with many of the great Country and Western Stars of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. He has never been a disc jockey but when he worked on radio, he always worked with just his guitar. He has appeared at leading Nevada Hotels, Casinos, Festivals, Theatres, Nightclubs, Colleges - even the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

During his more than 50 successful years in radio, Dallas Turner was heard on many great USA stations in addition to his nightly broadcasts from old Mexico.

Hillbilly Music.com: Home of Old-Time Country Music

Scope & Content Note  

This collection consists of a single series, Publicity Materials, which includes four items: an envelope, a photographic postcard, and two advertising sheets.

Subject Terms  

Personal Names:
Turner, Dallas

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 Dallas Turner 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  

Dallas Turner 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: Publicity Materials, 2001
Item Title/Description
Photographic card, b&w, 4x6 in. [1]
Envelope with Dallas Turner’s address. [1]
Lincoln Center “Out of Doors” program sheet for The Eighteenth Annual Roots of American Music, Saturday, August 18, 2001. [1]
Advertising sheet for Nevada Slim, “America’s Cowboy Folk Singer” sent to radio and TV stations. [1]

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