2020 Western Heritage Awards® Category Award Winners Announced

Local Foothills County rancher John Scott to be honoured with the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award

2020 Western Heritage Awards® Category Award Winners Announced

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The best in Western film, TV, music and literature will be honored by The Cowboy during the 60th Annual Western Heritage Awards, October 2 – 3, 2020*.

Presented by celebrity hosts, this black-tie event honors individuals who have made significant contributions to Western heritage through creative works, as well as inductees into the Hall of Great Western Performers, Hall of Great Westerners, Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award and Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.

*This event, usually held in April, has been postponed to October due to the current pandemic.

The 2020 honorees include:

Literary Awards

• Western Novel: The Cheyenne Story: An Interpretation of Courage, written and published by Gerry Robinson

• Nonfiction Book: Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power by Pekka Hämäliänen published by Yale University Press

• Art/Photography Book: Don Weller Tracks, by Don Weller, published by Weller Institute for the Cure of Design

• Juvenile Book: J is for Jackalope by Teal Blake

• Magazine Article: “If You had Fought Bravely I would have Sung for You” The Changing Roles of Cheyenne Women During Ninteenth-Century Plains Warfare, by David Beyreis, published Montana The Magazine of Western History

• Poetry Book: We Make a Tiny Herd: Poems to Honor the Burro Lady of Far West Texas by Lucy Griffith, published by Main Street Rag

Music Awards

• Original Western Composition: “Hats Off to the Cowboy” recording artist Red Steagall, composed by Red Steagall and Joe Merrick

• Traditional Western Album: Shadow of a Cowboy, recording artist Andy Hedges

• New Horizon: “Desert Dwelling Mama” recording artist Adrian Brannan, produced by Craig Schumacher

Film & Television Awards

• Fictional Drama: “Touching Your Enemy” Yellowstone S2, E5 starring Kevin Costner, written by Taylor Sheridan

• Western Lifestyle Program: Cow Town, produced by Robert Burch ant OETA

• Theatrical Motion Picture: Deadwood: The Movie starring Timothy Olyphant, directed by Daniel Minahan, produced by HBO

• Documentary: Country Music, directed by Ken Burns, written and produced by Dayton Duncan

Each award winner and inductee receives a Wrangler, a bronze sculpture of a cowboy on horseback.

As previously announced, Golden Globe-nominated actor Kurt Russell and his father actor Bing Russell will be inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers, cattle ranchers Montford T. Johnson and Bennett Richard Houston will be inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners, third-generation rancher John Scott** will receive the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award and Academy Award winner Robert Duvall will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

*Reservations are required for all evening events. For additional information visit nationalcowboymuseum.org/event/westernheritage or contact Kaylia McCracken, events coordinator, at (405) 478-2250, ext. 218.

Western Heritage Award Sponsors to date include, Supporting Sponsors: Arvest Bank, Compellier; Promoting Sponsors: Hall Capital, IBC Bank; Heritage Sponsors: Mr. and Mrs. Roger Simons, The Annie Oakley Society, Simmons Bank, Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Jacques, OKC Convention and Visitors Bureau, Mr. Greg Kowalski, Mr. Skylar Houston, South Point Hotel and Casino and Round Up Riders of the Rockies; Inductee Sponsors: National Western Stock Show, Mr. Robert A. Funk, Mr. and Mrs. Wyatt McCrea, Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Norris, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Ingram, Mr. Brent Cummings, Nadine and Alan Levin and Calgary Stampede; Museum Partners: Devon Energy Corp. and E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation; Community Sponsors: Allied Arts, Arvest Bank, Continental Resources, OG&E, COX, OERB, JE Dunn, The Oklahoman, Southwestern Stationary and Bank Supply, a Southwestern Group of Company, Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, Tulsa World and MassMutual Oklahoma.

**John Scott

(John Scott Productions)

John Scott, a resident of Foothills County near Longview, will be honoured in October, with this special award. In 1990, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (formerly National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center) established the Chester A. Reynolds Award, named in honor of the founder of the Museum, Chester A. Reynolds. 

The Chester A. Reynolds Award is presented to a living honoree or group that has notably perpetuated the legacy of the American West through one or a combination of the following.

  • Dedicated to or promotion of the ideals of individualism, honesty, humility and integrity that are closely identified with the American West
  • A distinguished life’s work as a rancher, cowboy, or ranch hand
  • Leadership within professions or businesses that define themselves through their strong connection with the American West

The Award seeks to recognize individuals or groups who have demonstrated, through a single remarkable achievement or body of quality of work over a period of years, unwavering commitment to Western ideals and values.