The collection will be a cornerstone for the revitalization of traditional Western arts at the National Ranching Heritage Center.
Red Steagall and his wife, Gail, have donated his priceless collection of Western artifacts capturing stories of the American West to the National Ranching Heritage Center (NRHC) at Texas Tech University. Included in this collection are his song and poetry manuscripts as well as radio and television shows he has produced over his 45-year career in Western entertainment.
Through his music, poetry, and radio and television shows, Steagall has captured the spirit of Western and cowboy culture. In addition to his popular Texas swing dance music and poems about life on a ranch, his collection includes more than 30 years of his popular syndicated radio show, “Cowboy Corner,” and more than 20 years of his RFD-TV shows, “In the Bunkhouse with Red Stegall” and “Red Stegall is Somewhere West of Wall Street.”
Recordings of these radio and television shows span the gamut of Western lifestyle, including interviews with notable country-western artists such as Reba McEntire, Charlie Daniels and Baxter Black, to conversations between Steagall and notable ranchers and cowboys swapping stories about the life of the American cowboy.
“The values of cow country are honesty, integrity, loyalty, work ethic, dedication to your family, conviction about your belief in God and practicing respect and common decency for your fellow man every day you live,” Steagall said. “Growing up in cow country and having lived and worked within that unique society, it has been my life's work to share their stories. Gail and I believe that the National Ranching Heritage Center is the right place to carry that legacy.”
Steagall has been a long-time supporter of both Texas Tech and the NRHC. His 1982 recording of “Red Raider Coming at You” captured the spirit of Red Raider fans, and the Red Steagall Endowed Scholarship has helped many students in the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources succeed in their pursuit of an academic degree.
Steagall's love of ranching heritage, Western values and working cowboy traditions has led him to dedicate more than 20 years of service to the NRHC. This includes his work to bring the life-size bronze “On the Banks of the Bosque” by Cowboy Artist Bruce Green to stand proudly near the NRHC entrance. In 2018, Steagall was honored with the National Golden Spur Award, recognizing his contributions to preserving and honoring the Western and ranching lifestyles.
“No one has done more to keep ranching and the Western way of life in front of a mainstream audience than Red Steagall,” said Jim Bret Campbell, executive director of the NRHC. “Red and Gail Steagall represent the true meaning of cow country values, and we are honored to partner with them in sharing those values through their collections and storytelling. Their gift is a perfect match with the mission of the NRHC.”