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From what I have researched on the subject of Baxter Black, I would say this is a ‘man of few words,’ except on page, stage, or airways, though considered the number one cowboy poet of our time.
Baxter Black was born January 2nd, 1945, at a naval hospital in Brooklyn, New York, where his father was stationed at the end of WW11. He was raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on a ranch.
During his high school years, he enjoyed being president of the FFA (Future Farmers of America), senior class president, and lettering in wrestling. He also started riding bulls in high school, and continued this practice through college.
Baxter attended college at the University of New Mexico, and Colorado State, graduating in 1969. He became a veterinarian, married, had children, and worked at his career until 1982 when poetry and speaking engagements were proven to be a better way to make a living. He was in his mid thirties when he started writing cowboy poetry.
Because of his dry wit and sense of humor, this guitar playing, mustachioed cowboy (who claims he has more hair on his upper lip than on his head,) has been compared to Will Rogers. He can bring squeals of laughter from any crowd by speaking on such subjects as: how to lasso a cow, or just how screwy politics can be.
Baxter is renowned for his cowboy poetry, speaking engagements, radio commentaries on a show he hosts being broadcast on over two hundred stations across America and Canada (Baxter Black on Mondays), column he writes for agricultural magazines (On the Edge of Common Sense), books and tapes. And he claims he owes it all to his mother, who always inspired him.
He refuses to accept awards of any kind, which leads me to believe he is a humble man, wanting not to bring any great attention to himself, (even though he has appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.)
He now lives quietly on his ranch in Arizona with his wife, and has no TV, cell phone, or fax machine; claiming his philosophy of life to be: “In spite of all the computerized, digitalized, high-tech innovations of today, there will always be a need for folks who can think up stuff.”
He says he never decided to be a cowboy, “Ya either are one, or ya aren’t!”
In Baxter Black’s own words, he wants to be remembered as: “Someone who didn’t embarrass his friends.”

Written by Tamara Hillman ©2006

Links to find Baxter Black’s poetry, books, and tapes…….


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