Hal Cannon

Hal Cannon is the founding director of the Western Folklife Center and its famous child, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

He has published a dozen books and recordings on the folk arts of the West including his best-selling anthology, Cowboy Poetry, A Gathering. Cannon is heard regularly on Weekend Edition Sunday with his series What's in a Song and other stories. As a musician, Cannon founded the Desert String Band/Bunkhouse Orchestra, whose specialty was 19th-century folk music from the West. Together for 30 years, the band released several recordings and toured extensively in Europe and the United States/ They also performed at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Cannon now plays with Red Rock Rondo and writes songs.


From Sagebrush to Steppe

Two years ago a group of Mongolian herdsmen and musicians traveled to Elko, Nevada, to participate in the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Leonard Little Finger is the great-great grandson of Chief Big Foot, whose band of Lakota Sioux Indians were killed at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in 1890.



With a little savvy and practice, magic can happen between two people and a microphone. Taki Telonidis and Hal Cannon outline the basic elements of conducting an interview, both in technical and human terms, by playing great examples and bringing in the wisdom of master interviewers on public radio.