Michael Martin Murphey’s Cowboy Christmas (TM) at Belcher Performing Arts Center in Longview, Texas(12/11/09), and Michael Martin Murphey’s Bar-None Cowboy Christmas Ball (TM) at the Bar-None Cowboy Church of Tatum, Texas(12/12/09) raised $240,000 for Heartlight Ministries for troubled teens(www.heartlightministries.org). Murphey has been presenting Cowboy Christmas Concerts that benefit Heartlight in the Longview area for five years, but this is the first time there have been two events.
Mark Gregston, Director of Heartlight Ministries, said, “We are thrilled to be able to work with Michael Martin Murphey’s Cowboy Christmas (TM) production team to create the synergy to raise money for Heartlight Ministries for troubled teens ! It certainly worked out as we raised $240,000 through this event! We’re already planning for 3 days next year- a Cowboy Christmas Festival!”
The Bar-None Cowboy Church in Tatum, Texas asked Suanne Holtzman, committee member of the “Texas Cowboys’ Christmas Ball” in Anson, Texas to consult with their church to learn how to put on a Cowboy Christmas Ball within the time-honored traditions of the Anson community. A committee of couples was formed to create the food, decorations, matching ball dresses and organization for the public. Like the Anson dance, the Bar-None Cowboy Christmas Ball(TM) features no smoking, no alcohol, “Western outfits encouraged (not required), a dress-code of “no pants, short skirts above the knee or shorts for the ladies” (though formal ball dresses are not required), and a respect for the true meaning of Christmas- a wedding reception-like celebration of the Birth of Jesus. Traditional dances of Texas and the American West were presented- the “Paul Jones”, “Schottische”, “Cotton-Eyed Joe”, “Two-Step”, “Western Swing”, and “Waltz”. The food for the Bar-None Cowboy Christmas Ball consists of traditional Texas ranch-style food – just as in Anson.
Michael Martin Murphey has been producing his Cowboy Christmas (TM) Concerts and Cowboy Christmas Ball (TM) for many years across the U.S and Canada, earning him a Federal Trademark on the phrase “Cowboy Christmas” and “Cowboy Christmas Ball“. In 1991, Murphey produced a best-selling recording, “Cowboy Christmas- Cowboy Songs II.” His foray into Western music began with his certified Gold Album “Cowboy Songs” in 1989, making Murphey the contemporary No.1 Best-Selling Cowboy Music Singer. He was inducted into the Western Music Hall of Fame in 2004. His 2009 release, “Buckaroo Blue Grass” on Rural Rhythm Records received the GRAMMY nomination for BEST BLUEGRASS ALBUM.
Michael Martin Murphey’s Wildfire Productions team is already planning the 2010 Cowboy Christmas Tour. “My family, friends and band members look forward to the Cowboy Christmas Tour every year. Thank the Lord for all the wonderful years of this event!”