(A brief biography)
Colorado cowboy and entertainer Gary McMahan is a walking page of American history. A native of Greeley, Colorado, he is a descendant of generations of farmers, ranchers, and stockmen on both sides of his family. For years he has worked on, managed, owned, and operated horse and cow outfits in the Rockies. He has made his living doing everything from cowboying to guiding to even driving stagecoaches. He knows how to brand, calve, rope, ride broncs, fence, hay, shoe horses, pack, and drive teams. He rodeoed for eight years, roping calves and riding bareback horses, saddlebroncs, and bulls. He has won many honors in the rodeo arena, including a few all-around titles.
Through it all, Gary has been a keen observer as well as a participant. His colorful background has set Gary in good stead to practice his heart's desire: to write, perform, and record the stories, poems, songs, and humor of his Western heritage. Starting in his early teens around the campfires, he has developed into one of the most dynamic and sought-after writers and performers in his field.
For three decades Gary's songs have been recorded by major-label recording stars like Ian Tyson, Chris LeDoux, and Riders in the Sky. He has also recorded five critically acclaimed albums himself. His third album received the most prestigious award in Western music: the National Cowboy Hall of Fame's Wrangler Award for the most outstanding original song of 1992. Gary's poems have been published by the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada. He has been featured at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering eight times and the Western Music Association's national festival twice. He has played hundreds of cowboy poetry gatherings, banquets, festivals, and concerts throughout the U.S., Canada, and Australia. He has entertained the likes of Ivana Trump, the Cowboy Cartoonists Association of America, and the Rancho Visitadores on pack trips in some of the most magnificent parts of the West.
Gary has also shared the stage with such greats as Doc Watson, Baxter Black, Ian Tyson, Riders in the Sky, and Chris LeDoux. In 1991, his world-class yodeling won him the Western Music Association's coveted National Champion Yodeler title.
The key to Gary's success is his cowboy heart coupled with his award-winning talents and on-stage charisma.
An evening with Gary McMahan is a well-timed mixture of all of these talents. He scatters funny songs, poems, barn-burning yodels, and hilarious stories throughout his performance. His shows offer tons of variety for everyone and are down-home, clean, fast-paced, “awesomely entertaining,” and “gut-bustingly funny!”
Ramblin' Jack Elliot call's Gary "The King of the Cowboy Singers."
Michael Martin Murphy said "The song 'The Old Double Diamond' is the 'Mr Bojangles' of cowboy music.