The Diamond W Wranglers (previously known as the Prairie Rose Wranglers), formed in 1999 to entertain at the Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper. With the move to the new Diamond W Chuckwagon at Old Cowtown Museum, the name of the band has changed to the Diamond W Wranglers.
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell (or in this case, sound) as sweet." Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)
Whatever the name, the Wranglers offer the best in cowboy entertainment.
They perform classic Western Music of the silver-screen cowboy era, such as "Cool Water," "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," and "Ghost Riders In The Sky," as well as classic cowboy trail songs and Prairie Rose Wranglers originals. The tight harmonies and sidesplitting humor of the Wranglers make for a show that whole family will enjoy....good, clean entertainment, the way it should be...the Cowboy Way."
Guitarist, “Tennessee” Jim Farrell loves the complex chord changes and close harmonies of Western Music. He grew up in the recording industry of Music City USA, Nashville, Tennessee, and owns and operates his own recording studio. Jim has earned the reputation as one of the finest recording engineers and producers in Western Music. Besides recording all of the albums of the Diamond W Wranglers, he also produces and engineers albums for others, such as Rex Allen Jr and Roy Rogers Jr. In 2005, the National Cowboy Museum awarded Jim their prestigious Wrangler Award as Western Music’s Producer of the Year.
For 17 years he worked for a music publishing company in Nashville, as well as performing on numerous recording sessions. He’s an award-winning songwriter, whose songs have been recorded, not only by the Diamond W Wranglers, but by other artists as well. Though he’s usually seen playing the guitar, Jim is talented on a lot of different musical instruments. Jim’s first cowboy band, based out of Nashville, was called the J38 Land & Cattle Company. This band was featured in the last video ever made by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.
Among Jim’s goals is the desire to have the Diamond W Wranglers perform with a symphony orchestra. He has a keen desire to see Western music grow internationally.
Lead singer/lead guitarist/fiddler, Stu Stuart comes from an entertainment background. His grandfather, Hal O’Halloren was the chief announcer for many years on the famous WLS National Barn Dance in Chicago. While on the Barn Dance, Hal became friends with such western singing stars as Gene Autry, Patsy Montana, Smiley Burnette and Rex Allen. He also loved to sing cowboy songs. His recording of “Ghost Riders In The Sky” was the first cowboy song that his grandson, Stu, ever heard.
Stu began playing the guitar when he was a child. In high school, he started his first rock and roll band. After high school, Stu joined the Navy where he continued to hone his vocal and instrumental skills. Following his stint in the Navy, he played in a series of bluegrass and country bands before finally ending up in Nashville. There he helped form a country band called Hank Flamingo, which recorded an album for Giant Records. This led to singles on the record charts, videos on CMT, and appearances on the TV shows of Crook & Chase and Conan O’Brien
While in Nashville, Stu met Jim Farrell and ended up joining him in the J38 Land & Cattle Company. He loves the stories told in the classic cowboy songs and even writes a few of his own. His skills on guitar and fiddle have made him an in-demand studio musician. When he’s not playing music, Stu can usually be found making things out of wood. Stu has been with the Diamond W Wranglers from the beginning and in nine years he has never missed a performance.
Bass player, Orin Friesen, fell in love with Western music as a child after watching his heroes, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, on TV. He especially enjoyed the harmonies of the Sons of the Pioneers. One of his biggest thrills as a child was seeing Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and the Sons of the Pioneers at the Nebraska State Fair. Orin loves Western Music because it portrays the lifestyle he has always lived. He fondly recalls how, as a child, he rode his horse to ride fences and count the beef cattle his family raised in Nebraska. “I was too shy to sing to people,” laughs Orin, “but I didn’t have a problem singing to the cows. And it didn’t seem to bother them.”
Orin began his music career in the third grade when he began playing the trombone. During college, he picked up the guitar and before long he started his first bluegrass band. He worked in bluegrass bands for 30 years, playing guitar, mandolin and bass. He became an early supporter of the International Bluegrass Music Association and produced the IBMA Awards Show for its first 10 years.
In the mid ‘90s, Orin finally fulfilled his life-long dream of becoming a cowboy singer and started his first cowboy band, the Home Rangers. Like Stu, he has been with the Diamond W Wranglers since day one.
Orin’s “other” career is broadcasting. His voice has been heard on Kansas radio stations for over 40 years. For a dozen years, his syndicated bluegrass show was aired on radio stations from coast to coast. He has received several “Broadcaster of the Year” awards and is a member of the Old-Time Country Music Hall of Fame. In his spare time, Orin loves to ride his horse and work cattle with his cowboy friends.
The newest member of the Diamond W Wranglers is drummer/percussionist Steve Crawford, known as “Stevie C, the Rhythmic Cowboy.” Though he has been involved with the chuckwagon supper since the beginning, mostly working in the kitchen, he became a full-time member of the band in 2003.
Steve picked up his interest in music from his mother, who was an accomplished pianist and organist. While in grade school, he began acting, singing and playing the French horn. At the age of 12, Steve built his own drum set out of oatmeal boxes, round baskets, tin pie plates and anything remotely resembling a drum or cymbal. His parents eventually got him his own drum set and Steve played in the jazz band throughout high school. He also enjoyed singing and had the leading male role in “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Hello Dolly.”
When he’s not on his throne as the “king of the cowboy drummers,” Steve is practicing his “quick draw” skills as an architect for R. Messner Construction. In his spare time, Steve plays drums and percussion on recording sessions.