Practice English Speaking&Listening with: I'm a Black Cowboy. This is My Story. | Op-Docs

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(SINGING) Theres a little bit of Charley in me.

Cause I caught it on my voice off the radio in73.

Guy with MCA Records said, “Hey, I

think you could be a big star.”

I said, “Oh, you think so?”

(SINGING) Theres a little bit of Charley in me.

I was 3 years old when I knew I wanted to be a cowboy.

Everything just came natural to me.

When I hit the ground, I ran toward a horse.


My dad was a cowboy, and his dad was cowboy,

and my uncles and cousins were cowboys.

So everything I knew was cowboys.

I picked up a guitar when I was 17, 18.

I used to take my guitar out to places where there wasnt

nothing but cattle, and Id sing to the cows,

just like I used to see cowboys do on a cowboy movie.

They thought I was kind of crazy all my life.

I couldnt even date a girl

if I turned the radio on country,

theyd say, “What the heck are you listening to?”

That happened to me.



(SINGING) Therell be no mansions waiting on the hill

or crystal chandeliers.

And therell be

Charley Pride was my favorite.

You know, he was a black guy singing country music.

(SINGING) Everything I have is standing here in front of

I could identify with him.

(SINGING) All I have to offer you is me.

In East Bernard in the late60s,

I went to see Charley Pride.

And I think I was like 15, 16 years old.

And when I got to the door, they said,

we cant let you in.

We dont want any racial problems.

So I snuck back to my car, and I put the windows down.

And I listened to Charley Pride

through the window for about an hour.

And my mom said, “Boy, I dont ever want you

going back to East Bernard.”

Round in88 or89, I started playing and singing

at that same place.

My first time playing in front of a crowd

was in this club in Houston.

I had never been in front of a spotlight before.

I felt like I wanted to melt.

I started playing.

Then all of a sudden, I lifted up out of my body.

I was watching the crowd watch me play.

And the girl said, “Shut up.

Hes good.”

You know, I could see everybody,

everybody saying, “Be real quiet. Hes

He's good.”

Thats all I can remember

was everybody saying, “Be quiet.

Hes good.”

They said, “And you could be the next

Charley Pride.”

Everybody told me that.

In his Journal this evening, John Davenport

visits with a hopeful performer

who hopes to be among those country and western stars


33-year-old Larry Callies of Houston is in the delivery


He delivers mail and songs.

I couldnt admit it till about six years ago.

From there, listening to Charley Pride, and to watch

faces, and see me up there on stage

and being surprised, a black guy

to sing country western.

I loved it.

I got in this contest.

"KILT's Going to Make Me a Country Star."

I got up there and sang, ‘Is Anybody Going to San Antone?’

Guy saw me and he said, “Hey, man.

We could put a band around you.”

He said, “I can get you in touch

with George Strait's manager.

You want to meet George Strait's manager?”


He said, “Well, I want you to come to Nashville.”

They flew me up there, put me in a limo.

I went inside.

And they said, “This is where youre going to record.”

He said, “Good luck, man.

Im pulling for you all the way.”

When I got in the recording studio, I started singing.

And the guy with MCA Records noticed something

in my voice.

So he said, “Oh, no, youre just nervous,

and well get the nerves out.”

They had a contract ready for me to sign.

But after three demo songs, they said,

We dont think were going to sign him

because theres something definitely

wrong with his voice.”

And they were right.

I went to some specialist.

He said, “You have something called vocal dysphonia.”

And I knew that was that.

In the old days, they burned the animals that

died instead of burying them.

Couple of weeks ago, I had a mule that passed away.

And in her last days, I never asked her to do anything.

Which way is the wind blowing?

This a-way?

You know, I just let her pass away in her old age.




I couldve had the county come out and bury her,

but I wanted to do it like my dad used

to docows that passed away.

My dad taught me how to ride, how to rope,

everything about cowboy life.

I spent a lot of years not knowing what I wanted to do.

Well I thought I was going to be the next Charley Pride.

I thought Id have a big house,

and do this and do that.

Now I see its not about money.

Now I like who I am.

I know who I am.

Can you tell me where the name "cowboy" came from?

They came from slaves.

Because they had a houseboy, they had a yard boy,

and somebody worked the cows.

He was called a cowboy.

Im old enough to be in my own museum.

Back in 1971, Larry Callies, Hungerford, Texas.

My cousin, Tex, he won it in 1967.

And he won it in68.

This is him at Wharton.

Thats my dad in the back.

I guy named Baileys Prairie Kid,

he was flashy.

And he got a name, boy.

He wouldI mean people used to gather around him.

I think I learned a little bit from him.


This, what Im doing with the museum,

its not about money.

The black cowboys didnt get any recognition

from the beginning.

So I wanted people to know who they were.

I just want to leave a memory on people.

Thank you for everything.

Thank you.

Thank you.

I appreciate it.

Wish you many, many blessings.

Appreciate it. Thank you.


Nothing lasts forever.

Nothing lasts forever.

So Im just going to make it last as long as I can.



(SINGING) Im just an old lonely cowboy in this world,

thinking about my favorite girl.

Thinking about all the flowers, and the birds

and the horses in the world.

Im an old lonely cowboy down in Wharton, Texas,

sitting on my dads old porch, picking my guitar

and just thinking about the world.

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