From every corner of the United States, cowboy country performers and cowboy country fans are zeroing in on a first-of-its-kind awards show in historic Fort Smith. The first annual Pro Cowboy Country Artist Association Awards Show is set for Oct. 14.

“The buzz is intensifying all across America. We’ve got outstanding country cowboy artists and their diehard fans finalizing details for their highly-anticipated trek to Fort Smith. This is the kind of unbridled excitement that is generated by the launching of a first-ever awards show,” declares Royal Wade Kimes, founder of the Pro Cowboy Country Artist Association.

Held in the Fort Smith Convention Center, the event, recorded live-to-tape, will air on RFD-TV’s The Cowboy Channel. The show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. CST.

“Everyone in the convention center and watching on TV are going to be blown away by the high level of talent receiving awards that night. The award nominees are exceptional ambassadors to a truly special and prominent brand of country music — cowboy country music,” added Kimes.

“During the night,” he continued, “interlaced with the passing out of the individual awards, will be 18 stand-out performances by the nominees — the best entertainers cowboy country music has to offer. It’s going to be a memorable awards show.”

Awards will be presented for Entertainer of the Year, Group of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, 2017 Legend of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Western Swing Album of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Yodeler of the Year, DJ of the Year and Novelist of the Year.

“The one-of-a-kind awards are as unique as both the performers and their style of music,” explains Kimes. “Each award is an engraved, custom-designed Montana Silversmiths belt buckle that is presented in a glass case. The award can add drama to a mantel or the award-winner can literally wear it as a buckle. This isn’t your typical award.”

The Entertainer of the Year, the 2017 Legend of the Year and the Donor of the Year will be presented engraved Henry Rifles from the Henry Repeating Arms company.

Kimes, a national recording artists known as “The Gentleman Outlaw,” has recorded 14 albums, received numerous awards as an artist and has written songs for Garth Brooks, Diamond Rio, Gene Watson and others. He was voted Best Living Western Solo Musician in 2010 by True West magazine and was nominated by the Academy of Western Artists in 2014 in the Most Outstanding Male Western Artist category.

Kimes and his The Packin’ Iron Posse band will perform two songs at the awards show.

“Cowboy country is not anything new,” explains Kimes. “Today’s performers are keeping alive a musical tradition fostered originally by working cowboys singing songs and playing guitars on ranches and cattle drives. That home-grown music reached a worldwide audience through the songs of Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Marty Robbins, Tex Ritter and others.”

Rogers recorded the forever-famous “Don’t Fence Me In,” while Robbins had a No. 1 smash with “El Paso” and Tex Ritter’s “Do Not Forsake Me, Oh, My Darlin’” was the theme song for the movie High Noon and was awarded the 1952 Academy Award for Best Original Song.

“This is a triple threat awards show,” proclaims Kimes. “We’ve got the best city in the U.S. to host the awards show — Fort Smith has a colorful Old West history filled with cowboys and outlaws. We’ve got the best network to broadcast the show — RFD-TV’s The Cowboy Channel celebrates all things cowboy. And we’ve got the best show sponsor — Henry Repeating Arms plays a major role in the lives of cowboys everywhere. What a combo! It just doesn’t get any better than this!”