Ready to meet another Inspirational Western Woman?
I’m thrilled for you to get to know this gal. She hales from Colorado and is a multi-award-winning artist and performer. Really, she’s a kick in the pants. One of the bravest women I’ve ever met.
With that . . .
I’d like to welcome one of this month’s Inspirational Western Women, Susie Knight.
My parents were professional singers. My earliest memories are of them singing; rehearsing for another concert or show at a nightclub in the suburban-Chicago area where I grew up. Mom started teaching me to play piano at age 3.
There was a love-hate relationship with music for me when I was young.
It’s difficult for a parent to teach a child something like the piano, and often I’d cry. I did much better when Mom had one of her adult students take over to teach me when I was around 10.
But, when I was 13, I heard John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” song…and I was in love! I’d discovered my niche. I begged for a guitar, so Mom bought me a $5.00 garage sale special.
Soon after, I was in a group guitar lesson program in the 8th Grade. Within a month, I wrote my first song! It was incredibly bad…but I performed it for all my classmates and for anyone who’d listen. And so, my songwriting schtick began.
I’ve been performing my entire life either as a dancer (I studied ballet from age 3-17 and jazz from 11-17), in theater (mainly in high school and for church presentations), then professionally since 1999 as a clown, singer, cowgirl poet, and emcee. Now, I’m an auctioneer!
For me, show business is my job. I love what I do, and I love to be paid well for it. Once, I was told by a mentor, make sure you’re getting paid enough that you’ll go to your gig with a smile on your face!
I do love the audience though. They are always on my mind when I perform. If I am able to see their faces, I’m watching their reactions to my entertainment.
If they laugh on cue, leaning in when it’s serious, and applaud with fervor…I’m doing my job well. If not, I need to work on my act! I rehearse in front of a mirror so I can see what they see. (I guess this comes from my early years in ballet class where floor-to-ceiling mirrors were in the dance studio.)
I learned a long time ago, the audience showed up. They are already prepared to enjoy themselves. All I have to do is smile and do my best. The reward is their applause and cheers!
That is the biggest “HIGH” I’ve ever experienced.
When I was at the 2019 IWMA Convention and attending the “Coffee with the DJ’s” session, Bobbi Jean Bell was the host. She started calling out the names of a few of us that were in attendance and ultimately asked me with urgency, “Susie Knight! WHY ARE YOU NOT A DJ?” I replied, “I don’t know how!” She said, “If I can do it, anyone can!” The seed was planted. I had no idea how I’d be a DJ, but the thought stuck there in the back of my mind.
Then 2020 rolled over me like a freight train.
Covid robbed all my gigs, my husband, Dave, died of leukemia, and I was alone.
I was reading a local paper looking for a job, and I saw an ad for “Conifer Radio.” HOLY COW! WE HAVE A RADIO STATION! (That’s what I said!)
Turns out, it’s a very small operation owned by a local retiree and his wife. I emailed them, we met, and he gave me a crash course on how to create and produce my weekly radio shows. With a bit of “oops” and “uh-ohs,” I finally smoothed out the learning curve.
My show can be heard online at http://www.coniferradio.com every Tuesday evening, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Mountain Time. It is called “The Western Way Hour hosted by Susie Knight, The Saddlebag Lady.”
The shows are not archived. You have to “Listen Live.” (Note: This is not a job; I don’t get paid. It’s a wonderful, rewarding hobby as I get to promote the western music and cowboy poetry that I love and appreciate so much.)
So come on over sometime, and give it a listen sometime! You won’t be disappointed.
2020 Academy of Western Artists Western Song — Turn ’em Loose
2016 Western Music Assn. Female Poet of the Year
2016 WMA Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year — Fillin’ Tanks
2014 WMA Female Poet of the Year
2013 AWA Cowgirl Poet of the Year
2013 Cowboy Idol Poet
2012 WMA Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year — Western Wordsmith
Connect with Susie
Facebook Profile: Susie Knight
Facebook Pages: Susie Knight Western Entertainer, The Western Way Hour with Susie Knight, The Saddlebag Lady https://facebook.com/saddlebaglady
YouTube: Susie Knight
About Susie Knight
Susie Knight hangs her hat in Conifer, Colorado. She’s a wrangler at Bear Creek Stables in Morrison, Colorado, and performs her original cowboy songs and poetry for kids of all ages. Known for her enthusiastic stage presence from campfires to concert halls, she was nominated for 2019 IWMA Entertainer of the Year! Also, Susie Knight is the 2014 & 2016 WMA Female Poet of the Year, 2013 AWA Cowgirl Poet of the Year, and recipient of the 2012 WMA Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year Award-Western Wordsmith, and the 2016 WMA Cowboy Poetry CD of the Year-Fillin’ Tanks. Notably, Fillin’ Tanks was the #1 Cowboy Poetry CD on radio in 2016 bumping Susie Knight to be the #1 performer of Cowboy Poetry on Radio in 2016. Celebrating 50+ years on stage and in the saddle, Susie Knight is Colorado’s own All-Around Cowgirl.