National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum To Host Premiere of Award-Winning Film Home on the Range


January 11, 2019

Contact: Jenni Shrum, Event Marketing Coordinator

(Office) (405) 478-2250 ext. 221


National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum To Host Premiere of Award-Winning Film Home on the Range

Film features Buck Taylor, Michael Martin Murphey, and rock group Kansas; evening features three-course dinner, cash bar, and remarks by film’s director.


OKLAHOMA CITY — The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will premiere the film Home on the Range, Outstanding Docudrama recipient at the 2018 Western Heritage Awards, at 5:00 p.m. Friday, February 15. This debut screening features a three-course dinner prepared by The Petroleum Club of Oklahoma City, a cash bar, and introductory remarks by the film’s director, Ken Spurgeon.

Home on the Range tells the story of its namesake song, which began life as a poem. After being set to music, “Home on the Range” swept the nation, becoming the Kansas state song and eventually occupying an iconic place in American music history. The 48-minute film showcases Buck Taylor, who played Deputy Newly O’Brien on TV’s Gunsmoke from 1967 – 1975. In Home on the Range, Taylor plays Trube Reese, the man who discovered Dr. Brewster Higley’s poem in 1875 and told the prairie doctor it might make a good song.

Higley brought his poem to druggist Dan Kelley, who set the words to music. “Home on the Range” soon spread across Kansas like a prairie fire, becoming popular with cowboys and settlers, making its way along cattle trails to cow towns, and gaining national prominence with the advent of radio. However, as the film reveals, the song was nearly stolen from Kansas, and for a time was prohibited from being played on the air. It took an NBC attorney from New York City to track down its true history.

Home on the Range features various recordings of the famous song, from rock group Kansas to ever-popular cowboy singer Michael Martin Murphey. Filmed in and around Wichita, Kansas, including on location at the Old Cowtown Museum and the old Sedgwick County Courthouse, shooting also took place at the historic cabin in Smith County, Kansas, where Higley penned the original words to “Home on the Range.”

The 2018 Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Docudrama is the second bestowed upon director Ken Spurgeon. He and Lone Chimney Films received this award in 2015 for the Civil War documentary film Road to Valhalla. The Western Heritage Awards were established in 1961 as the pinnacle commemoration of the American West by honoring the legacy of men and women for their work in literature, music, film, and television.


Tickets for the February 15 premiere of Home on the Range are $40 per person, $35 for Museum members, and can be purchased at, by phone at (405) 478-2250 ext. 241, or in person at the National Cowboy Museum, 1700 Northeast 63rd Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73111. Reservations are requested by February 11.

About the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Nationally accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is located only six miles northeast of downtown Oklahoma City in the Adventure District at the junction of Interstates 44 and 35, the state’s exciting Adventure Road corridor. The Museum offers annual memberships beginning at just $40. For more information, visit