Bobby Bridger, a descendent of legendary mountain man/explorer Jim Bridger, began work on his highly-acclaimed epic trilogy A Ballad of the West over four decades ago. Since 1974 Bridger has traveled the globe performing this historical trilogy as a one-man show to audiences in America, Canada, Europe, Australia and Russia. Add Wharton, Texas to that elite list. Don’t miss this one.
Bridger began his professional recording career in 1967 in Nashville recording for Monument and Nugget Records before signing with RCA Records in Hollywood in 1970. Bridger recorded two albums for RCA -Merging of Our Minds, and, And I Wanted to Sing for the People- before departing the label in 1973 to retreat to Mexico’s Chihuahuan Desert in order to reinvent himself and focus on his career as an epic balladeer. Since the early 1980s Bridger has produced Heal in the Wisdom, Songs from A Ballad of the West, and the highly-acclaimed four-disc boxed set, A Ballad of the West, on his own Golden Egg Records.
Bridger has performed twice on PBS’s Austin City Limits, on PBS’s American Experience, twice on C-Span/Booknotes, once on ABC’s Good Morning America, on CNN, on
A & E, on National Public Radio, and on the Australian Broadcasting Company. He has been an artist-in-residence at Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, and was the first poet/balladeer-in-residence at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. He worked with the production team developing the American Indian classic, Black Elk Speaks for stage and film,
served on the board of directors of the American Indian Theater Company from 1982-1987, and was featured with David Carradine and Will Sampson in an American Indian production of Black Elk Speaks in Tulsa in 1984. Bridger’s trilogy of one man shows of A Ballad of the West ran in repertory each summer at Old Trail Town in Cody, Wyoming from 2000-2004.
Bridger is the author of a hardback and paperback edition of A Ballad of the West, the award-winning, Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull: Inventing The Wild West, an autobiography, Bridger, and he contributed essays to anthologies on American western literary giants John G. Neihardt (A Sender of Words) and Frank Waters (Frank Waters: Man and Mystic ). Bridger’s script for a DVD production was a Silver Spur finalist for the Western Writers of America’s 2009 “Best Documentary Script”. The DVD production also features a documentary based on Bridger’s life and work (Quest of an Epic Balladeer) and a host of other special features. Bridger’s book Where the Tall Grass Grows: the Mythological Legacy of the American West was published in autumn, 2011. Bridger is currently writing, painting, sculpting, and touring. More at www.bobbybridger.com
The Java Jam is 6 pm to 9 pm, Thursday, December 20. Bring a covered dish and $15 per person.