Carl 'The Ranch Hand' Thurlo hails from Kingston, Oklahoma, a small town close to the Oklahoma,
Texas border. But during his years of entertaining, Carl has crossed
many borders including the vast ocean. He has appeared on
country and western programs across the nation and overseas.
He has recorded poems and songs on numerous labels and is heard
on various radio programs around the world.
Since he was just a boy, Carl Thurlo enjoyed writing poems. Over
the years he wrote a lot of poems and eventually turned some into
songs. From time to time he would share a poem or song with
a friend or at a gathering and that led to Carl
becoming "The Ranch Hand."
"Imagine yourself sitting by a campfire in the company of cowboys,
a fire softly crackling and lulling harmonica music floating in the
air. And every ear is turned towards one cowboy who is
telling a story that draws everyone in. ..."
That's the way some describe the transformation that takes place when
Carl Thurlo shares his songs and poems. Carl is a cowboy poet
and songwriter who performs as "The Ranch Hand." He is among those
who have garnered national acclaim by receiving invitations to appear
before the National Cowboy Poetry Society. He also is among
those who have appeared at the Oklahoma Cowboy Hall of Fame
in Oklahoma City.
Attention from the National Cowboy Poetry Society came after Carl had
recorded "Old Blaze" and "The Cowboy and the Lord" with
Autumn Records out of Nashville. Producer Harvey Cooper sent a
copy to the National Cowboy Poetry Society. Carl said they contacted
his asking permission to use the recordings then called back and
asked him to appear in person.
Since that time, Carl has covered many miles sharing his poems and
songs. He works with the Little Dixie band out of Broken Bow and
a Kingston based band called Deep Water. He also performs
as the cowboy entertainer at the Red River Dude Ranch west
With his special blend of poetry and music, Carl transports listeners
back in time to the days of the cowboy. He made his first
record "Truck Driver's Hell" in 1960. Several of his songs have
been recorded by artists including Janice Duffy,
Christy McEntire and Dale Lay.
Carl has recorded his songs and poems on several record labels, including:
- Juke Box America - Cleveland, Ohio
- D-Jay Records - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Autumn Records - Nashville, Tennessee
- G-M Records - Gladewater, Texas
- Midland Productions - Nashville, Tennessee
Carl received the "Editor's Choice Award" in 1993 and 1994 for Outstanding
Achievement in Poetry from the National Library of Poetry.
His fame is such that he was invited to appear in Poland as part of a
program and was so well received, that he's received an invitation for a
Carl's friend and co-entertainer, Dale Lay, also lives in Kingston.
They get together from time to time, and do several benefit programs for
senior citizens and others.
Carl says reciting his poetry is one of his favorite activities. When
he recites, guitarist Keiller Park provides background music with
Carl's poetry is described as having a lyrical quality. And, it
requires emotion and feeling to project in recitations. Carl
says he guesses he's lucky that he has a voice for recitation.
When he was a young fellow, Carl said he didn't have any plans for
his poetry other than just writing for his own enjoyment. Now,
as offers come to perform at all types of programs, he says
he would like to make some royalties, but notes he also enjoys
working benefits for senior citizens, school children and others.
As for the future, Carl refers to one of his poems, "Aim High"
which ends with "Keep working and pushing with all my heart and soul,
And when it's in His favor, I'll reach my goal."
So many times I've almost been to paradise.
Just over that next hill, fame and fortune lies.
With a stroke of luck I'll be on top,
But for some strange reason I have to stop.
And when I stop, I seem to lose ground
Or I walk in circles and get turned around.
Now as I get older I begin to understand,
I can't get anywhere without His helping hand.
But, I'll keep on trying to get to the top of that hill,
But I know I'll only succeed when it's His will.
So I'll keep working and pushing with all my heart and soul.
And when it's in His favor, I'll reach my goal.