You can't separate Ken Overcast's career in music from the rancher's life he lives in northern Montana. One feeds off the other, with his music and poetry drawing largely from the adversities that accompany a real cowboy's daily life. Despite his joining forces with a Nashville producer, his music is pure Montana. In 1993, Overcast established a music publishing company, Bear Valley Music, and put out the album Silver & Gold that same year. The album was put out in CD format three years later. Overcast founded Bear Valley Records in 1994, the same year that he started working with Russ Ragsdale, the producer from Nashville, and put together the album Thinkin' Back. His association with Ragsdale continued throughout the decade. Overcast achieved a number of personal firsts in 1997. That was the year he took home the International Cowboy Yodeling Championship, as well as an Artistic Trailblazer Award nomination. Also in 1997, he and daughter Karleen collaborated on the album Ken and Karlie. By the following year, he was writing a humorous column that he called Meadow Muffins, and he recorded a selection of these under the title Montana Campfire, which was issued in 2001. More honors followed in 1998, among them a Country Gospel Music Guild nomination in the category of Male Vocalist of the Year, and a King Eagle Music Award nomination for career achievement. Additional nominations followed in 1999 and 2000, including one for a Grammy for Prairie Poetry, one for the Montana Governor's Award for the Arts, and another from the Western Music Association for Male Performer of the Year. He married his childhood sweetheart, Dawn, and the couple presides over a Lodge Creek ranch together. As a child growing up in Paradise Valley on the Milk River, Overcast was one of only four students in his small country school.
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