The Fort Worth Stockyards is losing one of its most enthusiastic ambassadors.
Earlier this afternoon, Billy Bob’s Texas announced the retirement of entertainment director Robert Gallagher.
Gallagher, who has been a part of the World’s Largest Honky-Tonk since its doors opened in 1981, is stepping down, per a statement from the legendary venue, “to spend more time with his family and [on] various independent projects.”
It’s a long goodbye: Billy Bob’s says Gallagher, who became entertainment director in 1988, will transition out of his role with the venue over the next month, but “will be involved going forward on a consultative and project basis.” (There’s no word yet who will succeed Gallagher in the role of entertainment director.)
“My relationship with Billy Bob’s Texas and the historic Fort Worth Stockyards is second only to my incredibly supportive family,” Gallagher said in a statement. “The staff, both past and present, at ‘The World’s Largest’ is truly our second family. It’s almost impossible to express our overwhelming gratitude to the owners, directors, officers, employees, artists, bands, crews and supporters of this iconic national treasure. We look forward to our continued lifelong friendship with the utmost love and respect.”
The venue said in a statement “plans are being made to celebrate Robert’s unprecedented contribution and dedication” to Billy Bob’s. Gallagher’s retirement comes two years after another Billy Bob’s fixture, long-time marketing director Pam Minick, stepped down.
The accolades from those in the community and those Gallagher worked with are already pouring in.
“Robert always makes people feel good ... friends or those he just met ... VIPs or poor folk,” said Steve Murrin, a partner in Billy Bob’s, in a statement. “He has been the most important individual in maintaining our long-term success, which is based on the affection that top country talent has for Billy Bob’s, in spite of a huge increase in competing venues.”
Billy Bob’s president, Concho Minick, seconded Murrin’s sentiments.
“On the list of success factors for Billy Bob’s, Robert Gallagher is at the top,” Minick said in a statement. “Robert’s approach to business has created so much goodwill in the music community. The man is a legend and will forever be infused in the history of Billy Bob’s.
“It is hard to imagine finding another ambassador like him.”
Preston Jones, 817-390-7713