Judy James mission is simple. It’s to keep our western heritage alive.
In fact, she’s so serious about the mission, that very statement is printed on her business cards.
Oh, and shes been succeeding. For the fourth time in her career, as host of Western Music Radio show, Cowboy Jubilee, James has been nominated for one the top honors by the Western Music Association - (WMA), as Disc Jockey - Radio Program of the Year.
"I’ve been very fortunate," James said. "I’ve been nominated for the award four times and won in 2013 and 2015. It feels like a tribute, an honor by my peers, both entertainers and friends alike, that I was even nominated."
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James will know in a few short weeks, when the WMA hosts it annual gala in Albuquerque, if shes won again.
But, James is more than just DJ who plays music - she also performs it.
"I sing music about the west that speaks to our history," James said. "It tells about the cattle, the land and horses. It’s musical genera is like that of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Gene Autry and the Sons of the Pioneers."
It should come as no surprise that James is a natural performer. It all began when she was in collage, McMurray University in Abilene, where she majored in music. She even performed as part of a folk ensemble before graduating and taking on her first teaching assignment in Mesquite.
It wasn’t long before she found her way to Weatherford where she taught music for the next 25 years.
"I remember as I was getting close to retirement, about four years still remaining, I started thinking ‘what am I going to do?’"
James said she loved to sing. Then one day close friend Kenneth Murphree asked if she would perform at a retirement party.
"I remember telling [Kenneth] I didn’t think I could do it. But, you just don’t tell Kenneth no," James recalled.
So she performed.
"It was a blessing," she said. "I was bitten by the bug to perform again. But I couldn’t sing country - it just didn’t fit."
The result was that she found her niche in Western Music, and it grew from there into a second career.
"In 1997 I got a call from Mendy Beard at the radio station," James remembered. "She asked me if I had ever thought about having a radio program and if I would be interested in giving it a try? So, for almost 20 years I’ve been on the air."
Beard said it’s been an honor to include Cowboy Jubilee to their Saturday line-up for the past nineteen years.
"Judy came to us in June of 1997 with the concept and it has aired from 7:30-9:30 every Saturday morning since," Beard said. "Her knowledge and love of the music and poetry that makes up our western heritage is apparent, having received the Westerm Music Association DJ/Show of the year. She won both 2013 and 2015, and we are pretty proud of her for that accomplishment."
Since that time, James has been a regular attendee at the WMA gathering in New Mexico.
"Western Music transcends all other music," James said. "It’s because you can hear the different elements and styles of music take form in Western Music."
James, however, harkens back to her roots and frequently visits schools to perform.
"I have a program that I perform called, Texas History in Song and Story," James said. "It’s so much fun to see the kids get excited about history...because it is their history."
Judy James Radio Show Host - “Cowboy Jubilee”
Can be heard by going to www.qxfm.com and clicking on the listen live tab. Cowboy Jubilee can also be heard locally (Weatherford) on 89.1FM, 89.5FM, 88.5FM and 91.1FM
JudyJamesRadio.com – Live Music, 24 hours a day.
Judy also has Western Heritage Radio, streaming live music 24/7 on Live 365 Radio. Listen all day on our homepage. JudyJamesRadio.com