April 6

Twitty’s “Don’t Call Him A Cowboy” Denounces an Urban Cowboy


Twitty’s “Don’t Call Him A Cowboy” Denounces an Urban Cowboy 1

Over the years, the definition of a genuine cowboy has dramatically changed. It seems that this inclination will continue to evolve with the passage of time. A native-born Montana ranch kid named Robert Staffanson penned a letter to America and the West. His letter highlights his reflections on what it means to be a real cowboy. An excerpt from his letter clearly stated how different cowboys at present are compared to the kind of cowboys he was raised to.

“The kind of cowboys I was raised to revere, as a kid who learned to ride shortly after my first walking steps, bore almost no resemblance to those icons of machismo manufactured by Hollywood. It seems like there are so many cowboys out there today who put on a hat and boots only for effect,” wrote Staffanson.

Those words from Staffanson immensely resonate to the theme of the song “Don’t Call Him A Cowboy.” This Conway Twitty hit single criticizes the Urban Cowboy movement of the early ‘80s. Such disparagements were evident in almost every line of the song. In the chorus, Twitty stated several requirements that one must fulfill to be worthy of the term.

“So don’t call him a cowboy until you’ve seen him ride / ‘Cause a Stetson hat and those fancy boots don’t tell ya what’s inside no / And if he ain’t good in the saddle, Lord, you won’t be satisfied / So don’t call him a cowboy until you’ve seen him ride.”  

Song Facts

Songwriters Debbie Hupp, Johnny MacRae, and Bob Morrison penned the lyrics of “Don’t Call Him A Cowboy.” The country legend Twitty recorded and co-produced it as the first single and title track of his 1985 album. The song reached No. 1 both on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart. Overall, it was the singer’s 50th No. 1 single on the country chart. It stayed atop the chart for one week and its chart reign lasted for a total of 13 weeks.

Folks, what does a real cowboy mean to you? We would be glad to hear your thoughts. Likewise, please do not to hit the like button and share the fun with other fans of country music. Stay tuned with us as we strive to bring you a daily dose of cutting-edge entertainment through country music and information. For easy access to your favorite country songs, follow us on Facebook (Country Daily / @CountryGospelDaily) and Twitter @thecountrydaily.


Bob Morrison, conway twitty, Dubbie Hupp, Johnny MacRae, Robert Staffanson

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