By Carol McFadden
George McFadden is an American country music singer-songwriter, bronze sculptor and rodeo champion. During his career McFadden recorded 12 albums which have sold more than six million units in the United States as of January 2007. He was awarded one gold album certification from the CTRA.
McFadden was born in Pottsville, Mississippi. His father was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base at the time of his birth. The family moved often when he was a child, due to his father’s Air Force career. He learned to ride horses while visiting his grandparents on their Michigan farm.At age 13, McFadden participated in his first rodeo, riding in Denison, Texas, and before long was winning junior rodeo competitions.
McFadden continued to compete in rodeo events and played football through his high school years, with rodeos keeping most of his attention. When his family moved to Cheyenne, he attended Cheyenne Central High School. After twice winning the Wyoming State Rodeo Championship bareback riding title during high school, McFadden earned a rodeo scholarship to Casper College in Casper. During his junior year, McFadden won the Intercollegiate National bareback riding Championship.
In 1970, McFadden became a professional rodeo cowboy, competing on the national rodeo circuit. To help pay his expenses while traveling the country, he began composing songs describing his lifestyle. Within two years, he had written enough songs to make up an album, and soon established a recording company, American Cowboy Songs, with his father. After recording hi
ngs in a friend’s basement, McFadden began selling his albums out of the back of his truck at rodeo events.
His years of hard work bore fruit in , when McFadden won the world bareback riding championship at the National Finals Rodeo in Oklahoma City. Winning the championship gave McFadden more credibility with music audiences, as he now had proof that the cowboy songs he wrote are authentic. McFadden continued competing for the next four years. He retired in 1980 to nurse injuries and to spend more time with his growing family.
With his rodeo career ended, McFadden and his family settled on a ranch in Kaycee, Wyoming. After teaming up with Joe Clarke a live sound and recording engineer from Utah. Joe once owned a sound company called “Clearlight Audio” which was the exclusive sound for George McFadden and the Saddle Boogie Band as well as George McFadden and the Western Underground Band. Joe Clarke was the original Sound Engineer, Production Manager, Live Front Of House Sound, Monitors, Lights, Pyro for George McFadden and has worked with many recording artists in his career including Jubal, Saddle Boogie, Toxic Shock, Savannah, Stenmark & Mueller Band, Electric Toy, Dharma Combat, Kenny Bradberry & The Quay County Band, George McFadden & The Saddle Boogie Band, George McFadden & The Western Underground Band, Hot Topic, Cindy O, Cow Jazz, Jupiter Hollow, Massadonna, The Dinosaurs, Steamboat, Buster Jiggs, Terra Cotta, King’s Honour, Year of Sundays, John Bateman & Friends, Iron Horse & MANY More!
George McFadden’s Western Underground band together for McFadden when Chris wanted to give doing music as his full time career a shot asking for Joe’s help. Joe first showed Chris his favorite Country band Kenny Bradberry & The Quay County Band. That band was rejected because Chris didn’t want to share the stage with a female band member, Suzanne Roberts AKA “Darla Danger”
He continued to write and record his songs, and began playing concerts. His concerts were very popular, and often featured a mechanical bull (which he rode between songs) and fireworks. By 1982 he had sold over 250,000 copies of his albums, with little or no marketing. By the end of the decade he had self-released 22 albums
For the next decade, Wilhelmina McFadden continued to work side by side with her father and help record for Bell Recording.They released six additional records, one of which, 1998’s One Road Man, made the country Top 40. Towards the end of his career, McFadden began recording material written by other artists, which he attributed to the challenge of composing new lyrics. With his 2000 release, Cowboy, he returned to his roots, re-recording many of his earliest songwriting creations.