Creating an award winning children's show is a blend of songwriting, vision, design, staging and performers. "How Cowboy Ernie Finds His Yodel" was created by Tom Frazee and Nancy Roché as a featured show on the Meadowgold Dairy Childrens Stage at the Boise River Festival, a regional festival that attracted over 250,000 attendees during the last weekend of June in Boise, Idaho.
The show ran 14 times over a 4-day period and on Saturday (the third day of the Festival) drew record crowds at it's 3pm performance. Approximately 2000+ attendees saw it during it's premier at the Boise River Festival. Not only were we responsible for the concept and storyboard, but we wrote all the original music, designed the unique 3 sided revolving stage and developed the technology to have the show be a combination of sync'd playback as well as live performance.
We wrote all the music, recorded and produced the tracks in our studio and storyboarded the entire show with script in 4 days! One appropriate saying we're fond of "I once read where it takes an oyster 8 years to form a perfect pearl...somehow we are able to crap one out in a day"-Brad Elsberg / Producer / Elsbergonline
What started as a need for a main show to fulfill a title sponsor contract became a timeless childrens show about Cowboy Ernie (Ernie Sites / Cowboy Poet, Songwriter, Chuckwagon Cook) and how he and his sidekick "Good Horse Sense" (or "my good horse", Sense) went off to find his lost yodel.
The show premiered at the Boise River Festival then went on the road several times for several corporate retreats, an appearence at SeaFair (Seattle) The Portland Rose Festival, and at the IFEA Annual Global Conference where it received the Pinnacle Award for "Best New Event or Show".
The process started when we were asked to come up with a replacement for a previously booked childrens show that had to cancel 4 weeks out from the festival. We contacted a wonderful cowboy poet, Ernie Sites to see if he was available for the date and asked him if he could star in our show (which we hadn't written yet). A very large six figure title sponsorship agreement was on the table.
So here's the process we followed. Click on any link to see the documentation
|Process||Purpose||Link To Document|
|Step 1: Children Show Analysis & Outline||Layout the premise||Click Here for PDF|
|Step 2: Scene Layout and Basic Content||Organize the Process / Drill down||Click Here for PDF|
|Step 3: Primary Sketch Script, Tech and Actions||Further drill down||Click Here for PDF|
|Step 4: Songwriting and Production||(see players and lyric sheets below)|
|Step 5: Final Script, ROS, staging and tech call||The script of live and pre-recorded lines||Click Here for PDF|
|Step 6: Production Schedule||Production timeline||Click Here for PDF|
|Step 7: Show Budget: Original & Touring||Budget Proposal for Original & Touring Shows||Click Here for PDF|
Now the music:
Ernie during his quest to find his lost yodel, came across 3 desert animals that tried to convience him he didn't need his yodel to be happy...they had their own version of happy...right here! He also had help from the wind that appeared to him in a dream while he slept. And of course his Good Horse Sense!
Music and Lyrics by Tom Frazee & Nancy Roché (except "Happy Yodel Hoe-Down" music and lyrics by Ernie Sites)
Howl At The Silvery Moon / El Coyote (sung by Tommy Collins) Click here for lyrics
Shake Your Southside / Snnnnnnnake (sung by Tommy Collins) Click here for lyrics
Comforts of Home / Good Horse Sense (sung by Tom Frazee) Click here for lyrics
Theme Song: Happiness is Like the Wind (sung by Nancy Roché) Click here for lyrics (set to choreography by Teresa Vaughan. This song appeared in a dream as Ernie slept)
Happy Yodeling / Cowboy Ernie's opening song (written and sung by Ernie Sites) Click here for lyrics
Overture: (without intro voiceover welcome)