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Kansas Tourism celebrates Kansas Day, 150 years of ‘Home on the Range’

Kansas Tourism celebrates Kansas Day, 150 years of ‘Home on the Range’

Kansans invited to share own version of state song

Kansas celebrated its 162nd birthday on Jan. 29, and a Kansas Tourism campaign is paying homage to not only Kansas but also to the state song, which is 150 years old. 

“Home on the Range” was originally penned as a poem 150 years ago in Smith County, Kansas, by Kansas homesteader Dr. Brewster Higley. The poem was titled “My Western Home” to describe the beauty of the site Higley selected for his Kansas homestead in 1871. The song was then set to music by Higley’s friend, Dan Kelley. 

To celebrate the state’s birthday and the state song, Kansas Tourism asked five Kansas artists to reimagine the song. Those who participated are: 

  • XV, a hip-hop artist from Wichita, who started his career at the age of 15, which led to his roman numeral stage name. Donavan LaMond Johnson signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records in 2010. 
  • Logan Mize, a country singer from Clearwater who in 2009 landed a deal with publisher Big Yellow Dog and released his first self-titled album. His fifth album is titled “Welcome to Prairieville,” and his song “Hometown” is played on country radio today. 
  • Andy McKee, who grew up in Topeka, is one of the top 50 acoustic fingerstyle guitarists worldwide and has released six studio albums. McKee has been featured as a cover story in Acoustic Guitar Magazine in the United States and Acoustic Magazine in the United Kingdom. 
  • Maria the Mexican is comprised of two sisters, Maria Elena Cuevas and Teresa “Tess” Cuevas. The band is named after their grandmother, Maria Teresa Alonzo Cuevas, who in the 1970s founded Mariachi Estrella, one of the first all-female Mariachi bands in the United States. The sisters grew up in Topeka, and their grandmother was also from Topeka. The band’s sound is considered Mexicana/Americana/indie blues rock/funk/soul fusion. 
  • Get Up Kids has roots in Olathe and started in Lawrence in 1995. The band members are considered the forefathers of emo. The group has toured with Green Day and Weezer and also has had international tours in Japan and Europe. 

To view the videos and watch behind-the-scenes interviews, visit https://www.travelks.com/kansas-day/. There, you also can find information on recording your own version of “Home on the Range” to celebrate the song’s 150th birthday. Participants can sing a solo or play an instrument and post the version to social media platforms using the hashtag “#ToTheStarsKs. 

Posted: Feb 2, 2023,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush

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