Singer, songwriter and horsewoman Jean Prescott brings Western heritage alive through her music.
Article by Megan Brincks
Photography by Rachel Griffin
For more than half a century, Jean Prescott has had a song in her heart, singing, playing guitar and writing songs that embody the Western culture she lives and breathes as a horsewoman and rancher. Her passion for music brings history to the present day as she passes traditions of the West to the next generation.
“I always sang country and gospel music, but when I was introduced to cowboy music in 1990 it felt like I was coming home,” Jean said. “Since then, I have sung around campfires, at rodeosand on large and small stages across the U.S., Europe and Canada.”
A lifelong horse lover, Jean grew up in West Texas where she started riding as a teenager, competing in barrel racing and helping work cattle on her family’s ranch. With a childhood infused with music, she taught herself to play guitar at age 16 and started performing in her late teen years.
“One of my favorite memories from those days is after an evening of riding with friends and family, we would sit on the porch to visit and relax and I would play and sing,” Jean remembered. “Those sweet folks will always have a special place in my heart for their kindness to me. My guitar was never in tune and I only knew three songs. But they always listened and encouraged me to keep singing and playing.
“Music and horses have always been part of my life. I don’t ever take being on horseback or singing for granted.”
Now, at age 70 with 17 albums under her belt, Jean still actively writes songs, sings and rides. Jean and her husband, Gary—who also sings—have nine horses on their Abilene ranch, including Jean’s “heart horse” Hold My Spot, a 2010 tobiano gelding by Mark This Spot and out of Miss Gold Shamrock. Jean and Gary raised “Max” and sold him as a yearling to a teenager.
“I told the young lady I sold him to that if at some point she decided to sell him, I would buy him back,” she said.
This is an excerpt from the full article—get the whole story in the Fall 2019 Chrome magazine, which is sent to all current APHA members. Not a member? Join or renew at apha.com/join.