The Western Jubilee Recording Company was founded in Colorado Springs in 1996 by Scott O’Malley, an avid collector and connoisseur of Western and cowboy music. After his own time performing as a musician, O’Malley moved to Colorado Springs in 1985, bought an empty warehouse, and started a management agency. He represented acclaimed Western artists Don Edwards, Waddie Mitchell, and the Sons of the San Joaquin, eventually creating the record label the Western Jubilee Recording Company as his roster grew. The artists O’Malley worked with are from families of farmers and ranchers and write songs about authentic experiences on the range. Other artists on Western Jubilee Recording Company include Montana balladeer Wylie Gustafson, "Cowboy Girl" Katy Moffatt, and singer-songwriter Michael Martin Murphey, as well as renowned guitar player Norman Blake and his wife, folk musician Nancy Blake.
Many of the albums were recorded live at Western Jubilee’s historic Warehouse Theater in Colorado Springs. Draped in colorful quilts with guitars and memorabilia lining the tin walls, the Western Jubilee stage is a space dedicated to storytelling and the artists who have passed through it. Their commitment to the preservation of old-time music has earned the label a collection of well-loved releases and multiple Grammy nominations. Soft-spoken storytelling, a deep love of the land, and an appreciation for companionship provide tender insight into life on the range, showing there’s more to cowboys than machismo.
Smithsonian Folkways acquired Western Jubilee Recording Company in April 2020, keeping the spirit of the label alive for all who want it for years to come.
A few recordings from Western Jubilee. Click here for more.