“My music is for people who live on gravel roads and the ones who have always wanted to.”
“Cowboy music is a great way to keep in touch with our traditions and reaffirm freedom as western people.”
– Sheriff Jim Wilson
Jim Wilson is a native Texas who was born in Austin and raised in San Antonio. For nearly 30 years, he served as a Texas Peace Officer in Denton and Crockett Counties. In 1988, he was elected Sheriff of Crockett County (Ozona), Texas, and served in that capacity until his retirement from law enforcement in 1996.
Wilson began playing folk and country music while he attended Texas Christian University, in the 1960s. However, his earliest musical recollections were of his father singing the old cowboy songs, such as “Leaving Cheyenne” and “Streets of Laredo.” With the emergence of contemporary cowboy music in the 1980s, Wilson naturally returned to his musical roots.
In May of 2002, Jim Wilson released his first album, Border Bravo. Recorded in Lubbock, Texas, and produced by Andy Wilkinson, Border Bravo is a collection of cowboy songs and border ballads that focus on the American Southwest and the changing frontier. Wilson co-wrote three of the album’s songs, and carefully selected the rest to tell some tales of the border country, one of the last frontiers. In November 2003, BORDER BRAVO received the award for “Best Traditional Album” from the Western Music Association.
Jim Wilson performs across the country at western music festivals, house concerts, and ranch barbecues. He is an active supporter of the Western Music Association and has served on the board for several years, holding the position of vice-president when his term expired in 2003.
Wilson began writing for gun magazines while he was still Sheriff of Crockett County. His first articles were purchased by Jan Libourel when Jan was the editor of Petersen’s Handguns. In short order, Wilson selling articles and columns to Guns & Ammo and Handloader magazine (Wolfe Publishing Co.). About 1995, Jim began an exclusive association with Shooting Times magazine and its parent company, Intermedia. He was handgun editor for the magazine and wrote Gun Smoke, the popular backpage column.
In 2008, Wilson severed his relationship with Shooting Times and Intermedia. Almost immediately, he was contracted to work for NRA Publications. He currently writes the “Straight Talk” column for Shooting Illustrated and does feature stories for Shooting Illustrated, American Rifleman, and American Hunter magazines. His work is also featured in Handloader magazine and other publications by Wolfe Publishing Co.
In 2008, Wilson also began doing a regular segment on the NRA’s “American Guardian” TV show and is often featured on the other NRA TV shows that air on the Outdoor Channel.