Cattle Call
Western Music
The Lone Writer  

Western Song: Cattle Call

Cattle Call is a song that American songwriter and musician Tex Owens wrote and recorded in 1934. The melody of the song was adapted from Bruno Rudzinksi’s 1928 recording “Pawel Walc”. It became Eddy Arnold’s signature song. The members of The Western Writers of America included it in the Top 100 Western Songs of all time.

Eddy Arnold recorded the song in 1944 then he recorded it again in 1955 wherein the version of the song spent 26 weeks on the country chart, 2 of the 26 at #1. In 2000, another version of the song was recorded by Arnolds with Leann Rimes.

The song was written by Owen in Kansas City while watching the snowfall. He said that watching the snow, his sympathy went out to the cattle everywhere, and he just wished he could call them all around him and break some corn over a wagon wheel and feed them. And that is when the words cattle call came to his mind. He picked up his guitar, and in thirty minutes, he had written the music and four verses to the song. In 1936, he recorded the song again.

Popular Recordings

Various artists have covered the song. Some of the most notable versions were recorded by:

  • Eddy Arnold
  • Tex Ritter
  • Carolina Cotton
  • Slim Whitman
  • Eddy Arnold with Hugo Winterhalter’s Chorus and Orchestra
  • Billy Walker
  • Donn Reynolds
  • Elvis Presley
  • Gilbert Harry Trythall
  • Lenny Breau and Chet Atkins
  • Boxcar Willie
  • Don Edwards
  • Emmylou Harris
  • Wylie Gustafson
  • LeAnn Rimes
  • Dwight Yoakam
  • Sons of the Pioneers featuring Ken Curtis

Cattle Call Film Appearances

The song made an appearance in films as well. The song has been featured and used in the following movies:

  • The Horse Whisperer
  • Rio Grande
  • Private Parts
  • My Own Private Idaho

Listen (Eddy Arnold Version)

Cattle Call Lyrics


The cattle are prowlin', the coyotes are howlin'
Way out where the dogies bawl
Where spurs are a-jinglin', a cowboy is singin'
This lonesome cattle call


He rides in the sun 'til his days work is done
And he rounds up the cattle each fall
Singin' his cattle call

For hours, he would ride on the range far and wide
When the night winds blow up a squall
His heart is a feather in all kinds of weather
He sings his cattle call


He's brown as a berry from ridin' the prairie
And he sings with an ol' western drawl
Singing his cattle call


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