Surviving loss, rebuilding life, moving ahead and blending families are all part of “Cowboy” Dan Harrell’s inspirational story and message. This award-winning children’s entertainer and recording artist discusses the responsibility of parents and emphasizes the importance of faith in human relationships. Entertaining and meaningful songs punctuate his points as Dan talks to adults about communicating with each other, learning to survive hardship and building relationships with children. His humor, music and message bring thoughtful smiles to audiences of all ages.
Born and raised in the ranch country of West Texas, Cowboy Dan is the real deal. Calling all of West Texas home, he cites Odessa, Abilene, Lubbock, San Angelo, and Sanderson as his stomping grounds. After earning a degree in Agriculture from Abilene Christian University, he lived in the Austin, Texas area soaking up the Texas Music genre that is still alive and well there. He moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1990 and continued to pursue music while working in the agricultural industry. “Writing and performing children’s music was not something I planned on doing when I came to town,” says Cowboy Dan, “it kinda pursued me.” Now he says, “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
While working for the Music City Cattle Exchange, he was approached by the Tennessee Beef Industry Council to develop an assembly program for elementary age students and since 1996, he has performed his high-energy show for over 450,000 kids, parents and teachers. In addition to covering the entire state of Tennessee, Cowboy Dan performed for families at such major events as the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and the Texas State Fair, as well as in large markets like Chicago and Charlotte. Major television networks and newspapers in Memphis, Dallas, Houston, and Nashville have all featured Cowboy Dan and his program of character education. His album Yee Haw Says It All won Best Children’s Album at the Nashville Music awards in 1998.
Tragedy struck the Harrell family in 2000 when Lyndee, Dan’s wife of fourteen years, died suddenly from a heart attack leaving him a single father of three girls and a nine day old baby boy. “Our whole lives changed in a single instant,” Cowboy Dan says, “and they will never be the same.”
Through the help and prayers of his church family, Cowboy Dan took time off from the road to raise his kids and to be more a part of their lives. Really coming to understand what his faith was all about, Dan tried to find blessings amid the tragedies. His four children continue to be his greatest blessing.
With the release of his two new albums, Cowboy Dan is hoping to find a new direction professionally that will match his new beginning personally. He claims that a roomful of bright young faces is one of the most rewarding opportunities an entertainer can have and he just wants to keep doing what he loves to do.