One of the newest names to be inducted into the Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame is also one of the most recognized radio names in Wichita.
Orin Friesen is among the inductees for the Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame in Dodge City for his contributions as a cowboy entertainer/artist.
Other names on the inductees list include Gerald “Jerry” Peck, Junction City, for working cowboy; Margaret and Gary Kraisinger, Halstead, for cowboy historians; Harley Gilbert, Fredonia, for radio cowboy; and Olis Goodnight of Englewood, for cattleman/rancher.
The honorees will be inducted at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 17 at the United Wireless Arena Conference Center in Dodge City.
The inductees are “selected for their significant contributions to the western heritage lifestyle, past or present, and to the preservation of the cowboy culture in Kansas,” according to a release issued earlier this month.
In August, Friesen was recognized by friends and family for his 50 years in radio and music.
“I had no clue,” Friesen said of his nomination into the hall of fame.
“I was out mowing, and Bekky (Friesen’s wife) came out with the phone,” Friesen said Sunday. “It knocked me out.”
Friesen, 69, grew up on a farm near York, Neb.
“I decided when I was a kid all I wanted to be was a cowboy,” Friesen said.
In junior high and high school, Friesen began making his own ham radio sets. He also grew up fascinated with radio programs.
“When I grew up, we didn’t have television, and I remember taking a bath in those old metal washtubs and listening to the Grand Ole Opry from the radio,” he said. “It got me interested in music and cowboys.”
In 1966, Friesen moved to Wichita, where he attended Wichita State University and worked repairing TVs and radios.
Friesen is the operations manager at Prairie Rose Ranch and Chuckwagon as well as leader of the Prairie Rose Rangers. In 1973, he began his radio show “Bluegrass from the Rockin’ Banjo Ranch,” which can still be heard on KFDI.