By Terry Lidral

Randy Corley has been the voice of Caldwell Night Rodeo (CNR) for nearly four decades.  He’s a 16-time announcer of the National Finals Rodeo, a twelve-time Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) Announcer of the Year and a 2017 inductee into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.  When you talk about PRCA announcing legends, Randy Corley’s name is always on the list.  But when he announced his first rodeo at Caldwell in 1982, he was relatively unknown.

Corely’s start as a rodeo announcer

“I have to thank Caldwell Night Rodeo for taking a chance on me,” said Corley of the rodeo he credits with launching his renown announcer career.  “I didn’t have any big-name rodeos to my credit when Caldwell offered me a job.”

Caldwell Night Rodeo was hoping to sign the well-known and highly respected rodeo announcer Hadley Barrett.  Barrett was busy, but he recommended that CNR hire Randy Corley, who just happened to be his son-in-law.  The CNR Board took Barrett’s recommendation and hired Corley.

Corley who at the age of 32 had a background in rough stock riding and a degree in broadcasting, was a great fit for CNR.  Not only did he know rodeo and have a passion for it, but his broadcasting background also gave him the tools to be an announcing success.

Rowdies vs. Civies

Right from the beginning, Corley made an impact on Caldwell Night Rodeo.  It was Corley who established the notorious CNR Rowdies and set up the infamous rivalry of the CNR Rowdies vs. Civies.  This great rivalry has brought much notoriety for being arguably the loudest and most electric crowd in all of pro rodeo.  

“My first couple of years at Caldwell, there weren’t many people who would sit on the east side of the arena.  They had low bleachers then and you’d get maybe 40 people on a Wednesday night sitting there with the sun hitting them in the face,” Corley told the story.  “I’d accuse them of not seeing the rodeo and being over there because it was nearest to the beer booth.  I’d pick on them and they would get loud responding to me.  They became a designated section.  I called them the Rowdies.”

Corley went on to develop a rivalry between the Rowdies and the people sitting on the shady side when rodeo entertainer Dale Woodard made it official.

“Dale came out one night, grumbling that he was so sick of that one word – Rowdies,” Corley told us with a laugh.  “He made a big deal of the ‘civilized side’ and started calling them Civies.  We made a competition to see who was loudest and that’s how the rivalry between the Rowdies and the Civies at CNR came about.  The Rowdies still always win,” added Corley with a chuckle.

Those Rowdies and Civies, under Corley’s tutelage, have become not only enthusiastic, but extremely knowledgeable about the sport of rodeo.  They know good rides and expect the judges to reward them.

“Caldwell has some of the best judges in the PRCA.  But if the crowd thinks it’s a good ride and if they don’t think the score is high enough, they’ll boo the judges,” Corley said with amusement.  “The judges keep telling me I amp up the crowd and get them booed.”  

Corley has been involved in creating another great tradition that grew up in the Rowdies section of CNR.  It’s the victory lap around the arena.

“The cowboys tell me that they look forward to coming to Caldwell Night Rodeo.  It’s not just about winning, it’s also about getting that victory lap to the roar of the crowd on the Rowdies side.”

Corley grew up passionate about rodeo, becoming a bareback and a bull rider for a time.  He’s invested his life in rodeo and has been chosen to announce the very best events in the sport.  He appreciates the high-quality rodeo that Caldwell Night has become.

Caldwell loves Corley

“I’m so proud of being a part of Caldwell Night Rodeo.  My fondest memories are of watching this rodeo grow over the years I’ve been the announcer.  I credit the committee so much for always updating and making things better for the cowboys and stock contractors.  That’s why the best cowboys in the game come to Caldwell,” explained Corley.

“I’m also proud to work with Powder River Rodeo.  They have become a tremendous stock contracting outfit,” he added.  “I’ve watched them grow right along with CNR.”

If Corley makes the decision to slow down his rodeo schedule, CNR won’t be on the cut list.

“The folks at Caldwell Night Rodeo have been such good friends.  The office staff and the Board members have always treated me so well,” Corley told us about his relationship with CNR.

Over his nearly 40-year association with CNR, Corley has watched the rodeo grow with its succession of Board members.

“The CNR Board members have always been great to work with.  I’m now working with second-generation board members. I’m so pleased to have been a part of this great rodeo for so long.  If I were to decide to only do one rodeo a year, it would be Caldwell Night Rodeo.”

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