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Hadley Barrett sings, he talks and his voice has gotten him into a Hall of Fame.

When he takes the microphone on Tuesday evening at the Central Wyoming Fair & Rodeo, he will return to a crowd that is as familiar with him as the rodeo itself.

He has spent a big share of his life entertaining people in one form or another.

Coming from a meager, ranch-raised beginning, his first association with rodeo was as a contestant.

As a singer, songwriter and guitar player, he led his own dance band, Hadley Barrett and the Westerners, for 34 years. The band was popular throughout the Midwest for decades.

In 1965, he joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), combining the rodeo and ranching talents to become one of the country's premier rodeo announcers.

He has been selected as the PRCA announcer of the year several times. He is the only announcer to have been nominated for the award every year since its beginning in 1981.

The Barrett family has a cattle ranch in North Platte, Neb., lives on the horse ranch in Kersey, Colo., and enjoys training horses and raising Golden Retrievers.

In 1999, he became one of only five rodeo announcers to be inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo.

He still hits the great American highways about 200 days a year. He says his love of rodeo and what he does for a living are what keep him going every day.

He has been at the Central Wyoming Fair & Rodeo numerous times over the past years, and although rodeo fans rarely see him, he's like an old friend to the crowd. A couple of sentences and you know it's ol' Hadley behind he microphone.

He has the combination rodeo sportscaster, master of ceremonies and standup comedian job down to a science, but never forgets that the audience, as well as the action in the arena, differs, sometimes if only slightly, from performance to performance.

"I want the people in the seats to feel that I'm talking directly to them. I try to carry on a one-sided conversation with the audience, but I get their side by their reaction," he says.

Few sights bring a lump to the throat or a tear to the eye as quickly as the American flag being carried into a rodeo arena on horseback, horse and rider taking a definite supporting role to the star of the show, the stars and stripes waving in the breeze.

Harkening back to his beginnings as dance band leader, Barrett has recorded "God Bless America -- Again," and included it on his CD, "Back to Country."