A Kansas native and K-State alumnus will bring Grand Ole Opry-style music to an annual bullring event.
Country music singer Rusty Pierson will headline the Flint Hills Bull Blowout Sept. 9 at the Flint Hills Rodeo Arena in Strong City.
The bull riding competition begins at 7 p.m.
“Rusty will be featured at intermission between the long go round and final short go rounds of bull riding competition,” said Reyer, who with his family coordinated this eighth annual event.
Rierson grew up on a Flint Hills ranch at nearby Leon in Butler County. After completing a master’s degree in animal science from Kansas State University, the cowboy followed his lifelong dream to be a country music entertainer.
His career began when Rierson was 14 years old singing at Sunday church gatherings. “Singing soon became my passion,” he contended.
“I learned to play the guitar from my dad Roger, who suggested we both improve by taking lessons together.”
It paid off when in 2005, Rierson won the statewide “Young Farmers & Ranchers Talent Find Contest. Hosted by the Kansas Farm Bureau, Rierson performed at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson where he is annually invited back to entertain.
That was the beginning. In 2007, Rierson won the state “Colgate Country Showdown” and placed in the top 15 nationally. He signed with his first record label four years later.
Entertaining all over the country including Alaska, Rierson has also toured in Canada, Mexico, Central America, Scotland and London.
Often traveling with the “Better Horses Radio Show,” Rierson has played rodeos, barrel races, and horse events throughout the country, including at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in 2009.
He’s opened shows for and shared the stage with Sawyer Brown, John Berry, Doug Stone, Michael Martin Murphy, Dustin Lynch, T. G. Sheppard, David Frizzell, R.W. Hampton, Johnny Lee, Bill Gentry, Leroy Van Dyke, Helen Cornelius, Billy Dean, Johnny Western, Collin Raye, Suzy Bogguss, Logan Mize, Jimmy Fortune, Craig Campbell, Joe Diffie, Don Williams and others.
“At my shows, I always sing and play tribute to George Strait, Don Williams, and my other heroes, as well performing my own music,” Rierson said.
“I hope people feel like my music is a breath of fresh air,” he added. There are more than 100,000 copies of his eight albums.
In 2012, Rierson released his single “Souvenirs,” a project recorded in Nashville with producer Richie Owens, who has produced albums for Dolly Parton and Vince Gill.
That song was briefly on the Music Row Breakout Chart and went No. 1 four straight weeks on Europe’s Country Music Chart.
Other singles that have charted are “Hey Hey Hello” and “Something ’Bout You.”
Additionally, Rierson has released multiple Christmas singles to including his first duet release with Kaylee Keller of Garden City.
Rierson made it to Round 3 in the last season of “American Idol.”
His “Rusty Radio Show” airs on several Kansas stations as well as the online Better Horses Network.
“It’s a somewhat humorous music show that is usually very lighthearted and features a lot of classic country music as well as some of my favorite modern artists,” Rierson said.
With top bull riders to be entered from throughout the Midwest, the eighth-annual Flint Hills Bull Blowout is presented by Reyer’s Country Store and Flint Hills Genetics.
Evening activities kick off with a community barbecue at 6 p.m. and a mutton busting contest, for youth 6 and under, is at 6:30. A chicken scramble has also been planned.