Sal Sage Cowboy Music
Sal Sage: Performing Cowboy Songs for more than 50 yearsSalvadore Fuentes, AKA: "Sal Sage" grew up in San Francisco near the Union Stockyards, and by the age of 15 he began working there. During the day he rode horses and fed cattle and in the evenings he would play for house parties or events at the local roping arena. His guitar went with him every where. In 1950 by the age of 19 he was advertising for H. Moffett Meat Co. (Manteca Fed Beef) The jingle went like this, "Moffett Manteca really guaranteed, put it on your menu the very next time you eat, Moffett Manteca, Moffett-Manteca" He traveled to all the H. Moffett Beef outlets promoting their product singing this jingle. It was they that put him in the Musicians Union in 1950, he remained in it until the late 90's.

Sal came from a musical family. Music was second nature to him. His father and brother played Spanish Guitar, his mother, Harmonica. Two sisters sing and one also plays Guitar. His love for cattle, horses and his music came together. He attended all the western movies he could and learned many of the western songs from them. Sal's idol was Gene Autry. His music even sounded like Gene Autry. He has a soft drawl and can comfortably roll into honing his smooth dulcet style.

He has been strumming his guitar and singing for some 58 years. Alone, and with his band, he has traveled across the country to backyard barbecues, trail rides, rodeos, wineries, county fairs, Christmas parties, livestock auctions and radio/ TV stations. You name it he's played for it. Cowboy memorials and even for the World Croquet Championships. A proud moment was when he played for Bechtel Corporation out of Arizona. He played for Steve Bechtel's retirement dinner in San Francisco. A one hour gig especially for Steve. He will be playing for Pfizer Animal Health again this year at the Sparks Nugget. In his memory book he has letters received from noted personalities like Leroy VAnDyke, Monty Montana, and others not so famous complementing him on his performances.

His first band was called "Sal Sage and the Happy Rangers" a five piece band, then "Sal Sage and the Sonoma Mountain Boys," also a five piece band, and onto, "Sal Sage and the Sage Gang," a four piece band. Forty-five years and his bands played for dances in and around the Bay area, from the Columbo Hall on San Pedro Rd. in Colma, CA., to Herzog Hall in Petaluma, Veterans' Memorial Building in Sonoma, Penngrove's Woman's Club House, Elk's Hall in San Francisco and in Hay Barns and Halls that have long since been torn down. He has entertained at the Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale for 26 years and is still there as of 2004, awaiting the 2005 contract. He and the band was at the San Francisco Cow Palace- Grand National Livestock Exposition for 19 years, Gravenstein Apple Fair in Sebastopol for 9 years, Cattlemen's Association for 12 years, the Alturass, Sonoma, Paso Robles, and Petaluma Fairs.


Bay area columnist and peopleologist Bill Soberanas reported Sal Sage as the last of the great singing cowboy entertainers. He plays an Aria guitar with a cattle skull and crossed six-shooters inlaid in the mother-of pearl on it's neck. His music will bring tears to your eyes or it will have you bounding across the floor. He and his band played a variety of music from "The Cattle Call" to "Tenessee Saturday Night", "Oklahoma Hills", "Rolie Polie", "Oaky Boogie", "Luisiana Swing", ect. Sal's list of songs can go for four hours. Instead of pulling his melodies from Garth, Clint or Allen, he chooses Curley Flercher, Gene Autry, Hank Williams Sr., Bob Wills, Ernest Tubbs, Eddie Arnold, Hank Snow, Hank Thompson, Charlie Pride, and many other old names. Songs you don't hear on the radio anymore. He's also recorded three albums called, "Songs of the Old West", Volumes I, II, and III. Some of the songs are from the original singing cowboys. Others such as, "Just the little Town of Penngrove," was penned by him while sitting at a railroad track with a truck load of cattle waiting for a train to clear the crossing. "Penngrove" is about the little town in Sonoma CA. where he lived for some 35 years after moving there from San Francisco. While there, Sal worked a day job and played music at night. He said that, "Some times his socks were still warm from the night before of playing music when he was getting up to go to his day job" He has been an auctioneer, meat cutter, butcher, truck driver, and cattle buyer.


When on a trip buying cattle for Sunshine Meat Co. some 30 years ago, he met his wife Georgia. she was working at a livestock auction yard. His band played for the auction yard Christmas party.

Since moving to Lincoln, he has retired to what he loves; a small ranch with cattle and horses to feed and care for. His love for Western Music has not left him. He was the founder of a non-profit music club. His desire to keep alive the traditional western music of the earlier era is still very strong. He gets no money from the organization. Sal and other old timers work hard to keep this beloved music from the early years alive. Their goal is to promote traditional western and country music to the younger generations. There is a lot of country rock music around, but not much of the traditional western and country music. He is a member of the Western Swing Society in Sacramento, the Western Music Association, Old Time Fiddlers, and is the founder of Lincoln Western Music Roundup.

 
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