The man who is a legend in Livingston and was recognized this summer by Senator Steve Daines as one of his Montanans of the Week has a talent many people might not know about.
Louis Armentaro, the Guinness Record Holder Rodeo Announcer, is a colorful character and is quick to share the secret of his success.
“I was a twin. My twin died when I was a sophomore in high school,” Armentaro said. “That was the end of my world as far as I was concerned. And then I got drafted when I was 19 and I wanted to go to the war, I wanted to go do my part – And they said you got to be doing something, and I said yes I’m praying to the only one I really have faith in and they asked me who that was. And do you know who that was? My twin brother. To this day I believe that was the only purpose of why he died.”
After Louis came home, he held multiple jobs, and one that he is most famous for is announcing for the Livingston Roundup Parade for 68 years now. He was awarded for the longest career as a rodeo parade announcer by the Guinness Book of World Records. Now he has another record to break.
“When I talked to Guinness Records on this, they said we have a category of guys that just play a six-string rhythm guitar,” he said. “They said they have that but said we don’t have a category for steel guitar players. And I said well if you’re such a big company, why don’t you just start it like you do everything else? But in the steel guitar association, though, they recognized me as the oldest active pedal steel guitar player in the world.
And at 92 years old, he plays the pedal steel guitar effortlessly, especially since he mostly taught himself. He also likes to have a little fun with it.
“I can do a lot of effects, and I can make animal noises,” Armentaro said.
Louis has four generations of his family with him in Livingston. And for anyone who thinks it’s too late to follow their dreams. Louis has this to say.
“All I can say is that you do it or you’re just plain lazy because it can be done.”