06.24.16

Daines Honors Montanan of the Week: Louis Armentaro of Livingston

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today recognized U.S. Army veteran Louis Armentaro who will log his 68th continuous year announcing the Livingston Roundup Parade this July 4th weekend.

Louis 
Armentaro

Daines’ recognition in the Congressional Record is available here.

Through his “Montanan of the Week” initiative, Daines each week will highlight a Montanan by submitting a statement of recognition in the official Congressional Record, the document that reflects the official proceedings of Congress.

Daines welcomes anyone to nominate fellow Montanans for Daines’ “Montanan of the Week” program by calling Daines’ office at 202-224-2651 or by filling out the contact form on Daines’ website: http://www.daines.senate.gov/connect/email-steve

The following is the statement submitted to the Congressional Record:

             MONTANAN OF THE WEEK

     MR. DAINES. Mr. President, going to the rodeo is a long time Montana tradition. Montanans sport their best boots, Stenson hats and shine up their belt buckles to connect with the rugged and untamable spirit that is the American cowboy. Livingston, Montana is home to one of the longest standing rodeos in the state and home to the world record holding rodeo announcer, Louis Armentaro.

     Over the Fourth of July weekend, I will have the privilege to honor Louis and watch him announce his 68th Livingston Roundup Rodeo. Louis started this tradition back in 1949, when he returned to Montana after serving in WWII. During his time in the Special Services in Japan, Louis delighted in running audio for his fellow soldiers at the GI theatre, ball games and parades. His passion for western swing and its ability to transport people inspired him to start Sound Over the West audio and announcing when he returned home. 

     As a child, Louis grew up with a passion for authentic country music. Not only is he one of the greatest curators of this style in Montana, he is also one of the most revered pedal steel guitar players in the country music community. In the early 1950’s Louis, his brother Frank Armentaro and their friend Oscar Bergsing started the Rhythm Ramblers--one of the longest living bands in Montana. For decades they created a soundtrack for countless swing dancers across the state. While performances from the group are extremely rare today, Louis continues to play his steel guitar every morning. At 91 years old, he is one of the most experience steel guitar players alive.    

     Louis, with the support of his devoted wife Donna, has become a pillar in the Livingston community. Not only have the couple raised and fostered an estimated 30 children, they are an indispensable part of the Livingston Roundup Rodeo. For many cowboys and cowgirls this event is known as Cowboy Christmas; Louis Armentaro is their Santa Claus. He is the dependable voice and orchestrator and is the most recognizable attraction in the rodeo parade. During the parade and the rodeo Louis blares his curated collection of western swing music. For the last six decades he has introduced people of all ages to sounds of American country and the history these songs can teach.

       I am proud to honor this unique man for his service to his community and our country.

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