Don at Bower Cave, CA

Don and Bodie Wagner at
Black Bart's Rock, Nevada City, CA


Photo by Harry Benson


A Hillside of California Poppies

Don Burnham (aka “Ranger Don”)
Vocalist & Guitarist

Don Burnham performs songs and music rooted in the natural and human history of California and the American West. His song bag, brimming with tunes and stories collected over four decades, and his warm and engaging style, combine to provide an informative, memorable and provocative, as well as entertaining, musical experience with wide audience appeal.

Expect to hear (and sing!) familiar as well as new songs and tales of the pioneers, explorers, Native Americans, cowboys, sailors, soldiers, farmers, loggers, ranchers, immigrants, miners, fishermen, bandits, outlaws, heroes and other characters who peopled California and the Old West.

Don’s Songs and Tales of California and the West programs feature stories of the mountains, coast and wilderness, the early towns and settlers—songs portraying the changes history has wrought on the people and landscapes of the West—those who look to the future preservation and protection of the land and the Earth.

Veteran singer/guitarist, songwriter, bandleader and former seasonal park ranger, Don Burnham has performed from campfire circles to concert stages for more than forty years. Don was inducted into the Western Swing Hall of Fame in 2005. His keen grasp of the natural and cultural history and the folklore of the West, coupled with performing skills honed over decades as a professional musician and entertainer, have made him a leading exponent and advocate of music as an interpretative tool in the National and State Park systems.

Don has worked with:
National Park Service, US Forest Service
Delaware North Corporation Inc., Yosemite National Park
Yosemite Conservancy (Yosemite Fund/Yosemite Assn)
California Dept of Parks and Recreation
Badger Pass, Sugarbowl Ski Resort
Ahwahnee Hotel/Tenaya Lodge/Wawona Hotel