Melvin Fields was born to Merle and Edith Fields at their family farm near Wayside, KS in Montgomery County on August 2, 1938. Melvin began riding horses when he was four years old as he worked on the farm. By the time he was nine, he knew rodeo was his passion. At the age of 15 he experimented with bareback and bull riding. His first rodeo was at Altamont, KS where he won the bull riding competition in 1954. In 1956 he won the All-Around at the Kansas High School Rodeo Finals and came in second at the Nationals in Reno, Nevada. Melvin competed in five events during his two-year amateur rodeo career – bull riding, bareback and saddle bronco riding, calf roping and bulldogging. He began his clown career in 1958 working with famous clowns John Lindsey, Bobby and Gene Clark, Jerry Olsen, Kajun Kidd, Junior Meek, Buck LeGrand and Wiley McCray. From 1961 through 1963 Melvin competed only in weekend rodeos while stationed at the Redstone Arsenal at Huntsville, Alabama as he served his country in the U.S. Army. From 1964 until his retirement in 1971 he won numerous riding events and placed 11 times in bull riding at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. After retiring, he became a rodeo judge and coached at Coffeyville Community College from 1982-4. Melvin has raised and trained quarter horses and paint horses, and for several years was manager of country singer Roy Clark’s Horse Farm. For 20 years he has served as a consultant for the mechanical and construction firm Logan And Company and has been a liaison between them and the Coffeyville Resources Refinery. Melvin continues to work with young people in the rodeo field and attends numerous rodeos and rodeo reunions across the country.
Year inducted: 2007