Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Few Cowboys - and One Cowgirl

In my collection are photos I received from some actors who are primarily remembered for their roles in westerns, especially the low-budget 'B' westerns. Most of these actors starred in their own features, and some even extended their talent to leads and support in non-Westerns.

During the 1970s and into the late 1980s, I sent photos to all of these people, and they were all very quick in returning them. Some even included an additional photo.

Here you can see Bob Livingston, Eddie Dean, Fred Scott (one of the first singing cowboys), Harry Carey, Jr., Jock Mahoney (who also wrote this note apologizing for the delay), Lash LaRue, Rex Allen, Rory Calhoun, Sunset Carson (he also included this group photo of other western actors), Tim McCoy (who also included this vintage magazine article), and Yakima Canutt, a stuntman in westerns and other movies from the days of the silents - he included this scene still picturing him falling off a horse).

While many movie fans may not have heard of most of the names above, everybody will know the name Roy Rogers. Mr. Rogers was a singing cowboy, having formed the country-western singing group 'Sons of the Pioneers'. He starred in dozens of B-westerns in the 1940s, and in the 1950s starred in his own tv series, "The Roy Rogers Show".

Dale Evans is the 'cowgirl' cited in the heading of this post. Ms. Evans was the third wife of Roy Rogers and co-starred with him in his later movies as well as the tv show.

Mr. and Mrs. Rogers were very accessible to their fans, and loved hearing from them. In 1981 I sent a photo to their residence in Victorville, California, and in a couple of weeks, they returned it, signed by both.

Here's a YouTube video of the ending credits for their tv show, which featured Roy and Dale singing their well-known song, "Happy Trails".

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