An ingredient which was prevalent in the B western was the presence of a helper - or several helpers - to the hero.
That person was often a bumbling comic like Smiley Burnette, Fuzzy St. John, Dub 'Cannonball' Taylor, Roscoe Ates, or the whiskered Emmett 'Pappy' Lynn ... or a more serious, gun-totin' assistant like Raymond Hatton, Dennis Moore, Jimmy Ellison or Russell Hayden. Max Terhune enhanced the Three Mesquiteers, Range Busters, and Johnny Mack Brown westerns with his card tricks and escapades with his dummy Elmer. Andy Clyde rode the trail in many of the Hopalong Cassidy and Whip Wilson westerns. There were even some 'singing sidekicks' such as Ray Whitley, Bob Nolan and Johnny Bond. And, of course, there was everyone's favorite, whiskered George Hayes.
Juvenile helpers were also common, and the first that comes to mind is Bobby Blake as Little Beaver in the Red Ryder films.
As to the term "sidekick", it was used infrequently in the ol' B western. While watching SHADOW VALLEY (PRC, 1947), singing cowboy Eddie Dean compliments his pal Roscoe 'Soapy' Ates when he says: "Even though you're a tenth rate shot, you're a first-rate sidekick!"
You'll find expanded coverage on about a half-dozen of the performers listed below. On the others, there's an image or two along with a brief profile/biography. I'll add more information and photos as time permits.
I hope this section on the Old Corral brings back some great silver screen memories.
Al 'Fuzzy' St. John
Richard 'Chito' Martin
George 'Gabby' Hayes
Saddle Pals, Sidekicks, Second Leads
The Kids ... the Juvenile Helpers
There are several external websites which include info on actors, actresses and kid stars that appeared in westerns and other films:
Character Actors (mostly 1950s and later): http://www.460xvr.com/tg/not.htm