Books, Print Media, Newsletters
Several folks have asked about books and print media related to cowboy films and cliffhangers. I'm not peddling books and periodicals, but the following info and weblinks may help you locate some interesting readin' and reference material.
|Purchase & Search for New, Used, Rare, Out-of-Print books. Click below:
eBay Auction website - books (http://books.shop.ebay.com/)
AddAll Book Search Search (http://www.addall.com/)
MX Bookfinder Search (http://www.mxbookfinder.com)
Barnes and Noble (http://www.barnesandnoble.com)
Book Stacks / books.com (http://www.books.com)
Advanced Book Exchange (New, & Used) (http://www.abebooks.com/)
Powell's Books (New & Used) (http://www.powells.com)
Edward R. Hamilton Bargain Books (http://www.hamiltonbook.com)
Oldies.com has a lot of film-related books (http://www.oldies.com/format-view/books.html)
The official websites for Gene Autry, John Wayne and Hopalong Cassidy have books. Click below:
Autry National Center of the American West (http://shop.theautry.org/browse.cfm/books/2,2.html)
Hopalong Cassidy/Sagebrush Entertainment website (http://www.hopalong.com/products.asp?Group=BOOKS#Title)
John Wayne website (http://www.shopjohnwayne.com/)
John Wayne Birthplace Museum website (http://johnwaynebirthplace.museum/shop.html)
The following publishers have a lot of cinema, TV and radio related books. Click below:
McFarland Books (http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/)
Scarecrow Press (http://www.scarecrowpress.com/)
University of Oklahoma Press (http://www.oupress.com/)
BearManor Media (http://www.bearmanormedia.com/)
|Bobby Copeland and Bill Russell have collaborated on BOB BAKER, A "Real" Singing Cowboy. Baker, whose real name was Stanley Leland Weed, had a brief fling as Universal's response to the singing cowboy craze. After a dozen starring adventures, he wound up playing second string to Universal's new range hero, Johnny Mack Brown. After that, Baker did a few minor bits and stunting and then exited Hollywood.
This 8 1/2 X 11 softcover has 131 pages and includes many photos, posters and lobby cards. There's interviews with Baker, detailed reviews of his films, and comments from people he worked with. Two of his leading ladies are profiled: Marjorie Reynolds, who was with Bing Crosby in HOLIDAY INN and later, she played "Babs", the wife of William Bendix in THE LIFE OF RILEY TV show; and Marjorie Bell, better known as Marge Champion of the Marge and Gower Champion dance team in MGM musicals.
There's lots of commentary about why Baker never clicked as a western movie hero. Bill, Bobby and other contributors write extensively about that particular issue and question. You'll learn about the ups and downs with Universal's B western series and experiments with singing cowboys ... Baker did not have prior acting experience ... in inteviews, he claimed Universal mishandled him and his series ... there are criticisms about the action (lack of action) in his adventures ... what would have happened if Bob had signed with Republic instead of Dick Weston/Roy Rogers ... etc. I especially enjoyed this portion of the book which refreshed my memories of the chaos and confusion that was occurring with the movie cowboys in the mid to late 1930s.
Price for this well done biography is $23.95 postpaid in the U.S. If you'd like more info on content or want to order, contact Bobby at: email@example.com
Bobby J. Copeland - OC
Oak Ridge, TN 37830-7114
|I was about six or seven years old (1949-1950) when I saw my first B western ... and that hooked me on the genre. There was a Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movie paired up with SONG OF OLD WYOMING (PRC, 1945) which starred new singin' cowboy Eddie Dean, Al La Rue (before his days as "Lash"), and one of my favorite sidekicks, whiskered old-timer Emmett Lynn.
Texan Eddie Dean spent his early years performing on the road, on radio, and doing records for various companies. His first movie appearances were minor, uncredited roles in 1938-1939 Gene Autry and Hopalong Cassidy adventures. He finally got his chance as a western hero in 1945 for producer, director and jack-of-all-trades Robert Emmett Tansey at lowly Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC). From 1945-1948, Eddie starred in 18 oaters (19 if you count PRAIRIE OUTLAWS, the re-edited B&W version of WILD WEST). Five were shot in Cinecolor, and Dean was the first B western star to have a series shot in color.
Author Stephen Fratallone has done a marvelous job on Eddie Dean: The Golden Cowboy. Included are lots of details on the family and early days of Eddie (and brother Jimmie) ... there's many family photos ... tidbits gleaned from various audio interviews with Eddie and others ... and family remembrances, much of which came from Eddie's son Ed Jr. He also did a lot of radio, and you'll learn more about his time on the WLS "National Barn Dance", Gene Autry's "Melody Ranch", the "Judy Canova Show", more. There's also tie-ins to Dean's many pals and business associates including Autry, Glenn Strange, Max Terhune, Andy Parker (of the Plainsmen singing group), Johnny Bond, Smiley Burnette, the Sunshine Boys, Les Paul and Mary Ford, music composter Fred Rose, celebrity manager Art Rush, more. Eddie is considered by myself (and many others) as having the most beautiful voice of all the singin' cowboys. This is a great - and long overdue - tribute.
Published by BearManor Media, this 6 X 9 softcover has 464 pages, several hundred photos and movie art work, record/album discography, film listing, info on his brother Jimmie, more.
Available directly from BearManor Media and priced at about $33.00: http://www.bearmanormedia.com/eddie-dean-the-golden-cowboy-by-stephen-fratallone
Amazon has the book for about $29.50: http://www.amazon.com/Eddie-Dean-Golden-Stephen-Fratallone/dp/1593937806/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1426460910&sr=1-1&keywords=eddie+dean
|Two new books by Bobby J. Copeland are now available.|
Rex Allen, The Last Republic Hero and Monte Hale, Featuring Adrian Booth are extensive biographies of a couple of singin' cowboys at Republic Pictures who hit the screen at the tail end of the B western era.
These softcovers measure about 8 1/4 X 10 3/4, have 120 pages, and contain loads of photos and B&W images of posters and lobby cards. Both contain a biography, filmography with detailed plot descriptions, info on their comic book series, and comments from people with whom they worked.
A real westerner, Rex Allen was well liked by all. In addition to his Republic oaters, Rex did records, the FRONTIER DOCTOR TV series, and his rich, deep voice enhanced many TV commercials. And there was his lengthy association with Walt Disney in which he narrated various nature programs, et al. Also covered are Rex's two primary sidekicks, Buddy Ebsen and Slim Pickens.
The bio on big, tall, Oklahoma born Monte Hale has his family background (which I am still investigating) and that includes his brother Bill Hale, who did henchman and bit roles in films and TV. There's coverage on Monte's relationship with stripper Lili St. Cyr and his marriage and divorce from Cherie DeCastro, one of the singing DeCastro sisters. There's a brief bio on Monte's primary sidekick, grumpy ol' Paul Hurst, and a multi-page profile on Lorna Gray/Adrian Booth who was the heroine/leading lady in seven of Monte's films. While I enjoy Monte's Republic westerns, I think that his primary impact to western fans is his involvement (with wife Joanne) in the formation of the Gene Autry Museum (now the Autry National Center of the American West).
Overall - nice tributes to two B western heroes.
Price for either book is $23.95 postpaid in the U.S. Or order both for 42.95 (includes U.S. postage). If you'd like more info on book content or want to order, contact Bobby at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bobby J. Copeland - OC
Oak Ridge, TN 37830-7114
|The Texas Rangers: Two Decades on Radio, Film, Television, and Stage by Ryan Ellett and Kevin Coffey chronicles the life of the Texas Rangers western singing group which was together from the early 1930s through the early 1950s.|
Their initial home was Kansas City’s KMBC radio station. The quartet did westerns with Gene Autry and Johnny Mack Brown as well as a few other features with Judy Canova and the Hoosier Hot Shots. They were also the first group that Autry used in the initial season of his Melody Ranch radio show. Occasionally, they expanded with four additional members (on musical instruments), and you can see that eight member contingent in Autry's COLORADO SUNSET (Republic, 1939).
This book is an interesting perspective on the Rangers and the individual members - as they did westerns, radio shows, personal appearances, early television, et al. And its full of insights documenting their ups and downs, peak entertainment years during the Depression and World War II period, and their fade in the post WW2 years.
A good read, the paperback edition measures about 9 x 6 and has 345 pages. There's a filmography, recording sessions, radio program details, more. Most recall the Sons of the Pioneers as the main (or only) singing group in the old B western. We tend to forget that there were many other talented songsters in those ol' cowboy films. Glad the Texas Rangers are getting credit for their many years of work.
Published by BearManor Media and priced at about $26.00: http://www.bearmanormedia.com/index.php?route=product/product&filter_name=coffey&product_id=777
Paperback, hardbound and Kindle versions are available at Amazon and range in price from about $10.00-$29.00: http://www.amazon.com/Texas-Rangers-Decades-Television-Hardback/dp/1593935900/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410617737&sr=1-2&keywords=kevin+coffey
|I Am Mister Ed ... Allan "Rocky" Lane Revealed by Linda Alexander is available from BearManor Media.|
While there's a lot of info floating around on the early and later Hollywood careers of Harry Leonard Albershart (Allan Lane), there were many mysteries about semi-pro football, stage plays, New York photography business, several marriages ... and life after his film career ended. Linda Alexander has done a bang-up research job and her book has a treasure trove of new and corrected info on Lane before and after he was a cowboy and cliffhanger hero at Republic Pictures.
After the exit of her first husband, Lane's mother Anne married Will Costello. Linda connected with the Costello family who fondly recalled "Uncle Harry" and provided lots of new insight and many photos. Must reading for Lane fans, this softcover is about 6 X 9, has a tad over 300 pages, and the price is about $27.00 from BearManor Media: http://www.bearmanormedia.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=775
Amazon has the paperback and Kindle editions priced at $10.00-$22.00: http://www.amazon.com/Mister-Allan-Rocky-Lane-Revealed/dp/1593935730/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411043793&sr=1-1&keywords=I+Am+Mister+Ed+...+Allan+%22Rocky%22+Lane+Revealed
|Two new books by Bobby J. Copeland are now available.|
Ray 'Crash' Corrigan Also Featuring Max Terhune is an extensive biography on 'Crash' Corrigan and Max Terhune of Republic's Three Mesquiteers and Monogram's Range Busters. The other is about the scores of heroines/leading ladies who worked with Johnny Mack Brown.
Both are 8 3/4 by 10 3/4 softcovers. Both contain loads of images (photos as well as lobby cards and posters).
The 118 page Corrigan book has a biography, filmography, and comments from people with whom he worked (and folks seemed to either like him or hate him). There's a lot of info on Ray's life including his purchase of property that became Corriganville, a turbulent marriage and divorce followed by custody of the children, more. An added attraction with the Corrigan book is secondary coverage of Ray's buddy Max Terhune (and his alter ego Elmer).
The 114 page Johnny Mack Brown's Saddle Gals has small and large biographies on about eighty actresses that did one or more films with JMB. Ladies that get the most coverage are the ones that most of us recognize - Joan Crawford (yes - that Joan Crawford), Jennifer Holt, Phyllis Coates, Beth Marion, Christine McIntyre (Three Stooges lady), Gail Davis, Evelyn Finley, Nell O'Day, Louise Stanley, Anne Gwynne, lots more.
Price for either book is $23.95 postpaid in the U.S. Or order both for 41.95 (includes U.S. postage). If you'd like more info on book content or want to order, contact Bobby at: email@example.com
Bobby J. Copeland - OC
Oak Ridge, TN 37830-7114
|If you're are a fan of the B western, you probably also listened to several - or many - of the western themed radio programs. Radio Rides the Range - A Reference Guide to Western Drama on the Air, 1929-1967 was edited by Jack French and David S. Siegel and is another great book from McFarland. About twenty Old Time Radio historians cover about a hundred programs, including some that may bring back fond memories - you'll learn about radio's Lone Ranger, Tom Mix, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autry's Melody Ranch, the Roy Rogers Show, Straight Arrow, Ken Maynard's Tales from the Diamond K, Buck Jones' Hoofbeats, Red Ryder, Sky King, All Star Western Theater, Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, The Six Shooter, lots more. There's information on surviving audio copies, availability of original scripts, a year-by-year timeline of shows, and a two-page listing of obscure westerns where little if any info is available.|
This 7 x 10 inch paperback has 232 pages and is about $50.00. A Kindle digital version is also available for about $16.50.
There's more on the book at McFarland (and you can order from them): http://mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-7146-1
Amazon also has it: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/185-2343179-1358342?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=%22radio%20rides%20the%20range%22
Google has some preview pages online: http://books.google.com/books?id=VfLaAQAAQBAJ&pg=PR7&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=2#v=onepage&q&f=false
|B-Western Movie Reviews - Volume 1 from Boyd Magers was published in May, 2013. It is a limited printing run and you can order for about $31.00 postpaid in the U.S. This first of three books has about 840 in-depth B-western movie reviews for over 40 stars and their films.|
Volume 2 with over 700 reviews is also available. Volume 3 is scheduled for a mid January, 2015 release.
The three volume set will have over 2200 reviews.
For more on book content or to order, visit Boyd's Western Clippings website: http://www.westernclippings.com
|During the 15+ years that this here Old Corral website has been online, the B western heroes that have generated the most questions and the most e-mails are Lash LaRue, Sunset Carson ... and Allan 'Rocky' Lane. Lane fans should be happy as prolific author Bobby J. Copeland has written Allan "Rocky" Lane - The Mystery Cowboy.|
Lane is also one of Bobby's favorites and his book reflects that admiration. There's much on Lane's early (mystery) life period; a complete film listing with descriptions; TV and later movie appearances including his MR. ED days; and loads of images. Lane wasn't loved by the folks he worked with - and there's pages and pages of Lane comments from many people ... and a few positive comments too.
This 8 1/4 x 10 3/4 softcover has 142 pages and several hundred images. You can order the book directly from Bobby and the cost is $23.95 postpaid in the US:
Bobby Copeland - OC
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
If you need more info or shipping costs outside of the U.S., shoot an e-mail to Bobby at: firstname.lastname@example.org