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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 (
AllBookstores (
AddAll Book Search Search (
MX Bookfinder Search (
Borders (
Amazon (
Barnes and Noble (
Book Stacks / (
Advanced Book Exchange (New, & Used) (
Powell's Books (New & Used) (
Edward R. Hamilton Bargain Books ( has a lot of film-related books (
The official websites for Gene Autry, John Wayne and Hopalong Cassidy have books. Click below:
Autry National Center of the American West (
Hopalong Cassidy/Sagebrush Entertainment website (
John Wayne website (
John Wayne Birthplace Museum website (
The following publishers have a lot of cinema, TV and radio related books.  Click below:
McFarland Books (
Scarecrow Press (
University of Oklahoma Press (
BearManor Media (

John H. Conley, Jr. is a kid from Indiana who wound up in Arizona, and he loves the cowboy and the west. His The Heart of a Cowboy is a fun mix of the old and new and the real and reel west.

The 6 x 9 softcover book is a very pleasant read because of John's writing style ... and there are scores of chapters/sections, each with a handful of pages highlighting a particular cowboy hero, TV show, stunt person, movie horses, etc. There are also profiles on current western tunesmiths and groups, western book authors, western painters, more.

You can order from amazon:

Amazon also has some book excerpts online for you to peruse. In the left side menu, you can also click to view the extensive table of contents:

Fall Girl: My Life as a Western Stunt Double is a great book by stunt woman Martha Crawford Cantarini and Chrystopher J. Spicer. Martha writes about horses, stuntwork, and doubling for stars including Eleanor Parker and Jean Simmons. The book also includes Martha's insights on Clark Gable, Audie Murphy, Robert Taylor, stuntman Joe Yrigoyen, others. This softcover has about 235 pages and was published in 2010 by McFarland & Company.

You'll find more about Martha and her days in Hollywoodland in the Stunt Men and Women section on the Old Corral.

You can order from Amazon and the following webpage includes some very positive reviews by book buyers: had the book, so check websites for prices.

An Illustrated History of Trigger - The Lives and Legend of Roy Rogers' Palomino by Leo Pando - with a foreword by Corky Randall - was updated in 2011 by the author and is from McFarland & Company.

Trigger was a composite of the original horse, a number of look-alikes and one extraordinary double (rarely acknowledged by Rogers) named Little Trigger. The book covers the life story of the original horse and the look-alikes, as well as the story of Trigger the legend. Includes photographs, tables, notes, filmography, bibliography, index. Illustrations include many rare (some previously unpublished) photographs gathered from Trigger collectors nationwide. This 7 x 10 softcover is about $30.00.

More info at the McFarland website:

Also available for about $35.00 from amazon and the Autry Center.

There's a great book on movie horses - Hollywood Hoofbeats: Trails Blazed Across the Silver Screen by Petrine Day Mitchum with Audrey Pavia. Petrine Day Mitchum is Robert Mitchum's daughter. This is a top knotch hard cover with 216 pages, lots of B&W and color photos, and the book measures about 10 1/2 high x 11 1/2 wide. Printed on high quality stock, this book is superb ... and heavy.

Silent and B-western cowboys are covered, but not in super detail. But this is not a book about B-western heroes and their hosses - it's a history of the movie horse from the early days to today. So you have info and photos on Tom Mix, John Wayne, Hoppy and Topper, Gene and Champ, Roy and Trigger ... there's info on trainers and rental stables such as Fat Jones, Ace Hudkins, Glenn Randall ... lots of info on horses in A grade films such as NATIONAL VELVET, MY FRIEND FLICKA, BEN HUR, LORD OF THE RINGS ... there's TV western horses ... lots more. And there's also great writeups on stunts as well as the device called the "Running W" (which was used to trip the horses). Well covered is the outcry against the equine deaths in film stunts, and more on the treatment of movie horses over the years. has used and new copies of the book and you can preview some pages:

As I was doing the writeup on Handlebar Hank Bell, I was reminded of a great book that I bought a long time ago. It is Diana Serra Cary's The Hollywood Posse: The Story of a Gallant Band of Horsemen Who Made Movie History (Houghton Mifflin Company Boston, 1975). Diana is "Baby Peggy" Montgomery and she starred in over a hundred comedy shorts in the 1920s. Her father was Jack Montgomery, a real life cowboy who came to Hollywood and became one of the silent and sound B-western performers and stuntmen.

The book is a good read for those who want to learn more about early film making, and in particular, the story of real cowhands that exited the ranches to work in motion pictures for $5.00 a day and a box lunch ... because the work was steady and easier than punchin' cattle and repairing fences. Montgomery's friends included Hank Bell, Charles 'Slim' Whitaker, Bill Gillis, and many others. The cover on the right is from my 1975 hard cover edition.

A trade paperback was issued by the University of Oklahoma Press in 1996 and is available from Amazon for about $25.00:

Link to the book at the University of Oklahoma Press:

If you check the used book outfits above, you can find both the original hardcover and the newer softcover for $5.00 - $15.00.

The Old Cowboy Picture Show Revised by Leo Pando and George Coan is a 232 page, 6 x 9 softcover. The book is a salute to George Coan (1942 - 2009) and the 70 or so issues of his The Old Cowboy Picture Show (TOCPS) newsletter which he published from 1998 - 2009. Leo Pando did much of the production duties on TOCPS.

Inside are dozens of great essays on well known and obscure cowboy heroes, a background history of the silver screen and TV western, info on the famous movie horses, lots more. Authors of the articles include Pando, Robert W. 'Rawhide Bob' Phillips, Buck Rainey, Bobby Copeland, Tim Lasiuta, Terry Canote, others.

Leo Pando authored a new piece which is the concluding chapter - titled "Golden Clouds and Silver Linings", this covers events from the time of Roy Rogers' death in 1998 through the opening and closing of the Roy and Dale museum in Branson, Missouri and the 2010 auction of its collection which included Trigger.

December, 2016 update: checked with George's son Jack and he has a few copies of the book left for sale - price is $12.99 plus $4.00 postage in the U.S.:

Jack Coan
12520 Briarwood Drive
Laurinburg, North Carolina 28352

The Films of Whip Wilson by David L. Godwin is a great read about a western movie hero who came along during the end of the B-western era.

This softcover is about 8 1/2 x 11 inches, has 260 pages, and includes a very detailed biography and filmography as well as personal appearance details, his comic books, Monogram contract info, tradepaper reviews, comments from people who worked with Wilson, info on trusty white hoss Bullet, and lots more. And there's many photos and movie adwork from Whip's films as well as photos and insights from the Wilson family. The book also provides a good perspective and "history lesson" on what it was like working for Monogram and being under a contract. The tidbits and nitty gritty in this well researched volume reminded me of Merrill McCord's excellent bio on the Randall Brothers.

November, 2016 update: e-mail David at: and see if he still has copies available. His mail address is: David L. Godwin, 7056 NC 50 South, Benson, North Carolina 27504.

William Boyd and Hopalong Cassidy fans can rejoice as there are now two new books available.

Hopalong Cassidy: On the Page, On the Screen covers each of Clarence Mulford's books and each of the Cassidy films and TV shows. A comprehensive index enables readers interested in almost anything linked to the books or films - including eventual stars like Robert Mitchum, George Reeves, Jan Clayton and Barbara Britton - to find the relevant material instantly. Authored by Francis M. Nevins, this 500+ page book is $40.00 (+$5.00 shipping) and can be ordered via the Museum of Lone Pine Film History. When you get to their website, click on "Shop" and then on "Books" and scroll for the Hoppy book:

Another good Hoppy read is Hopalong Cassidy - An American Legend by Michael Cochran and Grace Bradley Boyd. Published by Russ Cochran but when I checked in September, 2014, it looks like he is no longer is selling copies at his website:

However, Russ Cochran's book section at Amazon has the book for about $50.00:

Gene Autry Westerns - America's Favorite Cowboy by Boyd Magers was published Summer, 2007 and is a detailed look at all of the Autry films and TV shows and includes plot synopsis, negative costs, info on cast members, tunes, stunt folks, etc.

The official Gene Autry website notes that the book is out of print / sold out:

Amazon has new and used copies:

Public Cowboy No. 1 - The Life and Times of Gene Autry by Holly George-Warren is the ultimate biography on Gene. The softcover version is about $18.00 and the hardcover is about $28.00.

The official Gene Autry website has book details:

and the book ordering info is at:

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