(Courtesy of Belinda Kirkhuff)
Above is a late 1930s publicity still of the Maple City Four members that worked at Republic Pictures. It's autographed to prolific B-western supporting player Jack 'Pappy' Kirk. From left to right are Allan Richards 'Al' Rice, Art Janes (not James), Frederic William 'Fritz' Meissner and LeRoy Granville 'Pat' Petterson.
The Maple City Four took their 'Maple City' name from LaPorte, Indiana, and they formed up in the mid 1920s and continued performing into the mid 1950s. They did comedy and their serious singing style was of the Barbershop variety. They were a fixture on the WLS (Chicago) Barn Dance radio program. Original members were Al Rice, Art Janes (not James), Fritz Meissner and Pat Petterson. Over the years, the membership changed, and my copy of the 1944 WLS Family Album magazine shows Meissner and Petterson with 'Skip' Farrell and Pete Taflinger. In the late 1930s, the Maple City Four were at Republic Pictures doing their musical hijinks for Gene Autry in GIT ALONG LITTLE DOGIES (Republic, 1937) and THE OLD BARN DANCE (Republic, 1938), and in Roy Rogers' first starring picture, UNDER WESTERN STARS (Republic, 1938).
Rich Samuel's Broadcasting in Chicago website has several webpages with info on the WLS 'Prairie Farmer' station, the Barn Dance program, and the Maple City Four:
Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information ont he Maple City Four: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1283018/
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above is a image of Curt Barrett and the Trailsmen from the pressbook from the Johnny Mack Brown THE GENTLEMAN FROM TEXAS (Monogram, 1946). Gerald Curtis 'Curt' Barrett is on the far right with the guitar. Kevin Coffey e-mailed with identification of the band members. From L-to-R are: Harry 'Slim' Duncan, fiddle; unidentified, piano; Stanley Ellison, accordion; probably Clarence 'Bud' or 'Jerry' Dooley, bass; Curt Barrett, guitar.
|Special thanks to Nora Dunagan for the info on her Grandfather, Curt Barrett.|
December, 2012: Nora - your old e-mail address is no longer working. Please contact the Old Corral webmaster.
Gerald Curtis Barrett was born June 22, 1906 in Morehouse, Missouri and passed away on April 2, 1989 from a heart attack. He lived in North Hollywood, California and is interred at Valhalla Memorial Park in North Hollywood. He was married three times: to Mary Shy (in 1926); to Leonora Arlene Dunagan (in Balboa, California, 1929); to Margaret 'Peggy' Ehrenschneider (in St. Louis, 1933).
Curt Barrett and the Trailsmen appeared in a handful of oaters during the mid 1940s, including the Charles Starrett GUNNING FOR VENGEANCE (Columbia, 1946) and Johnny Mack Brown sagebrushers DRIFTING ALONG (Monogram, 1946) and THE GENTLEMAN FROM TEXAS (Monogram, 1946). Curt Barrett also had a few solo movie appearances as well as work in some 1950s TV shows.
Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Curt Barrett and the Trailsmen: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0057099