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Saddle Pals & Sidekicks

(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Rotund Chris-Pin Martin (real name: Ysabel Ponciana Paiz) (1893-1953) became stereotyped in roles in which he was lazy, bumbling or slow, of Mexican heritage, and spoke in broken english.

Les Adams has Martin in over 100 sound era films, and that includes 56 westerns and 1 serial.  His most remembered western film role was as sidekick 'Gordito' and 'Pancho' in nine of the Cisco Kid films. (Martin's roles in these films are listed in the Cisco Kid section on the Old Corral.) He also had a prominent role as the stagecoach way station proprietor in the John Ford directed STAGECOACH (United Artists, 1939).

Go to the In Search Of ... page on the Old Corral, and follow the link to the California Death Records database --- there you will find a record for Chrispin Martin, born 11/19/1893 in Arizona, Mother's maiden name of Paiz, and he passed away on 6/27/1953. There was no corresponding record in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), probably because the family didn't file for the death benefit.

Find A Grave website has a photo of the marker for Martin (which shows the last name of 'Paiz', his mother's maiden name) at the Oddfellows Cemetery in Los Angeles:

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Chris-Pin Martin:

(From Old Corral collection)

Anthony Warde is on the far right, and Angela Greene and Chris-Pin Martin are in the lower left.  Title lobby card from KING OF THE BANDITS (Monogram, 1947), the last appearance of Gilbert Roland as Cisco and Monogram's last Cisco Kid film.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above are Gilbert Roland and Chris-Pin Martin in another lobby card from KING OF THE BANDITS (Monogram, 1947).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above are Tex Ritter on White Flash and sidekick Lloyd 'Arkansas Slim' Andrews (1906-1992) on his mule Josephine. Andrews and Ritter wound up being personal friends, and 'Slim' did a bunch of tours and personal appearances with Tex over the years. Andrews also did helper duties briefly with Don 'Red' Barry in the early 1940s at Republic.

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Lloyd 'Arkansas Slim' Andrews:

(From Old Corral collection)

Above - Tex Ritter, and on the far right is'Slim' Andrews in a lobby card from RIDIN' THE CHEROKEE TRAIL (Monogram, 1941). The singing group is The Tennessee Ramblers.

In February, 2000, I received an e-mail from Erik Conard:

"From 1965-68 I was on the faculty at the now-Pittsburg (KS) State U. At KOAM-TV in town, Andrews had a kids show where he was billed as Slim Andrews, the 'old Forty-Niner'.  Andrews could play a great number of instruments and the kids loved him. He commuted from Gravette, AR to this SE Kansas town."

Around Christmas, 2001, I received an e-mail from Ray Nielsen, who's been involved with the Memphis Film Festival for many years. Ray writes:

"I first met Slim in 1977 when I attended my first festival in Memphis. I must admit I was not familiar with his filmwork prior to meeting him. But when I saw him, there was something strangely familiar about him. It took me a while to figure it out, but I remembered him from my childhood. But not B western movies. I grew up in California. For a time I lived in the San Jauquin Valley south of Fresno, California. I was about ten at the time. When I came home from school each afternoon, I often watched station KMJ-TV out of Fresno. There was a kids' show on called THE 49ER. It was one of those shows with a colorful m.c. who showed cartoons, played games and engaged in puppet skits and musical numbers. The host, of course, was 'Slim'. But I didn't know about his movie career then. He later moved back to his native Gravette, AR and did a similar show in Pittsburg, KS for years. He commuted up there every weekend. After I got to know him from Memphis, I visited him at Gravette and taped some video interviews with him for Public TV. Slim re-visited Memphis a time or two before he died. He was a great guy who always loved entertaining, be it on a banjo, a bicycle pump or a wood saw."

Joel Towler is another who fondly remembers Slim Andrews:

"Back in 1951, while visiting Los Angeles (came down from Truckee with my family), I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon and evening with Iron Eyes Cody and his wife Birdie. That evening I accompanied Iron Eyes and Birdie down to KTLA television studios, and was a guest on their 15 minute segment that was augmented into the Doye O'Dell show. A featured performer with the show was ol' Slim. He did an interlude of playing the washboard, the kazoo, the harmonica, and a banjo. He crossed back from one instrument to the other so fast that he almost sounded like a band. He was quite talented. While waiting for the show to go on, he showed me how to tie a few western knots, and did some pretty good rope twirling. He was such a nice guy, and calmed my jitters before going on with Iron Eyes and Birdie."

Bob O'Brien sent some info on Slim playing with Bob Wills:

"In September, 1947, he played fiddle on the Tiffany Transcriptions which were recorded that day. He's in the picture, so obviously he was there, probably filling in for Joe Holley and/or Louis Tierney. I don't believe he was actually ever a Texas Playboy, but he could have been as the band had a revolving door as to personnel in the mid-1940's, especially 1948 when major changes shook up the band. Andrews was at the time (1947) booked on tour with Bob Wills by MCA in a comedy musical act (see San Antonio Rose - The Life And Times Of Bob Wills by Charles R. Townsend, University of Illinois Press, 1976)."

The picture that Bob refers to is included in the CD of those recordings and shows Slim and the Wills band doing the Tiffany session at Sound Recorders studio in San Francisco on September 6, 1947.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above from L-to-R are Wild Bill Elliott, George 'Slim' Summerville (1892-1946), Roy Barcroft, and Robert Fiske in a scene from Elliott's last cliffhanger, THE VALLEY OF VANISHING MEN (Columbia, 1942).  Several folks have asked for info and a photo of Summerville, apparently recalling that he did a lot of sidekick duties (perhaps confusing him with Arkansas 'Slim' Andrews). In reality, Summerville was not a western movie sidekick and only appeared in about a dozen B westerns and this single serial. Summerville was an early actor in Hollywood silents, initially doing work for Mack Sennett in the Keystone Cops films.

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on 'Slim' Summerville:

On the right is Slim Pickens (real name: Louis Bert Lindley Jr.) (1919-1983).  Pickens was the screen pal to Republic singing cowboy Rex Allen in about a dozen films.

He's best remembered for his roles in BLAZING SADDLES, as well as the Air Force pilot who 'rides the bomb' down in DR. STRANGELOVE.

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Slim Pickens:

(From Old Corral collection)

(From Old Corral collection)
Left is Buddy Ebsen (real name: Christian Ludolph Ebsen Jr.) (1908-2003).  Ebsen was a 1930s song and dance man, and even did a film with Shirley Temple.  He was also one of the actors considered for the role of the tinman in MGM's THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939).  In the 1950s, he was a sidekick to cowboy hero Rex Allen.  However, Ebsen's biggest success was on television where he starred in two long-running shows, THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES and BARNABY JONES.  He is also remembered for his role as sidekick 'Georgie Russell' to Fess Parker in the 1950s DAVY CROCKETT TV adventures from Walt Disney, as well as portraying 'Sergeant Hunk Marriner' in the television series NORTHWEST PASSAGE. Buddy Ebsen passed away on July 6, 2003 at age 95.

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Buddy Ebsen:

(From Old Corral collection)

Above, from L-to-R are Pat Brady, Roy Rogers and Gabby Hayes.  Brady (1914-1972) was a member of the Sons of the Pioneers singing group and did musical support for Charles Starrett at Columbia and Roy Rogers at Republic. He was also Roy and Dale's crazy helper (and driver of the jeep named 'Nelly Belle') in their 1950s TV show. He took time out from his singing and film work to serve in World War II as a tank crewman in General George S. Patton's Third Army.

Brady's real name was Robert Ellsworth O'Brady (more on his full name below). The story goes that he was initially Bob O'Brady, but soon dropped the O' and became plain Bob Brady. When he joined the Sons of the Pioneers in late 1937 as the replacement for Leonard Slye/Roy Rogers, there was already a 'Bob' (Bob Nolan) in the group. To avoid any confusion, Brady went through another name change to 'Pat'.

In his early films with Roy Rogers, he was called 'Pat', but in a few of Roy's later adventures, Brady portrayed a character with the strange name of 'Sparrow Biffle'.

David Rothel has a section on Pat Brady in his book Those Great Cowboy Sidekicks (WOY Publications, 1984) and following are a few excerpts/quotes:

Pat's real name was Robert Ellsworth Patrick Aloysious O'Brady and he was born December 31, 1914 in Toledo, Ohio.

Quote: "Pat died on February 27, 1972, in The Ark, a rehabilitation center for alcoholics in Green Mountain Falls. He had admitted himself the day before. The cause of death was reported to be a heart attack. At Pat's funeral on March 1, 1972, Hugh Farr and Lloyd Perryman of the Sons of the Pioneers played 'Tumbling Tumbleweeds' and 'At the Rainbow's End'. The minister in his remarks made reference to Pat's drinking problem and gave him credit for admitting himself for rehabilitation. Pat was buried at the Evergreen Cemetery with full military honors. His wife Carol and their son, Pat, Jr., are his survivors."

Ye Old Corral webmaster has two newspaper obituaries on Brady. One mentions that he passed away while visiting friends. The other notes that he was found dead in his room at The Ark, a rehabilitation center for alcoholics, and he had admitted himself to that facility the previous day.

The New York Times newspaper website has a death notice on Pat and includes the following mention: "A tour in France with General Patton's Third Army won him citations for valor and two Purple Hearts.":

Find A Grave website has a picture of the grave marker for World War II veteran Tec 4 Pat Brady in the Military Section of the Evergreen Cemetery, Colorado Springs, Colorado. The name on the marker reads Robert E. "Pat" Brady:

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Pat Brady:

(Courtesy of Ed Phillips)

Above, the Sons of the Pioneers at Columbia with Charles Starrett --- from L-to-R are: Karl Farr, Tim Spencer, Lloyd Perryman, Starrett, Bob Nolan, Pat Brady, and Hugh Farr.  Their association with Columbia Pictures began around 1935 and continued until the early 1940s, when they moved to Republic to help Roy Rogers.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above from left to right are Pat Brady, Roy, Gabby Hayes and a box of nitroglycerene in a lobby card from SONS OF THE PIONEERS (Republic, 1942).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Bob Nolan, Pat Brady and Roy Rogers (on the original Trigger) in a lobby card from HEART OF THE GOLDEN WEST (Republic, 1942).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is a lobby card and a crop/blowup from the Trucolor UNDER CALIFORNIA STARS (Republic, 1948).  From L-to-R are Lloyd Perryman, Bob Nolan, Doye O'Dell, Karl Farr (guitar), Hugh Farr, and Pat Brady (bass). Andy Devine, one of Roy's later sidekicks, is on the piano. This Roy Rogers film was among the 1947-48 releases which marked the "end of the trail" for Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers at Republic Pictures and in series westerns. Their last B-western was NIGHTTIME IN NEVADA (Republic, 1948) another Trucolor oater starring Rogers which was released in September, 1948. (The group (sans Nolan) did appear in a few other films such as the cavalry regimental singers in RIO GRANDE (1950) which starred John Wayne and was directed by John Ford.)

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