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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.

Links below are to many businesses and companies. Ye Old Corral webmeister gets no freebies, commissions, or compensation if you buy using these links.

Purchase & Search for New, Used, Rare, Out-of-Print books:
eBay Auction website - books
AddAll Book Search Search
Barnes and Noble
Advanced Book Exchange
Powell's Books (New & Used)
Hamilton Bargain Books has a lot of film-related books
The official websites for Gene Autry and John Wayne have books:
Autry National Center of the American West
John Wayne Birthplace Museum
The following publishers have a lot of books on cinema, TV, and radio:
McFarland Books
University of Oklahoma Press
Bear Manor Media

Australian John Reid loves movies ... and that includes the A and B grade western. Four of John's books are shown on the left - these are trade paperbacks with glossy covers, the size is about 8 x 11, page quantity on these four books is between 220-275 pages, and each has lots of film reviews/details. There's also some B&W photos, posters, lobby cards, etc. John has authored a lot more books on the cinema and I asked him for some background on his prolific writings:

"Westerns and B movies were always super-popular in Australia. Mind you, moviegoers didn't have much choice. The film exchange that represented both Republic and Monogram also owned the nation's largest cinema chain. Gene Autry was my number one favorite, but when he left Republic, his films disappeared with him. I'd never seen any of his Columbia movies until two or three years ago when they started appearing on DVD. It was great to catch up with them at last, but I still prefer his Republic movies. So from Saturday matinees, I graduated into a part-time movie critic. The job didn't pay much, but I got to see all the new movies for free. Revivals as well. For a good time, I was actually working for two rival weekly newspapers, so I had to use a pseudonym for one of them. Of course, the editors knew all about this. In fact, one introduced me to the other. Fortunately, the first paper concentrated on new cinema releases, while the second mostly reviewed the movies upcoming on TV! This meant keeping a system of file cards on every movie I saw. So that's how the film books evolved."

John has authored dozens of movie books, and you can find them at Amazon:

In 2006, Sharon Lee Willing authored No One to Cry To: A Long, Hard Ride into the Sunset with Foy Willing of The Riders of the Purple Sage. Sharon is Foy's widow, and the book chronicles his rise to national popularity on radio, million-selling records, and work in B westerns with Charles Starrett, Monte Hale and Roy Rogers. It also includes his sad career decline and battle with alcohol and drugs. Published November, 2006, the 6 X 9 paperback has about 260 pages and includes a complete filmography, discography, and lots of photos.

Amazon has the book:

Long, long ago, I was a subscriber to Bill Harper's Pow-Wow newsletter about all things relating to Straight Arrow. Harper has authored a book on this popular radio hero and series.

STRAIGHT ARROW: A Complete Radio Log and Definitive Resource for Straight Arrow Media, 1949-1956 by William Harper is about $20.00 postage paid.

More info is available at the BearManorMedia website:

BearManor Media
P O Box 71426
Albany, GA 31708

Donn and Nancy Moyer have authored a couple of books, Cowboy Cliffhangers and Cowpokes 'n' Cowbelles Of The Movies And Early TV (both books listed below on this webpage). This is a nice biography and pictorial history of Don Kay "Little Brown Jug" Reynolds who portrayed Little Beaver in the Jim Bannon series of Red Ryder films. Titled The Last Little Beaver of the Movies, the softbound book has a glossy cover, is 8 x 10 1/2, contains 119 pages and over 180 photos, and is about $25.00 postage paid in the USA.

You can check on book availability and pricing by sending an e-mail to Donn and Nancy at

Their address:

Wild West Publishing
Dept. W
P.O. Box 8261
Tacoma, WA 98418

Tom Tyler Tales #1 above (sold out - no longer available)

Tom Tyler Tales #2 above
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Tom Tyler, Calvin Castine, Sid Couchey and Arto Monaco produced Tom Tyler Tales #1 in 2004. That comic is sold out.

Tom Tyler Tales Too was issued in 2006, is 8 1/2 X 11, and is the second of a two-part tribute to Tyler, commemorating his first starring role in FBO's LET'S GO GALLAGHER (1925). There's a B&W comic and over a hundred B&W stills and poster/lobby cards, some in B&W and some in color. This second book will raise money for the purchase of two historic markers to honor Moriah / Witherbee, New York area, and New York natives Tom Tyler and Dodger pitcher Johnny Podres.

Check with Calvin Castine to see if he has copies still available:

February, 2006: New book by Raymond E. White is available on Roy and Dale ... and is chock full of details and nitty gritty.

King of the Cowboys, Queen of the West: Roy Rogers and Dale Evans (University of Wisconsin Press, 2005) is the most authoritative work on Roy and Dale to date. has new and used copies of the paperback and hardbound volumes:

Best Of The Badmen was authored by Boyd Magers, Bob Nareau and Bobby J. Copeland. Detailed bios, photos and filmographies on 315 men who played outlaws, bandits and polecats on the movie and TV western screen from 1930 to the '60s.

The print edition is no longer available other than used book outlets - check the used book seller links at the top of this webpage.

Amazon has copies available at fairly high prices. However, Amazon does have the book in a Kindle edition for about $10.00:

A couple years ago, Donn and Nancy Moyer brought us Cowboy Cliffhangers (see below). Their new book is Cowpokes 'n' Cowbelles Of The Movies And Early TV, and it's a good 'un. There's biographies and lots of photos on many of the heroes, heroines and supporting players of the ol' B-western movie and 1950s TV westerns. This 8 X 10 softbound has 200+ pages and about 175 photos, and is about $25.00 postage paid in the USA.

You can check on book availability and pricing by sending an e-mail to Donn and Nancy at

Their address:

Wild West Publishing
Dept. W
P.O. Box 8261
Tacoma, WA 98418

For those of you interested in learning all the facts and nitty gritty about Tom Mix, M. G. 'Bud' Norris has authored the definitive bio on the great western movie star.  This $24.95 trade paperback is about 8 1/2 x 11 inches in size, has 377 pages ... includes a complete filmography, info on Mix's circus days, info on the Tom Mix radio program and Ralston premiums, lots of photos of lobby cards, postcards, arcade cards, etc., and the price was about $28.00 which include U.S. postage.

Send an e-mail to Bud to see if he still has copies available. Bud's e-mail is:

His mail address is:

M. G. Norris
1324 N. Hague Ave.
Columbus OH 43204-2108

Donn and Nancy Moyer have contributed a bunch of info and photos to the Old Corral, and both are great fans of the B western and serial.

Donn has authored a book covering all sound chapterplays that have a western or outdoor theme, and the title is Cowboy Cliffhangers.  The book is an 8 x 11 softbound, has about 160 pages and 60 photos, and contains a plot synopsis, cast list, interesting tidbits, more. Now in the 3rd printing with updates on individuals who have passed away since the original was published.

The book is about $25.00 postage paid in the USA.

You can check on book availability and pricing by sending an e-mail to Donn and Nancy at

Their address:

Wild West Publishing
Dept. W
P.O. Box 8261
Tacoma, WA 98418

About a quarter of a century ago, Australian Bob Larkin was working on a manuscript about the career and films of World War II hero Audie Murphy. Larkin passed away and his work sat for several decades ... until Boyd Magers contacted Larkin's widow.

Boyd used Larkin's material, expanded it, and added much of his own knowledge as well as tidbits from people who knew and worked with Murphy. The end result is an excellent look at Audie Murphy as a Hollywood film hero and as a person.

Murphy did 49 films and there's nitty gritty details on each, including tradepaper and newspaper reviews. Ye Old Corral webmaster enjoys Murphy's westerns and also knew about his WW2 exploits and that he had been killed in a 1971 plane crash. But I wasn't familiar with Audie Murphy as a person who was troubled, sometimes violent, and in later life, having financial problems. Those kinds of personal, real life details and turmoil are covered.

The softcover book measures about 7 x 10 1/2 and has 232 pages. The price is about $35.00 from the publisher as well as from and other booksellers. Published by McFarland:

John Wayne Fans ... Rejoice! Fred Landesman has done a superb job in authoring the finest filmography on John Wayne.

Earlier Wayne film books - and I have several - don't measure up when compared to this wonderfully written, nitty-gritty reference covering all the Duke's movies. Details on each film include: full cast and crew, release date, reviews, plot synopsis. And there's a notes section which has tidbits such as: negative costs, what movie locations were used, profiles and background on performers and production personnel, more. The 7 x 10 softcover version has about 450 pages and the price is about $45.00. The ultimate reference on Wayne's films. Published by McFarland:

Sad to report that Fred Landesman passed away on October 15, 2004.

Scarecrow Press issued a paperback version of The Mystery of the Masked Man's Music: A Search for the Music Used on The Lone Ranger Radio Program, 1933-1954 by Reginald M. Jones, Jr.

The original hardbound book was published in the late 1980s. The ISBN is 0-8108-3974-1.

Amazon has new and used versions available:

For those of you interested in learning all the facts and details about Tex Ritter, including his school days in Texas, law school work at the University of Texas, his stage work in shows like Green Grow The Lilacs, Broadway shows, radio, and more, pick up a copy of Bill O'Neal's great Tex Ritter, America's Most Beloved Cowboy.

Published in 1998 by Eakin Press (Austin, Texas), the ISBN number is 1-57168-249-X.  This 8 1/2 x 11 trade paperback has about 150 pages, hundreds of photos (including many of Ritter's childhood and school days), filmography, discography, and lots more.

Amazon has new and used copies of the book:

Another definitive work on Tex is The Tex Ritter Story by Johnny Bond (Chappell Music Company, 1976), which is occasionally available via used book shops on the Internet.

For those of you interested in producer Nat Levine and his adventures with Ken Maynard, Tom Mix and more, McFarland book publishers has a great book on the history of Mascot Pictures titled The Vanishing Legion: A history of Mascot Pictures 1927 - 1935. Originally published in hardbound in the early 1980s, author Jon Tuska knew and interviewed Maynard and Levine (and lots of other Mascot alumni). Published by McFarland and a softcover version is available for about $35.00:

Want a lot more details and nitty-gritty on Buck Jones?  Western film expert Buck Rainey has authored a couple books: one detailing the Jones silents and the second covering the Jones talkies. The publisher was Ron and Linda Downey's World of Yesterday, which sadly, is no longer publishing due to the passing of Ron Downey.

You may be able to locate used copies of these out-of-print books. Check, eBay, and other book sellers listed at the top of this webpage for used copies.

Karl Whitezel authored a book on Buster Crabbe which was published in 1997.

The softcover, titled Buster Crabbe, A Self Portrait measures about 8 1/2 x 5 1/2, has 339 pages, a bunch of photos, and a Crabbe filmography. The ISBN number is 0-9662313-3-3.

There's lots of details on Crabbe's life, including the Olympics, Flash Gordon, PRC westerns, Fuzzy St. John, Captain Gallant TV show, etc. ... as well as coverage on difficult family matters such as the death of Crabbe's daughter Sande from anorexia.

This book is out of print. Check, eBay, and other book sellers listed at the top of this webpage for used copies.

Checked Amazon in November, 2018 and they have new and used copies available:

For those of you who want to read more about Yakima Canutt, stuntwork and Hollywood history, see if you can find Stunt Man, The Autobiography of Yakima Canutt at your local library ... or from a used book outfit.

This autobiography was co-authored by Oliver Drake, who wrote screenplays as well as directing and producing B westerns.  It was first published in 1979 by Walker and Company, New York, and is ISBN: 0-8027-0613-4. It was also issued in paperback by the University of Oklahoma Press - Norman, OK and London, ISBN: 0-8061-2927-1, first paperback printing was 1997. However, the paperback version is also out of print.

Check, eBay, and other book sellers listed at the top of this webpage for used copies.

Sweethearts of the Sage is a reference on the cowboy film heroine and is written by western film historian Buck Rainey (who has authored many cowboy film related books such as Shoot-Em-Ups and Saddle Aces of the Cinema).  Initially published by McFarland in 1992, this 8.5 x 11 book has an unbelievable 600+ pages with lots of pictures and filmographies on each heroine.

The 258 actresses in the book are from the 1920s through the end of the genre, and while it does cater toward the B western ladies, it also includes A film actresses such as Maureen O'Hara and Susan Hayward.

This massive book is typical McFarland quality including a long life library binding ... but it's expensive at around $95.00.  Rainey has assembled material on the actresses from his own notes and interviews as well as material from other sources, and he includes that reference info at the end of each biography.

If you have a question on whether your favorite heroines are included in this book, shoot me an e-mail with their names and I'll check the index and mail ya back!

McFarland has a softcover version for about $50.00:

I Was That Masked Man by Moore and Frank Thompson is a really nice biography of Clayton "Lone Ranger" Moore.

The softcover version measures about 6 X 9, has about 270 pages, and the appendices in the back of the book include a Moore filmography, a listing of all the LR TV shows by year, more.  And there's about 70 pictures in the book, including several of Moore in the LR costume, but without the mask.

There's many pages devoted to Moore's "bad guy" work in 1940s Republic serials.

The hardcover and softcover versions are now out of print. Check, eBay, and other book sellers listed at the top of this webpage for used copies.

In November, 2016, I checked Amazon and they have used and new copies at various prices:

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