The Trail Blazers
8 Films
Released 1943 - 1944

Shot from the back of a camera truck, this photo is of Bob Steele on the 'running insert' road at Ray 'Crash' Corrigan's Corriganville movie ranch.

Notice the tire tracks on the road.

This is probably from DEATH VALLEY RANGERS (1943), Steele's first film as a member of the Trail Blazers.

(From Old Corral collection)

(From Old Corral collection)

Above from left to right are Gene Alsace (now calling himself "Rocky Camron"), Betty Miles, Hoot Gibson, Chief Thunder Cloud (Victor Daniels) and Bob Steele in a scene from SONORA STAGECOACH (Monogram, 1944), the last of Monogram's Trail Blazers series.

(Ad cut from Old Corral collection)
The 8 (or 11) Trail Blazers films were:

3 starring Ken Maynard and Hoot Gibson:
WILD HORSE STAMPEDE (Monogram, 1943; directed by Alan James)
THE LAW RIDES AGAIN (Monogram, 1943; directed by Alan James)
BLAZING GUNS (Monogram, 1943; directed by Robert Emmett Tansey)

3 starring Maynard, Gibson and Bob Steele:
DEATH VALLEY RANGERS (Monogram, 1943; directed by Robert Emmett Tansey)
WESTWARD BOUND (Monogram, 1944; directed by Robert Emmett Tansey)
ARIZONA WHIRLWIND (Monogram, 1944; directed by Robert Emmett Tansey)

2 starring Gibson, Steele and Chief Thunder Cloud:
OUTLAW TRAIL (Monogram, 1944; directed by Robert Emmett Tansey)
SONORA STAGECOACH (Monogram, 1944; directed by Robert Emmett Tansey)

The following 3 films with Hoot Gibson and Bob Steele are often mentioned as entries in the series, but these were not produced or marketed as the Trail Blazers:

MARKED TRAILS (Monogram, 1944; directed by J. P. McCarthy)
TRIGGER LAW (Monogram, 1944; directed by Vernon Keays)
UTAH KID (Monogram, 1944; directed by Vernon Keays)

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above, from L-to-R are Betty Miles, Bob Steele, John Bridges, and Hoot Gibson in SONORA STAGECOACH (Monogram, 1944), one of the later Trail Blazers without Ken Maynard.

(From Old Corral collection)

Takin' a break at Monogram during the filming of OUTLAW TRAIL (Monogram, 1944), one of the Trail Blazers trio westerns. Above from L-to-R are Hoot Gibson, Victor Daniels/Chief Thunder Cloud, Gene Alsace (Rocky Camron), Jennifer Holt and Bob Steele. Jennifer Holt was the sister of RKO cowboy Tim Holt, and a frequent leading lady to Johnny Mack Brown, Eddie Dean and Lash LaRue in the 1940s.

(From Old Corral collection)

Ken and Hoot were the duo that were Monogram's initial Trail Blazers. Bob Steele was available to join the team due to the demise of the Three Mesquiteers series at Republic ... the series needed younger blood to add some vitality and pep to the films. Above from L-to-R are Ken Maynard (now riding the white Tarzan II), Bob Steele, and Hoot Gibson. The original Tarzan died about 1940. Gibson is riding Rusty, the Wonder Horse which had been earlier used by Jack Randall and Tom Keene in their series at Monogram. When Maynard exited the Trail Blazers, Chief Thunder Cloud came in as the replacement - Thunder Cloud rode Rusty and Gibson rode a different mount.

Links & Other Info

Don't forget to take a look at the other sections on the Old Corral which are devoted to Ken Maynard, Hoot Gibson, Bob Steele, Bob Baker and Chief Thunder Cloud.  And in the 'Heroines' section, there's more info on Betty Miles and Jennifer Holt.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Gibson, Maynard, Steele, Chief Thunder Cloud, and Robert Emmett Tansey:

Hoot Gibson:
Ken Maynard:
Bob Steele:
Victor Daniels/Chief Thunder Cloud:
Robert Emmett Tansey/Bob Tansey:

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