The Razzle Dazzle of the Medicine Show

 I’ve always been fascinated by the Medicine Shows that traveled the old west, and the charlatans who sold their magic medicines.
“Razzle-dazzle! Fast music and flashy color that made the blood zing, out there in the cornfields. ‘ Come on folks, Im going to give you the chance of a lifetime! I offer you this miraculous medicine that – ‘”

So starts a non-fiction book fittingly entitled “Medicine Show – Conning People and Making them Like it,” by Mary Calhoun. I used some of the details from this and other sources in one of my westerns, “Wanted.” The heroine and her brother were the off-spring of a medicine show family.  Well, everyone thought so.

For nearly a century, traveling medicine shows were a colorful part of the American life with their fast talking salesmen, their creatively named remedies and the varied entertainments that attracted the crowds. From 1850s until the 1940’s, medicine selling troupes moved from town to town, first in wagons, much later in trucks, all of the vehicles brightly painted to capture attention.

But medicine shows were not an American invention. Throughout the centuries, European Medicine shows consisted of a “doctor” selling his wares on city streets with the assistance of two or three hired musicians, clowns or acrobats, but the traveling medicine show developed in America.

In the early 1800s, medical care was very limited. Trained doctors were few – in 1775, only 400 of them held university medical degrees. Some didn’t go to medical school at all but apprenticed to an established doctor for four years. Some medical schools offered only two six-week terms before setting their students loose on an unsuspecting public. One prominent Philadelphia doctor prescribed horseback riding as a cure for tubercular patients because it was believed that the smell of horses was good for weak lungs. No one knew what cancer was or how to treat it. And only large towns had apothecary shops that sold the known medicines of the time.

So why not wonder medicines? Since colonial times, patent medicines had been offered for sale by individuals.   There was no regulation until the early 1900s.  

Although the medicine show started as small entrepreneur businesses, others saw it as big business. Two giants, the Kickapoo Indian Medicine Company and Hamlin’s Wizard oil Company, saw the possibilities.   They established medicine factories in the east and dispatched up to thirty troupes apiece to sell their products by entertaining small town America. 

Many of the “medicines” were touted as Indian tonics – “Nature’s Gift to Nature’s Children.” White men posed as Indian doctors. The Kickapoo Indian Medicine Company advertised its bottles of Indian Sagwa as an Indian remedy composed of the “virtues of roots, herbs, barks, gums and leaves.”

The advertising bills added that the concoction “was the purest, safest and most effectual cathartic medicine know to the public. The sciences of medicine and chemistry have never produced so valuable a remedy, nor one so potent to cure all diseases arising from impure blood.”

The price: $1 or $5 a bottle, a fortune back then.

Although the small one-wagon show continued to operate with its own homemade remedies, the trend was toward several wagons and as many as a dozen men and women who doubled as musicians and actors. After the 1880s, many of the shows featured Indians.

When the troupe arrived at a cross-roads or a town, they all started the same. First came the ballyhoo, the come-on. It might be a parade if there were several wagons, and if not, a dancing dog or a beautiful girl in a Chinese gown. The show began with music and laughter to warm up the crowd – musicians playing lively tunes, comedians telling jokes. The talent often included dancing girls, comedy sketches, even entire plays.

Then the “doctor” took over, giving a health lecture and selling his tonics and salves, pills and liniments. The “doctors” often had as creative names as their medicines: Brother Jonathon, Princess Lotus Blossom, Doctor Punja, and Silk Hat Harry.

And they had their own recipes. Brother Jonathon, mixed his Giver of Life compound in a large wooden tub. Going on the assumption that water is a gift of life, he mixed a tonic that was three fourths water. Other ingredients included Epsom salts, burnt sugar, powdered rhubarb, licorice powder and wintergreen essence.

Then there was a salve called Tiger Fat made of petroleum jelly, camphor, menthol crystals, oil of eucalyptus, turpentine and oil of wintergreen.

Vital Sparks – “God’s Gift to Men,” was made with small hard black candy, water, and a few powdered aloes. I leave its purpose to your imagination.

Some were harmful and contained cocaine or were so strong in alcohol that they masked symptoms in people desperately ill. But the medicine show doctors seldom sold medicines that contained dangerous drugs. Most pitch doctors specialized in concoctions of vegetables or mineral salts. They wanted to come back, and dead patients wouldn’t be good for them.

One ironic fact: the high alcoholic content of the popular invigorating tonics probably did produce a temporary feeling of well-being. Many of the Temperance ladies may have taken their daily doses of medicine without realizing they had broken their pledges never to touch alcohol. Lydia E. Pinkham’s Vegetable Compounds for women was dissolved in 21 percent alcohol.

The better drugs did work on occasion. Some of the Indian remedies did have healing properties. And the liniments, salves and tonics were often effective if used simply to massage sore muscles, sooth irritated skin and some were harmless purgatives. It was enough to bring testimonials from the locals, and repeat business.

“And partly,” according to “Medicine Show,” “the farmer opened his wallet and bought the medicine because the entertainment of the medicine show, the razzle dazzle in the cornfield, WAS a medicine, a balm to the spirit.”

Any of you see some great heroines and rascally heroes or villains here?

 

 

Cowboy Under the Christmas Tree Contest Winding Down

a-image001cowboyHey you little darlings, if you want to find a cowboy under your Christmas tree, you’d better get the lead out.

The contest ends December 6th!

You just have a week to get your name in the pot for the big bonanza. You could win books, Christmas ornaments, a special pair of earrings made by our own Cheryl St. John, plus a passel of other prizes delivered right to your door.

So don’t mess around. It’s time to get busy.

Amnesia-Sleepwalking by Amber Stockton

 

Amber Stockton
Amber Stockton

  

If you picked up almost any novel in the early 1990’s, about half of them would have a theme connected in some way to amnesia. It could be the main character or a supporting character. Either way, that theme and topic flooded the market for a brief period of time. So much so, that once the phase passed, editors wouldn’t even touch a novel that mentioned the word let alone had it as a plot element.

It’s a good thing that isn’t the case today. I’ve read some amazing novels in recent years where one character suffered from some form of amnesia and loved how the author brought the story around.

Hearts and Harvest
Hearts and Harvest

One of my books that I have circulating, trying to sell, involves the heroine suffering from a case of amnesia, but over 100 years ago, it was quite a bit different than we view it today. In fact, although the term dates back to the 1600’s, there weren’t a whole lot of doctors who diagnosed it as such until the late 1800’s. When I discovered this, it took my story in a turn for the better….and more entertaining. 🙂

copper_sm2_-_copy1What I discovered in most of the smaller towns or further out west in the more unsettled areas, the average doctor didn’t encounter many cases of this. So, being unfamiliar with how to diagnose or treat a patient suffering from it, they did one of the only things they could do. They compared it to what they *did* know.

And that was sleepwalking.

Quite often, sleepwalkers act and speak in ways that are foreign to their normal behavior patterns or personalities. Then, when they wake up, they have no recollection of what they did. In many ways, they suffer memory loss.

Patterns and Progress
Patterns and Progress

In addition, most believed that you should never awaken a sleepwalker for fear that you might separate their mind from their body and cause the person to suffer far greater maladies than whatever is causing them to behave this way. From medical books of the time period of my story, there are many documented cases exactly like this.

So, when a doctor was faced with a patient amnesiasuffering from amnesia due to a traumatic experience, an injury or any other cause, that doctor might caution those who know the patient to tread lightly. Such is the case in my story. My heroine is a prim and proper lady from Philadelphia who escaped an arranged marriage and fled east, then married a successful cattle baron in Wyoming. While journeying by train to visit her uncle, her train is robbed and an explosion causes her to lose her memory.

amnesia-for-dummiesTraveling on the same train is a young woman fleeing from an abusive marriage and coming to take a job as a barmaid in a saloon. A case of mistaken identity has my heroine working as that barmaid while news of her death is sent back home to her husband. When her foreman finds her, he can’t believe his eyes. He’d always held a torch for her, and now he has his chance! Once her husband finds out, the town doctor issues the warning that he shouldn’t reveal his identity to his wife for fear that further harm than good could result. The foreman takes his boss to see his wife, but the ranch owner can’t touch her or tell her who he is. Instead, he has to sit back and watch his wife flirt with his foreman!

And so the story continues… 🙂

As you can see, time *does* make a difference in medical discoveries, treatments, and diagnoses. In the case of my story, this discovery added a whole new dimension that made the writing of it a whole lot of fun!

 Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for a copy of Patterns and Progress by Amber Stockton.  

 
Tiffany Amber Stockton is an author, online marketing specialist and freelance web site designer who lives with her husband and fellow author in beautiful Colorado Springs. They celebrated the birth of their first child in April and have a vivacious puppy named Roxie, a Border Collie/Flat-Haired Retriever mix. She has sold eight books so far to Barbour Publishing. Other credits include writing articles for various publications, five short stories with Romancing the Christian Heart, and contributions to the books: 101 Ways to Romance Your Marriage and Grit for the Oyster.

 Read more about her at her web site: http://www.amberstockton.com/.


The Pony Express

tracy-garrett-tile

 

 

“Wanted, young skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen, must be expert riders willing to risk death daily, orphans preferrpony-express-want-aded. Wages $25 a week.”

On April 3, 1860, the citizens of St. Joseph, Missouri, knowing something big was about to happen, gathered just after dark to witness an event never before attempted.

Major M. Jeff Thompson, who would soon leave St. Joseph to make a name for himself as a Confederate General, initiated the Pony Express with the following words:
“This is a great day in the history of St. Joseph. For more than a decade she has been the portal through which passed the wagon trains for the great west… Now she is to become the connecting link between the extremes of the continents… For the first time in the history of America, mail will go by an overland route from east to west… Citizens of St. Joseph, I bid you three cheers for the Pony Express – three cheers for the first overland passage of the United States Mail.”

With that, the first rider, either Johnny Fry or Billie Richardson–historians can’t agree on which–galloped out of the barn and into history.

firstrideponyexpress-600The first westbound trip was made in 9 days and 23 hours. A rider left simultaneously from Sacramento, California, and made the eastbound journey in 11 days and 12 hours. On average, the pony riders covered 250 miles in a 24-hour day.

The route of the Pony Express was 1840 miles of brutal riding: west out of St. Joseph, following the Oregon Trail through Kansas, up the Little Blue River to Fort Kearney, Nebraska, along the Platte River to Fort Laramie, Wyoming; then the Sweetwater River to Fort Caspar, Wyoming, through South Pass to Fort Bridger, Wyoming, on to Salt Lake City; across the Great Basin and Utah-Nevada Desert, skirting Lake Tahoe; then over the Sierra Nevada mountains into Sacramento, California.

Riding day and night, the Pony Express delivered the mail in less than 10 days. [The westbound trip took 11 ½ days-don’t ask me why.]

But that wasn’t the end of the line. Upon arrival in Sacramento, the mail was placed on a steamer and continued down the Sacramento River to San Francisco. In all, the mail traveled 1966 miles.

Delivery of the print version of Lincoln’s inaugural address set a new record for delivery, crossing the west in slightly less than eight days.

The Pony Express service lasted only 18 months, ending on October 24, 1861, when the completion of the Pacific Telegraph line ended the need for its existence. But in that time, the less than 100 riders covered 650,000 miles on horseback and rode into a permanent place in the history of the American West. Though the route was extremely hazardous, only one carrier was killed and one bag of mail lost.

Exciting as it was, the Pony Express was a financial bust. And it was never a part of the U.S. Postal service, although the galloping Pony Express rider was the official symbol on every letter carrier’s shoulder until the invention of Mr. Zip.

The most significant accomplishment of the Pony Express, besides keeping families in touch, was helping hold California – and its gold – for the Union at the start of the Civil War.

The Express was started by businessmen William H. Russell, William Bradford Waddell, and Alexander Majors, who were already in the freighting business and held government contracts for delivering army supplies in the West. Russell envisioned a similar contract for fast mail delivery. That contract never came about.

According to the Pony Express Museum website [ponyexpress.org], Russell, Majors and Waddell lost $500,000 on the Pony Express. Eventually, entrepreneur Ben Holladay bought what remained of the Pony Express and merged it with his Central Overland Stage Lines.pony20express

If you’re ever in St. Joseph, Missouri, just a few minutes north of Kansas City, stop in at the Pony Express Museum. St. Joseph was the terminus for the westbound trains, and the launching point of the Pony Express. The original structure used by The Pony Express, Pikes Peak Stables, still stands at 9th & Penn.

Within its walls you can hear a recreation of the countdown and release of the very first rider, complete with the cheers of the assembled crowd. You can wander through exhibits showing the gear a rider carried and the route they took. They have several original saddles on display, and even a typical Pony Express “station” – which was nothing more than a 10-foot by 8-foot log cabin with an open fireplace.

The museum also houses displays of period settlers’ wagons and other historical memorabilia. All in all, a nice way to spend an afternoon.

And if you want to relive the experience, April 3, 2010 is the 150th Anniversary of the first ride. Check out the celebration plans on ponyexpress.org.

 

Be sure to Twitter with us:  http://twitter.com/Felicia_Filly

The Junction Welcomes Amber Stockton

Patterns and Progress
Patterns and Progress

Well, bless my soul! We have a new visitor coming down the trail toward Wildflower Junction.

Miss Amber Stockton will arrive Saturday to chat with all you little darlings. The dear lady has an interesting subject in mind–sleepwalking in the Old West. Ah know you’ll want to join in this discussion.

Miss Amber also has a brand new book to talk about. The title is PATTERNS AND PROGRESS. Sounds like a one you don’t want to miss.

Miss Amber is giving an autographed copy away so don’t be shy. Head over here and  get your name in the hat. Sure beats sitting around twiddling your thumbs.

So get a move on. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for you! 

What Are You Having For Thanksgiving Dinner?

momlogolihI love Thanksgiving! If my mom heard me say that, she’d laugh. Starting in 1960, it became tradition to have Thanksgiving Dinner at my parents’ house.  My mom cooked Thanksgiving Dinner every year for close to 40 years. By the twentieth time or so she’d had enough, but she kept going until I took over.  Considering we always bought the biggest turkey in the store, I’m guessing she baked close to a half-ton of turkey. thanksgiving-turkey

That’s a lot of white meat. And a lot of drumsticks! It’s also a tradition I want very much to continue in our new home. My sons love my turkey, a skill that came directly from my mom. She passed away in July and I’m miss her a lot. I also know she’s quite happy to not be baking yet another turkey! 

Here’s how she taught me to do it.  I bake the bird on a rack so the drippings get nice and brown. That makes for wonderful gravy!  I also cover the turkey with a tent made of heavy-duty aluminum foil.  I have no idea what the tent does, but the turkey comes out great.

My stuffing recipe came from my dad’s side of the family.  It includes Farmer John pork sausage, onion, celery, Mrs. Cubison’s stuffing mix (or Pepperidge Farms if I can’t get Mrs. C’s), giblets diced down to powder and–most important of all–a grated green apple.  It all gets mixed together the night before, cooled in the fridge and then baked in the bird. 

thanksgiving-mrs-cubbisonLet talk gravy.  Any tips to get rid of lumps?  My trick is to mix the flour in cold water until it’s the consistency of thin pancake batter and lump free. When I add the mix to the drippings, I have a glass of cold water on hand.  If the flour mix sticks, I pour in a bit of water.  It works!  No lumps.

thanksgiving-rhuttabagaHere’s a Bylin family tradition that usually makes people say, “Huh?”  Does anyone else have rhuttabagas as Thanksgiving?  They’re also called yellow turnips.  They’re good when mashed with lots of butter and a little sugar.

The rest of the menu is pretty standard. Mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. Green beans or peas and carrots.  For dessert, though, I switch out pumpin pie for cheesecake. That’s another of my mom’s recipes. She cut it out of a newspaper back in the 1950s.  Here it is.

Mom Bylin’s Cheesecake

 Graham Cracker Crust

My mom use to grind up crackers with a rolling pin. I follow the directions on the box of ready-made crumbs.  Trust me, the box kind is much easier and just as good. I use a 9-inch glass pie plate and follow the directions for the baked crust. You’ll need butter or margerine and sugar.  Be sure to keep out about an 1/8 cup of the butter/sugar/crumb mix for a topping.

Filling

9 oz regular cream cheese (This used to be 3-3 oz squares, but I haven’t seen those in years)

1 8 oz carton of sour cream

1/2 c. granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

 

Soften the cream cheese. (My mom used to let it sit on the counter. I do it in the microwave on the lowest power, being very, very careful not to liquefy it.) Blend the cream cheese and the sour cream in a small bowl until it’s lump free (or as close to lump free as you can get it; tiny lumps will melt when baked.)  Set this bowl aside.

In a bigger bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Add the cream cheese / sour cream mix and blend thoroughly.  Pour into the already made graham cracker crust and baked at 325 degrees for 25 minutes, or until the middle looks done.  Let it cool.

 

Topping

1 8 oz. carton of sour cream

2 tablespoons of sugar

1 tsp vanilla

 

Blend in a bowl, then spread gently on the baked cheesecake.  Sprinkle with the leftover crumbs from the crust.  Bake for 5 minutes (sometimes less) at 450 degrees.  Refrigerate overnight and enjoy!

 

What about you having for dinner today?  Are you checking out Petticoats and Pistols after getting your turkey in the oven?  Or maybe you’re going out to eat? That’s fun, too. Either way, Thanksgiving Day is a wonderful time to count our blessings.  Here’s wishing everyone a time full of peace, love and the joy of family and friends.

How Dry I Am? The U.S. Camel Corps

l5camels-in-texas-paintingThe U.S. Camel Corps was an experiment by the United States Army using camels in the Southwest.

While the camels did the work well they were nasty and frightened horses, at least that’s the general explanation for why the program failed.

Secretary of War Jefferson Davis (this was pre-Civil War, how INTERESTING that Jefferson Davis was then Secretary of War, huh? He was encouraged to import camels to supply Western wagon routes. It was a dry, hot , hostile region, not unlike the camel’s natural habitat.

Davis, sold the idea to Congress. “For military purposes, and for reconnaissance, it is believed the dromedary would supply a want now seriously felt in our service.”

Congress agreed and appropriated $30,000.

33 camels were imported from the Middle East. They were loaded onto a Navy ship—and yeah, that was as hard as it camel-loading-gh-heapsounds—and transported to Texas. There Lieutenant Edward Fitzgerald Beale took over.

Along with the camels came Hadji Ali to train soldiers in camel wrangling. The Americans slurred Hadji Ali’s name into Hi Jolly and the man became very well known in the west.

Beale set out in June, 1857, with Hi Jolly along, for California. Camels carried 600 to 800 pounds each and traveled 25 to 30 miles a day. After reaching California the expedition returned to Texas, a success — at least to Beale.

Beale wrote. “They pack water for days under a hot sun and never get a drop; they pack heavy burdens of corn and oats for months and never get a grain; and on the bitter greasewood and other worthless shrubs, not only subsist, but keep fat.”

He concluded, “I look forward to the day when every mail route across the continent will be conducted and worked altogether with this economical and noble brute.”

But perhaps he was too optimistic. What he didn’t say was that the camels didn’t take to the West’s rocky soil. It actually became a huge problem because, unlike the smooth sand of the Arabian dessert, American sand was more rocky. It got stuck between the camel’s toes. They experimented with many ways to solve this problem. Hi Jolly for a time wrapped their hooves with burlap and eventually an iron horseshoes, made camel shaped, came along but the cloven hoof was a problem.

And prospectors’ burros and mules — and even Army mules — were afraid of the odd-looking creatures and would sometimes panic at their sight.

Still, in 1858, then-Secretary of War John Floyd told Congress, “The entire adaptation of camels to military operations on the Plains may now be taken as camelmondemonstrated.”

He urged Congress to authorize the purchase of 1,000 more camels.

Congress didn’t act, however, as it was preoccupied with trouble brewing between the North and South. The government ended the experiement and Hi Jolly was grieved but stayed in America and lived until 1902. His burial place is beneath a pyramid shaped marker…with a camel on top.

In the meantime these camels were also being used privately on ranches. It was while moving some of these camels that the nation’s first and only “camel cavalry charge” took place. In 1849 they were trying to cross the Colorado River into California with camels when camel_heada large war party of Mojaves showed up and looked ready to attack. The civilian laborers mounted the camels and charged, routing the Mojaves.

In 1860, experiments were made with racing camels. It was hoped the camels could be used to carry “camel express” mail. The racing experiments proved unsuccessful. Camels excelled at heavy loads carried slowly.

After 1860, Siberian camels were imported to San Franscisco, and ended up in Canadian mining operations. Eventually these were turned loose and became wild herds.

The camel corp was abandoned and the camels either sold or, if they didn’t sell, set free in the desert. Generations of them survived. In the mid-1870s one wandered into Fort Selden, New Mexico Territory. The young son of the post commander saw it and ran, terrified, to hide behind his mother. The post commandant was COL Arthur MacArthur. The terrified child grew up to be General of the Army Douglas MacArthur.

The last camel sighting was in 1941.

This look at American Military History is brought to you in honor of Veteran’s Day. Go hug a vet. If you don’t know him, thought, make sure he’s not armed first. And by the way, that goes for hugging ANY stranger. 🙂

Mary Connealy

 

Indian Songs

horseheader11.jpgGood Morning!

In keeping with Winnie’s theme yesterday, I thought I’d blog today about Indian songs.  For those of you who haven’t heard many Indian songs, you might wonder what’s so different about them.  In truth, though many Native American songs are like any other song, there are different considerations that attach themselves to Indian songs.

Here’s a good place to start, where you can listen to some pow-wow music — the drum (this is a group — called the drum — it’s usually several men who sit around a drum and drum and sing — it is called simply a drum) for the opening song is Thunder Hill — but you can listen to some different drums, as well.  Here’s the link:  www.gatheringofnations.com/music/thunder_morning.htm

drums_081This is a picture of a drum.  Some people might say “drum group,” but the usual language is simply “drum.”  Off to the right here are a couple of  pictures of a couple of young men dancing.golden_age_men_03109_adamnordwallspecial351  These pictures were gotten,by the way, from the 26th Annual Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, NM earlier this year.  The photographer is Derek Mathews.

Here’s a video/music of round dance music — if you want to go and have a look:  www.youtube/watch?v=75TWwbdelFI

09_drumrollcall91And here’s some incredible pictures of some of the singers in different drums.09_drumrollcall81  Many of these songs are passed down from generation to generation.  Some, however, are new.  Here’s some more pictures of these incredible singers.09_drumrollcall13109_drumrollcall28109_drumrollcall31109_drumrollcall21  All of these pictures,by the way were taken by Le Andra Peters andis from the website www.gatheringofnations.com

Here’s some more pow-wow music:  www.gatheringofnations.com/music/GON-25.htm

09_drumrollcall71Now, just a little bit of info about Indian songs.  This is from the book, The Indian How Book by Author C. Parker, who lived amongst the Indians.  Every song has a purpose and no one sings outright for fear of awakening spirits that are attracted to the song you’re singing.  The scales didn’t necessarily follow what we know of as the chromatic scale, which follow our string instruments, more or less.  But songs were owned and no one could sing another’s song without permission.

09_goldenagewomen321golden_age_men_201

Many of the songs made you want to get up and dance — and dance and dance.  Once again, referring to Arthur C. Parker and his book, The Indian How Book, he says, “It may be that these old Indians were pagans, whatever that word may mean, but certainly they knew how to make men feel that there was a Great Spirit in whom we lived and moved and had our being.  Oddly enough, I have known white men and women, who felt the same way about the songs of the red people, and they have returned again and again to the councils of the Indians to drink in this feeling of mystery, this sense of unseen powers.”

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Whatever the reason, I know that I love to dance at pow-wows.   Something about the music gets into your soul and before you know it, you’re out there with the other dancers, dancing your cares away.

endtour1Hope you’ve enjoyed my blog today.  And now am hoping you will also come and join me at Face Book — I’ve only just taken out a page.  My book cover is my picture and you can find me under Karen Kay–there are several Karen Kay’s I’ve discovered,but just look for the cover of my book and you’ll find me.  Apparently, my name is not listed under Karen Kay yet, and so you may have to enter my email address:  karenkay.author@earthlink.net.

51obnqdgasl_sl500_aa240_1

Once there, you can enter my contest to win this book, Black Eagle, or oneof my other books.  Or if you’re not on FaceBook, simply leave a comment here, and you’re automatically entered into the contest.  I must add a few restrictions, however.  Because my books are hard copy, they cannot be sent over the internet.  Therefore, I must restrict the contest to the greater 50 United States and Canada.  This offer does not apply to those states where invalid.

But whatever you choose to do, come on in and let’s chat.  Did you listen to any of the pow-wow music?  And if you did, tell me your thoughts.

Western Theme Songs and Cowboy Ballads

                                  wg-sig-current

I heard a song on the radio the other day that took me way back to the days when westerns dominated the movie screen and the television airwaves.  The song was The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.  Hearing the song immediately put me back in front of the screen reliving scenes from that great movie. 

 

Cowboy Ballads

Got me to thinking about other Cowboy/Western ballads I love – not all of them movie related – and I thought I’d do a list of my top ten favorites for this post.  And for those of you who want to hear them again (or for the first time), I’ll post links to videos that feature them as well.

 

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJMLbyEaPWs&feature=related

High Noon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKLvKZ6nIiA

The Streets Of Laredo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L14UKBjC5Is

El Paso
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5T9OeN3t37Y

Come A Little Bit Closer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu9ZepcV0CM

Big Bad John
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx59fmP7jYE

Ringo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCyuq-ofnPc

Big Iron
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKrXSrqCLY4

Johnny Reb
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VknxL_we6PY

Ballad Of The Alamo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3amU4FqKCqw

 

 

And as a bonus, I thought I’d include my 10 favorite western TV classic theme songs as well

 

 

Have Gun, Will Travel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgvxu8QY01s&feature=related

Maverick
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYrsDT02OcE

Bat Masterson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAdUJrrS7vk

Wyatt Earp
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mroOwJDeqkY

Rawhide
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1I4uJ4aStmc

Cheyenne
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h9rUNf64cw&NR=1

Bronco
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBHbqo9Z2Og&feature=related

Rin Tin Tin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YjMAoDy-jE

Branded
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uV-7D4io1Rs&feature=related

Bonanza
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjdRgBAY278

 

 

So how about you – did I leave one of your favorites off of my lists?  If so – share!