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Ye Olde Cowboys

Recently added to the Westerns location at Scarecrow Video are several actor and character related subsections. They join some similar sections we already had for folks like Gene Autry, The Cisco Kid and Roy Rogers. The majority of the new, mostly actor based, sections consist of films from the 30s but include films made up into the 1970s. There are a few big names added but, for the most part, many of the performers are nearly forgotten today despite being well known stars during their peak of fame. It is true, the main reason these new sections were added was to help break up the Westerns and make the display boxes easier to browse but we truly hope these sections will serve as a tribute to some long gone cowboys who will not be forgotten.

Here are some facts to share as we introduce these new sections to the shelves of Scarecrow Video.

Rex Bell- Starting as a contract player at Fox studios during the silent era, Bell eventually signed with Monogram in the 30s and later worked with a few different poverty row studios. He later became involved in politics, hosted a kids TV show and one of his last screen appearances was a small part in The Misfits. Despite all of his accomplishments, Rex Bell is probably best known for his marriage to Clara Bow.

Johnny Mack Brown- As a football player with the University of Alabama, Brown played an important part in defeating the heavily favored University of Washington Huskies in the 1926 Rose Bowl. His consequential appearance on a Wheaties box lead to a long career in tinsel town where he appeared in 127 westerns.

Harry Carey- This busy character actor was one of the first huge stars in the western genre. He has worked for some of the biggest directors in the biz in a wide variety of roles, but you will find most of his westerns in this section.

Bill Cody- Though no relation to 'Buffalo' Bill Cody, this Bill Cody did tour with a Wild West show before getting into the picture business. He made most of his films for the Monogram and Spectrum studios and often acted with his son who was known as Billy Jr.

Buster Crabbe- Probably best known for playing Tarzan, Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, Buster also acted in westerns up into the 1940s and was eventually teamed with Al 'Fuzzy' St. John. Buster won medals for swimming in both the 1928 and 1932 Olympic Games.

Hoot Gibson- An expert horse rider who won the all around championship at the Pendleton Round-Up and the steer roping world championship at the Calgary Stampede. For a while he was a major box office draw but Hoot ended up broke and, to pay the bills, he worked at a carnival and was a greeter at a Las Vegas casino

Buck Jones- Moved from stuntman to being one of the top cowboy acts of the 20s and 30s. Jones appeared in almost 200 films and one of his regular characters was Marshall Buck Roberts. He died in the infamous Cocoanut Grove fire in Boston, Massachusetts.

Tom Keene- Keene acted in lots and lots of westerns but I'll always remember him as Col. Tom Edwards in Plan 9 From Outer Space.

The Lone Rider- A series of singing cowboy movies from PRC studios. First The Lone Rider was played by George Houston then it was Bob Livingston who had been one of The Three Mesquiteers.

Ken Maynard- Started as a stuntman, became one of the first singing cowboys and made a star out of his white stallion named Tarzan. Booze nearly did him in and he ended up broke and living in a mobile home reportedly supported by Gene Autry. One of the last things he did was act in 1970's Bigfoot. Kermit Maynard was his brother.

Kermit Maynard- Had a similar career with his brother but managed to avoid the bottle. Kermit worked a lot on TV after his cowboy career fizzled out.

Tim McCoy- A veteran of WWI and WWII, Colonel McCoy was on a Wheaties box, worked on a Wyoming ranch and became an expert horseman. He was also familiar with local Indian ways and later helped bring Native American actors to Hollywood to work as actors. Ended up hosting a TV show in LA in the 50s. It was a kids show that presented old westerns with McCoy offering history lessons. His co-host was Iron Eyes Cody!

Jack Perrin- Married to Josephine Hill, Perrin acted in all sorts of silent films in the 20s then in the 30s moved on to starring in numerous B Westerns.

Jack Randall- Started as a singing cowboy but eventually stopped the singing. His brother Robert Livingston played The Lone Rider. Twice married and divorced to Louise Stanley (a b-western regular), he had a notorious affair with Louise Brooks and his last wife was Barbara Bennett (the less famous actress sibling of Constance and Joan Bennett).

The Range Busters- Two of the Three Mesquiteers split off to make this similar western series. Ray "Crash" Corrigan and ventriloquist Max Terhune (his dummy is named Elmer) team with singing cowboy John "Dusty" King. Most of the films were shot on Corrigan's Corriganville ranch. Be sure to check out Corriganville, a vintage documentary that can be found in the general 'Westerns' location.

Tex Ritter- Tex was a highly successful early country music singer who became an actor as well. Yep, he's John Ritter's dad.

Randolph Scott- Out of his 100 films more than 60 were westerns and, along with John Wayne, may be the archetypal "strong silent type" western star. He started in low budget Zane Grey adaptations, acted in all sorts of films but Scott is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Budd Boetticher.

Bob Steele- Born in Portland, Oregon his career got going in 1927 after which he made tons of B Westerns for almost every minor studio and eventually became a supporting character actor in The Big Sleep and Rio Bravo. His career culminated in a regular spot on the show F Troop.

The Three Mesquiteers- We have a few films from this extremely popular series of 51 B Westerns featuring a shifting cast that has included actors like Bob Steele, Bob Livingston and a young John Wayne.

Tom Tyler- Maybe best known for playing Captain Marvel in the 1941 movie serial, he was also the Mummy in The Mummy's Hand but, mostly, he acted in low budget westerns.

John Wayne- Appeared in all sorts of poverty row westerns where he honed his horse riding skills. John Wayne's eventual breakthrough role was in John Ford's Stagecoach. The rest is cowboy history. You'll find Duke's definitive performances in the director's section but most of his early westerns are up in his new section along with a few documentaries.