Black Cowboy 4 … Nat Love

26 Feb

Home on the Range – Tom Roush

Nat Love

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Rick (Surrounded by Imbeciles – was mentioning Nat Love. Nate Love was undoubtedly the most famous Black Cowboy. Tall (dark?) and handsome, he strode the plains – an imposing figure of man – who could back his bravado as a horseman, cowboy, rodeo competitor, and sharpshooter. A helluva guy.

Nat Love bio from Wikipedia:

Nat Love (pronounced “Nate” Love) (c. 1854 – 1921), and also known as “Deadwood Dick”, was an African-American cowboy following the American Civil War. In 1907, Love wrote his autobiography in which he tells of his father being a slave foreman in the fields, and his mother the manager of the plantation’s kitchen.

Love was a slave when he was born on the plantation of Robert Love in Davidson County, Tennessee, around 1854. Despite slavery era statutes that outlawed black literacy, he learned to read and write as a child with the help of his father, Sampson. When slavery ended, Sampson Love attempted to start a family farm to raise tobacco and corn, but he died shortly after the second crop was planted. Nat then took a second job working on a local farm to help make ends meet. After a few years of working odd jobs, he won a horse in a raffle, which he sold in order to leave town. He went west to Dodge City, Kansas, where he found work as a cowboyfrom the Duval Ranch, located in Texas. Because of his excellent horse riding skills, the Duval Ranch cowboys gave Love the nickname, “Red River Dick.” He left Dodge City and returned with them to the home ranch in the Texas Panhandle.

Love fought cattle rustlers and endured inclement weather. He was an expert marksman and cowboy. When he entered a rodeo in Deadwood, South Dakota, on the 4th of July in 1876, he won the rope, throw, tie, bridle, saddle, and bronco riding contests. It was at this rodeo that fans gave him the nickname “Deadwood Dick”.

On October 1877, he was captured by a band of Akimel O’odham (Pima) while rounding up stray cattle near the Gila River in Arizona. Love reported that his life was spared because the Indians respected his fighting ability. Eventually, he stole a pony and managed to escape into west Texas.

Love spent the latter part of his life working as a pullman porter on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. He died in Los Angeles in 1921 at the age of 67.

Nat Love

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Nate had a book …

Nate Love Book

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Excerpt from Nate’s book:

“Quite a different sort of man was Yellowstone Kelley, government scout, hunter and trapper. He was one of the men who helped to make frontier history and open up the pathless wilds to the march of civilization. He was in the employ of the government as a scout and guide when I first met him, and thereafter during our many wanderings over the country, I with my cattle, he with Uncle Sam’s soldiers or on a lone scout, we often bumped up against each other, and these meetings are among my treasured memories. He was a man who knew the country better than he knew his own mother, absolutely fearless, kind and generous to a fault. He was the sort of a man that once you meet him you could never forget him, and us boys who knew him well considered him the chief of all the government scouts of that day. I also had the pleasure of meeting Kit Carson in Arizona and nearly all the government scouts, hunters and trappers of the western country, and they can all be described in one sentence, they were men whom it was a pleasure and an honor to know.

“Billie the Kid” was another sort of a man and there has never been another man like him and I don’t think there ever will be again. Writers claim that he was a man all bad. This I doubt as I knew him well and I have known him to do deeds of kindness. He had many traits that go to make a good man, but fate and circumstances were against the kid,

Yet I know he always remembered a kindness done him and he never forgave an enemy. I have rode by his side many a long mile, and it is hard to believe he was as bad as he is pictured to be, but the facts are against him, and when his career was ended by the bullet from Sheriff Garrett’s colt, the world was better off, likewise were some men who stood in mortal fear of the kid, and I suppose they had good reason to be afraid as the kid always kept his word.”

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Black Cowboy African American Cowboy

The Negro Cowboys

Lots of books … but no movies ??

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The Wild Bunch Casting Call Part 4: Ben Johnson

18 Feb

My Heroes have always been Cowboys .. Nelson

Ben Johnson The Wild Bunch

Ben Johnson seemed to live a charmed life. Western Movie Stardom seemed to fall right into his saddlebags. It helped, of course, that he happened to be a top notch Cowboy – and it’s certain he would have been happy (and successful) to remain such.

And if you’re going to be a Western Movie Star you might as well at the top too: with the Greatest Western Star of all: John Wayne and Great Western Director John Ford. In gambling – and Westerns – this is called the jackpot.

And in this long career Johnson just kept rolling into the sunset.

So much so, that it may well be noted that Ben Johnson probably appeared in more Classic Westerns that any other Western Actor (except Wayne?) in Western Film history. See for yourself.

So in The Wild Bunch it’s a bit of a surprise to see him 4th on the Bill  – behind William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, and Warrren Oates ??

Yet in Hollywood Star Power is the Law – and the others guys were ruled faster in charisma and money draw – despite Ben being the only real cowboy of the Bunch. The only card he couldn’t pull.

But I’m sure he didn’t complain.

Ben Johnson Filmography

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Note: These aren’t all the movies that Johnson appeared in … just what I could round up. It’s said that he appeared in 15 John Wayne Westerns alone.

The Cast Ben Johnson

Go ahead Ben, smile. (She Wore a Yellow Ribbon / 1949)

Unforgiven/Yurusarezaru mono (2013) and Unforgiven (1992)

14 Feb

Originally posted on Tim Neath - Visual Artist:

Unforgiven:Yurusarezaru mono (2013)I’ve been waiting to catch the Japanese remake of Unforgiven (1992), wondering how it would compare, which I can’t help but do. On the face of it these two films are the same in terms of the basic plot, the three men who ride into avenge a prostitute has been attacked. There is however more added depth to Unforgiven/Yurusarezaru mono (2013)  with the added strand of their countries civil war between the now samurai and Shoshon in the 1860’s, which mirrors the American civil, I don’t remember that in Eastwoodwestern at all. (However I haven’t seen it in 4 years) which gives the characters more of a back-story, not just gunfighters who left a trail of death and destruction in their wake. Much the same goes for the two elder men Jubei Kamata (Ken Watanabe) and Kingo Baba (Akira Emoto) who start out on…

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Black Cowboy 3 … Bill Pickett

10 Feb

Wylie Gustafson …. Cattle Call

Bill Pickett

First African-American cowboy movie star.

Bill Pickett book

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Bill Pickett plaque

Erected in 1991 by the Texas Historical Commission & the Woodson-Dickey History Club. 

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Bill Pickett bulldogger

Originator of bulldogging/steer wrestling (1903)

Bill Pickett Rodeo 2Bill Pickett Rodeo

First African-American to be inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame of the Rodeo Historical Society (a support group of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum) in 1971.

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Black Cowboy 2 … an Essay in Images

6 Feb

longhorn 3Black Cowboy 3home on the rangehome on the range 2home on the range 3home on the range 4prairie vistaprairie vista 2cowpoke and steed







Black Cowboy 1 … an Essay in Images

2 Feb

Sammy Davis Jr.s’ dream of playing a Western Hero/Cowboy was likely greatly lessened by the false belief that there were no Black cowboys in the Old West.

But there were. Plenty. Just not in the cinema.

Black Cowboy

Black Cowboy painting

Black Cowboy 1

Cowboy Nat Love – (Deadwood Dick) 


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Black cowboys of Texas

Black Cowboys


Black Cowboy 2


Black Buckaroos

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The Wild Bunch cont. ……………… Casting Call Part 3

24 Jan

Warren Oates

Scorpion Bar The Wild Bunch - The Cast - Warren Oates 1 The Wild Bunch - The Cast - Warren Oates 2 The Wild Bunch - The Cast - Warren Oates 3 Warren Oates TV Westerns

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Next: Ben Johnson role of Tector Gorch …


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