My Favorite Westerns

A Celebration of Western Movies… Pardner!

Star Wars Theme / Samuel Kim

 

In the making the original Star Wars
some of the Stars used to laugh at George Lucas behind his back
– that they were involved in such a crazy project.

40-year-old George Lucas interview predicts 'Star Wars'' future with Disney - Los Angeles Times

Above: Young George Lucas with Alec Guinness / 1977

George Lucas

Below: Star Wars lineup 1977

I met a gal who said she had gone to see
the original movie 13 times.

1980: Fans lined up to watch EMPIRE at the now closed Alabama theater in Houston. : StarWars

When they camp out that means it’s a hit.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens': The tweets, the memes, the fan reactions - Los Angeles Times

The Steal of the Century

George Lucas offered 20th Century (Fox) Studios to keep his salary for Star Wars at $150,000
in exchange for two seemingly insignificant requests:

#1) That he retain all merchandising rights,
#2) that he would retain the rights to any sequels.

How One Brilliant Decision In 1973 Made George Lucas A Multi-Billionaire Today

By  on May 4, 2019 in Articles › Entertainment

” … But the real money for George didn’t come from box office receipts. Between 1977 and 1978, Star Wars sold $100 million worth of toys. 35 years later and Star Wars themed toys have generated $12 billion in revenue. Today, Star Wars licensed toys produce $3 billion a year in revenues. And keep in mind, after the first film George owned 100% of the rights to the entire franchise. The next five Star Wars movies would go on to earn an additional $3.5 billion at the box office. In total, the Star Wars empire has sold $4 billion worth of DVDs and VHS, $3 billion worth of video games, $2 billion worth of books and another $1.3 billion through various other licensing deals. That brings the grand grand revenue total after 35 years worth of Star Wars licensing to $27 billion. After expenses, taxes, fees, etc. George Lucas had earned himself an impressive $3.3 billion net worth by 2012. Then, Disney came calling.

Back in 2012, Disney paid George $4 billion to purchase the entire franchise outright …

… for that single brilliant decision made back in 1973. George Lucas essentially traded $350,000 for more than $5 billion.

George Lucas is a very rich man. In fact, out of all the extremely rich celebrities on the planet, George Lucas is the most extremely rich celebrity, with a personal net worth of $5.4 billion. ”

If this had all never really happened who would believe it ?

 

There be monsters here … 
or at least there was once.

Much of the time only partial skeltons are found.
Somebody likely ate the rest?

Despite obvious evidence it’s still hard to believe such
creatures once roamed this world.

How they are most often found. Laying down. Often crushed
or embedded in rock. It can take a lot of painstaking work
to get them out.

Many obviously didn’t perish in a painless manner.

Big ones and smaller ones.
Still swift and deadly.

One drumstick would last you a couple of months.


BIG.

But it wasn’t the biggest.
Every year they seem to find another Dinosaur
that was bigger.

Then there’s us.

Size isn’t everything.

more ahead … 

“You never miss the water ’til the well runs dry …”

Cool Water … Many Interpretations

Most artists do Cool Water ‘straight up’.
Nothing wrong with that.
But there’s a few interpretations
 that caught my ear.

Hard to beat how beautifully The Sons of the Pioneers do this /1961

Dale Evans intro? Husband Roy Rogers was one of the
founding members of the Sons of the Pioneers back in the 1930’s.

Below:
Possibly the most popular of modern interpretations:
Joni Michell and Willie Nelson / 1988

Jimmie Rodgers with his great voice /1959

The Browns. Their unique and wonderful sound / 1960

Burl does it straight up / 1961
But oh so nicely.

This song was made for Walter / 1964

The Sons do a wonderful job / 1992

Teresa Brewer? Who knew!? / 1967

Nicely done Johnny / 1969

Fleetwood Mac. Really / 1982

A powerful and poignant interpretation.
Johnny knew his time was up / 2010

Hope you enjoy these. 

Cool Water / The Sons of the Pioneers / Written by Bob Nolan

Cool Water

Cool Water by The Sons of the Pioneers (Album, Cowboy): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list - Rate Your Music

Some things have been around so long we just take them for granted.
We shouldn’t.

For some things are treasures and a wonderful part of our Heritage.
Cool Water is one such gem.

Wikipedia says:
“”Cool Water” was written in 1936 by Bob Nolan.
It is about a parched man and his mule traveling a wasteland tormented by mirages.

Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as No. 3 on the Top 100 Western songs of all time.”
Justly so.
Nolan also wrote Tumbling Tumbleweeds.
How many can claim that they wrote 2 of the greatest Western Songs of all time?

Bob Nolan (1908 – 1980) was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, April 13, 1908. In 1929 he moved to California.
With Roy Rogers and Tim Spencer, he formed The Sons of the Pioneers in the 1930’s until it broke up in 1949.
That’s a heck of Legacy Bob.
In the song “Dan” is usually assumed to be the subject’s horse, but the term “Old Dan”
usually refers to a trustworthy mule in traditional cowboy colloquialism.
While he wrote cowboy songs including subjects like the desert, this song became popular
during the droughts of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression era. He wrote this poem as a teenager
after he had moved with his divorced father to Tuscon Arizon, and he put it to song twelve years later.

Bob Nolan’s original Cool Water lyrics:

All day I’ve faced a barren waste,
Without the taste of water, cool water.
Old Dan(2) and I with throats burnt dry,
And souls that cry for water,
Cool, clear water.

(CHORUS:)
Keep a-movin’, Dan,
Don’t you listen to him, Dan,
He’s a devil not a man,
And he spreads the burning sand with water.
Dan, can you see that big green tree,
Where the water’s running free,
And it’s waiting there for me,
And you?

The nights are cool and I’m a fool,
Each star’s a pool of water, cool water.
But with the dawn, I’ll wake and yawn,
And carry on to water,
Cool, clear water.

(CHORUS)

The shadows sway and seem to say,
“Tonight we pray for water,
Cool water.”
And way up there He’ll hear our prayer,
And show us where there’s water,
Cool, clear water.

(CHORUS)

Dan’s feet are sore, he’s yearning for,
Just one thing more than water,
Cool water.
Like me, I guess, he’d like to rest,
Where there’s no quest for water,
Cool, clear water.

(CHORUS)

Sung by Many

“It was first recorded by The Sons of the Pioneers on March 27, 1941, for Decca Records and briefly charted in 1941 with a peak position of No. 25. However, the best-selling recorded version was done by Vaughn Monroe and The Sons of the Pioneers in 1948.
The record was on the Billboard chart for 13 weeks …”

Over the Cool Water years it’s been interpreted by many Artists:

Cool Water Bob Atcher 1940 First recording on June 13, 1940
Cool Water Sons of the Pioneers April 1941
Cool Water Sunshine Girls with Cliffie Stonehead’s Harmony Homesteaders 1945
Cool Water Smiley Burnette with The Sunshine Girls 1945
Cool Water Dude Martin and His Round-Up Gang June 11, 1946
Cool Water Foy Willing and The Riders of the Purple Sage July 1946
Cool Water Kate Smith May 1948
Cool Water Nellie Lutcher and Her Rhythm July 1948
Cool Water Tex Ritter and The Dinning Sisters August 1948
Cool Water Sam Browne with The Quads and The Squadronaires directed by Jimmy Miller December 1948
Cool Water Vaughn Monroe with The Sons of the Pioneers 1948
Cool Water The Four Tunes November 1950
Cool Water Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters with Orchestra Directed by Matty Matlock 1952
Cool Water Bob Nolan 1954
Cool Water Frankie Laine March 1955
Cool Water The Norman Luboff Choir 1955
Cool Water Roy Rogers and Dale Evans August 1956
Cool Water Dave Pell Octet February 1957
Cool Water Roger Williams September 1958

Cool Water Polly Bergen and Bill Bergen May 1958
Cool Water Cliffie Stone August 1959
Cool Water Marty Robbins September 1959
Cool Water Johnnie Ray October 1959
Cool Water The Ames Brothers with Hugo Winterhalter and His Orchestra and Chorus 1959
Cool Water Jimmie Rodgers [US2] 1959
Cool Water The Diamonds 1959
Cool Water Hank Williams January 1960 Released more than 10 years after its recording
Cool Water The Browns featuring Jim Edward Brown March 1960
Cool Water Jack Scott July 1960
Cool Water Kate Smith with Bill Stegmeyer and His Orchestra 1960
Cool Water The Randy Van Horne Singers 1960
Cool Water Jack Marshall April 1960

Cool Water Burl Ives June 1961
Cool Water Stu Davis 1961
Cool Water Tex Ritter with Stan Kenton’s Orchestra July 1962
Cool Water Billy Vaughn 1962

Cool Water The Rooftop Singers November 1962
Cool Water Boston Pops OrchestraArthur Fiedler, Conductor 1962

Cool Water Jack Elliott March 1963 Live
Cool Water Eddy Arnold August 6, 1963
Cool Water Patti LaBelle and The Bluebelles 1963
Cool Water Odetta 1963
Cool Water Four Jacks 1963
Cool Water The Willis Brothers 1963
Cool Water Bobby Gregg and His Friends 1963
Cool Water The Bill Black Combo 1963

Cool Water Kai Winding August 1964
Cool Water John Hore accompanied by The Nick Smith Trio with Jerry Merito 1964
Cool Water Walter Brennan 1964
Cool Water John Hore 1964
Cool Water The Rangers [US2] 1964
Cool Water Dick Contino 1964

Cool Water Hank Snow with The Jordanaires November 1965
Cool Water Jim McNaught January 1966
Cool Water Gary McFarland and Gabor Szabo 1966
Cool Water Tom Jones March 24, 1967
Cool Water Teresa Brewer May 1967
Cool Water Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians July 1967
Cool Water Frank Ifield July 1967
Cool Water Nick Taylor 1967
Cool Water Johnny Nash March 1969
Cool Water Keith Manifold 1974
Cool Water Sleepy LaBeef 1976
Cool Water Sven Liljegren 1977
Cool Water Paul Bogart 1977
Cool Water Grady Martin 1977

Cool Water Royston 1978
Cool Water Trevor Adams 1978
Cool Water Spinning Wheel 1979
Cool Water Windsor Davies & Don Estelle 1979
Cool Water Lee Conway 1980
Cool Water Floyd Cramer 1980

Cool Water Fleetwood Mac August 18, 1982
Cool Water Shady Grove Ramblers 1983
Cool Water Riders in the Sky 1983
Cool Water Mason Williams 1984
Cool Water Joni Mitchell March 23, 1988 First release
Western Medley: Back in the Saddle Again … The Jordanaires 1991
Cool Water The Son of San Joaquin / 1992
Cool Water Jim Hendricks 1993
Cool Water The Gatlin Brothers June 8, 1994
Cool Water Michael Martin Murphey with The San Antonio Symphony Orchestra September 12, 1995 Live
Cool Water Wylie & The Wild West 1996
Cool Water Roland 1998
Cool Water Opera Cowpokes July 1999
Cool Water Craig Duncan 1999

Cool Water Swingsters 2001
Cool Water The Stay Tuned String Band 2002
Cool Water Viva Las Vegas 2002
Cool Water Trails & Rails October 2008
Cool Water Johnny Cash February 2010
Cool Water Michael Martin Murphey June 28, 2011
Cool Water Cow Bop 2011
Cool Water Daniel O’Donnell October 22, 2012
Cool Water Christian Masser 2013
Cool Water A Little Farther West January 6, 2017
Cool Water Jen Mize – Mark Sholtez 2018
Cool Water Hank Shizzoe 2019

There are many interpretations of Cool Water that are not listed here. 

Joseph Burr Tyrrell, FRSC

(November 1, 1858 – August 26, 1957)
Was a Canadian geologist, cartographer, and mining consultant. He discovered dinosaur (Albertosaurus sarcophagus) bones in Alberta’s Badlands and coal around Drumheller in 1884.
Canada’s Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta was named in his honor.

Went looking for Coal, but found something else.

Unidentified Dinosaur in Entrance

Many of the models are impressive.

We took a lot of pics in here. 

Hans Zimmer – Now We Ride! / Rango

Amigos! …

You may have noticed my Blog is in a state of … kerfuffle.
CHANGE.


After several years I’ve finally decided to upgrade things. 
So I asked my Son-in-Law Ray,
who happens to be a champion Blog
and Website designer,
to help me out.

Ray Krohmer
Director, IT Specialist, Consultant
Monolith Solutions

http://www.monolithsolutions.ca
1-800-637-5090

I’ve given Ray full reign to do whatever he thinks will work:
Therefore things will be in a state of upheaval ’round here for a bit.
But Fear not!
It will all come together …
shortly?

Great Scott !!!

Let’s RIDE!!!

 

As Time Goes By / Jimmy Durante

The Royal Tyrrell Museum

The Royal Tyrrell Museum / Drumheller, Alberta, Canada – opened 1985.

The Royal Tyrrell Museum is not really an inspiring piece of Architecture.
It appears academic and clinical. That’s because it’s a World Class research center for Paleontology
– housing several labs and research facilities
– apart from
it’s function as an amazing museum. 

There’s a few things to see outside though before you go in:
Albertosaurus –
An enthusiastic Greeter

Covid interrogation.
Didn’t used to be part of a Tour.
On normal (pre-Covid) days there will be a dozen tour buses out front.
People come from all over the world and the museum would usually be packed.
Sadly, much of the time right now the Museum is closed.
PachyrhinosaurusAnd child.

No riders.
Enthusiastic tourists have occasionally damaged the models.

So they must be protected. Incredibly for the first several years Admission was FREE! 
Then they went to a donation box.
Finally they realized that people would pay anything to get in here.
But it’s worth it.

See you inside …

 

 

Virtual Tour: The Royal Tyrrell Museum

This virtual tour can be a bit awkward to navigate,
but if you click on that box in the bottom left hand corner
it will beam you to places around the museum and area. 

Click Here To View Royal Tyrel 360′ View

What you’ll see: 

Just inside the entrance:

T Rex – Always the Star:

Triceratops:

Big Fish:

Once an Ocean:

Sometimes a jungle:

Movie Time:

In the Lab:Get a T Rex T Shirt:

Exhibits are continuously being added and expanded.

Adult (18 – 64) $21.00
Senior (65+) $14.00
Youth (7 – 17) $10.00
Children (6 and under, ticket required) Free
Family (2 adults and their children 7 – 17, max. group size 8) $50.00
Members Free
Experience Alberta’s History Pass Holders Free

Effective December 13, 2020, the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology is temporarily closed

Despite the popularity of Dinosaurs, some people feared that nobody would come all the way out to Drumheller to see this. Since it’s opening in 1985 more than 13 million visitors have come from over 150 countries. They were wrong. 

There’s a lot of excellent vids on You Tube of the Alberta Badlands.
As I said earlier, when I used to explore here as young Teen I felt I was in going into areas that had never before been seen by any human being but me. 
This really fueled my wonder about all things of exploration and Paleontology.
Have a boo of this short, but entertaining video.

Come see this beautiful country for yourself some day. 

“Tomb Raider Theme” (‘Tomb Raider I’ soundtrack) by Nathan McCree [1996]

Sky above, sand below, peace within.
– anonymous
It’s incredible how a single event can change the course of your life.As a young lad I dreamed of becoming an Archaeologist (Ancient History) or Paleontologist (Dinosaurs).Then one day somebody told me this would mean 8 years of University study.
I believed this meant studying 8 years in a classroom.
Such an idea was intolerable to me.
I didn’t know that much of such study takes place (outside the classroom) in the field.
His single statement crushed my dream.

Becomes the boulder of reality

Yet …
today, when I see Archaeologists or Paleontologists sitting in the dirt

digging around with trowels and brushes,
this doesn’t fit my once glamorous vision of discovery and exploration in exotic places.
So …
Did he do me a favor?
Was I saved from a lifetime of scratching in the dirt?
Or did he destroy my dream?

I really don’t know.

The Royal Tyrrell Museum

The Royall Tyrrell Museum / Drumheller, Alberta, Canada

Have my high dreams and wonder of ancient things diminished then?
Not a bit.
Without our dreams and wonders we are nothing.
Just mundane muggles.
Don’t let that happen to you.

Strange Magic / Electric Light Orchestra

Many years ago my niece Sarah made a small figurine for me. I called him Wizard. Wizard accompanied me on my many trips and moves – quietly gracing my desktop. But in my journeys, he also took a heck of a beating.
I lost his Crystal Ball (shameful!) and broke his Magic Staff (doh!).
These are two really bad things for a Wizard.
A Wizard without his Crystal Ball and Magic Staff is like a soldier without a rifle. Almost useless.
Something had to be done! Wizard needed to be fixed.
I sent out the call to Sarah:
Please fix Wizard! 

Sarah immediately responded, expressing astonishment that I still had Wizard at all!! after all these years!
She then determined to go beyond merely repairing Wizard and would create a whole new Wizard for me!
I didn’t expect such a generous offer! But happily accepted. 

A week and a half later Wizard 2 arrived in the mail:

Look how Wondrous he is!!!
Amazing!!!

Thank You Sarah!

Wiz 2 is substantially bigger than Wiz 1!
And I discovered something magical about Wiz 2:
When I went into my office the next – and before I turned on the light …
This is what I saw! : 

Wiz 2’s Crystal Ball shines in the dark!!!

I don’t how Sarah pulled that off, but it’s really cool.

I’m not about to abandon Wiz 1 though.
I now realize I can fix him myself.
All I need to do is to find a Magic Staff and a new Crystal Ball. 
Hmmm …

Something like this:
I wonder if I can find a Crystal Ball that shines in the dark also??
We’ll see. 

The Staff might take some searching
But I’m optimistic

I’ll keep you posted.

 

Me and my Uncle / Katy Moffatt

Did you know that early in is career Val Kilmer played Billy the Kid?
Betcha didn’t.
That was in 1989 when Kilmer was 30 years old.
It was a made for TV movie by Gore Vidal?!

Wikipedia:Vidal said in his memoirs that he had written the original teleplay for The Left Handed Gun, (1958) starring Paul Newman as Billy the Kid, decades earlier, and always felt the studio had butchered the material when his television play was used as the basis for a theatrical movie, so he wanted to return to the story for a more accurate rendition. At the time of his original teleplay with Newman, it was thought that the real Billy was left handed. This was based on a photo of Billy that had been inadvertently flipped when printed. Years later, the error was discovered—Billy was right handed.”
MFW: Tintype photos are often reversed and need to be flipped horizontally for an honest image.

Unfortunately a poor quality trailer.
But the film is occasionally shown on TCM (Turner Classic Movies)

Wikipedia:
While receiving little general attention, the television movie was acclaimed by fans of the Western genre due to its comparative historical fidelity. [citation needed] Kilmer was praised [according to whom?] for his portrayal based on his extensive work to not only physically resemble William Bonney as much as possible, [citation needed] but also to capture his personality as related in historical accounts.[citation needed] This contributed to the film being widely recognized as one of the most historically accurate “Billy the Kid” films ever made.”
MFW: “[citation needed]”, “[according to whom?]”, “[citation needed]”, “[citation needed]”… hmmm …
Typical of anything (and everything) regarding The Kid,
it’s all cloaked in mystery.

Duncan Regehr is perhaps best known for his role in the TV Show as Zorro (1990-93)

Kilmer has had an Up and Down career (to say the least.)
But along the way he’s been in some notable Western style Movies.

Thunderheart (1992)
MFW: Not a bad movie.
Tomstone (1993)
Considered by quite a few people to be a Western Classic
“I’m your Huckleberry.”
Authenticated Photo of Billy the Kid

Back a ways someone got the idea that he would colorize old photos.
So he did.
The results were quite spectacular.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Billy-the-Kid-image-3-1024x576.jpg

It brought the photos to life.
Pretty soon a few other folks joined in.
And now we have a nice collection of colorized images.
Some photos from the Old West are particularly impressive.
Like Billy the Kid.

Interpretations vary.
But they’re all good.
I’ve tried my hand at it, but not that easy.

More coming.

The Poor Side of Town / Johnny Rivers / 1966

Rose and I have stayed in a few B&B’s over the years. Most have been excellent.
But it’s not a cheap way to go.

So Rose found a B&B in North Drum(heller) in what I used call the “the poor side of town”.
Some rough kids came out of there.
But us refined ‘rich kids’ (*sniff*) lived in the New Subdivision in East Drumheller.
I called us the “Subdivisionals”.

Palace of the Subdivisionals!

Our Palace: 1963 AD.
Note the manicured lawn and the drawbridge.
Right: our trusty guard dog Kim, the Queen’s cat, Grace
enter through the riff raff door.

Rose didn’t know all of this important information when she booked us in at
McDougall Lane Bed & Breakfast.
Which caused me a bit of apprehension.
Would we get beset upon by vicious hooligans whilst eating crumpets in a crumbling shack!!!??
Hmmmm …

We venture forth …

Shortly I spot a sign craftily hidden in the bushes …

We’re getting close.

Net Photo / Google Maps

Whoooo! This might be OK?!

Let’s look around a bit.

Net Photo / Google Maps
Net Photo / Google Maps

I couldn’t have imagined anything as amazing as this.

Let’s look inside …

The other suites were gorgeous too. But we got the pool table.

Time for Breakfast.

You know what?
I do feel kinda rich.

TACKYSAURS!!?

How do get rid of a Tacksaur?
Tackysaurs are occasionally vandalized by graffiti, and need to be repainted.
But that doesn’t get rid of them.
One sure method is to ram them with your car.Obviously effective, but unfortunately this also destroys your car.
Tackysaurs don’t go down easy.
But to be fair though, not all Tackysaurs are … well … Tacky.
Some are pretty good. Clever and funny.
A Stegosaurus.
Pretty good eh!?
They’re everywhere!

Love this one.

Us fossils gotta stick together

That was a bit of fun and I’d say
Tackysaurs are generally looked upon with fond good humour.
Enjoy. 

Alley Oop by the Hollywood Argyles

Tackysaurus Rex

Tackysaurus Rex

They started to appear in Drumheller in the late 50’s.
And seemed pretty harmless at first.
Even amusing.
Then … slowly, surely, more and more came.
By the end of the 60’s it was too late!
The whole town was infested!

(Inserting a Wilhelm Scream here.)

The Attack of the
TACKYSAURS!!

Strange, irregular beasts of every dimension and colour!
Blighting every corner, park and byway!!

Tackysaurus Diplodocus

Tackysaurotops

Tackysaurus Pinkus

TackyStegasaurus

TackyTooth Tiger

Tackydon?

Tackydon?

TackyBatosaurus

TackyAlleySaurus

TackyAlleySaurus

TackySaurus Mysterious?

Next: Attack of the Tackysaurs – Episode 2

The Flintstones Theme Song

Before heading to our B&B we drive over to 
the Drumheller Tourist Information Centre
where we see what is claimed to be
“World’s Largest Dinosaur”!
https://www.google.com/maps/@51.4669428,-112.709002,3a,48.9y,17.31h,105.69t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sYOtY-CNbLSbSaOSwocW3Vw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
It is BIG.
So we take a bunch of pics.

Net Photo of the World’s Largest Dinosaur 

Quite a few people here.

Look closely and you’ll see two people in the Dinosaur’s mouth!

There’s a staircase and you can go up there.
We didn’t because there was a lineup
and Covid restrictions were moving things slowly.
Some other time … maybe.
But there is a good view up there.Image from Google Maps.Approved by Gaius Flatulence III

Dinny – the former guardian of the bridge.

??
Looks like 4 Bobbies and 2 other guys trying to pull a dinosaur up a bank?
Unless it’s hollow I doubt they succeeded.