Cool Water … A Western Classic … Part 2

“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.

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. 

Heston – The Big Country

Heston doesn’t smile much in The Big Country. He’s the Major’s (Charles Bickford) hard-bitten boy – the son he never had – and his foreman. He’s cowboy tuff and cowboy gruff. He’s also plain unhappy that the girl he’s loved so long has saddled up with an Eastern greenhorn, Gregory Peck. It ‘sticks in his craw’ – Big time – and he’s not going to leave quietly …

Charlton Heston  -  The BIg Country
Charlton Heston – The BIg Country

As the film ends, Big transitions are in the offing. The battling patriarchs – Burl Ives and Charles Bickford – are dead – along with Ives’ troublesome son Buck (Chuck Connors). It’s seems a ‘given’ that Heston will become the new boss of the Major’s empire – alongside his proper partner Carroll Baker; while the Hannassey’s (Ives’ bunch) homestead is in disarray with no one at its helm; meanwhile the “Big Muddy” now rises under Gregory Peck and Jean Simmons.

As Peck and Simmons ride off into the sunset – we are sure that Heston and Carroll Baker will complete their own circle (though we don’t get to see it).

One wonders though, if there still isn’t an untold story on the horizon …

The only problem is: where do you find the players? – another cast like this?

The answer is …

You can’t.

Heston NRA
Heston NRA

In this 2002 file photo, Charlton Heston acknowledges applause at a benefit honoring him at the
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
(Photo by Steve Sisney/The OklahomanArchives)

Burl Ives … Larger than Life …

Burl Ives original recording of Ghost Riders in the Sky – It was written on June 5, 1948 by Stan Jones.

Troubadour / Actor / Activist /
 Philanthropist / Mason …

Widipedia: Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives (June 14, 1909 – April 14, 1995) was an American actor, writer and folk music singer. As an actor, Ives’s work included comedies, dramas, and voice work in theater, television, and motion pictures. Music critic John Rockwell said, “Ives’s voice … had the sheen and finesse of opera without its latter-day Puccinian vulgarities and without the pretensions of operatic ritual. It was genteel in expressive impact without being genteel in social conformity. And it moved people.” 

The BIg Country - Burl Ives
The BIg Country – Burl Ives
Warfaring Stranger - Autobiography Burl Ives
Warfaring Stranger – Autobiography Burl Ives
Golden Boot Award

Winner 1986: The Golden Boot Awards –
given to honor actors, actresses, and crew members who have made significant contributions to the genre of Western television and movies.

Burl Ives / A sketch

  • Movies: Ives made 30+ movie over 40 years, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (with Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor)
  • Music: Famed American poet Carl Sandburg called Ives “the mightiest ballad singer of this or any other century”
  • Ives is said to have learned Scottish, English and Irish ballads from his tobacco chewing grandmother.
  • Recognized as an important anthologist and editor of folk music, Ives is regarded by some to be the most important folk artist of all time and played along side such folk legends Pete Seeger, Josh White and Woody Guthrie. 
  • Ives recorded more that 100 albums.
  • Appearing on Broadway in “The Boys From Syracuse” (1938), “This Is the Army” (1942) and “Sing Out Sweet Land” (1944), among other productions.
  • Worked with Rogers and Hart
  • Appeared on Broadway and in films such as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and East of Eden.
  • Ives was one of many entertainers who got caught up in McCarthyism’s communist witch hunt in the late 40:

1950s: Communist blacklisting – Wikipedia:
Ives was identified in the 1950 pamphlet Red Channels and blacklisted as an entertainer with supposed Communist ties. In 1952 he cooperated with the House Committee on Unamerican Activities (HUAC) and agreed to testify. He stated that he was not a member of the Communist Party, but that he had attended various union meetings with fellow folk singer Pete Seeger simply to stay in touch with working folk. He stated: “You know who my friends are; you will have to ask them if they are Communists.”

Ives’s statement to the HUAC ended his blacklisting, allowing him to continue acting in movies. But it also led to a bitter rift between Ives and many folk singers, including Seeger, who accused Ives of betraying them and the cause of cultural and political freedom in order to save his own career. Ives countered by saying he had simply stated what he had always believed. Forty-one years later, Ives reunited with Seeger during a benefit concert in New York City. They sang “Blue Tail Fly” together.

Ives history and contribution to music in particular, is so comprehensive it’s almost insulting – and impossible – to encapsulate it him any way. Please refer to these bios for greater information:
IMBD Internet Movie Database:

The Big Country … big enough for everyone … ?

“Why ain’t you dead? You let ’em run my cows off
and you come back standing up!”

The Big Country
The Big Country

The Big Country Trailer

Rotten Tomatoes Review: 100% !!!

The Big Country Rotton Tomatoes Review

The Big Country Posters
The Big Country Posters

“You don’t shoot an unarmed man… not while I’m around.”

The Big Country

The Big Country.

BIG … and a Western Classic with Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck, Burl Ives, Carroll Baker, Jean Simmons, Chuck Conners …

“This is the west, Jim, a man is still expected to defend himself. If he allows people to think he won’t, he’s in trouble. Bad trouble.”

The Big Country /

Below; The classic fight scene from The Big Country
or ‘How to pull your britches on, Western style’.

Not many folks can deliver a volley of insults like Heston:

“All I can say, McKay, is you take a helluva long time to say good-bye.”

The Big Country

“This is the west, Jim, a man is still expected to defend himself. If he allows people to think he won’t, he’s in trouble. Bad trouble.”

The Big Country / 

Below: The classic fight scene from The Big Country
or ‘How to pull your britches on, Western style’.

Not many folks can deliver a volley of insults like Heston:

“All I can say, McKay, is you take a helluva long time to say good-bye.”