The music of the cowboy

When the American folk vocal group, The Sons of the Pioneers, went into a recording studio in 1937 and belted out “Blue Juniata” they added fresh voice to what is generally credited as being the first ‘Western’ song. As they sang, fiddled, and strummed their guitars, this American folk vocal group also revitalized a specific… Read More

Beans and the cowboy in Nineteenth Century America

In 1974 Hollywood released the movie Blazing Saddles, directed by flamboyant maverick Mel Brooks, in which the cowboy took centre stage. It became notorious for its repetitive scenes of cowboys breaking wind. While the viewing public loved this movie and remember it fondly, the professional critics were less impressed and preferred to forget it. The… Read More

The cowboy hat

The cowboy hat nowadays is an instantly recognisable piece of apparel. High-crowned and wide-brimmed, it is associated with Old West lore and worn by country-western singers and people involved with rodeos as well as anyone who does ranching work or likes to look as if they did. But as with so many things associated with… Read More

Soiled doves

‘Soiled doves’ was one of the more commonly used names for prostitutes in the Old West although there were plenty of others: ladies of the line, sporting women, daughters of sin, etc. They seem to have shared the term ‘painted lady’ with saloon girls who belonged to an altogether different class. Prostitutes were often the… Read More