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Johnny Western Gunfight At O.K. Corral (CD)

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1-CD with 16-page booklet, 16 tracks. Playing time approx. 46 mns. Johnny Western entered the... more

Johnny Western: Gunfight At O.K. Corral (CD)

1-CD with 16-page booklet, 16 tracks. Playing time approx. 46 mns.

Johnny Western entered the folklore of the 1950s when he sang The Ballad Of Palladin for Richard Boone's hit televison Western, Have Gun, Will Travel. That 1957 success launched a career for Western which found him touring for several years as MC and opening act for Johnny Cash. By the time of these early 1980s recordings, made at Jack Clement's Nashville studio, Western showed the influence of Cash (‘Don't Take Your Guns To Town’) and a continued devotion to TV Western theme songs. This 16-track collection includes two medleys of songs from small-screen oaters (including Cheyenne and, of course, Ballad Of Paladin) as well as such big-screen themes as High Noon, The Hangin' Tree, and the title track.

When he was five years old, Johnny Western saw his first Gene Autry movie. On that day a dream was born. The movie called "Guns and Guitars" and for J.W., it marked the beginning of a lifelong love affair with western songs and western movies ... particularly those of Mr. Autry. At the time, Johnny had no way of knowing that sixteen years down the road he'd actually be touring and performing with Autry himself. Looking back, he says, "Nothing I've done in the business could have happened without the inspiration I got from Gene, and to me he'll always be Mr. American Cowboy." In the fall of '57, Johnny first sang his weekly theme for the hit television series, "Have Gun, Will Travel."


That theme was heard weekly through seven seasons and 270-some -Have Gun" episodes. Of course, he was rarely free to watch TV on Saturday nights because by then he'd begun a six year association as opening act and m.o. of the touring Johnny Cash show. It was during this period that I first met J.W. I was a disc jockey in those days. I had a million questions and he took time to answer every one of them. Twenty-two years later, we still haven't run out of things to talk about. He called a few days ago and asked me to write the notes for this album. So here goes. What Shakespeare is to English literature, Bob Nolan and Stan Jones are to songs of the American West.

Nolan is most famous for classics like "Tumbling Tumble-weeds" and "Cool Water". But he also wrote a great many others that are equally evocative, like "Song of the Bandit" which is contained herein. It was inspired by an old English poem called 'The Highwayman." Stan Jones is represented here with "Riders In The Sky", "The Searchers", "Hannah Lee", "Lilies Grow High" and "Cheyenne." In "Riders", Jones brought an old legend to life. According to the legend, the vision of "riders" is a warning to a cowboy to change his ways or ride through eternity in a hopeless attempt to catch an elusive -ghost herd". -The Gun-fighter" of the old West hired out knowing full well that, regardless of how fast he was, someday there would be one faster. Sooner or later, for such a man "The Lilies Grow High." If these men weren't shot, they were taken to the nearest "Hanging Tree."

Either way, they died with their boots on and ended up in a cemetary where only bad men were buried. Such graveyards were appropriately called "Boot Hill", and they were the final resting place for countless gunfighters and lawbreakers, including "Ringo", "Hannah Lee", the Frank Miller gang ("High Noon" ), and Frank McLowery, Tom McLowery and Billy Clanton ( -Gunfight At O.K. Corral"). "The Searchers" eloquently explores man's age old obsession with discovering what lay beyond the next hill. Of course, the ideal situation for a "searcher- was to get paid for it, and one of the best ways was to hire on to drive cattle. The song "Rawhide" might well have depicted that spring morning in 1871 when Texas drovers and Northern cattlement first mixed their shadows on the high plains, riding point and drag on the nation's earliest great cattle drive.

It was this work that gave the cowboy his name, and a new American hero was born. Today, more than a century later, the cowboy remains America's most romantic symbol of independence ... and he hasn't gone unsung. It has been more than years and miles since a small five year old boy sat in a darkened movie theater and dreamed of being a cowboy singer. But the dream came true. That boy grew up to become one of the best friends a cowboy song ever had. But from someone named "Western", we would expect no less. Mr. Autry should be proud!

Pat Shields Hollywood, California

Editor's Note:

Pat Shields is a strong, creative writing force behind "American Country Count-down" with top L.A. music personality, Bob Kingsley, heard on more than 600 radio stations from coast to coast. Pat's knowledge of C& W music and its people is without peer and his friendship thru the years and I might add, thru thick and thin, has been and is most valued.

Article properties: Johnny Western: Gunfight At O.K. Corral (CD)

Western, Johnny - Gunfight At O.K. Corral (CD) CD 1
01 Ghost Riders In The Sky Johnny Western
02 Gunfight At O.K. Corral Johnny Western
03 The Gunfighter Johnny Western
04 Don't Take Your Guns To Town Johnny Western
05 Ringo Johnny Western
06 The Hangin' Tree Johnny Western
07 Cross The Brazos At Waco Johnny Western
08 Medley: Johnny Yuma, The Rebel: Johnny Western
09 Bonanza/Ballad Of Paladin Johnny Western
10 Rawhide Johnny Western
11 The Searchers Johnny Western
12 High Noon Johnny Western
13 Song Of The Bandit Johnny Western
14 Hannah Lee Johnny Western
15 The Lillies Grow High Johnny Western
16 Ballad Of Boot Hill Johnny Western
17 Medley: Cheyenne/Wyatt Earp/Bat Masterson Johnny Western
Johnny Western Heroes And Cowboys "He sounds like a cowboy looks." (Waylon Jennings)... more
"Johnny Western"

Johnny Western

Heroes And Cowboys

"He sounds like a cowboy looks." (Waylon Jennings)

Johnny Western wrote The Ballad Of Paladin—the theme song for the TV series 'Have Gun Will Travel' starring Richard Boone, which ran from 1957 - 1963. A friend of Johnny Cash for decades, Western was signed to Columbia Records, and like Cash was produced by the legendary Don Law. In 1958, Cash asked Western to join his show as emcee and singer. He was subsequently a featured musician on most of Johnny Cash's recordings through April 1963.

Johnny Western appeared in over 50 western movies and TV westerns, including 'Have Gun Will Travel,' 'Pony Express,' 'Gunsmoke,' 'Boots & Saddles,' 'Wells Fargo,' and 'Bat Masterson.' Long before the western music craze, Johnny Western was playing and singing it his way. This 3-CD set begins in 1952 with his original version of The Violet And The Rose, and continues through his Columbia, Philips, Hep and JRC sides. Rarities and obscurities take the Johnny Western story all the way up to 1981. The 40-page, LP-sized book includes a biography, detailed recording information and a treasure trove of rare and unseen pictures.

 

Johnny Western Heroes And Cowboys (3-CD)
Read more at: https://www.bear-family.com/western-johnny-heroes-and-cowboys-3-cd.html
Copyright © Bear Family Records

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Tracklist
Western, Johnny - Gunfight At O.K. Corral (CD) CD 1
01 Ghost Riders In The Sky
02 Gunfight At O.K. Corral
03 The Gunfighter
04 Don't Take Your Guns To Town
05 Ringo
06 The Hangin' Tree
07 Cross The Brazos At Waco
08 Medley: Johnny Yuma, The Rebel:
09 Bonanza/Ballad Of Paladin
10 Rawhide
11 The Searchers
12 High Noon
13 Song Of The Bandit
14 Hannah Lee
15 The Lillies Grow High
16 Ballad Of Boot Hill
17 Medley: Cheyenne/Wyatt Earp/Bat Masterson