Colt’s .44; or Western History Triggers Countdown

On January 4, 1847, Samuel Colt sold his first revolver to the United States government, allowing buckskinned frontiersmen and uniformed soldiers everywhere to sheathe their Bowie knives and mail their powder-and-ball kits to their poorer relations.

When Samuel Colt, cigar clamped manfully between his teeth, shook hands on the deal for one thousand .44-caliber revolvers to be . . . → Read More: Colt’s .44; or Western History Triggers Countdown

The Man from Laramie; or, The One-Two Punch of 1950s America

Ah, the beauty of pulpish western cover art, filled to the brim with all the perfect 1950s western cover clichés, combined and intertwined in a perfect union of cinematic, pulp western majesty.

Can life get any better?

You might recognize the title, perhaps? Anthony Mann’s films with James Stewart, such as The Man from Laramie (1955) are . . . → Read More: The Man from Laramie; or, The One-Two Punch of 1950s America

One Name Stands Out of All the Rest; or, Bat Masterson’s Song of Myself

Every night that I remember to pray (after a good slug of whiskey to provide the appropriate gravitas), I pray for my family, my friends, my Urban Cowboy, my godless country (for if more Americans prayed, for example health insurance execs, we would have better health care). On good days I sprinkle in a.) when it’s . . . → Read More: One Name Stands Out of All the Rest; or, Bat Masterson’s Song of Myself

On the Procrastination Trail; or, From the Wild Western Collection

Beside my desk is a tall rack of westerns, part of my 350+ collection (a sign of an obsessed mind, yes). It’s perfect for procrastination purposes…

Trail of the Macaw, by Eugene Cunningham Popular Library, 1950 from the collection of es

…such as when I admired this beaut, from 1950. It has the . . . → Read More: On the Procrastination Trail; or, From the Wild Western Collection

Get It On; or, Western Fetishes, from Michael Jackson to Appaloosa

Get it on! Another da bomb of a Wild Western Web find! Michael Jackson as cowboy, circa 1977. *swoon*

Even through the anemic strains of a stoopit disco arrangement, you can discern the moves that made MJ great. Taking on the butch character of a cowboy/gunslinger, Michael Jackson’s dancing transforms classic western movie clichés into fetish objects. Check . . . → Read More: Get It On; or, Western Fetishes, from Michael Jackson to Appaloosa

Wild Western Whiskey; or, How to Drink Like a Cowboy (Without Getting Tossed Through a Window)

The buzz of saloon drinkers. The plunkity plunk of a piano. The clink of coins at the card table. Then a hush falls. Silence.

Slow, heavy  footfalls sound, with a chiiing chiiing trailing each step. A pause. A creak, a thwap of the batwing doors and the gunslinger/sheriff/cowboy approaches the bar. Not a rustle is heard. The gunslinger . . . → Read More: Wild Western Whiskey; or, How to Drink Like a Cowboy (Without Getting Tossed Through a Window)

The Drinks of Westerns; or, Wild Western Whiskey

“Gimme a whiskey.”

Straight up. The man’s man manly drink.

Not milk (which got Destry roundly mocked by Marlene Dietrich in Destry Rides Again) or “soda pop” (which got Shane a fistful of trouble in Shane). And my god–no red wine (I got mocked for that in one little town–ever since then I only drink the best the . . . → Read More: The Drinks of Westerns; or, Wild Western Whiskey

The Girls of Westerns, Part 3; or, The Wild Woman

You know you’ve seen her.

She’s the stunning beauty with the hair over her eyes, the “other woman” standing in the shadows apart from the stalwart white woman.

She is either mute or deranged or she can’t speak English. She is often a figure of fun, the buffoon. She can be Native American, or Spanish, comely or the butt . . . → Read More: The Girls of Westerns, Part 3; or, The Wild Woman

The Girls of Westerns, Part 2; or, Catherine Allen of Will Penny

No heaving bosoms. No limpid eyes filling with tears. No female stumbling after the hero in stupid high-heeled shoes. Ahhhh. Finally. A western heroine who isn’t a wilting schoolmarm or tart with heart of gold, or who doesn’t try to outshoot, outdrink, outswear, or outanything the hero. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

. . . → Read More: The Girls of Westerns, Part 2; or, Catherine Allen of Will Penny

Trying Hard to Sound like Gary Cooper; or, How to Talk Super-Dooper

The quintessential taciturn cowboy, lanky yet graceful, was branded “Gary Cooper” by the 1929 film The Virginian. The son of  a Montana rancher, the Coop could ride as soon as he could walk. Born Frank James Cooper, he changed his name per a casting director’s advice to “Gary,” which she thought would sound more rugged, like . . . → Read More: Trying Hard to Sound like Gary Cooper; or, How to Talk Super-Dooper