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With the lonely skies shoving down on his shoulders and the dust of a continent taking his throat he left his brand on the front tier of our history eyes squinted ahead into savagery. Civilization dogging his heels and we give him to you who can take him straight. The American cowboy. I was born and raised in the cow country. I am a cowboy. And what's put down in these pages is what I've lived seen and went through before I ever had any idea that my writing and sketches would ever appear before the public. Radio television the University of Texas presents the American Council. A series of programs reflecting the true place and picture of the significant historical figure this unique folky of. The American cowboy has
produced and recorded by radio television the University of Texas under a grant from the National Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcast. Today programme 30 the Cowboys like. It is been said that he would paint the front tier world of the cowboy needs only three colors black white and blood on the saddle. But wait. Is this true. Let's. Listen to Jay Frank dhobi writing in his book The Longhorns next to the horns the most striking quality and appearance of the Texas cattle was their coloration. It is incorrect to say that they represented all the
colors of the rainbow. Their colors were more varied than those of the rainbow but they were generally earth like the shadings and combinations of colors were so various that no two were alike and says Mr Dolby. Further picturing this multi hued monarch of the cow country he bellowed to the stars in a call for the color and form and swiftness of art. He did not go unheard. Frank Gray answered. And Harvey Wiley skater Frederick Remington and Boyd Smith James Jody young and many others with skill or talent or genius catching on canvas or plaster or paper will hide a photographic plate the knotted muscle the arching rope the flashing hoofs the blazing sky the dusty blur of weariness the sharp thrust of pain. And there was another when it comes to making the beautiful mall
nature of man be it always from the ace. I have made a living painting the horned animal the lady I'm talking about made starve to death by the harness before me that man is made. Charles M. Russell differently seen through different eyes at different times. As viewed by the men of the 12 Zeevi outfit of the Judith basin in 1880 to the new Knight I think it's Kid Russell and the rich kid Russell I'm betting that by morning will be of age as seen by Will Rogers in one thousand twenty six. We might have painters in time to come it will be just as good as Old Charlie. We may have cowboys just as good and we may occasionally round up a pretty good man but us and the manicured tribe that is following us will never have the real cowboy the painter and man combined and old Charlie was and in a later day Charlie defended by his nephew
Austin Russell to a girl from Twentieth Century New York. A girl who had just said but his pictures have no social implications historically important. Charlie paid what he had seen and taken party and he took things as they came and painted them that way which was no vague and whimsical task. The man who intended to picture that world had to know exactly what he was about. As Agnes Morley Cleveland illustrates in her book no life for a lady. I lifted my eyes from Maynor Dixon's letter and looked into a pair of eyes I'd never seen before. But they were from my understanding I may belong to a young cull puncher who's playing at the post office I was blocking. You're just what I'm looking for. I'm in a jackpot Well now I'd sure too bad for a lady to be in a jackpot. Can I help. Yes please I believe you can you see I've just had this letter. It's from an artist a man a Mainer Dixon you know lost everything he had in the San Francisco fire.
Now he's illustrating some Western stories and so he desperately needs cowboy plunder all sorts eats it right away. I thought there was some way out there you want Miami you just leave it to me. Rushing around to see what I can scrape together. Meet you it carries me from the right way. He didn't ask my name nor I his. And was there any mention of money. The following Wednesday I shipped to Major Dixon. These goods one stock saddle and saddle blanket in better than fair condition. Ron still sightly Stetson had one run over the heels but wearable pair of cowboy boots one pair counter all mounted the shaps one one bridle one pair of droop brawl Spurs rawhide quirt one metal studded pair of leather cuffs. My rescuer scratched his head when I asked him the amount of the bill I should enclose Demain your dicks and while that's a little hard to say I won't charge you for the things I don't know but I had to promise one or two of the bars I pay you
reckon if I don't show up at the ranch with about $60 they'll take it out of my hide. The date of that artists and models jackpot was one thousand nine hundred six in Silver City. But the need for rightness in producing the cowboy's likeness remains Joe grand a outstanding Texas painter of the cowboy and Joe small publisher of the western publications. True West and from here time tell Mary Dee Benjamin like the writer of this radio series something we know about such problems. Anything from where so we got this bright idea see of putting on a contest and in other words it would absolve us from all if there were more that you had gone their way and called and also he couldn't very well correct it if you don't mean so. We ran the cover and said What's wrong with this cover. What's wrong with this picture thing and we got an email and how I was so sick of mail it with a foot to two feet high every morning.
If any little thing was wrong with the harness if you know a little thing was wrong with any part of the bridle of one of the animals or anything like that was wrong it was completely a bad mistake in their estimation and one thing was that the thing took place in the mountains and the Indians were dressed as planes and so that didn't go so good either. Journeyman was the more that they now know. I started off reading and it frightened me so much as I just. Did not go on through it I just keep on. How is it I ask you Mr. Brand if you found this unsettling right here as it always does because well after all thats the way I make my living you know in a lot of people right in their way criticizing my work heavily Well what magazine we want to use it and its upsetting after youve worked real hard on something to realize it. Well to a degree its just been a waste of time as far as those people are concerned they're
not interested in it even if the color is pretty and the story concerned with the with a cover is exciting. Well if you're all on the equipment they don't care about it. To avoid this do you work from actual Yes lot of times I'll get someone to pose for me who looks like a real time old time cowboy. Actually in terms of the ring game you plan with family like me and that's what I do then I dress him up in these old clothes hundred year old clothes that were actually used in those days the shops that were worn the Spurs that were stuck into the horse's ribs and everything. You must remember you like you know these things and do you keep a collection of the studio I've got a whole house for a garage that dominates the house. It's extremely expensive. Forty dollars saddles
now cost upwards to 75 or 100 or more where you can find out when you can buy them if they were used by some famous old timer well they're just out of this world as far as prices. It's priceless when you and most small students of history would seem to me to know things like you know we didn't want equipment because I noticed in marking the series that styles in gear changed over the years so you have to know your year then your price varied from place to place and I learned mostly from reading the old books of happenings and then you have to study a lot of photographs taken by Matthew Brady and William H. Jackson and L. a huff and puff and several others.
They show you the extent of how people watch our coverage. We had one that we thought was perfect yet when I just had to be right it seemed because our inexpert it OK to do it and everybody that we depend on had old but it didn't get by the cousin of Quanah Parker. There was a skeleton out on the desert sea was within hours still lying to our still lying by bleached bones and had been there for months and months you know and this cousin of one of Parker's I forget his name now pointed out the fact that the arrow to see the feathers on aras were still colorful and that if they'd been there all that time they would been released. Why is the bomb. Do you find yourselves hamstrung sometimes my need for authenticity. Absolutely. In fact if I could I'd like to change the names of both of my
Magazines I have a subtitle called fiction of the old days. It was emulated true as I didn't know actually what I was getting into and possibly Joe didn't either. And when you're covering a period like the old west and you turn at 60 to 70 thousand words every one of those words have got to be right. You have just cut you all the trouble you sir have and you don't really know where your last port of call is on all things. That's the trouble we'll run it through one of our stories for us to go through. Our so-called experts in the office and at the end of a hard month sometime we want to bury our heads about and we don't think we know anything at the end of a hard month. Then it is gone. Let's say it has to do with endings and it goes to an Indian expert and then let's say it has to do with weapons used in this Indian war or something along that line it has to go to an expert on weapons and bow and arrows and that
sort of thing. And then as a final touch it goes to the historical society in the state wherein it happened like Kansas for instance Wyoming Wyoming Historical Society and they have the last word on the actual events and all so it goes through all this battery of experts and then all of a sudden it comes out on the news stands and it looks so pretty and we're so proud of it and here comes somebody saying what don't you know better than that. So and So and so it happened at such and such a time and so forth and so on and there you are. The Cowboys likeness Radio-TV the University of Texas has brought you program number 30. The final program of the American cowboy. Today's broadcast is based on source materials from the Texas History Library the University of Texas the quotation opening program was from Will James Cowboys north and south the Charles Russell material was taken from Austin Russell's book CMA
The American cowboy
The cowboy's likeness
Producing Organization
University of Texas
KUT (Radio station : Austin, Tex.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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This program focuses on the challenge that artists face when trying to capture the essence of the cowboy in their art.
Documentary series on the American cowboy, produced by the University of Texas.
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Announcer: Langfield, Daniel
Composer: Page, Eleanor
Director: Burke, Bill
Narrator: Smith, Horton
Producing Organization: University of Texas
Producing Organization: KUT (Radio station : Austin, Tex.)
Speaker: Grandy, Joe
Writer: Benjamin, Mary D.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 61-51-13 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:32
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Chicago: “The American cowboy; The cowboy's likeness,” 1961-12-08, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 26, 2021,
MLA: “The American cowboy; The cowboy's likeness.” 1961-12-08. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 26, 2021. <>.
APA: The American cowboy; The cowboy's likeness. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from