Date News Posted: June 11, 2012
The other day I decided to head on over to the old Iverson Movie Ranch, there ain’t much left there anymore cept a house and a giant rock with the center carved out we used for a stage some years ago raisin’ money for some of the old boys that wern’t doin’ to good.
The Iverson ranch was cut into by what they call a freeway some years ago and I guess it didn’t matter none cause the westerns were just in the minds of us who were getting old now but not to old to remember the voice of the Lone Ranger shouting Hi Yo Silver Away……..as he rode the old west for law and order.
Time has not moved that big old rock where Silver would rare up at the beginning of each and every episode it’s still sittin’ there on the edge of what’s left of the old ranch, if it wasn’t so dam big and in this day and time, somebody would have already stole it, broke it up and sold it on Ebay.
I think there are still some of them old books around full of pictures and names of movies and serials that were filmed on those rolling hills, to an old western fan I suppose you could call them the last of the gold nugget memories.
Down the road, or maybe it’s up the road from the Iverson Ranch and where you pass right by where probably another one of the worlds most famous people resided for a while with his harem of young girls and a few young guys that had nothing better to do but wait for some new orders from their leader Charlie Manson and it’s for sure those who never heard of The Lone Ranger heard of Charlie Manson, in fact every couple of years you see and hear from him again he is still where he has been for the last lot of years.
Anyway headed down the hill you just went up is another famous ranch called Corriganville where friend Walkin’ Talkin’ Charley Aldridge coridinated shows straight out of the history books of the old west for the owner who in his own right was a movie cowboy, they called him Ray “Crash” Corrigan.
In the beginning Ray just used the land to film movies, some his own and some for the major studios who’s home offices were in Burbank and Hollywood but then he decided or maybe said to himself, “you know, maybe the public would like to come in and see how movies are made and shake a few hands of some of these old cowboys they have seen on the big screen” so, he opened the gates, charged a buck or two to get in and cars were lined up for miles, in fact when you see those old pictures to the entrance of Corriganvill you can not see the end of the line of cars waiting to get in.
Walkin’ Charley over the years has told me some stories about Ray and Corriganville, one I especially thought was funny, but according to Charley it wasn’t at the time.
Anyway at the time maybe it was “Crash” who was calling the shots on a shoot out on main street, the bad guy came out a door from the saloon on the west side of the street, the sheriff shot him and the guy fell off the roof on the east side of the street.
Charley said even though movies are make believe, nobody is stupid enough to believe that could happen so he quit, but it wasn’t long before Charley’s phone rang and this time he had full charge of who got shot and who fell off the roof and this time they left Charley alone.
There are plenty of the old westerns that can still be had that were shot at Corriganville, if you have ever been to the ranch or even seen pictures of it then you will recognize the rocks and trees in a heap of them old westerns including “Ft. Apache” or “Tarzan” or “Rin Tin Tin” or any number of the other three plus thousand movies that were filmed there.
There is a company back east that has transferred just about all those old westerns from tape to DVD, re done the cover art, brightened up the picture took out the hiss and have made them to last another whole lot of years.
At one time Corriganville was listed in the top ten entertainment places to visit in the U.S. now you would think any town that had such a place would want to re store it to keep it a safe place for visitors who would come from all over the world to be close to where so many of the history making cowboys rode the hills and trails.
Well, if you were thinking that then you would be wrong, the town of Corriganville burnt down, I don’t know if they ever even tried to stop it or save the buildings or just keep it from spreading to someone else’s greener pastures but what ever the thinkin’ there is nothing left but some markers saying, “Ft Apache Was Filmed Here” now ain’t that a big deal.
Some years ago a lady who is gone now called and ask if I could help raise money to restore Corriganville, I said sure, I’ll give it a shot but all I can do is put on a Country show, that might bring a few people, she said fine, go ahead and get it started so I did.
When I started telling people what I was going to do some of them just laughed and said you won’t bring in a hundred people.
But I did it anyway and I remember standing on the stage that my son and I built because the stage they were suppose to get us never happened, but like I said on that stage, I said I just wonder if before this day I was told that nobody would show up then what are you all doing here? there was fifty five hundred people.
I must have been stupid myself because I did that two years in a row and the results were the same, people were everywhere and like the year before we turned over every nickel to those in charge of the money, nothing was ever rebuilt, the gates stayed closed and the echo of the old west and the music of the cowboys drifted away in the Valley Of The Winds, it was over.
And you know what? We didn’t have one person that you could call a super star, they all were to me because they showed up when I yelled help, there was my old friend Rick Tucker who had a local country band, there was Iron Eyes Cody who we all remember as the Indian with the tear in his eye, there was my great friend Hal Southern who wrote “Hillbilly Heaven” which Tex Ritter sold a few million copies there was Bobby Borchers a great writer and singer, we had some Indian dancers, we had a ton of pop corn that my wife poped.
And there was a great big guy dressed in bright and I mean bright yellow that said he was Bob Wills Jr., Chuck “Crazy Arms” Sills dropped by to say hi and there were some other local bands and talent that Rick invited up to sing a few tunes and it was just a great day.
But like I said, nothing ever got rebuilt, the grass never even got mowed, now it is mowed daily by a few hundred rabbits, a few people come by each day to walk the path that has been worn through the weeds but few know or will ever know who’s footprints they have just stepped in or how one man’s dream turned to dust and weeds.
Funny we still get emails and letters after all these years to our web site from people wondering about that old movie ranch, wondering if they can still visit it and see where all those great movies were made.
Well half of it was sold to a developer who of course built houses or condos on that part, the other part is almost like the fires left it years ago, all the burnt is gone, hauled away or just blew away and yes the back half is still there for what it is and you are free to visit if you have a hankerin’ to see some giant rocks, some gopher holes some weeds and a few little signs that might say “Tarzan Swam Here”.
Bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs has passed away at 88 years of age ending the Flatt and Scruggs era that most country music lovers grew up with.
In the 40’s Earl and Bill Monroe developed a sound that will forever be apart of bluegrass history.
Dick Clark although not a country boy in the way we know country had a hand in all kind of productions from rock and roll to Vegas country shows.
I only ever knew two people that appeared on American Bandstand one was our good friend Terry Stafford “Amarillo By Morning” and Bobby Darren who helped us out at one of the Corriganville shows.
You have to say though in some respects Dick Clark was like the early year Volk wagons he always looked the same.
R.I.P Dick you gave a lot of young kids something to smile about.
I hope if you didn’t have it before that you now have RFD TV, we don’t have a farm or a ranch but if I did I think this channel would be priceless for not only buying and selling horses and cattle to how to better make your crops grow.
Since we don’t have any of the above it is the only place you are going to see and hear country music like you once knew it, in fact some of the country shows, Porter, Ralph Emery, Hee Haw, Crook and Chase and if you have seen “Family Reunion” once then I am sure you will watch it again because it is the last of country as we knew it and of course there is “Larry’s Diner” which is just a down home place to visit once a week.
It is to late to enter Larry Black’s name on this years presidential election ballet but all who watch his shows may want to consider him for the next election, and Charley Daniels for vice president so that way we will know if either passes away America is in good hands.
Let me go back for a second with something else about Corriganville, Crash Corrigan’s son Tom has a steak house in the town next to ours, he made up some place mats which features a drawing of the way Corriganville (the movie town) was back in those golden western years, the last time I was at the steak house Tom gave me some to give to those who would just like to get an idea of how the place once looked.
If you would like one then send us a self addressed stamped envelope and we will send you one (Legal size envelope) that way it will only get folded a couple of times and we will drop it in the mail to you. (& sure it’s free)
Just send it to Bradley Brothers Records
Box 1515>>>>Simi Valley, Ca 93062 and you should receive it in a couple days.
Even though very little was in the paper or on the news George Lindsey has died at 82, best known I guess for his roll on the Andy Griffith show as “Goober” who at his little garage and service station could fix anything.
It was also funny when Barney was put in charge of special police and got Goober and Howard the barber and all the other Mayberry gang he could muster up and then try to teach them in five minutes how to act and conduct them self as police officers.
George appeared on Larry Black’s Family Reunion this past month on two different shows, I don’t know when they were filmed but as you can see George didn’t look all that good and said very little, what a blessing we did get to see him there, those were probably the last shows ever filmed of George “Goober” Lindsey.
Speaking of Larry Black, he will be opening “a for-real” country diner in his home town of Bellevue, Tennessee. It will be located just off highway 40 exit 196.
The Country Family Reunion news paper will tell you a heap of stuff, I don’t know what the yearly subscription rate is but call this number and I am sure they will tell you 1-800-820-5405, it’s worth a free call.
One more time, if you are not getting RFD TV in your area then you need to get on the phone and call your provider and tell them you want it, if it were not for RFD TV and Larry Black then Country Music, the way we once knew it, would and will be gone forever.
You can not just sit back and complain that it is gone because it’s not if you will get RFD TV in your home.
I don’t have a farm or ranch, I wish I did but if I did the information that is passed out on RFD looks real priceless to me. I do watch the auction shows just to hear um talk fast like Leroy VanDyke.
Well it is time to proof read this thing and get it on the road & see how many mistakes are here but always remember, there is English and then there is country and sometimes you just gotta’ figure it out for your self what I said.
I made up my mind I am only going to do this thing for 20 more years, I figure by then today’s generation won’t even know who Elvis or Roy Rogers is, or what a record looks like, even now the modern day juke boxes cost a buck a song, and if gas gets any higher you won’t be able to drive to where there is a juke box anyway.
OK One more thing before we say goodbye, if you get a little time bring up you-tube and enter Bill Aken, there is quite a bit of Bill’s music on there including a song I produced on my best good old friend Eddy Dean the Golden Cowboy, it is one that Bill wrote called “A Cold Texas Beer”.
We will have another Aken/Dean song coming up before much longer.
We told a lady about it day before yesterday when she emailed us and she has already listened and watched it a dozen times. We may hit a million views before the week is over, that’s give or take a few of course.
We’ll see ye later but just in case we don’t…Take care of yourself.
& God Bless America!!