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Date News Posted: July 26, 2010

Walt LaRue, Canadian born, California broke, he rode them horses, leaped on stage coaches, fell off in the dirt, rocks, sand and mud and anywhere else it took to make the star look good.

If you were or are a fan of them great old westerns then it would be almost impossible to watch very many of them without seeing Walt LaRue, in fact there were times that Walt was glued to “The Durango Kid” like stink on a skunk, when it was time for “The Kid” to go over the cliff>>guess who went?

Stunt men and women are a special breed, when you see on TV these young guys saying yea, that was me, I did all my own stunts, sure they did, What studio is going to let a million dollar actor jump off a ten story building?

When a stunt man falls, jumps or gets pushed he knows where he is going, he knows where he is going to land and how, and he is also well protected under what ever you see on the screen.  Should a stunt man get hurt or killed he would be replaced in a heartbeat and you would never know the difference, the only people that would miss him would be his wife and girl friend and his dog.

When Walt got to the point  where he had enough falls, he took on his second greatest love and talent and that’s painting, not houses but pictures and many of them right from the “Heart” of the old west from days gone by and memories from those many trails he rode as a cowpoke.

And then>>comes the guitar and the song and the poetry, all of which he can make you smile with as he sits up there in the spotlight telling you about a wrangler that didn’t quite make the grade, or sing you a song about the “Strawberry Roan” or maybe one of Marty Robbins songs like “El Paso”.

You have probably seen many of the illustrations of Walt LaRue, you just didn’t know it, his drawings are in western magazines from coast to coast and country to country and he has no intention of hangin’ it up, any of it.

He can draw you a buckin’ horse on the back of a napkin before your coffee gets chili and I am proud that he is a good friend, “at least he said he was” we love you Walt.

And now for the sad news, on June the 12th 2010 Walt LaRue passed away at the age of 91, Andy Brennan and I were planning on taking ole Walt out to lunch that Friday the 11th but when we arrived at his studio he wasn’t there, we called his house thinking maybe he had forgotten, but Marge his lady for many years said he had been feeling bad the night before so she took him over to St Joseph’s hospital just a few blocks away. Andy and I started to come back home but decided to run by and see him at the hospital>>But he never knew we were there, Walt was plugged into everything but the kitchen sink, less then 24 hours later Walt was gone, we sure will miss him but one thing, he didn’t lie in a hospital for weeks on end while doctors looked to find something wrong with him, it was just time and around eight am that Saturday morning Walt LaRue cashed in.

There were a hundred or so old cowboys and cowgirls at his funeral some had ridden with him in the picture shows; others were just good friends and others were people that knew and loved his art work and what a great artist he was.

Walt was laid to rest at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills-Los Angeles, California June the 26th 2010 at High Noon.

We will sure miss you Good Ole Walt.

 “Every morning at the mine you could see him arrive he stood six foot six and weighed two forty five, “Big John”

 What a song for Jimmy Dean who passed away June the 13th 2010 at his home in Virginia, Jimmy was 81.

Jimmy was born in Olton, Texas in 1928, Jimmy grew up, and joined the Air Force before deciding that show business was for him, the 50s years were great for Jimmy with his TV shows, writing and recording songs and helping others get a foot hold like Patsy Cline and Roy Clark, 1961 wasn’t a bad year either when on a plane ride Jimmy wrote one the whole world would remember for decades called “Big Bad John”.

Jimmy had some other hits but nothing that would ever top B.B.John.

Come 1969 with guitar still in hand Jimmy took another road and founded the Jimmy Dean Sausage Company” well one thing about that, Jimmy always had something to eat>>In 2004 Jimmy sold his sausage company to Consolidated Foods.  Being quick on the word trigger, Jimmy called his autobiography “30 years of sausage>50 years of ham”.

Jimmy was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame this year (well you might have known that) seems like the CMA knows just about the date you are going to die so you don’t enjoy that honor to long, in case you are nominated you might want to decline.

Do me a favor and look through your old 45s, I need a copy of Smiley Monroe and “Paul Bunion Love” Smiley and I were good friends for a long time and I am short that one song by Smiley to complete his album...

Smiley has a lot of family and friends in his home state of Virginia who would sure like an album on Smiley to kind of keep his memory alive.  If you have a copy and can’t run it to CD if you will send it to me I will run it off and send you back your 45 and a copy of the whole album when it is finished..

You know the address but so you don’t have to go lookin’ it is>>Box 1515  Simi Valley, California 93062

I ‘preciate it.

I was depressed last night so I called Lifeline I didn’t know their call center was in Pakistan I told them I was suicidal. They got all excited and ask if I could drive a truck.

We received several good albums this past month but none that I like better then the two albums by Dale McBride. 

There is a great bio on Dale, just punch up his name in Google or bring up the “Aristo Media Group and you will have it first hand right there in front of you.

Dale was born December the 18th 1936 and passed away November the 30th. 1992 of a brain tumor and worked with Jimmy Heap in those early days.

The charts only show that he made them twice, once with “Ordinary Man” in 1976 and the other in 1978 with “Always Lovin’ Her Man.” But if I was in charge of the charts today there are a heck of a lot more of Dale’s song that would be in the numbers, “Corpus Christie Winds” for one and even though many people have recorded what probably is more of a folk song then a country song “Mr. Bojangles” few could do it any better then Dale McBride and there are plenty more on these two albums that would hit my charts including the age old “Kentucky Waltz”.

Terry McBride who in case you haven’t glued the pieces together yet is Dale’s son, McBride and the Ride which Terry headed, up as far as I know has broken up now and Terry is out there fronting shows for other artist.

So if you can not find any hard for real CDs in your local store (good luck on that one) then go to the “Aristo Media Group” and there you can download a water bucket load of the great music of Dale McBride.

I really love the music of Dale McBride.

Here we go again, Hank Cochran is gone, Ole Hank was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Association International Hall of Fame in 1974.

You know it only takes one or two great songs that through the years are recorded over and over and over again, not only by the first artist to hit with them but the long list that follows to keep beans on your table for a long, long time if it is that special song and Hank dang sure had a lot of special songs like “I Fall To Pieces” “Make The World Go Away” and of course Jeannie Seely’s “Don’t Touch Me”.  And then came George Strait with “The Chair” and “Ocean Front Property” and Ronnie Milsap’s “Don’t You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me”.

Not the world’s greatest singer himself, Hank did record a few albums and also a few singles, a couple that didn’t do too bad for ole Hank was “Sally Was A Good Old Girl” and “I’d Fight The World” both on Liberty Records in 1962.

My friend’s wife was hinting that for her birthday she would like to have something shiny that goes from zero to a hundred and fifty in about three seconds.  So he bought her a bathroom scale And then the fight started!

A woman was standing nude looking in the bedroom mirror, she was not happy with what she saw and said to her husband, “I really feel horrible I look old and fat and ugly, I really need you to pay me compliment”

The husband replied “Well your eyesight’s damn near perfect” And then the fight started

We need an old 78 by Johnny Horton and also listed on the 78 is Johnny Reeves as the man making the music behind Horton, we don’t need the tape or a later CD version only the 78 rpm.  Oh, the record is called “Why Don’t Somebody Milk Them Cows” now ain’t that a title?

How about every one reading this send Warner Mack a card, just something happy or funny now even though he is not in the best of health we don’t need to send him a get well card, he said get well cards make him sick.

Who don’t remember “The Bridge Washed Out” and all the other hits from Big Mack>>Send them to the address somewhere above and we will forward them in one big envelope un-opened just the way you sent-um, that oughta’ make him smile...Thanks folks.

Our old friend Dann Hansen who is a country music DJ  in Denmark sent us a couple Rex Allen CDs that we did not have in our collection and about the only  place you can get any Rex Allen CDs these days is at his museum in Wilcox, Arizona.  I do not have the address of the museum in front of me but if you punch it up you will have it in front of you in case you would like to order some of Rex’s great country, and songs of the west-music.

Rex Allen was no doubt one of the smoothest singers to ever come down the pike, country music, western music and everything in between and that’s to say nothing for all the story telling and voiceovers he did for Disney.

As we have said before I love story songs and this one by Rex called “José Villa Lopes Alfrado Thomaso Vincente Lopez” about takes the cake, probably the reason that one didn’t sell a million was because no one could remember all that title, if you play it once though, chances are you will play it again and maybe again—anyway it’s a great song and album and from Mr. Rex Allen, well done.

Country radio these days has not only killed apart of American history but the singers that still knew the meaning of feeling and heart that it takes to make and sing a “Country song”.  One of those singers was Rex’s son, Rex Allen Jr. who really had some nice records between 1974 and 1984 and had 24 of um in the National charts and several more that should have been.

Just for memory sake alone of those great old westerns that cost you a dime on Saturday is Rex Jr’s “Can You Hear Them Pioneers” that’s bring you back some memories.    

The thing is there are a few of the new breed who can sing a country song, who has the feeling and has what it takes to make you believe what you are hearing, they don’t dress with a hat pulled over their eyes or a hat so big their ears bend over and the music so loud behind them that you ask yourself “What the hell did he say” and the people that keep voting for some of these new girls that can not carry a tune in a bucket oughta’ jump off a cliff, head first.  Today it’s “money honey” which has got nothing to do with talent.  If I wanted to be a famous and rich country singer these days what I would do is stand in front of a curtain and move my lips while Gene Watson was on the other side of the curtain singing the song, you remember don’t ye like Andy did to Barney? Better yet just shut up and let Gene do the show.

The new good singers are getting lost in the mix causing people that really love “Good” country music not to listen to any of it these days, if you want to hear some country just break out them old records. Or listen to Bill Mack

“Your food stamps will be stopped effective March of 2011 because we received notice that you passed away.

May God bless you; you may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances.”

That’s gonna do it for this time, I had hoped to be writing and sending this from Kentucky this month but it didn’t work out that way, but if the good Lord willin’ maybe next year.

We’ll see ye later but just in case we don’t, take care of yourself.

 

Don Bradley


 

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