This time around, we’re highlighting the noble image of the celebrated cowboy. Generally, celluloid today has little to offer besides sex, graphic violence, and profanity. Fortunately, we have the Western to fall back on, where “good” is distinguished from “evil” more vividly than in other genres; and where a vast array of positive role models have shot forth—Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Monte Hale, Clayton Moore, John Wayne, James Stewart, Michael Landon, Clint Eastwood, James Garner—the list goes on and on.
Costa Mesa’s Chief of Police (and Golden Boot Awards Committee member), Dave Snowden echoes this, as can be read in the feature, “Even a Hero Needs Heroes.”
One such hero from television is ever-tough Peter Breck, the man who gave us the awesome portrayal of The Big Valley’s Nick Barkley. We were fortunate to have Breck share his memories from the ABC hit Western, as well as Black Saddle, working with Audie Murphy and Robert Mitchum, and more.
Other interviews featured in this issue include humanitarian actor William Campbell, Shenandoah’s hero, Eugene Jackson, III, B-series and horror star, Jane Adams, super-villain, Leo Gordon, and versatile veteran actor, James Gregory.
B-Western cowboy Pierce Lyden spoke to us just days before he headed for Heaven’s blessed plains. In his last interview, we learn what he felt about Westerns, and what a class act this screen heavy was off the screen.
If you watched Aaron Spelling’s Charmed last season, or at least saw the commercials for its “all new” episodes, you might have caught the cover of Wildest Westerns- the “Collectors Issue,” in the same scene as the show’s beautiful starlets, Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano.
I’d like to mention a couple of fine Western events that have taken place recently. A distinguished group called the “Reel Cowboys” put on their first annual Reel Cowboy’s Awards, in which John Agar, Donna Martell, John Mitchum, and Peggy Stewart were honored for their contributions to the Western. With “Big” Al Fleming and D.R. Penna at the helm, the event was most successful. Equally enjoyable was the screening of the TNT Original, You Know My Name, starring Sam Elliott, who also produced the intriguing Western motion picture. Ray Courts’ Hollywood paper show also brought in a lot of Western stars, such as The Gun and the Pulpit’s Pamela Sue Martin, and The Wild Bunch’s Bo Hopkins.
We’re also pleased to have celebrity writers, Carl Anthony, John Lodge, and Melody Patterson return with their exciting columns.
Also, a new column is being introduced by Hollywood historian and movie locations expert, Graham Hill, who will be sharing his behind-the-scenes perspective as to “Where the West Was Shot!”
There’s a lot of stuff in this issue, so let’s ride, and thanks!
Ed G. Lousararian