Mr. Lahue, who previously told the story of the silent western stars in his
Winners Of The West, now turns his attention to those who talked without
the benefit of subtitles and in doing so, tells a story with words and pictures
that ill evoke a sense of nostalgic longing for an era that can
never return. He has supplied brief biographies of 28 of your favorites, and
there are over 250 memory-jogging stills from a time in our history in which heroes
were still popular.
The B western of the thirties and forties is primarily remembered for the
singing cowboy. But some sagebrush stars followed in the footsteps of
Hart and Mix, although none managed to capture the popular fancy in quite
the same way. While the program western has been gone only two decades, if you
consider television at all, they only moved from a large screen to a smaller one.
The program or B western seems to have drawn its stars from the football field and the
National Barn Dance. But come they did and, for over a decade, western fans were surfeited
with their favorite type of escapism. An entire generation grew up wiht Saturday
matinees and many will agree with Don (Red) Barry's observation that today's problems
with morals and ethics can be traced to the demise of a heroic image, one
that galloped weekly across the screen seeking virtue as its own reward.
Kalton C. Lahue is is an educator by training but writer-photographer
by choice. His interests in the history and development of photography and the cinema
have resulted in a lengthy series of books dealing with both fields. Widely
acclaimed for his Bound and Gagged, Clown Princes and Court Jesters, Winners of the West,
Dreams for Sale, Ladies in Distress, Mack Sennett's Keystone, and Motion Picture Pioneer:
The Selig Polyscope Company, he has played a large part in the revival of interest in
the film. Recently Mr. Lahue's interest in automobileshas led him to explore the
field and he has acquired a new following as the result of his numerous articles
in the Hot Rod and Motor Trend Technical Library Series. A
member of the Society for Cinema Studies, he now resides in Hollywood with his
wife,Julie, and sons, Kevin Carlyle and Kory Cale, also avid movie fans.