WESTERN SWING: LIVE AND ON FILM
A combining of traditional western music and hot jazz with a little bit of bluegrass and gospel mixed in, western swing quickly gained acceptance and became very popular in the 1930s.
Thursday, August 21 (7:30 p.m.)
Rockin’ in the Rockies (Columbia, 1945)
The Hoosier Hot Shots–creators of madcap “rural midwestern jazz”–Mary Beth Hughes and the Cappy Barra Boys Harmonica Band, and Spade Cooley and his western swing band provide several toe-tapping tunes in this musical comedy about show biz hopefuls on a Western ranch. The Three Stooges also appear, with Moe playing it straight and Larry and Curly acting as a team.
Friday, August 22 (7:30 p.m.)
Joey McKenzie and His Western Flyers (Live Event)
A blend of western swing, vintage country, bluegrass, Texas-style fiddling, jazz and swing standards will be presented on the Packard Theater stage, performed by Joey McKenzie and His Western Flyers. The Flyers consist of Katie Glassman, a two-time national fiddle champion and vintage-style singer, and Gavin Kelso, a world-class upright bass player. On May 10, 2013, McKenzie and Kelso performed in the first-ever live music concert in the Packard Campus Theater as part of the Quebe Sisters Band.
Saturday, August 23 (7:30 p.m.)
Russell Hayden with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys Double Feature
Perennial Western sidekick Russell Hayden launched his own starring series with Columbia pictures as “Lucky,” the same character he’d previously portrayed in Hopalong Cassidy films. Supporting players are Dub “Cannonball” Taylor as his comic assistant and Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys providing musical interludes. Filming for the eight features in the series was done in mid-to-late 1942, but the Westerns were released over an extended period from the fall of 1942 through the summer of 1944. They were always slick and crammed full of action.
Silver City Raiders (Columbia, 1943)
Lucky tries to prove that crooked land baron Bart Dawson (Paul Sutton) doesn’t have prior claim on the entire territory as he proclaims. When legal methods don’t pan out, Lucky and his pals use a more direct approach to drive Dawson out of town.
The Last Horseman (Columbia, 1944)
Lucky Rawlins, foreman of the Bar W ranch, finds himself cheated out of a check for $12,000, the proceeds from a cattle drive. The culprit is the local banker, Cash Watson (John Maxwell), who has learned that the railroad is interested in buying up the local ranches and it is up to Lucky to expose his dastardly deed.