More about the Bard and the Balladeer

Don Edwards
Don Edwards

Let’s recap where we are on Godwinks. (1) Jerald gave me Saddle Songs CD) (2) I met Dorrance and Farnsworth at Cowboy Hall of Fame (3) My first issue of Cowboy Magazine had painting of Saddle Songs singer Don Edwards by Bob Moline on the cover. Now back to the Bard and Balladeer.

The painting introduced an article called “Too Good for the Mainstream” about Don Edwards.  By this time, I knew that Don had grown up in New England. He was not a real cowboy, but had adapted the cowboy lifestyle well, even trying his luck at rodeos before deciding that playing and singing suited him better. I fully understand that.

In the article, he explained what cowboy music is and what it isn’t: “The best explanation I‘ve heard was by the famous old-time cowboy Andy Adams. ‘There is no such thing as cowboy music. It is a hybrid between the weirdness of an Indian cry and the croon of the darky mammy. It expresses the open, the prairie, the immutable desert.’”

In a footnote to the article, Don said this about the above statement:  “I refuse to succumb to the mindless stupidity of political correctness. This is a direct quote from Andy Adams back in the later 1800’s and not meant to insult the red man or the black man, both of whom played monumental roles in the making of western history. I hold all peoples of the West in the highest esteem, regardless of race, color or creed.

“If anyone reading this has a problem with this colorful and picturesque language of the old time masters, then all I will say in the matter is lighten up, grab holt of yourself and get a life.”

Attaboy, Don. I was beginning to like this balladeer more and more. But the Godwinks were just beginning.

Another cowboy magazine back in those days was called Yippy-Yi-Yea. Sounds corny, I know, but it was a good magazine that did an excellent job of covering the real western lifestyle. No glamor shots of models wearing so-called cowboy gear. When models doesn’t normally dress western, they always look like the hats on their heads and the boots on their feet are garish costumes.

My first issue had Buck Taylor on the cover over a caption that said “From Gunsmoke to Brushstroke”. Buck, best known for his role as Newly O’Brien on Gunsmoke, was doing more paintings than movies then and I was interested in his transition. Also, I had been mistaken for Buck on at least one occasion and more were to come. Sorta hurts my feelings, because he is a lot older.

The Godwink came inside, however, where I found a feature article on Bob Moline (remember the guy who painted Don’s portrait for the cover of Cowboy?) Are you following the trail here? From Saddle Songs to seeing Don in Cowboy magazine and then seeing a feature article on Bob Moline (the guy who drew Don’s portrait for Cowboy) in my first issue of Yippy Yi Yea that had Buck Taylor (my sometime twin) on the cover.

We’re all going to wind up in Commerce at my old roping arena and the saloon that Jerald built (yes, the guy who gave me the CD that started it all). So stay with us.

Happy WomanSee all my reviews

ref=sib_dp_kd-1This review is for: Go Down Looking (Perfect Paperback) Please click the book cover to read more about the novel or purchase a copy direct from Amazon.

Jim Ainsworth’s deep, quiet voice rumbles around your chest in yet another fast-paced Rivers family saga. You experience the thrilling guilt of a youth’s dangerous liaisons, the helpless longings of a young father, the angst of their parents’ witness. You taste their cowboy coffee, smell the bacon frying, and feel the sturdy rumble of their trucks. This family clings to a hard-earned life as the music we all hear inside, whether stirred by the patriarch’s violin or the clink of bottles in trunk of a fast car, resonates straight into your heart. Do yourself a favor and read this book. And if you’ve not read his others, add all of them in your Amazon order! As a writer myself, I admire Jim’s style, voice and dedication to picking us up and plunking us down in the middle of his flying East Texas pages. Thanks again, Jim. Donna G. Paul,

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