Tag Archives: singing cowboys

Introduction: The American Way

Consider the singing cowboy, in his natural habitat: the silver screen.

Settled comfortably on his best friend’s saddle as they advance across the western landscape, he strums an acoustic guitar and serenades the sunset, singing in a mellow voice about the trail, the sky, and his undying affection for his horse and his sweetheart, in that order. He’s the hero of the movie, so naturally he puts the guitar down once in a while; he chases rustlers and fugitives, rescues honest homeowners from sinister plots to steal their ranches and kidnap their pretty daughters, and otherwise pursues justice on the open plains. At sixty-one minutes per, with anywhere from six to eight musical numbers, it’s hard to say whether a singing cowboy movie is an adventure story punctuated with songs, or a concert film interrupted periodically by galloping horses and gunshots.

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