Here's what the Iverson Movie Ranch obsession is all about ...

For an introduction to this blog and to the obsession a growing number of vintage film and TV fans have with the Iverson Movie Ranch — the most widely filmed outdoor location in movie and TV history — please read the site's introductory post, found here.
• Your feedback is appreciated — please leave comments on any of the posts.
• To find specific rock features or look up movie titles, TV shows, actors and production people, see the "LABELS" section — the long alphabetical listing on the right side of the page, below.
• To join the MAILING LIST, send me an email at iversonmovieranch@gmail.com and let me know you'd like to sign up.
• I've also begun a YouTube channel for Iverson Movie Ranch clips and other movie location videos, which you can get to by clicking here.
• Here's a link to Garden of the Gods, the best-known section of the Iverson Movie Ranch (featured in the movie "Stagecoach," the "Lone Ranger" TV show and hundreds of other productions).
• To go right to the great Iverson cinematographers, click here.
• Readers can email the webmaster at iversonmovieranch@gmail.com.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Charles Starrett scrambles over movie rocks in 1939 — with Roy Rogers sidekick Pat Brady slappin' a fierce bass

The 1939 Columbia movie "Western Caravans" was filmed partially on the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Calif., with additional outdoor footage shot in the Western town on the Columbia backlot. The Charles Starrett B-Western also features a lot of rolling hills shots, which in that period usually means it was filmed in or around the foothills of Agoura, Calif., northwest of Los Angeles.

Charles Starrett in "Western Caravans," 1939

I haven't made a positive ID on the rocks in the above shot, but I'm pretty sure that's Cactus Hill in the background ... which would make it Iverson. If any readers recognize the rocks, please let me know. UPDATE: Never mind, I got this one — that's Water Wiggle directly behind Mr. Starrett, which puts Charlie somewhere between the North Cluster and Garden of the Gods — definitely on the Iverson Movie Ranch, and yes, that's Cactus Hill in the back. Click here to read more about Water Wiggle and its neighboring rocks in Iverson's North Cluster.

Another shot of Starrett from the same movie, this one is definitely Iverson — Elders Peak in the background nails it down, even if the foreground rocks have yet to be positively ID'd. It's another hard shot to be sure about. I've been tempted to say that's Crown Rock at the right, but I keep coming to my senses and realizing that it's probably some other rock that has a similar look. I'm still working on it, but again, if anyone can help, please speak up.

Pat Brady on bass, "Western Caravans," 1939

Pat Brady appears in an uncredited role as the bass player in the movie's cowboy band — which in real life was the Sons of the Pioneers.

Pat Brady 

Pat played bass in a ton of the old Charles Starrett B-Westerns from Columbia — typically uncredited — before building a name for himself as Roy Rogers' "comical sidekick," first in Roy's Republic B-Westerns and later on "The Roy Rogers Show."


William Herbert "Lum" York — Ride 'em, Drifting Cowboy!

Pat Brady was part of a long tradition of bass players providing the comic relief in old cowboy bands — a tradition that includes William Herbert "Lum" York of Hank Williams' Drifting Cowboys, among many illustrious others.

Much of "The Roy Rogers Show" was also taped on the Iverson Movie Ranch, including this shot from the episode "The Hijackers," originally aired Oct. 24, 1954. On the TV show, Pat had his own "comical sidekick" — his willful Jeep, Nellybelle. That's Pat walking behind the Jeep, Roy's German shepherd Bullet in the back of the Jeep, and Nellybelle with — as usual — her hood up. In the background is Flat Rock, which is still in place on the Lower Iverson.

Nellybelle — or a close approximation — even made it onto the cover of the Pat Brady Coloring Book in 1956. To my eye, the depiction of Nellybelle looks a little closer to real life than the drawing of Pat. Note that the setting appears to be a version of Monument Valley, on the Utah-Arizona border — which was generally too far from the studios' L.A. headquarters (in other words, too expensive) for the budget-conscious producers of the B-Westerns and early TV shows that showcased the talents of Pat, Roy, Starrett and the rest. That's one big reason Iverson got so much work: It was close, and it had great rocks. What more do you need?

Roy, Dale, Pat ... and Nellybelle

Click here to see additional shots of Pat Brady and Nellybelle in an earlier blog post about a flooded Iverson Village.

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