"The Singing Cowboy"
heart-throb Herbert Jeffrey is still up and around and looking fine. He gave an
interview for a PBS documentary on African Americans in the early film business,
(which I hope to offer as soon as it's out later this year). In it, he told of
the original inspiration for his cowboy series. One day when he and his band
took a break from rehearsing for their next show, they happened upon a little
boy in the alleyway. He was crying, since his friends had left him behind rather
than let him be a cowboy for once, instead of an Indian. Jeffrey realized how
many cowboy serials were made without blacks in them. So he decided he could be
a singing cowboy, just like Roy Rogers, and have a horse just like Trigger. So
Jeffrey got a crew together and made a few cowboy movies, literally by the seat
of his pants! Jeffrey would shoot a day's worth of scenes, then lie down in his
costume for a nap until the sun came up - time to start again! Unlike some
studio co-productions of the day, which were compromised by stereotypes or
marketed to white audiences, these films were fully independent. While the lack
of money may show, the spirit lives on in the following videotapes. These three
are all that survive complete, and they are in the best condition considering
the hardship and neglect they were put through since the time they were made.
You may purchase these videos and other Bronze Buckaroo memoribilia by
proceeding to the Fan Club and Memoribilia page located on this site. I think
any of these movies would be a nifty deal and an unusual peek into cinema's
little-known past: "