Reagan, Johnny 1967-10

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Johnny Reagan, trick roper and rodeo performer, recalls the details of his international rodeo performing career. He provides information concerning the rodeo business and recalls many famous performers. He also reviews the purpose and operation of a Kerrville summer camp and relates information and personal attitudes concerning the character and origin of the rodeo.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Johnny Reagan

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: October 1967

Location: None Given

Interviewer: Charles Townsend

Length: 1 hour 30 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Brief review of Reagan’s career, Background and early life, Recalls working with wild horses in Australia, Wild West shows in London described (1914), Performing in Africa, Discusses working with Hardin-Simmons Cowboy Band, Present riding instructor named, Mentions performing with Hardin-Simmons Band at the London Palladium on a European tour, Life in West Texas described, Discusses living on Hardin-Simmons campus, Experiences performing in northeastern nightclubs and on world tours, Problems organizing a show in Boston, Turtle Association and the cowboy strike, Rodeo prize money distribution explained.

Tape 1, Side 2: Blank

Tape 2, Side 1: Describes 101 Wild West shows, Defines his style as a Mexican-type roper, Chester Byers, trick roper, mentioned, Will Rogers recalled, Reason for Lady Astor-Churchill debates, Chester Byers (again), Differences between stage ropers and cowboy ropers, Mexican cowboy ropers described, Roping artists recalled, Roping artists recalled, Explains art of bulldogging, Experience at royal command performance, Describes British reception of the rodeo, Tex McCloud, early roper and "talking cowboy" characterized, Old friends in Mexico City discussed, Rodeo riders recalled, Explores changes in rodeo stock, Colonel Johnson’s show described.

Tape 2, Side 2: Blank

Tape 3, Side 1: Experiences teaching children to ride horses in a camp near Kerrville, Summer camp operation and activities explained, Colonel Johnson’s contribution to the rodeo, Activities of Johnson’s show under new management, Gene Autry’s influence on the rodeo, Studies character of the rodeo, Influences of unionization, Changes in the character of rodeo performers, States personal proposals for rodeo innovation, Ethnocentric attitude of rodeo performers, Discusses Mexican and Russian origins of trick roping, Gives recommendations of rodeo literature.

Tape 3, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1914-1967

Bulk Dates: 1914-1967

Access Information

Original Recording Format:

Recording Format Notes:


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