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post What happened to Blue?

August 25th, 2009

Filed under: Interviews & Articles,Question & Answer — admin @ 4:20 pm

From the Editor:

Nothing about High Chaparral creates more controversy than the unexpected absence of Blue Cannon in the 4th season. For whatever reason the writers and creative directors chose not to deal with The Case of the Missing Blue.

I’m in a unique position to comment on this, as I have what is likely to be the most extensive set of ephemera about High Chaparral in existence today. I also know quite a number of the cast and crew. After studying all of that, talking with many, many cast and crew members, the best I can say is – there is at this time no definitive answer, only a great number of rumors. Tabloid/newspaper articles of the time conflict wildly – “Mark asked for time off to complete a movie he was working on. Mark was fired, Mark wasn’t fired. David Dortort (creator of HC) says he felt Mark grew a bit old and needs to move on. Mark didn’t move on. Mark wanted more money. Mark didn’t want more money.’

Kent McCray (producer) and Rudy Ramos (Wind) both told me there were scripts with both Wind and Blue, and that David Dortort planned to bring Mark/Blue back for the 5th season. The McCrays insist Mark was not ‘off the show’.

I think you can’t believe all the newspaper/tabloid reports. Actually I KNOW you can’t believe what you read as practically everything I have in printed form conflicts in some way.  This includes published books. The true answer is probably lost in time. I also think if someone tells you they know ‘what really happened’ you should back away sloooowly and keep your hand on your wallet, they probably have a lovely bridge in Brooklyn they’ll sell you cheap.

Q&A

Question:
What happened to Blue in the 4th season? I’ve heard if there had been a 5th season they were bringing him back – is that true?

Answer:

Mark SladeBecause the character of Blue disappeared in the 4th season with no real explanation, fans continue to speculate on his fate. The June 10, 1970 edition of the Tucson Daily Citizen published an interview with David Dortort. In it, Dortort is quoted explaining why Blue was no longer regularly featured and indicating he would return.

Big news about the series, which finished its third season in the top 20 Nielsen-rated television shows nationally, is that Mark Slade, in the character of Blue Cannon, “simply grew out of the part” and will no longer appear regularly in the series after the last show of the reruns in early September, Dortort said.

“Mark Slade is a fine young man, a good actor, cooperative and hard working,” Dortort said. “But he’s 30 and it was getting increasingly difficult to write convincing scripts that had him playing a teenager.” Dortort said Slade’s character, Blue, would be kept alive “because of the affection we have for Mark”, and that he may return to the series at a later date as a mature character. The script has Blue leaving the Cannon ranch to pursue art studies in the East.

Read the entire Tucson Daily Citizen article contained in this edition of the newsletter.

High Chaparral wasn’t the only Dortort show changing in 1970, and Dortort was quoted again in the Arizona Sun on July 24 in an article titled ‘New TV Faces Start To Appear’ – David Canary departs the cast of “Bonanza” and will be replaced by 15-year-old Mitch Vogel, who was in “The Reivers.” On “High Chaparral,” Mark Slade leaves the nest and the new young male interest is Rudy Ramos. Both were victims of “aging.”

“There were so many stories we couldn’t tell because we didn’t have young people,” said David Dortort, who is executive producer for both shows.

post Q&A

May 15th, 2009

Filed under: Question & Answer — admin @ 2:07 pm

Question:
What is Victoria’s full name? I think Manolito uses it in an episode.

Answer:

Victoria Velasquez de Soto de Montoya is how she is introduced by Mano in the pilot episode, but the experts among us actually agreed it was more properly “Victoria (one middle name at least) de Montoya y Velasquez de Soto” and once she married John it would be “Victoria (one middle name at least) de Montoya y Velasquez de Soto de Cannon”.
-Gail A. Malchester

Sweet Maureen O'Hare

Manolito introduces Victoria with her full name – and as his ‘Old Maid Sister’
in this scene from The Arrangement

Can’t see the videos in this article? Open the newsletter in a web browser.

Question:
I’m new here – what exactly is the Reunion?

Answer:

Thanks for asking! The High Chaparral Reunion is a gathering of the original cast and crew members of the show, along with loyal fans. It’s a chance for fans of HC to meet the talented people who made their favorite Western, reminisce, meet other fans, and maybe even meet their very favorite star.

Cast and crew members enjoy the Reunion because it gives them a chance to meet the fans who remember their work. They also see their old friends, and reminisce about the show. They truly are The High Chaparral’s biggest fans!

Past Reunions have been held in Los Angeles, but his year it takes place at Old Tucson, where the show was filmed on location. Luckily for us, the original Canon ranch house is still standing on the actual location set. A few things have changed in over 40 years, but many things haven’t, so this is a unique opportunity for everyone.

For more information check out the Reunion website, or email with your questions.

Question:
Why do cactus have needles/spikes?

Answer:

Firstly they’re called spines. They’re modified leaves – so modified that they actually have little in common with leaves. They appear in clusters and have more than one use. They’re mostly made up of dead cells that form hard, sharp fibres. The fibres are surrounded by a type of tissue-like cell and covered by a waxy cuticle which keeps moisture from escaping. Some books call them modified bud scales but I believe that bud scales are themselves modified leaves.

Only the cells closest to the plant itself are alive. As they die, they move along with the rest, making the spine longer over time. You might think of them a bit like we think of finger nails and hair being dead cells but still able to grow.

The first and very practical use is that it makes them difficult for predators to eat. A mouth full of pins is enough to put anything off a meal. Having said that some species of rodents and other small animals do nibble on them when they can.

The second reason is that their positioning helps them to collect water droplets. The droplets run along the spine, down toward the body of the plant, then down to the roots. The nighttime dew is an important source of water and is collected this way.

Spines also act as windbreaks. This is less obvious in some species but if you’ve ever seen the species commonly called The Old Man Cactus you could see how well they’d work. That one looks like it’s covered in a long beard. It’s scientific name is Cephalocereus senilis. I love the last bit of the name. Can’t you just picture the old cactus reminiscing with itself about the good old days when it was no more than pin high?

By the way, the cactus gets its name from the Greek kaktos which means thistle.

There, now aren’t you glad you asked!

post Sheet Music?

March 15th, 2009

Filed under: Question & Answer — admin @ 2:52 pm

Question:
Is it possible to get sheet music for the High Chaparral themes?

Answer:

There was a music book published in 1970 called The High Chaparral Song Book. It contains piano arrangements for many of The High Chaparral themes – Manolito, All For You (the main theme song), Blue’s Theme, Buffalo Soldiers, El Burrito, Friends and Partners, Guns of Johnny Rondo, Montoya, Moonfire, Ridin’ the Trail, Victoria. As a bonus there are cast photos and bios of creator and executive producer David Dortort, composer Harry Sukman, musical director David Rose, and Joe Lubin. The music book turns up occasionally on Ebay, so that is your best chance to get sheet music.

Send us YOUR questions! If we don’t know the answer we’ll ask the right Chaparral contact and find out for you! Email info@highchaparralnewsletter.com with your puzzler.

post Q&A Jan 2009

January 14th, 2009

Filed under: Question & Answer — admin @ 8:14 pm

Q&A

Question:
Thanks for creating the newsletter! I am excited I found it!! Do the reunions happen every year or is there one scheduled in the future?

Answer:

Thanks for your kind comments about the newsletter! The reunions have been on an every-other-year schedule. However, it is a volunteer effort, put together and paid for through the efforts of fans like yourself, and so there is no guarantee what will happen in the future.

If you’re interested in attending and meeting some of The High Chaparral cast and crew, then take advantage of the chance at the 2009 High Chaparral Reunion.Register today to secure your spot at the 42nd anniversary reunion. We hope to meet you in Tucson at The High Chaparral! For details and to register visit The High Chaparral Reunion website.

Question:
What happened to Sam Butler (Don Collier) during the 3rd season? His brother Joe Butler (Bob Hoy) does very well as ranch foreman, but Sam is missed by the fans.

Answer:

Don Collier had an opportunity to take a role in the motion picture Flap (with Anthony Quinn, Rudolpho Acosta (Vaquero), and Anthony Caruso (El Lobo) and directed by Sir Carol Reed) during the filming of the 3rd season of High Chaparral, and asked to be released from his contract. After filming on Flap was over, he requested to return to The High Chaparral as Sam Butler, and was re-hired.

Sam’s absence was noted in the episode Jelks, when Buck, Blue, and Manolito drafted Joe Butler (Bob Hoy) to take his brother’s place in the essential role of ranch foreman. In this clip from Jelks, Buck, Blue, Manolito and Pedro urge Joe Butler to speak to Big John about the missing Sam, and how the ranch needs a foreman.

Bob Hoy and Henry Darrow video
video
In this scene from Jelks, Joe Butler mentions his brother Sam Butler is away from The High Chaparral

Question:
High Chaparral’s interior scenes were shot at the Paramount lot in Hollywood. Anyone know which sound stage they used?

Answer:
“HC was shot on Stages 8 and 9 at Paramount. The Interior of the Main HC set – including living room and
dining room – and the Exterior of the same plus Chaparral brush with a night backing (for ride ups at night to the house) were all on one stage. Misc Interior sets were on the adjacent stage. – Susan and Kent McCray

Paramount Stages 8 and 9 also housed many Star Trek productions, including the first seven feature films, The Next Generation, Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise.

Question:
Does anyone have an mp3 of HCs closing theme? It’s been years since I’ve seen the show and don’t remember if the closing theme was longer than the opening theme.

Answer:

Today’s re-broadcasts typically cut-off before the final closing theme is finished, so I haven’t been able to get a complete closing theme for you. In consolation, here’s an mp3 of the opening theme.

Question:
Can anyone tell me what the following Spanish words actually mean? I bought a Spanish/English dictionary but for some reason they are not in there: Filibusteros, Andele and Vamanos?

Answer:
Spanish is used often in dialog in HC, and the two words vamanos (let’s go) and andele (go ahead) are particular favories of Manolito (along with querida, which means wanted, or dear).

Filibustero (from the episode The Filibusteros) is a real historical reference to a group of individulas who engaged in unauthorized warfare against foreign countries in North and Central America in pre- and post-Civil war times. There were some very famous and mis-guided filibusteros who would have been well known to the people of 1870’s Arizona, you can read about some of them here.

Cmeron Mitchell and Leif Erickson in The High Chaparral
video

Watch this video clip of the poker game from Filibusteros

Question:
I recently found a photo of Manolito with a slight beard. I can’t recall seeing any of the other characters sporting stubble or beards – did they?

Answer:
Yes, whenever the storyline would keep the men out on the trail for several days, they would often show the signs of a beard or stubble. Bob Hoy (Joe Butler) once remarked to me that when the script called for a scene that would have put his character Joe Butler out on the trail, he would plan to show up at work unshaven after a weekend, so as to be authentic and in character.

post Q&A November 2008

November 1st, 2008

Filed under: Question & Answer — admin @ 5:38 pm

Question:
Do you recall in which episode Manolito sang a song for Victoria?

Answer:

Henry Darrow (Manolito Montoya) has a great singing voice. He released a single record, made during The High Chaparral days. The main cut is Little Green Apples. On the flip side, Henry provides hilarious impressions of his fellow actors on El Rancho Grande, in which Manolito tries to get to Tucson, but is waylaid by John, Buck, etc. Fans can listen to samples and get a CD copy personally autographed by Henry here.

In the episode Man to Match the Land, when Buck returns from staying at the Apache camp, Victoria arranges a fiesta to welcome him back, and Manolito grabs a guitar to sing about how he loves ‘Fiesta’ to her.

Manolito Montoya Sings
video
Manolito sings to Victoria during her
fiesta celebration in Man to Match the Land

Question:
I don’t recall ever seeing any of the main cast smoking during the show, did any of the actors smoke? It’s good to watch a program where people don’t smoke all the while.

Answer:

In ‘real life’ on the set – who knows? In that era smoking was common, so some of the actors could have been smokers. There are photos from a fan magazine in this archived newsletter article where some of the actors are on break. The quality of this reproduction is dim, but if you look closely you can see a cigarette in Cameron Mitchell’s hand.

In the 4th season episode Wind, rancher Ben Colton smokes a cigar and Will Todd smokes a pipe. As far as I can recall, none of the Chaparral characters are ever shown smoking.

Ranchers from The High Chaparral episode Wind
This screen shot from The High Chaparral episode Wind shows neighboring ranchers Will Todd (Tyler McVey) smoking a pipe on the left, Walt Fraley (Scott Brady) center, and Ben Colton (Mark Tapscott) on the right smoking a cigar.

Question:
Does anyone remember the season when Buck has a collision with his brother John and leaves the HC? This theme actually runs for several episodes.
Answer:
In the 3rd season there is a recurring story line about the purchase of the C-Bar-M ranch by Buck and Manolito. Trouble begins in The Brothers Cannon, when Buck, deciding Big John has disrespected him for the last time, leaves The High Chaparral ‘for good’. The brothers reconcile when Blue is injured. The story continues in A Piece of Land when Buck and Manolito purchase their own little ranch, the C-Bar-M, and again in Friends and Partners, as they discover living and working their spread isn’t all fun and games.

The C-Bar-M is referenced periodically throughout the season as they buy stock, refer to the cabin, land and water rights.

Buck also leaves the ranch in season one in Widow from Red Rock, and there are other episodes when John refers to him as being a wild card or loner.

Synopsis of episodes with photos are available on The High Chaparral website, and here is a clip of Buck’s breaking point from Brother’s Cannon:

Cmeron Mitchell and Leif Erickson in The High Chaparral
video

Buck reaches the breaking point in this scene from Brothers Cannon

Question:
Wasn’t Mark Slade in Sea Hunt? I remember him in underwater scenes.

Answer:
Close, but nope!  Mark starred as Taylor Reed in the movie Salty. After their parents are killed in a hurricane, Taylor and his young brother Tim Reed are befriended by a retired owner of a marina in Nassau, and adopted by a sea lion named Salty. The adventures of the Reed family and their mischievous pet sea lion continued in a 1974-75 TV series of the same name. Underwater scenes, including scuba diving on the coral reefs of Nassau, were often featured in the show.

For all Mark Slade fans, here’s a clip from the TV series Salty, where we see Mark handle a boat instead of a horse:

Mark Slade in Salty

video

Video Clip starring Mark Slade in the TV series Salty

Montoya Symbol:

We had a recent batch of questions concerning The High Chaparral brand and Manolito’s belt buckle. Thanks to fan Jeanette Milward for providing this great photo with an excellent shot of the signature buckle. For everyone who inquired, here is a brooding Manolito and his flashy logo-buckle:

Manoltio Montoya
Henry Darrow as Manolito Montoya, with the fancy Montoya belt buckle.

post Q & A May 2008

October 28th, 2008

Filed under: Question & Answer — admin @ 8:28 am

May 27, 2008

Q&A

Question from several folks:
Is the song Frank Gorshen sings in The High Chaparral episode Stinky Flanagan an Irish folk song? It’s very beautiful. What’s the name and where can I get a copy of the sheet music?

Answer:
Sweet Maureen O’Hare was composed by Harry Sukman, with words by William Leicester, a writer, actor, and executive story consultant on several High Chaparral episodes. Like so much of the music in the series, it sounds authentic to the time and place. Fans often insist it must be a long-lost Irish folk ballad. Susan McCray endowwed all of Harry Sukman’s sheet music to Eastern Connecticut University’s J. Eugene Smith Library, so it is not available commercially.

Listen to Sweet Maureen O’Hare, performed by Frank Gorshen: (if you have trouble playing the video, click here to open the newsletter in a web browser.)

High Chaparral video clip from episode Stinky Flanagan, sung by Frank Gorshen

Do you have a question about The High Chaparral, the cast, or anything connected with the show? Send it to info@highchaparralnewsletter.com, and we’ll do our best to get the answer for you!

post Q&A Octoober 2008

October 28th, 2008

Filed under: Question & Answer — admin @ 7:57 am

Question:
There’s so much talk about the Reunion – what exactly happens at one?

Answer:
Great question and you asked at exactly the right time, since the schedule of events was just announced for the 2009 Reunion.

The event is called a Reunion because it originated as a way to honor the cast and crew of The High Chaparral, and provide an event that allowed all of them to reconnect – a true Reunion of the actors, directors, producers, and crew. It also gave fans an opportunity to meet their heroes, hear behind the scenes stories, talk with other fans, and watch the show.

The 2009 The High Chaparral Reunion promises to be very special, since we’re returning to the original ranch set at Old Tucson Studios. The Q&A with the cast and crew, which always yields wonderful stories, will without a doubt be incredible, at the actual High Chaparral ranch.

Read about past reunions and future plans at The High Chaparral Reunion Website. We’re fortunate to have videos available from the 2005 reunion, so you can experience a tiny bit of what it’s like to attend. The reality is much more fun – a bit like being on the ranch with the Cannons, Montoyas, and Bunkhouse Boys! Thank you to Ginny for taking and posting these videos for all to enjoy.

Don Collier and Bob Hoy at the 2005 High Chaparral Reunion

Don Collier and Bob Hoy at the 2005 High Chaparral Reunion

Bob Hoy (High Chaparral’s Joe Butler) listens to Don Collier (HC foreman Sam Butler)
talk about the turkey from the episode For What We Are About To Receive, at the 2005 High Chaparral Reunion.
This video has been watched over 25,000 times on YouTube!

Rudy Ramos at the 2005 High Chaparral Reunion

Rudy Ramos at the 2005 High Chaparral Reunion

Rudy Ramos (Wind) at the 2005 High Chaparral Reunion, talking about the fine education
he received on the set – especially from the Bunkhouse Boys.

Question:
Would you be able to tell me if the ranch had a brand?? And if so, would you tell/show me what it was? I have not been able to locate it. I am looking on the website but have not found any information about it yet.
Cindi La Bash, 8/14/08

Answer:
Interesting how High Chaparral questions seem to run in themes, as this item came up in June as well, so branding must be on several fans minds.

The High Chaparral did have a brand, and it was seen in several episodes. Kent McCray, producer of the show, told me how the brand was made. You can read about that and see it in an episode clip in the Newsletter Archives.

The Montoya brand wasn’t shown that I know of, although I’ve never specifically looked for it, but Manolito did wear a specific belt buckle that was very much like a brand – a big ‘M’ with an arrow through it.

Question:
At the beginning of each 45-min-episode you could see a red Indian standing on the top of a mountain, a wonderful picture. Have you got that as a jpg.-file would be great, cheers.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Johann -Georg Gross

Answer:
The color plates that appear at the beginning of each episode were based on scenes from the original pilot. If you look closely you can identify the individual shots in the pilot. The Apache standing on the cliffs are in blue, while the ones riding horses are in red.

Although the original artwork from the show was destroyed, you can see copies of the opening color plates on The High Chaparral Website.

Red Panel from the introduction of each episode of The High Chaparral

Red Panel from the introduction of each episode of The High Chaparral

Question:
Can you tell me if the character of Annalee as the wife of John Cannon living for such a little time was always planned in the history of the ranch? Or were there last minute changes because of Linda Cristal, so she could be worked into the series?
Genaro Gil Vasquez

Answer:
Because of Linda’s incredible talent and beauty, fans often ask this. I have a copy of an early version pilot script. In it Annalee dies in the first half, and John marries Victoria.

But our best source of information is Kent McCray, since he read the very first, original pilot script (read this archived newsleter story about the first time Kent heard about The High Chaparral) and so I went right to the best source. According to Kent, “Joan Caulfield (Annalee Cannon) was always to have been married to John Cannon when they first arrived at The High Chaparral and she was never set to star in the show – it was always written that she is killed in the pilot.  And the entire script idea of Montoyas and Cannons was set up in the pilot script by Denne Petitclerc.”

Susan McCray added, “Joan Caulfield was a lovely actress. All were very pleased that she would portray the role of Annalee in the pilot script. She knew, when she accepted the role, that if the show was picked up as a series by the network, she would not be around. The pilot was to be her character’s ‘swan song’.”

Watch this video clip from The first half of The High Chaparral pilot, Destination Tucson, showing Joan Caulfield’s last scene as Annalee Cannon. It also features Rudolfo Acosta as Vaquero. Alert fans will notice Annalee’s windchimes in the background.

Annalee Cannons last scene

Annalee Cannon's last scene

post Q&A

August 17th, 2008

Filed under: Question & Answer — admin @ 3:32 pm

Question:

I was hoping if you might be able to help me find or have knowledge if a “floor plan” exists of the ranch house. The main level and then the bedroom level upstairs. I’ve always loved this house and its beautiful layout and architecture.

Answer:
The ranch house that still stands on the location set at Old Tucson was built for exterior shots only, so the inside is empty.  According to Kent McCray, producer for The High Chaparral, “The Art Director on Bonanza, Earl Hedrick, designed and built the exterior of The High Chaparral at Old Tucson. All of Earl Hedrick’s plans were destroyed and are non existent.”

All of the familiar rooms and decorations we’ve all come to expect from the episodes were shot on various soundstages. “The interior set was on the stage at Paramount Studios.  Later when we left Paramount for Warner Brothers Studios, a new interior set was built on our Warner Brothers stage.  Bob Shelton (ed.  note: owner/originator of Old Tucson Studios) purchased the interior set at Paramount and put it on the Old Tucson stage,” Kent said.

The logistics of the actual floor plan is another piece of Hollywood sleight of hand, because if you take the layout apart carefully, using the evidence shown in the TV show, you’ll find that it’s impossible to reconcile what’s shown with what is physically possible.  We all know there is a second floor to the house, containing various bedrooms.  But if you look carefully, you’ll see that the steps only allow for about a half floor, yet there’s John’s office, the kitchen, and also some other unseen rooms behind the main living room that must fit underneath the second floor.  In various episodes John and Victoria’s bedroom seems to be either on the second floor or on the ground level – or maybe they move back and forth for variety. The High Chaparral website provides an excellent explanation and estimated layout of the floor plan, as well as screen shots from the series detailing the rooms.

One High Chaparral fan dealt with all these issues (and many more) when he decided to build a true to life replica of the ranch house set.  Ronnie Rubino’s home is so exactly like the High Chaparral that it’s startling to be inside it.   Having had the pleasure of visiting Ronnie’s house, I can tell you The High Chaparral ranch house is a comfortable, lovely place, and would have been a very impressive house in 1870’s Arizona.  It’s certainly a beautiful home today.

Because the ranch itself was actually a major character in the series, various legendary stores have built up around its creation and history.  Occasionally you may hear the design was based on the original Pete Kitchen ranch house, that there was already a building on the Old Tucson lot which the HC crew remodeled, or that the ranch set changed between the pilot and the regular first season series.  About the Pete Kitchen theory, Kent McCray says, “I have no clue,” but for the rest he can set the record straight, since he was there at the beginning and throughout every episode. “The ranch set never changed between the pilot and the first season, and there was not any building on the Old Tucson property before that.”

High Chaparral ranch house from Pilot episode
Play Video

This video clip shows the first time the Cannons – and viewers – see The High Chaparral ranch house,
in the pilot episode Destination Tucson.

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High Chaparral episode Ghost of Chaparral
Play Video

This video clip from Ghost of Chaparral provides a good view of the entrance of the ranch house.
Having trouble seeing the videol? Open the newsletter in a web browser.

Question:
Hello, my name is Sergio, currently in Guatemala and again I see the series the Grand Chaparral, a travez cable and gives me great  pleasure reminds me of my ñinez and good times. Here in Guatemala has always liked. I have some questions. My question is – what was the fate of the actors after starring THE GRAND CHAPARRAL. What happened to these players today?

Answer:
Leif Erickson (John Cannon) died on January 29, 1986 from cancer. Cameron Mitchell (Buck Cannon) died on July 6, 1994 of lung cancer. Henry Darrow (Manolito Montoya) is alive and living in North Carolina. He is still acting and just attended the premier of Primo, a movie he appeared in. Linda Cristal (Victoria Cannon) is retired from acting and lives at her home in Beverly Hills, California. Mark Slade (Blue Cannon) is an artist, you can see his work on his website. Bob Hoy (Joe Butler) is healthy and active, and attends many fan events every year.  He had an appearance in NCIS this past year. Don Collier (Sam Butler) is active, still does voiceover work, and acts. He is the new Arbuckles Coffee CowboyTed Markland (Reno) lives in Joshua Tree, California, and is still acting.  Rudy Ramos (Wind) continues to act after a successful career, and is passionate about music and horses.

post Q&A

August 7th, 2008

Filed under: Question & Answer — admin @ 7:17 pm

Q&A

Question:
Was there an official branding iron in The High Chaparral episodes? If so, what did it look like?

Answer:
Yes. The Cannon cattle were branded with a basic ‘HC’. Kent McCray provided the background story behind how this brand was made: “The HC brand was made for the episode and it was used periodically. It was not used in the pilot. The prop man had the Paramount metal department make it up for the show.”

The brand can be seen briefly in the branding scene from Bad Day for a Thirst – click the photo to see the video clip. While searching for a scene that would show the Chaparral brand, I wondered how hard it was to get the actors to learn how to handle cows, and this caused Kent to laugh at my mistake, since obviously the show had stuntmen and wranglers to handle the animals. Actors do what they do best – act!

High Chaparral branding iron can be seen in this clip from the episode Bad Day for a Thirst

The High Chaparral brand can be seen in this screen capture
from Bad Day for a Thirst. Click the photo to see the video clip.
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Question:
I was watching “The Arrangement” the other night and thought I heard the “standard”
Victoria theme in that. I thought there were two Victoria themes? I know there is a different one–I need to figure out which is Sukman and which is Rose, because I think I have them confused. What I hear when Victoria enters the dining room at Casa Montoya in “The Arrangement” is what I always thought was the Harry Sukman Victoria, because I hear it in the other episodes.

Answer:
The theme you hear for Victoria in the pilot episode (The Arrangement) was written by David Rose. The U.S. Copyright site lists two entries for Victoria, One attributed to David Rose in 1969 and another in 1970 by David Rose, arranged by Matt Dennis.

However, as with all the regular episode character themes, the music you’re hearing for Victoria (and the rest of the Montoyas when it’s a serious theme) in the remainder of the episodes is the lovely Montoya Theme by Harry Sukman. This piece of music was a particular favorite of David Dortort.

Susan Sukman McCray provided background information about the two themes and the copyright dates in this message: message from Susan McCray. In it, Susan says, “As far as the theme for Victoria goes, David Rose only composed the music for the pilot of High Chaparral.  The pilot was in 1966.  Harry Sukman composed all character themes and background music scores for all the episodes of The High Chaparral. The pilot music was done by David Rose. I just looked at my High Chaparral book, which has all the music and themes, and I find Victoria, written by David Rose, arranged by Matt Dennis.  The copyright is 1969 and 70. The reason being, the copyright which originally was under David Rose in 1966, was transferred to Open Door Music, which is a publishing company owned by David Dortort.  All of the music after 1967 was transferred into the Open Door Music Company for publishing.  I think that may clear it up.  That includes all Harry Sukman music as well, so you will find the 1969-70 date on The High Chaparral music by David Rose, even though it was only composed for the pilot in 66.”

In this composite video clip, listen to the David Rose theme from the pilot episode The Arrangement, followed by a unique scene in a second season episode, The Promised Land. In it, Victoria plays the Harry Sukman Montoya Theme during the dialog.

Linda Cristal as Victoria Cannon in The High Chaparral

Click on the photo to see the composite video and hear both the David Rose and Harry Sukman music
themes associated with Victoria.

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Question:
The quote ‘brand ’em, don’t bar-be-que ’em’ came up in discussion on the fan boards – what scene is this from, and is it really used more than once?

Answer:
This catch-phrase is indeed used twice in The High Chaparral. It appears first in the pilot episode Destination Tucson, when Big John Cannon uses it to chastize Blue for his inexperience. Later in episode 26, Bad Day for a Thirst, Blue quotes his father when he uses what would be almost a year’s worth of experience to teach Buck’s Apache proteges Sourdough and Saddleblanket how to brand a cow.

ark Slade as Blue Cannon wrestles a steer in the pilot episode

In this scene from the pilot episode Destination Tucson, Blue Cannon wrestles a steer, but his inexperience at branding displeases his father. Click the photo to view the video clip.
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Mark Slade as Blue Cannon in Bad Day for a Thirst

In this scene from Bad Day for a Thirst, Blue demonstrates proper branding technique to one
of Buck’s new Apache ranch hands.
Click the photo to see the video.
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post Q&A

August 7th, 2008

Filed under: Question & Answer — admin @ 7:13 pm

Q&A

Question from several folks:
Is the song Frank Gorshen sings in The High Chaparral episode Stinky Flanagan an Irish folk song? It’s very beautiful. What’s the name and where can I get a copy of the sheet music?

Answer:
Sweet Maureen O’Hare was composed by Harry Sukman, with words by William Leicester, a writer, actor, and executive story consultant on several High Chaparral episodes. Like so much of the music in the series, it sounds authentic to the time and place. Fans often insist it must be a long-lost Irish folk ballad. Susan McCray endowwed all of Harry Sukman’s sheet music to Eastern Connecticut University’s J. Eugene Smith Library, so it is not available commercially.

Listen to Sweet Maureen O’Hare, performed by Frank Gorshen: (if you have trouble playing the video, click here to open the newsletter in a web browser.)

High Chaparral video clip from episode Stinky Flanagan, sung by Frank Gorshen

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