Two of the best known and loved songs of the Old West sung by the cowboys who wrote them, along with their stories of how and why they did so. Gail Gardner wrote “The Sierry Petes” (Tying Knots in the Devil’s Tail) and Billy Simon composed the music for Charles Badger Clark’s famous poem, “The Border Affair” (Spanish is the Loving Tongue). Few who sing it know where the melody came from!
Gail and Bill were in their 80’s when Western musicologist and folksinger, Katie Lee, filmed them in Prescott, Arizona at Simon’s Horse Camp and in the old house where Gail was born. She drew out their anecdotes, humor and philosophies and their sense of place in a West long vanished.
The film received a Golden Eagle Award from the Council of International Nontheatrical Events (CINE) and was chosen to represent the USA in international motion picture events. It is adapted from two chapters if Katie’s book Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle; is written, directed and narrated by Katie Lee; photographed and edited by Harry Atwood; and produced at the TV Bureau, University of Arizona.
“A heartwarming tribute complete with authentic dialogue and the sounds of thundering hoofbeats, bawling cattle and creaking windmills. Katie Lee, a legend herself, has done a masterful job” – liner notes, Jim Bob Tinsley
Anyone interested in learning more about Katie Lee or obtaining copies of her works can contact the Cline Library Special Collections and Archives at Special.Collections@nau.edu or 928-523-5551.