USD. Free Shipping Worldwide!
The Wild West Show, That Uniquely American Traveling Spectacle Originated By Buffalo Bill And Pefected Along With Pawnee Bill, The 101 Ranch And A Host Of Other Wild West Shows That Kept Alive The Spirit Of The Old West And Crafted Our Image Of The American West Today, Hosted And Narrated By Kenny Rogers And Presented In The Highest DVD Quality MPG Video Format Of 9.1 MBPS As An MP4 Video Download Or Archival Quality All Regions Format DVD! (Color, 1993, 48 Minutes.)
Wild West Shows were traveling vaudeville performances in the United States and Europe that existed around 1870-1920. The shows began as theatrical stage productions and evolved into open-air shows that depicted romanticized stereotypes of cowboys, Plains Indians, army scouts, outlaws, and wild animals that existed in the American West. While some of the storylines and characters were based on historical events, others were fictional or sensationalized. American Indians in particular were portrayed in a sensationalistic and exploitative manner. The shows introduced many western performers and personalities, and romanticized the American frontier, to a wide audience. In the 19th century, following the American Civil War, stories and inexpensive dime novels depicting the American West and frontier life were becoming common. In 1869, author Ned Buntline wrote a novel about the buffalo hunter, U.S. Army scout, and guide William F. Buffalo Bill Cody called Buffalo Bill, the King of Border Men after the two met on a train from California to Nebraska. In December 1872, Buntline's novel turned into a theatrical production when The Scouts of the Prairie debuted in Chicago. The show featured Buntline, Cody, Texas Jack Omohundro, and the Italian-born ballerina Giuseppina Morlacchi and toured the American theater circuit for two years. Buntline left the show and in 1874 Cody founded the Buffalo Bill Combination, in which he performed for part of the year while scouting on the prairies the rest of the year. Wild Bill Hickok joined the group to headline in a new play called Scouts of the Plains. Hickok did not enjoy acting and was released from the group after one show when he shot out a spotlight that focused on him. Texas Jack parted ways with Cody in 1877 and formed his own acting troupe in St. Louis, known as the 'Texas Jack Combination', and in May of that year he debuted Texas Jack in the Black Hills. Other plays the combination performed included The Trapper's Daughter and Life on the Border. In 1883, Cody founded Buffalo Bill's Wild West, an outdoor attraction that toured annually. The new show contained a lot of action including wild animals, trick performances, and theatrical reenactments. All sorts of characters from the frontier were incorporated into the show's program. Shooting exhibitions were also in the lineup with extensive shooting displays and trick shots. Rodeo events, involving rough and dangerous activities performed by cowboys with different animals, also featured. It was the first and prototypical Wild West show, lasting until 1915, and featured theatrical reenactments of battle scenes, characteristic western scenes, and even hunts.
Buffalo Bill's Wild West was founded in 1883 in North Platte, Nebraska when Buffalo Bill Cody turned his real life adventure into the first outdoor western show. The show's publicist Arizona John Burke employed innovative techniques at the time, such as celebrity endorsements, press kits, publicity stunts, op-ed articles, billboards and product licensing, that contributed to the success and popularity of the show. Buffalo Bill's Wild West toured Europe eight times, the first four tours between 1887 and 1892, and the last four from 1902 to 1906. The first tour was in 1887 as part of the American Exhibition, which coincided with the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, requested a private preview of the Wild West performance; he was impressed enough to arrange a command performance for Queen Victoria. The Queen enjoyed the show and meeting the performers, setting the stage for another command performance on June 20, 1887, for her Jubilee guests. Royalty from all over Europe attended, including the future Kaiser Wilhelm II and the future King George V. Buffalo Bill's Wild West closed its successful London run in October 1887 after more than 300 performances, with more than 2.5 million tickets sold. The tour made stops in Birmingham and Manchester before returning to the United States in May 1888 for a short summer tour. A return tour was made in 1891-92, including Cardiff, Wales and Glasgow, Scotland, in the itinerary. In 1893, Cody changed the title to Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World and the show performed at the Chicago World's Fair to a crowd of 18,000. This performance was a huge contributor to the show's popularity. The show never again did as well as it did that year. That same year at the Fair, Frederick Turner, a young Wisconsin scholar, gave a speech that pronounced the first stage of American history over. "The frontier has gone", he declared. Buffalo Bill's Wild West returned to Europe in December 1902 with a fourteen-week run in London, capped by a visit from King Edward VII and the future King George V. The Wild West traveled throughout Great Britain in a tour in 1902 and 1903 and a tour in 1904, performing in nearly every city large enough to support it. The 1905 tour began in April with a two-month run in Paris, after which the show traveled around France, performing mostly one-night stands, concluding in December. The final tour, in 1906, began in France on March 4 and quickly moved to Italy for two months. The show then traveled east, performing in Austria, the Balkans, Hungary, Romania, and the Ukraine, before returning west to tour in Poland, Bohemia (later Czech Republic), Germany, and Belgium. By 1894 the harsh economy made it hard to afford tickets. It did not help that the show was routed to go through the South in a year when the cotton was flooded and there was a general depression in the area. Buffalo Bill lost a lot of money and was on the brink of a financial disaster. Soon after, and in an attempt of recovery of monetary balance, Buffalo Bill signed a contract in which he was tricked by Bonfil and Temmen into selling them the show and demoting himself to a mere employee and attraction of the Sells-Floto Circus. From this point, the show began to destroy itself. Finally, in 1913 the show was declared bankrupt.
Pawnee Bill's Historic Wild West was launched in 1988 by Pawnee Bill (Gordon William Lillie) and his wife May Manning. May starred in the show as the "Champion Girl Horseback Shot of the West." Their first season was a financial disaster. They re-organized as a smaller operation called "Pawnee Bill's Historical Wild West Indian Museum and Encampment Show." That show was popular and financially successful. Lillie added Jose Barrera to the cast; he was widely popular performing as "Mexican Joe". Mamie Francis performed with Pawnee Bill's from 1901 to 1905. In 1907, Lillie hired performers from a variety of backgrounds. The show included Mexican cowboys, Pawnee, Japanese performers, and Arab jugglers. The ensemble debuted as "Pawnee Bill's Great Far East Show." In 1908, Pawnee Bill and Buffalo Bill joined forces and created the "Two Bills' show. That show was foreclosed on when it was playing in Denver, Colorado. While Gordon Lillie had been on tour, May supervised their buffalo ranch, now known as Pawnee Bill Ranch. The Lillies completed work on their Arts-and-Crafts style home on Blue Hawk Peak in 1910.
The 101 Ranch Wild West Show was founded by The Miller Brothers of The Miller Brothers 101 Ranch the success of their neighbor Pawnee Bill, motivated the Millers to produce a Wild West show of their own. The Millers made their transition from putting on local shows to the national scene in 1907, when they performed at the Jamestown Exposition in Virginia. Later in 1907, the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West Show began the tour circuit in Brighton Beach, New York. Joe Miller, the eldest son, was an exceptional equestrian and star performer. Over the course of the show's history, its cast featured African Americans such as Bill Pickett, the famous bulldogger and his brother Voter Hall who billed as a "Feejee Indian from Africa", Lillian Smith, Bessie Herberg, Bee Ho Gray, Tom Mix, Jack Hoxie, Mexican Joe, Ross Hettan, Will Rogers and an elderly Buffalo Bill. The Miller brothers came late into Wild West Show business and suffered financially along with the other shows after the invention of motion pictures. Their show had more problems than most in a business that was harsh in the best of times. During their first year on the circuit, they suffered a serious railroad accident. Later several members of their cast contracted typhoid fever. In 1908, when Buffalo Bill and Pawnee Bill combined their shows into an extravaganza that broke records at Madison Square Gardens in New York City, the Miller Brothers took their show abroad. In England, the British military confiscated most of the 101's horses, stagecoaches, and automobiles to build up for war, as tensions were building related to the pending World War I. When the Millers' show toured in Germany, authorities arrested some of their Oglala Sioux performers on suspicion of being Serbian spies, they were never seen again. A frantic Zack Miller managed to get the rest of cast out of Germany via Norway, and then to England. Once in London, however, he had difficulty finding a steamship that would sell his people passage. Finally, he obtained passage for his cast on an American ship. Once the cast returned to Oklahoma, the eldest brother Joe Miller refused to pay the Indian cast overtime. As a result, the entire Indian cast quit the show. By 1916, the two younger Miller brothers abandoned trying to work with their volatile oldest brother. George Jr. and Zack worked at the ranch, while Joe schemed to make the Wild West Show a financial success. Joe Miller hired an out-of-work, aging, and ill Buffalo Bill to star in a World War I recruitment show called the "Pageant of Preparedness." Soon Cody quit the show; he died within a year. Still unwilling to let the show close, Joe continued to operate on a smaller scale. In 1927, Joe was unsuccessful in his attempts to sell his show to the American Circus Corporation. A small portion of the ranch property was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975.