Discussion in 'The Bar' started by ice cream, Jan 10, 2013.
[TABLE="class: infobox biography vcard, width: 22"]
[TH="colspan: 2, align: center"]Rex Trailer[/TH]
[TD="colspan: 2, align: center"]
Rex Trailer meets a young fan in Worcester, Massachusetts, on December 10, 2006[/TD]
(1928-09-16)September 16, 1928
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.[/TD]
[TD]January 9, 2013(2013-01-09) (aged 84)[/TD]
[TD="class: role"]Cowboy, actor, singer, film producer[/TD]
[TH="align: left"]Years active[/TH]
Rex Trailer (September 16, 1928 – January 9, 2013) was a Boston, Massachusetts, USA, based television personality, broadcast pioneer, and Country and Western recording artist. He is best known as the host of the long-running children's television show Boomtown.
1 Early life
2 Television pioneer
3 Recording artist
4 The Boomtown/Boston years
5 Later career
8 External links
[h=2] Early life[/h]
Souvenir photo of Rex and Goldrush. Boulevard Shopping Center, located at Cottman Ave. and Roosevelt Blvd. in NE Philadelphia, was the site of appearances by Trailer in the early 1950s.
Rex Trailer grew up just outside of Fort Worth, Texas. He spent his summers on his grandfather’s fifty-acre quarter horse ranch in nearby Thurber, Texas. There, at age four or five, Trailer rode his first horse, named Bamboo.
The hired hands on the ranch were rodeo cowboys. One of these men taught him trick roping, one taught him how to handle a bull whip, and another taught him how to play the guitar. Trailer recalls, "All those cowboys were good at what they taught me, but after I learned each (skill), I was the only one of the bunch who could do all three!"[SUP][/SUP] Trailer learned to call square dances and went on to sing with a group called The Rambling Rustlers. "I was always a ham who loved to perform," he said. "I could always play guitar, sing and tell stories."[SUP][/SUP]
By age 11, he had begun performing with his mentors in rodeos. Trailer's grandfather only warned the cowboys that they shouldn't let him ride "rough stock," meaning the broncos and bulls. "I traveled the country a little bit," Trailer reminisced. "The audiences got a kick out of a teenager being out there and trick riding and roping and bull whips and singing."[SUP][/SUP]
While employing his skills as a young man in a traveling rodeo, Trailer met Western movie star Gabby Hayes. Hayes hired him to work at his Catskills summer ranch for kids. The meeting proved to be life-changing: recognizing Trailer's natural talent, Hayes encouraged him to break into the fledgling world of children's television as an on-air personality.[SUP][/SUP][SUP][/SUP]
[h=2] Television pioneer[/h]Not yet out of his teens in 1947, Trailer went to work for the DuMont Television Network in New York City, starting out as a scenery painter, but quickly rising to the position of production coordinator, then soon after to assistant director. Then, responding to a casting call for a cowboy who could do stunts, Trailer overwhelmed the competition and became the host of the network's Oky Doky Ranch.[SUP][/SUP] The show featured Rex Trailer as a cowboy and Oky Doky was a cowboy puppet. This format has some similarity to the Howdy Doody show. Oky Doky had already been established in local television before being moved to the network, so there is some debate as to who came first.
After the Oky Doky series ended, Trailer heard that the Westinghouse TV station in Philadelphia (WPTZ) needed a host for a Western-style children's show. Rex Trailer and his horse "Gold Rush" moved to Philadelphia and hosted television shows from 1950 until 1956. "Ridin’ the Trail with Rex Trailer" featured him as the host for movie Westerns. He also had a daily 15-minute program featuring songs, games and dances with Trailer and his guitar. This show went by names including "Hi-Noon with Rex Trailer", "Saddlebag O' Songs" and "Rex Trailer's Ranch House".[SUP][/SUP]
[h=2] Recording artist[/h]Even as his television career was blossoming, Trailer found success in recording Country and Western Music for ABC-Paramount Records, among other labels. At one time, around 1950, Trailer recorded with Bill Haley and his Saddlemates, who gained fame later as Bill Haley and His Comets. In 1955, Cowboys Don't Cry and a song later used regularly on the Boomtown show, Hoofbeats, were released together in the 78 rpm and 45 rpm vinyl record formats. Trailer released at least two 33[SUP]1[/SUP]⁄[SUB]3[/SUB] rpm 12" vinyl albums, as "Rex Trailer and the Playboys", one titled Country and Western in 1960 and one titled Good Old Country Music, released by Crown records (CLP 5484 monaural), date unknown. Another album with some overlap in playlists also exists, by "Rex Trailer and his Cow Hands", titled Western Favorites, which was released in 1961 on Spin-O-Rama records.
The 78 rpm version of Hoofbeats and Cowboys Don't Cry.
A CD was offered on Trailer's website, called "All the Best." Boomtown, Hoofbeats, Cowboy's Don't Cry, Pow Wow the Pony and other songs from the 1950s and 1960s were included, along with some more recently recorded songs. Trailer recorded introductions for each track.
[h=2] The Boomtown/Boston years[/h]When the Philadelphia station that employed Trailer was sold to NBC, Trailer, with short time remaining on his contract to Westinghouse Broadcasting, was presented a choice of two Westinghouse station cities: Cleveland or Boston. In 1956, with a wealth of broadcasting experience and not yet out of his twenties, Rex Trailer moved to Boston to host a new weekend-morning
Looks like a pole smoker. AIDS?
RIP Rex, you goofy bastard.
guess it was just a new england thing
if he did have aids,he kicked its ass until 84 yrs old
he was a straight shooter
That's what he said
I was on Boomtown once. My brother won a whole case of Blue Diamond Tuna. He was a good man. Entertained a lot of kids. Fine wholesome family man. God Bless. RIP
like when he jammed with banjo dude,cant think of his name
The Boomtown/Boston yearsWhen the Philadelphia station that employed Trailer was sold to NBC, Trailer, with short time remaining on his contract to Westinghouse Broadcasting, was presented a choice of two Westinghouse station cities: Cleveland or Boston. In 1956, with a wealth of broadcasting experience and not yet out of his twenties, Rex Trailer moved to Boston to host a new weekend-morning children's show Boomtown on WBZ-TV.[SUP][/SUP] This series proved to be his greatest success, airing through 1974 and establishing Trailer as a major local celebrity within the signal of Boston's TV Channel 4. Trailer performed songs while playing guitar, and showed off his authentic cowboy skills with horse-riding tricks, rope tricks, skilled use of the bull-whip, and shooting (though he banished weapons from the show after JFK’s assassination in 1963). He led the studio audience of children in sing-alongs and contests of skill, and introduced cartoons and other children's programming segments. The young viewers "adored him for his consistent kindness and competence."[SUP][/SUP] Trailer was aided by many guests, and by his various sidekicks over the years, including "Pablo" from 1956 to 1967 (played by actor Richard Kilbride), then "Cactus Pete" from 1967 to 1969 (played by Terrance Currier), and finally "Sgt. Billy" (played by actor Bill O'Brien).
Rex Trailer's fame, good name, and crowd-pleasing talents made him a draw at his personal appearances in the area. He was able to team with a local travel agency in chaperoning children on an annual series of large-scale school-vacation trips to California tourist attractions.
Trailer is recognized as a strong advocate for children with disabilities.[SUP][/SUP] In 1961, Trailer (and Gold Rush) led an actual wagon train across the state of Massachusetts ending at the State House in Boston, to call public attention to the needs of the mentally retarded, and the organization The Arc (then called the Association for Retarded Citizens). Trailer insisted on including children with disabilities in his show, and is said to have been one of the first to do so.[SUP][/SUP] In addition, Trailer also encouraged his young fans to hold neighborhood charity fund-raisers called "Backyard Carnivals Against Dystrophy", offering how-to kits on air. As a result of such efforts, Trailer came to be perceived as the "cowboy with a conscience" on and off the air.[SUP][/SUP]
Shooting live three-hour shows in the Brighton studio left Trailer little opportunity at that time to contemplate his place in television history. "We just did it. It was a blast," he said, adding that the show was the most enjoyable thing he'd ever done ever done, because its genuineness made the fun contagious. "We were doing educational TV before there was educational TV," Trailer asserted. "Children need role models. I wanted them to understand their obligation to take care of each other."[SUP][/SUP]
When Boomtown ended, Trailer briefly put his Western costume aside and hosted Earth Lab, a syndicated science series that aired across the country until 1979. He was part of the successful "I Love New York" tourism campaign, playing a New Hampshire fisherman in a 1982 TV commercial.[SUP][/SUP] Trailer had a minor role as a doctor in the 1990 Cher/Winona Ryder movie Mermaids.[SUP][/SUP] Later, he co-hosted Boomtown Revisited on Continental Cablevision in the early 1990s.[SUP][/SUP]
Besides his cowboy, musical and broadcasting skills, Trailer had other talents. He was a licensed pilot, having flown fixed wing craft including the Boeing 747 as well as helicopters. He would often arrive at personal appearances at the controls of a helicopter, sometimes seasonally accompanied by Santa Claus. Once, Trailer was flying with Bozo the Clown in his helicopter; engine trouble forced them down in a Western Massachusetts field, where they were greeted by incredulous children who had followed their descent.[SUP][/SUP] Trailer owned a helicopter shuttle company in the 1960s and 1970s that at its peak transported 500-600 passengers a day. He was an accomplished sky diver, scuba diver and water skier. Trailer also worked as a travel agent and was a certified hypnotherapist.[SUP][/SUP]
[h=2] Later career[/h]
Trailer meets the artist for The Phantom comic strip, Paul Ryan, at That's Entertainment in Fitchburg MA on 9/11/2011
In his later years, Rex Trailer continued to work in the television industry. He owned a video production company in Waltham MA, and taught on-air performance at Emerson College in Boston. Among his past students are WHDH-TV Channel 7 news anchor Jonathan Hall, Fox 25 morning news host Gene Lavanchy, and "Entertainment Tonight" correspondent Maria Menounos.[SUP][/SUP] He made regular personal appearances, and performed on occasion, including sets at Boston rock clubs in his later years as a special guest. Rex Trailer was also a perennial participant in Natick Massachusetts' annual July 4 parade, in which he rode Goldrush.[SUP][/SUP]
On December 10, 2006, Rex Trailer performed several songs (including the Boomtown theme and some of his own Christmas songs) and signed free autographs for hundreds of fans at That's Entertainment in Worcester, Massachusetts. The event was part of Trailer's official "50th Anniversary of Boomtown" celebration tour. Then Worcester Mayor Tim Murray officially proclaimed it "Rex Trailer's Boomtown Day" throughout the city to mark the occasion.[SUP][/SUP]
In 2011, Trailer donated his three .45-caliber revolvers with staghorn handles to the Massachusetts State Police Museum in Grafton, Massachusetts. The gun shop where they had been stored went out of business, and the guns very nearly went on the auction block before Trailer and Michael Bavaro learned of the situation and retook possession.[SUP][/SUP]
I was on Boomtown with my two cousins. Of course my family slept through the the show on the Sunday that it aired, so I never saw myself on it
Never heard of him. Good night funny man.
That explains the eating disorder and obesity.