The CD is selling very well and you may see a 'CD coming back in stock
soon' on the CDBaby order page. Susan assures additional ones are on
the way, so please leave your email and address where noted to be
alerted when they arrive. She wanted to let everyone know that your
info will not be given or sold to anyone, and will not be used for any
other reason than to tell you when the CD arrives. If you're holiday
shopping and want this for a gift, ORDER EARLY, as the sales orders are
enthusiastic, especially for a new release.
The latest entry on The High Chaparral scene is at the highchaparralblog.
Maintained by Ginny Shook, it's the source for up to the minute
information on films, appearances, cast and crew news, and all the
lastest HC news. Sign up to receive email updates and post comments.
Thanks and kudos go out to Ginny for providing this great news service
for all the HC fans.
The Kent McCray Interviews
On December 11 & 18, tune in to KSAV.org for two special evenings
with Kent McCray, producer of High Chaparral, Bonanza, Little House on
the Prairie, Highway or Heaven, and may other legendary shows. Kent is
a natural storyteller and has fascinating insights into the background
of our favorite shows. You'll soon see why all the cast and crew still
have so much respect for him. Getting to Know You
December 11 & 18
6:30 pm Pacific/9:30 pm Eastern KSAV Radio Click to hear the promo
Getting to Know You
Broadcast in Hartford, CT
Chaparral's favorite radio show will soon be branching out 'back east'
in Hartford, CT! If you're in the area, you can tune in to WWUH to pick
up the show. Click to hear the promo
Guess Who? - Name the High Chaparral Actor
HC fans can identify the actors in costume whether they're front and
center or in the background. But take a guess who's working out
poolside in this vintage photo! Send your guess to email@example.com - everyone who guesses correctly will be listed in the next newsletter.
(Hint - it's not Victoria or Violetta.)
The High Chaparral By Tanja Konstantaki
Don't worry Blue, I'll make sure Santa gets your letter....
I've told you once, I've told you twice, I've told you a thousand
times. If you don't go to sleep on Christmas Eve, Santa won't bring you
Hope you won't mind that I didn't have time to wrap her up - Merry Christmas, Blue!
Welcome again to another list of new High Chaparral articles:
Rudy Ramos (Wind) is featured in this month's lead article, in an interview by Penny McQueen
Warm Heart, Cool Hands, a new CD featuring the music of Harry Sukman.
Listen to Blue's Theme from The High Chaparral - you'll be among the first in the world to hear this brand new arrangement!
Announcing the new High Chaparral Blog
Holiday photos from the ranch.
A reprint article on Mark Slade from Australia, TV Week, May 9, 1970.
Vintage photo from BRAVO, the German fan magazine, reads:
BRAVO- Germany's largest magazine
for young people Mark Slade
Billy Blue from the High Chaparral-Ranch dressed up as Santa Clause for
his Bravo friends and warmly wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year (Thanks to Tanja Konstantaki for the vintage Bravo cover and translation)
Kent and Susan McCray were recently evacuated from their home in Malibu
for the second time in six weeks due to the fires ravaging the
California area. The McCrays remarked, "After living in our
home for twenty-three years and loving it,this last fire really did us
in." Word has it they are looking at property outside Malibu.
Fans were also touched by the emergency, as Vickie Harvey was
evacuated, Vickie2's home was threatened, and many list members had
friends and family near or involved in the danger.
As the Santa Ana winds continue and the fire danger remains, our
thoughts and support are with all of those in the HC family who's homes
and lives are are risk. Rudy Ramos: Second Wind by Penny McQueen
1967, television performances aired once, a second time during reruns,
and then disappeared, unless a show was lucky enough to enter the
hallowed ground of syndication.Fast forward
forty years to the world of streaming media, digital recording, TiVo,
internet webcasts, exclusive online episodes, and the phenomenon of
viral marketing.The wonder boys who launched
YouTube thought they’d invented a way for people to share vacation
videos and home movies; instead they created a social revolution that
continues to rock the globe and change how we view entertainment.
long as the revolution brings us samples of work like those found at
rudyramos.net, I won’t complain. If you remember Rudy only as Wind from High Chaparral,
do yourself a favor and check out the Reel section of his website.
Prepare to be surprised; this is no One Note Johnny. In rapid fire
sequence, he morphs from one character to the next, barely
recognizable, displaying a range of characterization and comedic talent
that’s dizzying to watch.Try not to laugh at his bebop sleezeball Carlos from NYPD Blue,
talking a good game in the interrogation room. “Only time my hands
touch her naked body would be if I’m falling out the window and there
ain’t nothing else to hold on to.” Nice man, he remembers his manners.
“But I didn’t say that to her.”
Flashback to 1971, when news of High Chaparral’s
cancellation arrived. Rudy hung up his leather costume, contacted his
agent, and parlayed his stint as a co-star into a five decade career as
a hardworking actor. Roles in Hawaii Five-0, Helter-Skelter, The Rockford Files and other projects came regularly. Then in 1980 he shot an episode of Paris, a standard-issue California cop show starring James Earl Jones.Aside
from the role, always welcome for an actor, the part brought an
unexpected bonus. “Mark Slade and I played police officers and best
friends in the show. We never discussed The High Chaparral until we were saying goodbye on the final day of shooting. He gave me a hug and said, ‘it was nice working with you – Wind!’ I didn't know he knew until that moment.” The
idea of Chaparral’s two favorite young rebels together is intriguing
for fans, and also for Rudy. “Mark is a very nice person and we spent
about 10 days together. I'm sure we would have had a very good
relationship on The High Chaparral had that happened.”
Years passed. Always musical, Rudy continued to be passionate
about this aspect of his art. Horses and Parelli Natural Horsemanship
training filled his spare time, acting roles kept him busy at work.If he barely thought of a half-Pawnee youngster, then why would anyone else?Then a friend gave him some interesting news. “Two years ago a musician friend of mine happened to be browsing The High Chaparral
website and told me there was a section on me. I looked, was blown
away, and contacted the webmaster to congratulate her and to introduce
got back to me and that was the beginning of being in touch with all of
the wonderful people associated with the site and the discussion group.”
Forward thinking and busy, in the years since his last Chaparral
scene was shot, he’d had few reminders of his big break. “I really had
no contact with anyone from the show for 35 years except running into
Henry Darrow from time to time.”The 2005
reunion was an occasion for Rudy to meet many of his fans and see some
of the colleagues from the beginning of his career. “When I came to
check in, Ginny Shook was greeting people and I said my name is Rudy
Ramos and I am a guest. Her reaction was subtle but she made we feel
welcome and special. Seeing people I had worked with 35 years ago and
hearing the stories they told brought back great memories.”
A special highlight was being seated next to Rose and David Dortort, the producer of High Chaparral.
When Rudy asked if Mr. Dortort remembered him as Wind, he received a
touching response. “He studied me for about 15 seconds and then this
huge smile came to his face. He touched my face very gently with the
back of his hand and said, "Of course I remember you Rudy, you were
wonderful!" Just about brought tears. The love and admiration I have
for the man I could never put into words.”
On March 13, 1994 an accident with a kicking horse sidelined him, shattering his eye socket.Requiring
six surgeries to fix the orbital, face puffy and bruised, he was out of
circulation, unable to work. It was a long stretch for an actor, as he
explains, “I figured possibly because of the five year absence that my
career was over except for an occasional job.”
But a second wind can jumpstart a career from the most unlikely place.Four
years ago in a restaurant, George Lopez introduced himself to Rudy,
saying he was a big fan of his movie work. And Rudy is a big fan of
George. “He has been very encouraging and supportive about me getting
back to acting full time. His belief in me has made me believe in me
again.”The friendship between the two men resulted in a role on The George Lopez Show for Rudy.Watch
a clip from this appearance on his website, his straight man delivery
deadpan perfect as he sets George up for the punchline of the scene.“George
is a very nice person and he does a lot of things for people all the
time. That's why I did that funny scene with him on his show, because
he wanted me to play that part opposite him. I am very humbled to have
second wind is blowing strong for the ruggedly handsome actor. “I've
had THE best parts of my life since I started working again, they just
don't come as often as they used to.” His most recent project is as Juan Carlos in Mr. Sadman, a comedy/satire feature-film currently in post-production. Cast photos and the movie trailer can be seen at www.mrsadman.com/.“The
film is a unique script written and directed by a very young film
maker. The part of Juan Carlos is probably the best film role I have
ever had and I am not the bad guy this time,” Rudy said. Set in 1990,
the storyline follows a Saddam Hussein body-double who loses his job,
then moves to Los Angeles in search of a new start.“Juan
Carlos is a ‘been there, done that’, seen it all kind of guy who has
made his mistakes in life but has learned from it all,” Rudy explained.
“He minds his own business, doesn't bother anyone, and definitely
doesn't let anyone bother him. He's a tough guy, but not a bad guy. I
think both men and women will like this guy. He is very, very cool. It
is a real joy for me to be playing the kind of part that has never been
offered to me.”
And a joy for fans. Let's hope there will be more clips added to the website soon.
by Penny McQueen
Susan McCray’s latest project is producing a new CD titled Warm Heart…Cool Hands.
It is a tribute to her father, composer Harry Sukman, by his friend,
pianist/musical director Vincent Falcone. Each piece was carefully
selected by Susan. The arrangements are by Falcone in the easy
listening/jazz genre and performed by the Vincent Falcone Trio.
"My father would have been very proud and humbled to receive such a
loving tribute from his friend”, Susan commented: "This is a true labor
of love for both Vinnie and myself. When listening to the piano
artistry of Vincent Falcone, Dad once asked, ‘Where the heck does
Vinnie find those great chords?’”
Sukman’s work graced every scene in High Chaparral, as
he composed themes for each character, including the guest stars. This
new CD includes one favorite from the show, a new interpretation of Blue’s Theme. Susan used the upbeat, jazzy single in the background of her holiday promotion for KSAV radio, and generously provided a copy of the recording for The High Chaparral Newsletter readers. Listen to the sample and you’ll get an idea of the creativity and talent that went into the creation of this CD.
Showcasing the talents of Vincent Falcone, pianist
and conductor for Frank Sinatra, Warm Heart…Cool Hands is a must-have
for any Sukman afficianado. For Chaparral fans, hearing the new Blue’s Theme – which is surprisingly appropriate for the holidays - alongside other legendary work such as Nightfall and Gold Wedding Ring, is well worth the price of admission. The Eleventh Hour is another TV theme (from the show of the same name) and is used as the introduction for the radio show, Getting to Know You, with Susan McCray.Love On a Merry Go Round is another familiar tune, as it’s used for KSAV radio’s signature song, along with Susan’s added lyrics.
An interesting personal footnote concerns the seventh track, Susan.
Sukman wrote this specifically for his daughter. It's a lovely melody,
one that is especially touching when considered in the context of a
father capturing his love and pride in an only child. It was played on
a very special occasion, the marriage of Susan Sukman to Kent McCray.
On the CD, Falcone arranged and played the melody as a samba, which is
his favorite, but Susan adds, "I really didn't samba down the aisle on
my wedding day, but that’s not to say I didn't want to - I was so
Vincent Falcone is legendary in the music business, not only for his
work with Sinatra but for his own career as well as tours with such
artists as Tony Bennett, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Jack Jones,
and Andy Williams. When Susan asked her father's longtime friend to
arrange and play the music for this CD, Falcone responded, “It would be
my honor.” His aim was to ensure the integrity of Sukman’s original
compositions, and he’s accomplished that, honoring the man and his
music with this beautiful tribute.
from Australian TV Week
May 9, 1970. The subject matter, quotes, and opinions are those of the original writers and editors.
Mark Slade stormed his way into High Chaparral.
“James Dean is alive,” he roared at the producer who had kept him
waiting. Today, two years later, he has left the series no less
dramatically. “I may be doing a Pernell Roberts,” he said quietly. “I
could have sacrificed my whole career…but I felt it was much more
important to follow this through. I feel I’m still young enough to
In a major upheaval that recalls Pernell Roberts’ stormy divorce from Bonanza, Mark has ridden out of its sister Western in a clash of wills over his movie-making ambitions. There may also be further repercussions for High Chaparral.
One German network is reportedly about to drop the Western in protest
and at least two other members of the cast are deeply upset by the
producers’ tough stand.
Mark’s dramatic walk-out came after creator and executive producer David Dortort denied him a three week leave from High Chaparral to film Better Times Are Coming, a “now” Western he has created with writer William Lansford, later this year.
all happened in 10 days,” Mark recalled. “The first indication I had
was when someone on Dortort’s office staff asked, “Would you go as far
as giving up Billy Blue for your movie? Then a few days later I was
accepting the Bambi Award and not a word was said. Dortort
was beside me all smiles and he shook my hand. Next day the whole thing
blew apart. Dortort didn’t even have the guts to come to me and tell me
personally. He had an underling do that…Bitter? I’m only bitter about
the way it was done. I guess I’m rather na´ve. I think the best of
everyone. Now I look back at the show and… well, I’m just going to put
all my energies into the movie.”
Mark’s mood was more one of quiet disillusionment than anger.
obvious disappointment at the cast’s general reaction to his exit, he
talked of it without rancor and carefully avoided any mention of Leif
Erickson although, according to a reliable source, there is a wide rift
between the two men. It is understood to have stemmed from the collapse
of plans for Leif to play a sheriffin the movie, although the source said Mark had deliberately removed himself from any negotiations because of their High Chaparral relationship.
“Nothing that happened really
surprised me.” Mark mused over the events that led to his shock
departure. “The surprising thing is how cold it becomes. You really
find out who your friends are. Cam (Mitchell) and Linda (Cristal), and she’s very upset, are the only ones I heard from.
Oh, Hank (Darrow) called and cleared his conscience. A couple of
others, not those in the lead roles, called, but that wasn’t until a
couple of weeks later. Cam and I have had our blow-ups with each other, it has been an uncle-nephew relationship with us. But Cam tried for two days to reach me – my wife, Melinda and I just got out of the house when it happened. Finally he rang me at to be sure of catching me. Cam talked to me on the phone till three in the morning.”
The High Chaparral role, however, is not the only sacrifice Mark is making for Better Times are Coming, in which he and Gary Lockwood star as two losers, unable to win in any society, who team up in Texas
at the turn of the century. Not only is he risking his career, but as a
married man with a pre-school child, his financial security, and he
frankly admits the decision to quit was as much his as his wife’s.
don’t know if I would have done it myself,” he said. “My wife felt I
was getting tied, typed, into Billy Blue. By the time the series ended
people would take me at face value as an actor. In a series
you get pretty used to security. I was thinking of delaying the movie
at one stage, but planning was too far advanced, and the question was
answered for me… I think my wife saw something like this
coming up. Melinda and I have saved our money – we’ve always kept our
horns in…What if they asked me to return? I would probably go back, but
not until we’ve finished the movie. I am now completely committed to
Better Times Are Coming, which begins shooting late this month in Mexico, already represents a triumph over great odds for both Mark and Bill Landsford. “When my partner and I get together we say it’s our own project, and we aren’t going to give it away to anyone,” Mark said.
Bill is making just as many sacrifices as I am, believe me. He has
turned down about $25,000 in potential earnings to work on the movie
and it’s been harder for him than me. He has a wife and two kids. I’ve
lent him some money to help him through this period. Financially, he’s
starting to get into shape”
The pair, who have formed Friends and
Partners Productions to produce the film, first tried to interest a
major studio in their original screenplay, and Mark is frankly
disgusted at their indifference.
Despite their Hollywood setbacks, they refused to give up the project, eventually winning the backing of a group of Mexican film makers.
Mark makes no secret that it is a shoe-string production, eventually expected to cost $500,000, less than the cost of two High Chaparral episodes. But
their conviction that “we have a good product” is shared by everyone
involved, including Gary Lockwood, Slim Pickens, and Joanna Moore who
are all appearing on an “act now, pay later basis.”
“We don’t have any fancy offices, ours
is the nearest telephone booth,” Mark said. “We don’t have any business
managers, we use our own attorneys.Now comes the big test. We’ve had indications that if this goes right we will have financing for our next one.”
Later a visitor asked if the title, Better Times Are Coming, had a personal significance.“It didn’t,” Mark Slade grinned slowly. “But it sure does now.”
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