It's been a busy month for all The High Chaparral folks, so catch up on what's happening at the ranch in this edition of the newsletter:

Remember, if you have any problems reading this newsletter -
Click here to open it in a web browser.

The 2009 High Chaparral Reunion:
Destination Tucson

October 16-17-18, 2009 in Tucson, AZ

High Chaparral Ranch Set at Old Tucson


Mark your calendar and plan to attend the 2009 High Chaparral Reunion!

Watch for details as plans are finalized, but this is an event not to be missed. We'll be reuniting the cast and crew at Old Tucson Studios where the show was originally filmed.

This is a wonderful chance to see the original Cannon ranch house set, reminisce with the people who made The High Chaparral, meet your favorite HC star, meet other fans, experience the places where the show was actually filmed, and have a truly unique, one of a kind experience.

See you in Tucson - on The High Chaparral!




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

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.
Having Trouble reading this email? Open the newsletter in a web browser.

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.

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.

Having Trouble reading this email? Open the newsletter in a web browser.

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?

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.
Having Trouble reading this email? Open the newsletter in a web browser.


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.
Having Trouble reading this email? Open the newsletter in a web browser.

We Get Letters

This month's Letters to the Editor includes email from Sweden, a letter from a namesake of Billy Blue Cannon, and interesting information from an HC fan who is also an actress.  

Do you have a question about The High Chaparral, the cast, or anything connected with the show? Have a comment on the newsletter or something you'd like to see covered? Send it to, and we'll do our best to get the answer for you!

Henry Darrow in PrimoHenry Darrow Movie Premiers

It may have been 40 years since we first saw our favorite stars in The High Chaparral, but their talents continue to keep them busy and in demand. 

On June 19th, Henry Darrow’s movie Primo opened in Las Vegas.  Written and directed by award winning filmmaker Francisco Mendez, this independent production was shot in El Salvador and Nevada and tells the story of three cousins during the war in El Salvador.  Separated, they reunite when their grandfather – played by Henry – becomes ill.

Primo movie poster


In this interview, Mendez discusses the movie and the 'legendary Henry Darrow', saying, "We cast the film out of Los Angeles and Nevada.  Our stellar cast (primarily Screen Actors Guild) includes the legendary Henry Darrow, who was the first Latino I had seen on an American TV show when I was growing up in El Salvador. He played Manolito Montoya, a trickster and ladies man, in High Chaparral. It wasn't until years later that I learned he couldn't get acting jobs using his real name 'Delgado.' When he changed his name to 'Darrow,' he started working right away. Since then, he has created a remarkable body of television work."

You can see Henry in the movie trailer here and at the official Primo movie website.


Barbara Luna as Conchita in The Firing Wall

BarBara Luna as Conchita in The Firing Wall

Luna Appears in Trek Production

The always beautiful BarBara Luna (Conchita in The High Chaparral episode The Firing Wall) is appearing in a new Star Trek Phase II fan production, Enemy Starfleet. Fans of Luna will recall she played Marlena Moreau, Kirk's girlfriend in the acclaimed 1967 Star Trek episode Mirror, Mirror.

This feature article describes the project.


2009 Reunion Survey Results

Thank you to EVERYONE who took the time to take the Reunion survey questionnaire. Sixty-four of you let us know what you thought!

We're carefully considering everything you said, and making decisions about the next Reunion. Thanks to YOUR input, we're going to hold part of the 2009 Reunion where the show was filmed - at Old Tucson Studios! So plan to head to the Cannon Ranch, because we'll all be meeting on the original High Chaparral on October 16, 17, and 18th, 2009. It's going to be very special, so watch upcoming newsletters for announcments and plans.

Here are the results of the survey - click on the image to view it all:

High Chaparral Reunion Survey Location

Director Joseph Pevney died May 18, 2008
Kent & Susan McCray enjoy the dedication of the Kent McCray Lobby.

Kent McCray Lobby Dedicated

On Tuesday, May 13th, 2008, the McCray Lobby of the Flickinger Arts Center was officially dedicated to honor Susan and Kent McCray and their generosity and dedication to Kimball Union Academy, NH.  The McCrays traveled from their home in Malibu, CA, for the dedication which was attended by students, faculty and friends. David Weidman, now academic dean but for many years chair of the Arts Department and theater director, presided over the event.  He spoke of Kent’s early start in drama at KUA, and of his many accomplishments in the television industry including is nine-year stint as producer of Little House On The Prairie, one of the may shows for which Susan was casting director.

Director Joseph Pevney died May 18, 2008
The McCrays chatting with a current KUA student.

“In supporting the Academy, Kent and Susan wanted to ‘make an immediate impact on the student and faculty experience.’ So, Kent and Susan, on behalf of Kay McCabe, the current Arts Department chair, and David Stern, the director of theater who designed and supervised the renovation of this space, the Board of Trustees and the entire community at Kimball Union, I thank you for being shining role models – for demonstrating a life lived fully in pursuit of artistic excellence.  I thank you for your continued interest in and involvement with Kimball Union Academy, a nd for your gift which has enabled us not only to renovate his beautiful space but to also provide some comfortable furniture and solid display panels,” said Weidman in closing.

Matt Burns spoke on behalf of the students, “…Without this lobby, this building would be just another building filled with classrooms. It is this beautiful lobby, this place of warmth and community, that makes this art center the wonderful place it is. With this in mind I would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. McCray for their gracious donation. On behalf of my fellow students and artists and from the depths of my own heart I would like to say thank you. Thank you for making this sacred space all the more beautiful.”

Maddie St. Germain accompanied by Dr. Dalton Windlow, sang The Gold Wedding Ring, a song composed by Susan’s Academy Award winning father, Harry Sukman (1912-1984) about whom Susan wrote the book, Harry’s Piano.

Susan Sukman McCray
Vincent Falcone (at the piano) is enthusiastic as he describes a number during the Warm Heart, Cool Hands concert at the Harry Sukman Foyer at the Hartt School, the University of Hartford, CT. Sukman's music was performed in trio with acclaimed musicians Nat Reeves on bass and Joe LaBarbera on drums.

Sukman’s Music Comes Alive in Foyer Bearing His Name

Three years ago, the Harry Sukman Foyer at the University of Hartford’s Hart School was dedicated.  Treasured memorabilia, including memories of High Chaparral, makes up a display documenting the history and career of Sukman through wall panels entitled A Life in Music.  On May 7th, Sukman’s music came alive in the foyer that bears his name and pays tribute to his prolific career. 

  An intimate concert hosted by university president Walter Harrison showcased Mr. Sukman’s compositions from the Warm Heart, Cool Hands CD, arranged and performed by by Sukman’s dear friend, pianist/composer/arranger conductor Vincent Falcone. Best known as musical director and pianist for Frank Sinatra, he is presently performing with numerous musical greats including Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Jack Jones, and Mr. Tony Bennett. Performing with Falcone in trio were Joe LaBarbera – acclaimed as one of the top 3 drummers in the world- and Hartt faculty member and fine musician Nat Reeves on bass.

Susan Sukman McCray
University Regent Susan McCray, the daughter of Harry Sukman, introduces one of her father's compositions during the concert. Behind her is one of many displays in the Harry Sukman Foyer that pay tribute to Sukman's prolific career.

To learn more about this great CD, listen to a selection, or order the CD, log on to:  or go to

Susan Sukman McCray introduced each of the 10 selections, and  she mentioned the particular dedication and love High Chaparral fans have for the show when she introduced Blue’s Theme. Susan was visibly touched by the concert in her father’s honor, and introduced each musical number with personal stories and warm recollections about the songs’ origins and significance. It was especially touching to hear this music performed on Harry Sukman’s Steinway grand piano, surrounded by displays that included original sheet music from The High Chaparral. 

Read a complete write up and review of the concert in the University of Hartford Unotes edition.




High Chaparral Panel at the Harry Sukman Foyer

One panel at The Harry Sukman Foyer at the University of Hartford features his work on The High Chaparral, along with a touching quote about why he worked so often in Western film.

The panel contains only a partial quote, and the entire passage is quite meaningful, especially to Western fans, so Susan Sukman McCray provided the entire Harry Sukman quote for us here, as well as a close-up detail of the panel from the Harry Sukman Foyer.

Susan McCray discusses her father, Harry Sukman
click to hear the Harry Sukman quote


Detail from the Harry Sukman memorial panel at the University of Hartford, CT

Close-up detail from one panel at the Harry Sukman Foyer,
University of Hartford, CT, featuring his work on The High Chaparral and other television shows.

Rudy Ramos in Mr. Sadman Movie

If you haven't checked out the trailer to Mr. Sadman, the comedy/satire feature film, then you're missing a chance to see the recent work of Rudy Ramos (Wind in The High Chaparral) in the part of Juan Carlos. 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.

Mr. Sadman was accepted to this year's IFP Narrative Lab and according to Rudy, “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. It is a real joy for me to be playing the kind of part that has never been offered to me.”

Rudy Ramos in Mr. Sadman Trailer

Rudy Ramos in the trailer for Mr. Sadman

Mark Slade from 16 magazine

Mark Slade:

Remember When?

Which magazine was your absolute 'must' back when High Chaparral was on the air? Do you recall this vintage photo from 16 Magazine of the current pin-up idol, Mark Slade?

Years have passed, we've all put away our go-go boots and fishnet stockings, but we still love High Chaparral. And the pin-up poster of the fresh-faced, sensitive Blue Cannon remains. The article that went with it is available too, so read it by clicking here.

Thanks to Ginny for sending along this great trip down memory lane for all to enjoy. Click on the photo to read the article.

New Posting at RedactedRedux

The Mark Slade Studio section RedactedRedux contains a new posting - In The Glow - 2007.This section of the Mark Slade website features a growing list of work by the artist, including a collection of witty cartoons.




Questions, comments, feedback? Email us at

Director Joseph Pevney died May 18, 2008
Don Collier (High Chaparral ranch foreman Sam Butler) as the new spokesman for Arbuckle coffee.

A Good Cup of Arbuckle's

High Chaparral’s favorite ranch foreman Sam Butler is the new Arbuckle Coffee Cowboy in a series of new commercials. Watch for Don Collier on Cowboy Flavor on RFD TV (DirectTV Channel 379) every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Or see the online version. There's even a Don Collier special package!

You can also watch Don online, and don’t miss his narration of the Arbuckle legend, it's a real treat to hear his voice and imagine Sam Butler telling stories around a campfire.

Arbuckle's is a truly historical brand of coffee, one that would have been around during the era of the 'real' High Chaparral. It was so popular, it was customary to refer to coffee by its name, as in, "I'll have a cup of Arbuckle's."



Director Joseph Pevney died May 18, 2008
Diector Joseph Pevney died May 18th, 2008,
at his home in Palm Desert

Remembering Joseph Pevney

Talented director Joseph Pevney passed away May 18th at his home in Palm Desert.  Well known as the director of some of the best loved episodes of the original Star Trek, including City on the Edge of Forever and The Trouble with Tribbles. High Chaparral fans owe him a debt of gratitude for directing a total of eight episodes:

The Promised Land    
Buffalo Soldiers
Tornado Frances 
Shadow of the Wind
A Way of Justice 
The Last Hundred Miles

Once on a Day in Spring
Pale Warrior


Susan and Kent McCray sent their very special memories of Joseph Pevney to share with all The High Chaparral family. Click here to listen to this touching message from Susan McCray:

His obituary is listed is here. Our sympathies to Mr. Pevney’s friends and family.  In tribute to his talents, here are scenes from a few of the episodes he gave us.

Linda Cristal as Victoria Cannon and Cameron Mitchell as Buck Cannon in High Chaparral episode, Shadow of the Wind
Shadow of the Wind

Buck and Victoria discuss the bunkhouse boys new game - polo - in this scene from Shadow of the Wind.

Don Collier as Sam Butler, Mark Slade as Blue Cannon in High Chaparral episode Buffalo Soldiers
Shadow of the Wind
Sam Butler attempts fancy riding in this scene from Buffalo Soldiers

Denny Miller and Cameron Mitchell as Buck Cannon in High Chaparral Episode Way of Justice
Shadow of the Wind
Buck Cannon discovers the man in Big John's clothes (Denny Miller playing Kolos) is not what he appears to be,
in this scene from A Way of Justice.

Cast Appearances & Events

Henry Darrow, Western Film Fair, July 16-19, Winston-Salem, NC

Bob Hoy, Comic Con, July 27, San Diego, CA

Bob Hoy and Neil Summers, Western Legends Celebration, August 20-23, Kanab, UT

Don Collier, Wild Western Festival, September 26-28, Avondale, AZ

Bob Hoy, Rex Allen Days, October 2-5, Willcox, AZ

Henry Darrow and Don Collier, Memphis Film Festival, June 4-6, 2009, Olive Branch, MS

Past issues of the newsletter are available
on The High Chaparral Newsletter Website.

High Chaparral, Cameron Mitchell as Buck Cannon, Mark Slade as Blue Cannon, Leif Erickson as Big John Cannon

High Chaparral on the Web

The Official High Chaparral website
The High Chaparral Blog
The High Chaparral Reunion website
The High Chaparral Newsletter
High Chaparral Fan Fiction
Don Collier
Henry Darrow
Bob Hoy
Ted Markland
Susan McCray
Rudy Ramos
Mark Slade
Out West Entertainment