May 2008 Edition                                                                    Penny McQueen, Editor

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The Chaparral stars are busy, and the May 2008 High Chaparral newsletter brings all the latest news:

  • Audio and video clips from The High Chaparral. You will need to open the newsletter in a web browser that has Flash to view the video clips, and Quicktime to play the audio.
  • Plans for the 2009 High Chaparral Reunion are beginning!
  • Susan Sukman answers fan questions.
  • A tribute to writer, stuntman and actor Alex Sharp's episode The Covey, including a report by Ginny Shook.
  • Getting to Know You with Susan McCray scheduled guests.
  • A story about Ted Markland is featured in a current magazine issue.
  • Want to meet your favorite Chaparral star? Check out their upcoming appearances.
  • Mark Slade updates, Andy Klyde on Fox news, the answer to our last Mystery Actor contest....and more.

  • 2009 High Chaparral Reunion!

    Plans are starting for the 2009 High Chaparral Reunion! The cast and crew are already excited, so don't miss this incredibly special event. We'll bring you information in future newsletter issues as plans are made, guests are scheduled, and events are designed.

    Have ideas of what you'd like to see or do? Email us and we'll put it on the idea list. Do you know anyone who might like to attend? Send them a copy of the newsletter so they'll know all about the lastest HC news and reunion plans.

    Can't wait for the party? Saddle up and ride over to the Reunion website, and re-live the fun. Up to the minute news will appear there as well. We'll all see you in 2009!

    Happy fans with Henry Darrow at the 2007 High Chaparral Reunion


    Question from Eileen:
    Did Harry Sukman write Annalee's theme? It's such a pretty piece and it evokes the wind chimes. I never hear anyone mention it. Thanks!

    As Susan Sukman McCray reminded me when I asked, “My father always wrote a theme for a character – Manolito, Blue, the Montoyas, Buck, and even a love theme for Sam Butler. All those were written after the pilot.”

    The answer about Analee’s theme is somewhat confusing, as Analee appears in the pilot, not in subsequent episodes. The music we so closely identify with all the characters doesn't exist in the pilot and this includes Analee’s theme. Was the beautiful Analee’s Theme written by Harry Sukman? If it isn’t in the pilot, but is in the later episodes, then it must’ve been. Listen to the music from the pilot that accompanies Analee, and you’ll hear that it’s not the familiar theme we hear throughout the series, especially in the early episodes when the wind chime is used as a symbol of her memory.

    The U.S. Copyright catalog lists Analee Cannon, dated 1/16/1966 as a Sukman composition. This is the same time frame as the rest of the Chaparral character themes, so it’s safe to say it was indeed written by Harry Sukman.

    This scene from the first half of the pilot episode, Destination Tucson, shows Analee, and the music that accompanies her:
    In this scene from Ghost of Chaparral, as Victoria finds and reads Analee's diary, we hear the beautiful Analee's Theme that evokes her memory thoughout the series. Notice when Victoria says, "High Chaparral", the music changes to the opening notes of The High Chaparral theme.
    (can't see or play the video clip? Open the Newsletter in a web browser.)

    Question from several folks:
    Is The High Chaparral theme music different in season four? It sounds somehow jazzier. Can anyone tell us why?

    Listen to the answer from Susan McCray:

    (can't see or play the audio clip? Open the Newsletter in a web browser.)

    "In answer to your question about the 4th season of Chaparral’s theme music, all I can tell you is that every new season the theme of a show, especially back then, not now, had to be re-recorded. Sometimes because of that David Rose felt he needed to do something different with it arrangement-wise. He did Little House on the Prairie trying to make it sound more contemporary with a beat the last season. On Bonanza the theme was even changed and on Highway to Heaven it was always sounding differently. So even though we can’t remember exactly how it sounded the fourth year, it is very possible it would’ve sounded differently than the year before and the year before that. By the way that was a musician’s union law that had to be followed back then, that every season, every new year, the theme of a show had to be re-recorded, a new recording of the theme and the end credit. Which now of course we all know that you can’t even hear that any more. So I hope that helps you. He didn’t have to re-arrange it. It could’ve been recorded exactly the same way. But because they were re-doing a whole new recording of it again, he decided to change the arrangement and sometimes other composers did the same. Hope that answers it a little bit."

    Listen to the original, first season theme:

    and compare it to the fourth season theme:

    (can't see or play the audio clips? Open the Newsletter in a web browser)

    Question from Eileen:
    I was watching Ghost of Chaparral last night and, in the scene where Blue and Sam are watching the Mexicans who tied up the Indian, I SWEAR that's Henry's voice. The Mexicans are around a fire and talking and Sam and Blue are listening in. Anyway, sure sounds like Henry's voice. Can't tell if he's among the men sitting around the fire--they all have wide-brimmed sombreros on and they are pulled down in front.

    Listen to the answer from Susan McCray:

    (can't see or play the audio clip? Open the Newsletter in a web browser.)

    "If you hear people speaking Spanish in a crowd scene and you think you’re hearing Henry’s voice, or Rudy Acosta’s voice, they very well may have joined in with the camaraderie of all the people around them. But specifically not as their parts, usually just as being part of crowd noise. As Kent said, 'walla-walla'."

    Can you hear Henry Darrow or Rudolfo Acosta in the Spanish dialog in this scene from Ghost of Chaparral?

    (Can't see or play the video? Open the newsletter in a web browser.)

    Question from Eileen:
    I was watching Forge of Hate last week and I wondered if the Apache woman who tends to Dull Knife and frees Two Pony is the same woman who plays Violeta? This only occured to me because I had just recently watched Ten Little Indians. Who IS the woman who plays Violeta? She's never credited (and neither was the actress who played the Apache woman in Forge of Hate).

    Listen to the answer from Susan McCray:

    (can't see or play the audio clip? Open the Newsletter in a web browser.)

    "Let me preface my answers to some of these questions by saying many times in Tucson, when we were on location, we hired many, many extras, and gave some of them character names. Some of them were used as voice over in crowd, (walla-walla) and some were used when we would throw a line to someone if necessary. Those kind of people never received screen credit, otherwise we would have had a list a mile long of extras and people that we hired locally that we certainly didn’t take from L.A."

    Question from Eileen:
    I was SHOCKED to discover that John was singing La Gallina with Mano in a recent episode (North to Tucson) They were out riding together) and there was that rich baritone of Leif's right along with Henry.

    Listen to the answer from Susan McCray:
    (can't see or play the audio clip? Open the Newsletter in a web browser.)

    "Leif Erickson did sing Old Man River at our home, at my parent’s home, when they had a big New Year’s Eve party. He was an incredible singer, had a beautiful voice, as you can tell because he had such a gorgeous speaking voice. But, my father was sitting at the piano, my mother was sitting at the organ playing some of her favorite songs, everyone was singing. All of a sudden Leif got up and said, “Harry, would you please accompany me? I want to sing a song.” And he got up and started singing Old Man River. My father, of course, accompanied him beautifully, and there was just something so dramatic, being the great actor he was, especially at the end of the song - but Old Man River, he just keeps rolling along. It just seemed to me…it just put goose bumps on your arms, legs, just to hear him sing it. I wish there was a recording of it, because I certainly would love to hear it again. But there isn’t. I have it in my memory."

    You can hear Leif Erickson singing La Gallina in this short clip from North to Tucson:

    (can't see or play the video clip? Open the Newsletter in a web browser.)

    Do you have a question about The High Chaparral? Send it to, and we'll do our best to get the answer for you!

    Alex Sharp Memorial Celebration
    by Ginny Shook
    On March 29, 2008, family and friends gathered at the Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City, CA to celebrate the life and memory of stuntman/writer/actor Alex Sharp, who passed away on March 6. Representing The High Chaparral were Bob Hoy, and Kent and Susan McCray.

    Bob and Alex worked together as stuntmen in the movies Spartacus, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, and The Great Race, as well as the Bonanza episode The Return. Alex also provided some of the best comedic scenes that Bob had as Joe Butler, in The High Chaparral episodes The Covey, and A Fella Named Kilroy. At the party, Bob presented Alex's wife, Keo, with a DVD copy of these prized episodes.

    Kent McCray also had a long association with Alex, beginning when Kent was production manager for Bonanza. Alex appeared as an actor in three episodes of David Dortort's other Western, worked as a stuntman in five episodes, and wrote seven. His Bonanza screenplays are described as "classic comedies." Kent's and Alex's association continued when Susan McCray cast Alex in five episodes of Little House on the Prairie, and one episode of Highway to Heaven, both shows produced by Kent.

    The celebration was well-attended by the many admirers Alex made in his 50 year career in the film industry. Susan McCray reports,"Bob said a few words, as did Kent, and at the end when they were about to break up Kent stood up and said: 'In our business, when we do a good job, we are applauded, so I think it we should all give Alex a standing ovation.' Everyone stood up and applauded. This was not only a perfect ending to the gathering but quite emotional."

    Don Collier, Bob Hoy, and Alex Sharp
    share a moment at the 2005 High Chaparral Reunion.

    Thank you to Ginny for the above report on the Alex Sharp memorial party. As a tribute to this fine actor, stuntman and writer, here are three great scenes from The Covey:

    (Can't see or play the video? Open the newsletter in a web browser.)

    Getting to Know You with Susan McCray
    on Tuesday nights, 6:30 p.m. Pacific and 9:30 p.m. Eastern

    Susan McCray will be in Hartford, CT during the month of May for two special events. At the University of Hartford on May 7, President Walter Harrison is hosting a premiere live performance of the CD Warm Heart, Cool Hands, performed by the Vincent Falcone Trio. On May 18th, Susan will receive an Honorary Doctorate during the commencement ceremony.

    Getting to Know You will air new interviews during the month of May. For the months of June and July, listeners will continue to enjoy the series Getting to Know a Life in Music with new specials featuring Julie London, Spike Jones, Tony Mattola, Larry Elgart and more. Pamela Roylance will also guest host two shows. Upon Susan’s return, her interviews will include Emmy and Grammy award winning film and television composer, arranger, and conductor Patrick Williams.

    • May 6: Bob Anderson, singer/impressionist
    • May 13: Don Cherry, golfer/singer
    • May 20: Charlie Shaffer, pianist/arranger
    • May 27: Getting to Know a Life in Music. Spike Jones.
    • June 3: Getting to Know a Life in Music. Julie London.
    • June 10: My Favorite Gershwin. Songs performed by Peter Nero.
    • June 17: Tony Mattola and his music.
    • June 24: Lester Lanin and his music.
    • July 1: Wes Montgomery and his music.
    • July 8: Larry Elgart and his music, part I.
    • July 15: Larry Elgart and his music, part II.
    • July 22: Pamela Roylace guest hosts with guest Claudia Cagan.
    • July 29: Pamela Roylance guest hosts with guest Gary Marsh.
    • August 5: Getting to Know Disney's The Little Mermaid on Broadway. Selections from the show with the original cast.
    • August 12: Janet Childs.
    • August 19: Getting to Know The Classics. Favorite Concertos written by film composers.

    High Chaparral News Clip

    Circa 1997/98, HC fan and owner of Celebrity Meet and Greet Rocky was surprised to receive a call from TV station KVOA in Tucson. “It was around the time after I produced and coordinated the first couple of HC cast reunions at Old Tucson Movie Studios. A reporter contacted me after those events because he knew I was a fan of the show and a promoter. He was hoping that I or someone I knew might have video of the HC episodes.” Like many fans, Rocky had taped the show, so he could share a few episodes with the reporter.

    The result was a news video about Old Tucson and High Chaparral, featuring Robert Shelton, Frank Soto, and Alan Moorehead. Rocky provided the original piece on YouTube.

    Rocky sent along a photo taken at the first Chaparral cast reunion he set up, taken at Old Tucson. “Back then we called our shows Rocky’s Autograph Picture Show instead of what it’s called now – Celebrity Meet and Greet. My late dad is in the photo…also an HC fan, miss him dearly. I grew up watching High Chaparral,” Rocky said. “Even got to watch some of it being filmed at Old Tucson when I was 10 or something like that. I never thought in a million years I would become a promoter and meet celebrities. The Chaparral stars were the icing on the cake – especially watching them as a kid and meeting some of them 30 or so years later at events we promoted – what a ride! We still haven’t made any of the Reunions yet, gotta do that – sounds like you guys all have a blast at them!”

    (can't see or play the video clip? Open the Newsletter in a web browser.)

    To Travel or Not to Travel .. that is the ???

    Is it time for you and your family to plan a vacation? Then you want to listen to a new show on called To Travel or Not to Travel … That is the Question. Susan McCray, host of Getting To Know You, has researched and found the latest tips and information to help you answer questions you may have or haven’t even thought of about travel, including packing, lodging, best airfares, luggage, the latest no-no’s when you travel and much more.

    Have all the tips and information you need to have for a safe and fun vacation: To Travel or Not to Travel … That is the Question. Twice daily 11:45 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. PST on

    Reno's Mountain
    This month's issue of Dune Magazine features an article on Ted Markland, Chaparral's favorite roof guard and ranch hand.

    By clicking the corner of the magazine pages several times you can find the article, titled Erin Markland, which is two quarter pages. It explains how Ted’s son is working on a documentary about Ted’s mountain in Joshua Tree National Park. There are two nice photos of Ted, as well as his son Erin.

    Ted Markland and his special lady Carol Vogel at his mountain in Joshua Tree.
    Tanja, Jan, Ted, Ginny Carol, and Tanja's daughter Laura.

    Cast Appearances & Events

    May 17 & 18 - Showstopper Stars

    • CBS Studios, Studio City, CA
    • Bob Hoy
    • Ted Markland
    • BarBara Luna
    • Morgan Woodward
    • Malachi Throne
    • Greenville, TX
    • Bob Hoy

    Mark Slade Studio

    The official website for Mark Slade (High Chaparral's Blue Cannon) continues to have regular updates, including new cartoon postings by Mark under RedactedRedux. Check back often as there are frequent changes. There are also three samples of The Fables Project, conceived and written by Melinda Riccili Slade and illustrated by Mark Slade - Introduction to the Fables, Fable 1 - Silent Wisdom, and Fable 2 - Sign of the Times. Each of the Fables so far has a story and a concluding Moral.

    Mark Slade: Mystery Actor Answer

    Our Mystery High Chaparral Actor is….Mark Slade! The screen capture is from an episode of The Fugitive.

    Congratulations to Donna Bush, the first one to send in a correct vote at 9:07 pm on March 9. Donna really knows her HC actors.

    The voting counts were:
    Mark Slade: 3
    Leif Erickson: 2
    Jerry Summers: 1
    Don Collier: 1

    You can read the guesses in the Letters to the Editor section. Thanks to all who participated!

    Fan Gift Became Favorite For Star
    by Penny McQueen
    HC Discussion Group moderator Tina Sweet, like many fans, has collected photos of her favorite stars over the years, and she sent her favorites to share with the newsletter. “The TV Guide portrait of John and Victoria (Leif Erickson and Linda Cristal) is my absolute favorite. I have one of the 11 X 20 print, only one of one hundred that were printed,” Tina said.

    The second is a beautiful family portrait of Mark Slade, Linda Cristal and Leif Erickson, obviously shot on the streets of Old Tucson. As with many special finds, this one was located and purchased on Ebay.

    The portrait of Linda Cristal holding a parasol has a special story to go with it. “That photograph of Linda is one that she says is her favorite,” Tina explained. “Several years ago, one of our HCDG members did a pencil portrait of Roberto Contreras for his family after his passing.” HCDG members gave the portrait, created by artist Linda Hornsberger, to the Contreras family.

    That year as December approached, Tina looked through her collection of Chaparral photos and sent one to the artist. “I sent her a scan of the photo, and she did an 11 X 20 pencil drawing of the photo, which Linda says is her favorite. The artist lived in Wisconsin, and a snow storm almost made it impossible for her to get the portrait out to me in time to get it framed and to Linda Cristal in time for Christmas. But she braved the snowy roads – we HC fans will go through rain, sleet, snow, etc for our beloved HC folks. My framer turned out to be an HC fan and he was beside himself to realize his work would be hanging in Linda’s home in Beverly Hills, so he gave me an especially nice frame.” Like the Contreras gift, this was a group effort. “Several folks sent money to cover the cost of the portrait and the framing along with Christmas cards. Linda loved it. It meant so much to her because it was a portrait made from her favorite photograph, and because it was a gift from her fans too!”

    Thank you to Tina for sharing these cast photos from her private collection.

    1968 Hollywood Stars of Tomorrow Award Video

    In 1968, Linda Cristal received the Hollywood Stars of Tomorrow award for her work in High Chaparral. In a glimpse from the past, this vintage video shows Barbara Bain and Martin Landau, who were currently starring in Mission:Impossible, making two presentations at those awards, including Linda’s. Linda appears at the end of the clip, so be patient as the video runs.

    (Can't see or play the video? Open the newsletter in a web browser.)

    Bonanza/Chaparral Attorney on Fox News
    Andy Klyde, attorney for Bonanza Ventures, appeared on a segment of The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News on April 18th. Focused on the 50th anniversary of Bonanza, the segment featured clips from the show and promoted Bonanza as the most successful TV series of all time.

    The Fox News clip was the highest watched video for a couple of days, showing that classic TV, including Westerns, continue to attract an audience.

    You can write Bill O’Reilly to let him know you’d like to see more about classic TV Westerns, including The High Chaparral, at

    Our contributing authors love feedback - send yours to

    Chaparral Birthdays

    Neil Summers, HC Stuntman, April 28

    Mark Slade, May 1

    Susan Sukman McCray, June 14

    Kent McCray, Producer, June 15

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