This edition of the Newsletter focuses on 2009 High Chaparral Reunion plans, and we want YOUR input! As a THANK YOU for completing a brief questionnaire about your preferences related to the next Reunion, you'll get to see a video clip featuring Buck, Blue, Manolito, Big John and Victoria from the episode, Shadow of the Wind.
- Complete the Reunion Questionnaire Survey
- Read about different options for a reunion location and cast your vote
- Help choose the date of the reunion
- Give us your input on activities
- Susan McCray receives an honorary Doctorate
- Andy Klyde, attorney for Bonanza Ventures, provides updates on releasing High Chaparral on DVD
- Q&A Section
Question from several folks:
Is the song Frank Gorshen sings in The High Chaparral episode Stinky Flanagan an Irish folk song? It's very beautiful. What's the name and where can I get a copy of the sheet music?
Sweet Maureen O'Hare was composed by Harry Sukman, with words by William Leicester, a writer, actor, and executive story consultant on several High Chaparral episodes. Like so much of the music in the series, it sounds authentic to the time and place. Fans often insist it must be a long-lost Irish folk ballad. Susan McCray endowwed all of Harry Sukman's sheet music to Eastern Connecticut University's J. Eugene Smith Library, so it is not available commercially.
Listen to Sweet Maureen O'Hare, performed by Frank Gorshen:
Do you have a question about The High Chaparral, the cast, or anything connected with the show? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll do our best to get the answer for you!
Reunion Location Choices?
by Penny McQueen
Whether it's real estate, business or a party, the first decision to make is location, location, location, and the 2009 High Chaparral Reunion planning committee is busy trying to pick just the right place for the big party. We want YOUR input, and so ask you to consider the possibilities before completing the Reunion Questionnaire.
Past reunions have been unique events that brought together large numbers of the cast, crew, guest stars, production personnel, and many others connected with the show. This event is unusual in that so many stars, stuntmen, writers, producers, and others from the HC family were invited guests at a true reunion. Such a wonderful party was made possible by the efforts of many dedicated fans, because so many of the cast, crew, and guest stars are located in the Los Angeles area - and because they want to come and spend time with their loyal fans.
Here are the sites that are being considered for a Reunion location, along with some of the positives and negatives, so you can consider along with us, then send us your choice.
The Sportsmen's Lodge, located near Studio City, has been the home of past reunions and is well known to everyone in the TV and Movie business. Fans who have attended past reunions know the Sportsmen's is a classic, and due for refurbishing; they are undergoing a major remodeling project which should be finished in time for a reunion - but it's unknown whether the restaurant will be leased by the current owners. The Sportsment's is a well known location for all the guests, easy to get to, and hopefully will still have a good brunch for the big Sunday party with all the HC guests. On the downside, there is little within walking distance, and there are unknowns about what will happen with the new remodeling project.
Old Tucson Studios in Tucson, Arizona remains a sentimental favorite, since the series was shot on location there and the remains of the ranch set still stand at the original location. While the fan dream of meeting the Chaparral cast at the actual Cannon ranch house is a huge positive, as always there are negatives to be considered when weighing the decision. Because many of the guest stars and production crew are located in Los Angeles, a reunion at Old Tucson would likely mean fewer HC guests in attendance, or a higher fan cost. Upside - tons of fun things to do around the Tucson area (Saguaro National Forest, world famous Desert Museum, the San Xavier Mission where the scenes for Hacienda Montoya were shot just to name a very few), and it IS the authentic High Chaparral location.
There are hotels in the Pasadena area that are good possibilities (Sheraton or Westin). Although not as close for our LA guests at about 30 miles, it is close to other things such as Old Town Pasadena, the Burbank Airport, shopping, etc.
We genuinely want your input on what you'd like to see for the next reunion, so please complete the Reunion Questionnaire and share your thoughts about the location, activities, date, and more - and remember, at the end you'll see a video clip from Shadow of the Wind!
Remember to participate in the Reunion Questionnaire - ( click on the video link above to go to the questionnaire) we need your input to make the 2009 Reunion exactly what you'd like it to be!
Doctor Susan McCray
On Sunday, May 18th, Eastern Connecticut State University awarded Susan McCray an Honorary Doctorate Of Humane Letters degree. The commencement program included a complete biography of Susan, and mentioned The High Chaparral in both her bio and the proclamation.
Congratulations to Doc McCray!
For all the fans who wish they could've been there to honor Susan and her contributions to The High Chaparral and many other shows, here is the text from the Eastern Connecticut State University commencement program:
Susan McCray Honorary Degree Recipient
Susan McCray began her career in film and television casting as a receptionist for Paramount Pictures, later working in the casting departments of Warner Brothers and Twentieth Century Fox. During her career as a casting director, Ms. McCray has cast talent for such shows as “Happy Days,” “Laverne and Shirley,” “Hawaii 5-0,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “Father Murphy,” and “Highway to Heaven,” among others.
Among her many philanthropic activities, Ms. McCray and her husband, Hollywood producer Kent McCray, have raised and/or donated funds to the Michael Landon Children’s Cancer Research Fund at the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona; the ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) Association’s augmentative communication devices program; and the Arizona Council On Aging.
Over the years, Ms. McCray has been very involved in supporting the University of Hartford. In 2002 she and her husband raised more than $50,000 on behalf of the University of Hartford Magnet School. In 2005, as a gift to the University’s Hartt School of Music, Ms. McCray renovated and dedicated the Harry Sukman Foyer in honor of her father. The foyer has the Academy Award-winning composer’s memorabilia exhibit “A Life In Music” on permanent display. In Spring 2005, Ms. McCray was elected to the Board of Regents at the University of Hartford and serves on the education committee.
For the better part of the past decade, Ms. McCray and her husband have been strong supporters of Eastern Connecticut State University’s performing arts programs. The McCrays are frequent visitors as guest lecturers to Eastern’s campus, offering expert advice to students on show business and entertainment careers, and introducing several of their Hollywood friends to campus, including playwright Maggie Brown and actors Henry Darrow and Pamela Roylance. In May 1999, Ms. McCray established the Susan McCray Endowment Fund for the Theater Arts at Eastern to support special initiatives and programs for Eastern Theatre students.
In May 2004, Ms. McCray donated her father’s sheet music — the Harry Sukman Master’s of Music Collection — to Eastern’s J. Eugene Smith Library. Sukman, who wrote the music for dozens of Hollywood films and hundreds of television series episodes such as “Bonanza” and “High Chaparral,” won an Academy Award in 1962 for his score of the movie, “Song Without End.”
In March 2005, the McCrays graciously made their Malibu, CA, home available and hosted a west coast reception for the Eastern’s Alumni Association.
Ms. Susan McCray Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters
WHEREAS, Ms. Susan McCray’s professional career as a casting director has spanned such well-known television shows as “Happy Days,” “Little House on the Prairie,” and “Highway to Heaven”; and
WHEREAS, Ms. McCray’s philanthropy has supported such causes as the Michael Landon Children’s Cancer Research Fund at the University of Arizona’s Medical Center, the ALS Association, and the Arizona Council on Aging; and
WHEREAS, Ms. McCray’s support of the University of Hartford has ranged from raising funds for the University of Hartford Magnet School to donating funds to the University’s Hartt School of Music, to serving on the University of Hartford Board of Regents; and
WHEREAS, Ms. McCray and her husband, Kent, have been strong supporters of Eastern Connecticut State University, by being frequent guest lecturers on campus, bringing with them such friends as playwright Maggie Brown and actors Henry Darrow and Pamela Roylance; and
WHEREAS, Ms. McCray established the Susan McCray Endowment Fund for the Theatre Arts at Eastern in 1999, and donated her father’s sheet music collection — The Harry Sukman Master’s of Music Collection — to Eastern’s J. Eugene Smith Library in 2004; and WHEREAS, the McCrays graciously supported Eastern’s Alumni Association; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that on this day, the eighteen of May, two thousand eight, Eastern Connecticut State University hereby presents to Ms. Susan McCray, the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, with all the honors, rights, and privileges appertaining thereto.
Questions, comments, feedback? Email us at email@example.com.
High Chaparral Reunion
To get everyone in the Reunion spirit, here's a video clip from the episode Tornado Francis. Blue, John, Manolito and Sam are waiting for Buck to return after a two month absence.
HC on DVD - Dream or Reality?
by Penny McQueen
When John Cannon brought his family over a thousand miles to Arizona, he had no idea their travels were just beginning.
The road to a DVD release for The High Chaparral is rocky, complicated by decades of corporate mergers, acquisitions, neglect, and legal red tape. Andy Klyde, attorney for Bonanza Ventures, continues to work for a release and said recently, “There's no exciting news to announce at the moment, but there's reason to be optimistic about the future.”
The story begins with a landmark Federal Communications Commission decision that shaped the course of popular entertainment, and ends with the Cannons and Montoyas infiltrating each of the three major networks. Keep your scorecard handy, this tale has more twists than a two-part episode.
In the early 1970’s the FCC, concerned the Big Three Networks (CBS, NBC, and ABC) presented a growing monopoly, imposed a set of rules to prevent them from owning their own programming. This effectively stopped them from syndicating their own shows, including classics like The High Chaparral, Bonanza, Car 54 Where Are You?, Get Smart, and many others.
NBC sold their library of television shows to National Telefilm Associates (or NTA). NTA specialized in re-issuing film libraries including Twentieth Century Fox, some of Paramount Studios cartoons and comedies, early United Artists works, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, and the original Republic Pictures library.
From 1973 to today, ownership bounced from one entity to another as companies were sold, merged, or changed names and divisions. NTA acquired Republic Pictures, created a home video division, and later changed names to Republic Pictures. Spelling Entertainment Group/WorldVision Enterprises purchased Republic, merged with Viacom, which merged with Paramount Communications, which merged with CBS. Along the way Republic Pictures licensed their home video rights to Lions Gate Home Entertainment.
At each step legal distribution rights to The High Chaparral on DVD became clouded. But progress is being made, and although it is undeniably slow for anxious fans, as Blue Cannon said, 'Pa always says, the champion potato peeler of the world peels one potato at a time'. Andy Klyde reports, “I spoke recently with a high-ranking executive at NBC Universal and emphasized again how anxious the legions of fans of The High Chaparral are to see the series uncut and re-mastered on DVD. She promised to push the legal department harder to conclude its research on ownership and distribution issues, and we agreed to keep in touch. I'll be sure to check in with her from time to time.”
In the meantime fans of the show keep it’s memory alive by watching old copies, honoring the cast and crew, attending reunions and other events, and still loving their favorite western.
How is The High Chaparral is associated with all of The Big Three Networks?
- HC originally ran on NBC.
- Spelling Entertainment Group included WorldVision Enterprises, a part of ABC Films. It existed primarily to syndicate ABC owned shows.
- CBS/Parmount International is responsible for distribution outside the U.S., and CBS is a division of Paramount Communications.
Cast Appearances & Events
June 27 & 28 Audie Murphy Days Celebration
- Greenville, TX
- Bob Hoy
Did you complete the Reunion Survey? Do it now and watch the video from Shadow of the Wind!
Past issues of the newsletter are available
on The High Chaparral Newsletter Website.
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
Out West Entertainment