A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 22, 2008
Cowboy Philosopher

Will Rogers (1879-1935) was often called a “cowboy philosopher.” In 1919, this “cowboy philosopher” term was included in the title to one of his books (Rogers-isms, the cowboy philosopher on...). Rogers applied homespun wisdom and humor to the topics of the day.

The terms “cowboy philosopher” and “cowboy philosophy” were used infrequently before Rogers arrived on the entertainment scene. Texas’s Kinky Friedman has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor (Fox network television) described as a “cowboy philosopher” in the Will Rogers tradition.


Wikipedia: Will Rogers
William Penn Adair “Will” Rogers (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935) was a Cherokee-American cowboy, comedian, humorist, social commentator, vaudeville performer and actor.

Known as Oklahoma’s favorite son, Rogers was born to a prominent Indian Territory family and learned to ride horses and use a lariat so well that he was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for throwing three ropes at once—one around the neck of a horse, another around the horse’s rider, and a third around all four legs of the horse. He ultimately traveled around the world three times, made 71 movies (50 silent films and 21 “talkies"), wrote more than 4,000 nationally-syndicated newspaper columns, and became a world-famous figure.

By the mid-1930s, Rogers was adored by the American people, and was the top-paid movie star in Hollywood at the time. On an around-the-world trip with aviator Wiley Post, Rogers died when their small airplane crashed near Barrow, Alaska Territory in 1935. 

3 February 1894, Altoona (Iowa) Herald, pg. 2, col. 3:
So proverbial did the excellence of his deserts and the poorness of his luck become that some cowboy philosopher finally accounted for in this way:...

11 August 1901, Anaconda (MT) Standard, pg. 21, col. 4:
THERE is more joy in teaching a pilgrim who knows it all than in imparting knowledge to one who knows his own ignorance.—Cowboy Philosophy.

15 June 1912, Decatur (IL) Daily Review, pg. 1, col. 4:
Colonel F. J. Crull, Musselshell county millionaire, and explosive Taftite, brings a little cowboy philosophy into Chicago from Roundup, Mont.

(OCLC WorldCat record)
Title: Rogers-isms,
the cowboy philosopher on the Peace conference,
Author(s): Rogers, Will, 1879-1935. 
Publication: New York, Harper & Brothers
Year: 1919
Description: 3 p. l., 42, [1] p. front. 18 cm.

(OCLC WorldCat record)
Title: Will Rogers, cowboy philosopher.
Author(s): Montgomery, Elizabeth Rider.
Mays, Victor,; 1927- ; illus.
Publication: Champaign, Ill., Garrard Pub. Co.
Year: 1970
Description: 96 p. col. illus., ports. 24 cm.
Language: English
Series: Americans all;
Standard No: LCCN: 79-115469
Abstract: The life of the Oklahoma cowboy of Indian descent who became a well-known writer and comedian.

(OCLC WorldCat record)
Title: Will Rogers, America’s cowboy philosopher.
Author(s): Musso, Louis. 
Publication: Charlotteville, N.Y., SamHar Press,
Year: 1974
Description: 32 p. 22 cm.
Language: English
Series: Outstanding personalities,; no. 74;

(OCLC WorldCat record)
Title: Rogers-isms :
the cowboy philosopher on prohibition /
Author(s): Rogers, Will, 1879-1935. 
Publication: Stillwater : Oklahoma State University Press,
Year: 1975
Description: xxv, 52 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Series: The writings of Will Rogers ; I ;; 5; Variation: Rogers, Will,; 1879-1935.; Works.; 1973 ;; I, 5.

(OCLC WorldCat record)
Title: Will Rogers :
cowboy philosopher /
Author(s): Malone, Mary. 
Publication: Springfield, N.J. : Enslow Publishers,
Year: 1996
Description: 128 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Series: People to know;
Standard No: ISBN: 089490695X (alk. paper); 9780894906954 (alk. paper) LCCN: 95-32149
Abstract: Follows the private and public life of the humorist and social critic, from his childhood in Oklahoma through his years as a cowboy to his rise to fame as an entertainer.

Internet Movie Database
Filmography by TV series for
Kinky Friedman

(...)
“The O’Reilly Factor” (9 episodes)
Episode dated 14 March 2005 (14 March 2005) - Himself
Episode dated 20 February 2008 (20 February 2008) - Himself
Episode dated 3 March 2008 (3 March 2008) - Himself
Episode dated 10 March 2008 (10 March 2008) - Humorist
Episode dated 17 March 2008 (17 March 2008) - Humorist
Episode dated 24 March 2008 (24 March 2008) - Cowboy philosopher
Episode dated 31 March 2008 (31 March 2008) - Cowboy philosopher
Episode dated 7 April 2008 (7 April 2008) - Cowboy philosopher
Episode dated 14 April 2008 (14 April 2008) - Himself

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Tuesday, April 22, 2008 • Permalink