Friday, October 5, 2012

Gail Davis & Annie Oakley: Historical Honeys

Today would have been  Gail Davis' eighty seventh birthday. 

You may or may not be old enough to remember that Gail played the rootin' tootin' Annie Oakley in a show by the very same name between 1954 and 1956. She also had roles on television shows such as The Cisco Kid, The Lone Ranger, The Adventures of Kit Carson and The Gene Autry Show. And she was in more than two dozen Western films. That's some pretty fine Western themed acting lineage if you ask me! I definitely approve. I also approve of this outfit.

Looking back through videos, I found this wild commercial for Friskies dog food from that same era. I love the little dogs and honestly, I can't get over how they brag about horse meat being the ingredient. I mean, of course I know that horse meat was used in pet food and unfortunately, still is today but it's interesting to me that Gail was on all of those Westerns with horses - and you know that cowgirls and cowboys love their horses. Eh, I don't know... I guess they were different times and quite honestly, it would probably be a lot better world if manufacturers were that upfront about what's in their products these days. Oh, I ramble. On to the video! 

Also interesting: Using the phrase "table quality" about dog food. I think that I might start rating the dishes that I make as "table quality" or "eating over the sink with much regret quality". 

Shoot! ( Pow! Pow!) Where was I? Okay, so Happy Birthday to the lovely Gail Davis. She was a real force to be reckoned with and her role as Annie seriously gave young girls back in the day someone strong and admirable to look up to. And tell me that they didn't need that in the 1950's!  We're all about that one! 

And now on to a little Annie Oakley. Look at this cool old film of Annie from 1894.

She would have been thirty four years old there. At the end, she is shooting glass balls. Reportedly, on a single day she shot 4,472 of the 5,000 glass balls that were tossed in midair with a rifle. That makes my arm hurt just to think about it. I could never be an Annie. 

For seventeen years Annie Oakley toured with the infamous Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show dazzling crowds with feats like shooting a dime thrown into the air while standing ninety feet away. She was also known for shooting the thin edge of a playing card from the same distance and if that wasn't enough, would fill it full of five or six more holes as it fluttered to the ground. She also often shot the ashes off of the end of cigarettes from her husband, Frank's lips from a distance. How many of our spouses with trust us with that one, eh? 

You might be thinking that with the way that my train of thought is going that I might mention Barbara Stanwyck or Betty Hutton here due to their amazing film roles as Annie Oakley. Though I do love them both, I think I'll throw you for a loop and put in Caglar Juan Singletary instead.  He's one of my favorite people on one of the best documentaries ever entitled  Off The Charts: The Song Poem Story and his song about Annie Oakley is amazing. Here he is with his Mother: 

I have this fantasy about meeting him one day. He seems so earnest and sweet and I figure I can't go wrong with someone who loves Kung Fu, Priscilla Presley and Annie Oakley. 

I know I talked about the documentary before but if you haven't seen it, please do.  It's riveting and inspiring and at the sake of being honest, had me boo hoo-ing right and left. It's in it's entirety on YouTube here

All of this Annie talk got me to wondering if there are any Annie Oakley Halloween costumes on the web. Well you know that there are. 

First the nice one:

This one is real cute. Heck, I'd wear that every day! 
Its from Target.

And since Halloween ain't nothin' if it's not slutting up every single female costume idea:

You're looking at her tiny, historically inaccurate rifle, aren't you? 

Well, I also found this: 

Meanwhile, back at the raunch.

Okay, I've rambled on enough. Sometimes I go completely down the rabbit hole and into other rooms that take me to entirely other rabbit holes, don't I?

I hope that y'all have a great weekend!

Until next time,
x's and o's,

p.s. Okay, I can't resist. Betty Hutton as Annie Oakley!


Barbara said...

"Rich red horse meat"...good lord.

Annie was fascinating, wasn't she?

Tami Von Zalez said...

Well, you know that is what we always wear at the ranch - thigh high CFM black leather boots!

Eartha Kitsch said...

Barbara: She totally was! A true legend in her time - and in a time that was made for male legends, she rocked it.

Tami: Ha! I declare...I don't know how y'all ever get anything done around there!

Jen said...

Annie was one heck of a lady—just an incredible story. I love that she literally saved the family farm through her hunting skills.

Also...this is weird...we just discovered the location of and visited her grave last weekend. Because once I found out where she was, of course, I had to pay my respects.

Betty2Tone said...

My sister and I were obsessed with Annie Oakley when we were little. I wish I had the Annie dolls we had from who knows where

Rae - Say It Aint So said...

oh my gosh that commercial! those little dogs coming out in a little congo line kills me! and that pom who keeps begging. so sweet. and i love the weird echo voice over. it sounded kind of spooky!