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The Singing Cowboys: 1939

The Singing Cowboys: 1939

June 1939. Big Horn County, Montana. "Cowhands singing after day's work. Quarter Circle U Ranch roundup." Medium format acetate negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Quarter Circle U

Nice article with more photos and history of this and other Montana ranches.


I want a Marlboro.

Preston on tenor

That's an interesting guitar that Preston Cronkite is playing. It's a 12-fretter (the body join is at that fret rather than the 14th fret that is more often seen nowadays) tenor guitar. Doesn't look like a Martin to me, as the soundhole rosette is fancier than the top binding would dictate. Maybe a Harmony. No pickguard.

I've owned a couple of old tenor guitars and never could decide how to tune the darned things. His is likely tuned as a regular guitar (EADG strings only), as he seems to be fingering a G chord. Most players tuned them like a tenor banjo (CGDA), I believe.

The fellow on the left may be playing harp, so let's call him Harpo.

And on guitar

Walter Cronkite.

[I see Preston Foster. -tterrace]

Clever flash placement

It even appears to be further concealed with propped-up firewood. And I bet everyone but the harmonica player was vision impaired for the rest of the evening!

Well then

That means that Harry Carey is sitting just to his left. Maybe it's a Ford Production.

[Harry Carey Jr., maybe. -tterrace]

Indeed, my error!

Somebody tell me

that's not Gary Cooper in the center.

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