Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Cowboy Code

As you can probably tell by now my interests vary from day to day and week to week. I am kind of on a cowboy kick now. Well not actually any current cowboys but the fifties cowboys. The cowboys like Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and John Wayne.

Back in the fifties there was a different morality that dictated how television and movie stars were portrayed. Even back when Gene Autry had his Melody Ranch radio program, he expected his shows and public appearances to abide by a standard of ethical and moral behavior. I have asked to use his Cowboy Code but as I have not heard back from them, I am giving you a link to his website so you can read Gene Autry's Cowboy Code for yourself. I especially like #8 and #9.

And how many times did we watch Roy Rogers when we were growing up in the fifties? He also felt he needed to maintain a code of conduct and even had Roy Rogers Riders Club Rules for his young viewers.

I am not sure about John Wayne's personal life but he presented a public persona of honor and patriotism. He once said, "A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job."

And it was that creed that made him refuse to allow his character in his final film, "The Shootist" to shoot a man in the back as was originally scripted. He was quoted as saying "I've made over 250 pictures and have never shot a guy in the back. Change it."

This is a public domain clip from the Dean Martin show where The Duke tells the values he would like to impart to his eight month old daughter Marisa. Are we still trying to teach these values today?


  1. I hope we are still teaching these values--well, at least I hope I am!!

  2. my sis is/was a huge john wayne fan, and of all the older cowboy stars (rifleman, bonanza, wagon train...) she'd prefer to stay in the 50s if she could.

  3. Code of conduct is what we need now. It seams to have died with the good guys.

  4. I came to your blog from Maple Lane, and I have enjoyed browsing your posts! I grew up in the 50's, too, and am saddened by the lack of codes of conducts and creeds.

  5. Thank you for finding and posting these two codes! They are wonderful! I would love to print them out and hang them on my grandson's bedroom wall! Kids in our "time" knew how important these things were...now they don't have anyone to tell them. Not TV, not video games, not school, not peers, not respected adults. If we try, sometimes they are too filled with input from all the other stuff to really hear us. But my grandson is a good boy and kind, he is soft-hearted toward animals and other people and I am proud of him (even if he is a little disrespectful sometimes!) I have noticed, he's usually in a bad mood right after playing video games...hmmmm.

    He loves cowboys, so I think he would like watching some of these old reruns! Yep, they were the good guys to look up to!

  6. I'm not sure about codes, and I don't know much about cowboy codes, but it would be a good idea if we all lived by rules which put kindness and consideration for others at the top of the list.