‘Rawhide’ sparks nostalgic memories

By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer

“It’s nostalgic, returning to a part of the country that is beautiful, to honor the show that was significant and important to my father,” said Chrystie Wooley, the daughter of actor and singer Sheb Wooley who co-starred in the western TV series “Rawhide,” that was filmed near Tucumcari from 1959 until 1966.

Wooley will return to Tucumcari on April 15-16 to be a part of the inaugural Rawhide Days, a two-day event commemorating the show that meant so much to her father.

“It was a very sweet time of my fathers life,” Wooley said. “I am happy to keep the memory of the show alive that was successful for my father.”

Wooley said it was a game-changer for her father when he landed the role as scout Pete Nolan on the “Rawhide” series. She said he got the part largely because he was a cowboy who grew up in Oklahoma and he also taught Clint Eastwood how to ride a horse.

Chrystie Wooley will be one of the performers of the Next Generation Band: Sons and Daughters of Country Legends, set to perform on April 15 during Rawhide Days. Robyn Young, son of Faron Young and Jett Williams, Hank Williams’s daughter, will also be performing on April 15 as well as Luke Reed of Santa Fe, cowboy poet and singer Mike Moutoux of Silver City.

Rawhide Days was thought up by Karen Alarcon, a KTNM/KQUAY radio personality and Tucumcari resident.

Alarcon said the idea for creating the event came from an on-air question about why there was no local celebration for the local filming of “Rawhide.” She said a year later, the question has grown into a two-day event filled with country music, a longhorn cattle parade, Miss Rawhide Days Pageant and appearances by the children of “Rawhide” series stars Kimber Eastwood (Clint Eastwood’s daughter) and Wooley.

Wooley said she is excited about attending the event, not only to honor her father, but to help out the community of Tucumcari. She said it is wonderful that the people of Tucumcari would spearhead an event like this to celebrate the series.

Wooley said she has had several conversations with her fellow about growing up as a child of a country-western star.”We all kind of agree that our parents’ jobs was just part of growing up,” Wooley said, adding that while she was growing up, she always remembered her father’s clothes from “Rawhide” hanging in the family music room.

Sheb was also a noted singer, best known for his 1958 novelty song “The Purple People Eater.”

Wooley said it was just another part of growing up seeing the hat, chaps, shirt and gun belt her father wore in “Rawhide.”

“As a child I answered the phone and it was Clint Eastwood calling to talk to my dad,” Wooley said. “Most people would have been jumping around screaming ‘Clint Eastwood is on the phone!’ It was part of our daily lives.”

Wooley said she can remember her father spending time with the late Paul Brinegar, a Tucumcari native, who also starred in “Rawhide” as George Washington Wishbone.

“There are a lot of great memories from my childhood involving my father and ‘Rawhide,’” Wooley said.

Wooley said it’s exciting to be returning to Tucumcari for the event and because its a part of the country she adores. She said it will bring back memories of the time she spent in the area.

Wooley said she spent time at her uncle William “Skeeter” Wooley’s farm in Clovis. She said her father and uncle purchased the farm together.

“It’s going to be very special to me returning to the part of the country that reminds me of my father,” Wooley said.

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