Singing Cowboy, 1955

Rice Day 1955 1

You really never know what will turn up next. These are some of the sweetest pictures I’ve come across in the Woodson. They were taken at Rice Day in April, 1955. Rice Day was an alumni sponsored all-university event, a sort of picnic with carnival booths, rides, contests and games for alumni and their kids as well as current students. From what I can tell it began in 1950 and was always held in the football stadium. If you look closely you can see that these images were taken either out on the field or under the stands. By all accounts this was an extremely well attended function— alumni groups in other cities chartered buses to bring them in for the event.

I assume this is Shirley but I don’t know how she got up there:

Rice Day 1955 3

The entertainment that year was Don Mahoney, the singing cowboy. He would have been well known to the crowd from his show on KPRC, “Don Mahoney and His Kiddie Troupers”:

Rice Day 1955 2

It looks like a blast. I bet every one of those kids fell asleep in the car on the way home.


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7 Responses to Singing Cowboy, 1955

  1. C Kelly says:

    Don Mahoney and Jeanna Claire (Mrs. Mahoney) had a talent show. I’m a little vague on how it worked, but I know they’d make personal appearances at local venues (e.g., the Sugar Land Shopping Center) and audition children who wanted to be on tv. I guess the winners were on the show. I don’t know the whole story, but toward the end of his career, he was almost completely blind.

    I’m sure he saw a world-record number of 6-year old tap dancers.

    • MK says:

      C Kelly

      I had the honor to work for Don Mahoney in the early 1970’s and he was truly a great guy. BTW: Several of the kids who performed on his show went on to be professional entertainers. Johnny and Edgar Winters come to mind.

      Re: Mrs. Mahoney

      Actually, Jeanna was NOT Mrs. Mahoney. She was Don’s partner. There was a Mrs. Mahoney.

      Re: His blindness

      Actually, the way it was explained to me was that Don and Jeanna were contemporaries with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, etc…and he began having difficulties on the set (ie “Falling off my horse”). He was losing his sight, and ultimately became blind. It was suggested then that he explore the new medium, TV…and to do something with kids, and always say something about the flag and to Moms…

      …the rest, is history.

      What you saw on TV was a man who was near totally blind doing a LIVE kid show. No small trick, as were their personal appearances, etc. They were a great team.

      His was one of the longest running personally financed TV series ever.

      Truly a great man and friend.

      God bless

      • Carol Brandon says:

        I have wonderful memories of sitting in the background several times with my brother when we be visiting Grandpa “Tex” we would end up over at the studio and would visit with them after the show. I left word for them at channel 39 when my Grandmother passed, just to let them know and to my surprise they showed up at the service and even called me by name. Wonderful people and miss them both and for the memories they gave me.

  2. Barney L. McCoy says:

    They had a Saturday morning TV show with a western motif that showed movies by Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Gene Autry, Lash LaRue, Whip Wilson, Alan “Rocky” Lane, etc. Little kids would sing, dance, and play music and Don and Jeanna (sp) would perform.. I have to admit to occasionally watching it.
    Barney L. McCoy, Hanszen, 67

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  4. Patricia Finlen says:

    Thank you for posting this!!! Don Mahoney was my grandfather.. I can’t believe I’m just now seeing this!! ❤

    • Volker Houghton says:

      Hello Patricia, do you know anything about a record label, I believe he owned in Beaumont Texas, called Enterprise Records. Thanks Volk

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