Monday, July 21, 2014


Charles Lee Jackson's Trail Riders is an exciting entry in The Emperor's Secret Files series. But it is also his homage to the kind of 1930s-40s B-movie cowboy "trio" series kicked off by the 1936 film, The Three Mesquiteers (adapted from the novel of the same name by William Colt MacDonald).
MacDonald's book told of three disparate cowboys, Stony Brooke, Tucson Smith, and Lullaby Joslin, returned from fighting in World War I, who decide to take up ranching only to discover themselves more in need of firearms than farming implements.
     The film based on the book clearly captured something of which western audiences were in need, because the series lasted eight years and fifty-one installments (eight of which starred that scintillatingly handsome young actor, John Wayne as Stony Brooke).
   The series was so successful that rival studios soon began their own western series built around a similar trio of heroes, such as the Range Busters, the Rough Riders, and the Trail Blazers. To add insult to injury, these studios even lured away major stars from The Three Mesquiteers for their series. Which explains the turnover in the actors who play the three heroes of the Mesquiteers over the years. Tucson Smith, for instance was played by Ray "Crash" Corrigan, Bob Steele, and even Ralph (Dick Tracy) Byrd. While his compadre, Stony Brooke, was portrayed by Bob Livingston, Tom Tyler, and of course John Wayne.
The actors who played comic relief Lullaby Joslin were as peripatetic as the character, Max Terhune, Rufe Davis, Jimmy Dodd (of  Disney's 'Mickey Mouse Club' Mouseketeer fame),  and Sid Saylor, with Raymond Hatton, coming in as his cousin Rusty Joslin.

You can see the first film in the series, The Three Mesquiteers, the one that launched a legend, at YouTube by clicking below:
    Take me to that legendary first movie! 

    Many movies in the Three Musquiteers series are available free on the internet.

Below is a complete list of the Three Mesquiteers films. Enjoy.  And you might want to check out Charles Lee Jackson II's homage, Trail Riders. Only 99 cents for this full-length western novel at Amazon Kindle.

1. The Three Mesquiteers
2. Ghost-Town Gold
3. Roarin' Lead
4. Riders of the Whistling Skull
5. Hit the Saddle
6. Gunsmoke Ranch
7. Come on, Cowboys
8. Range Defenders
9. Heart of the Rockies
10. The Trigger Trio
11. Wild Horse Rodeo
12. The Purple Vigilantes
13. Call the Mesquiteers
14. Outlaws of Sonora
15. Riders of the Black Hills
16. Heroes of the Hills
17. Pals of the Saddle
18. Overland Stage Raiders
19. Santa Fe Stampede
20. Red River Range
21. The Night Riders
22. Three Texas Steers
23. Wyoming Outlaw
24. New Frontier
25. The Kansas Terrors
26. Cowboys from Texas
27. Heroes of the Saddle
28. Pioneers of the West
29. Covered Wagon Days
30. Rocky Mountain Rangers
31. Oklahoma Renegades
32. Under Texas Skies
33. The Trail Blazers
34. Lone Star Raiders
35. Prairie Pioneers
36. Pals of the Pecos
37. Saddlemates
38. Gangs of Sonora
39. Outlaws of Cherokee Trail
40. Gauchos of El Dorado
41. West of Cimarron
42. Code of the Outlaw
43. Raiders of the Range
44. Westward Ho45. The Phantom Plainsmen
46. Shadows on the Sage
47. Valley of Hunted Men
48. Thundering Trails
49. The Blocked Trail
50. Santa Fe Scouts
51. Riders of the Rio Grande