Massachusetts Could Get Its Very Own ‘Official Cowboy’
If you were a kid in the Boston area between the late 1950s and early ’70s, the name Rex Trailer might ring a bell.
Rex Trailer’s “Boomtown” aired every Saturday morning. Trailer was a real cowboy who wore a big white cowboy hat and rode a horse named Gold Rush. He embodied the thrill and mystery of the wild West — right here in Massachusetts. Trailer did trick riding, rope tricks, and sang songs before a live audience of local kids.
Now the state legislature is sponsoring legislation to make Rex Trailer the official cowboy of Massachusetts. How have we managed without one for all these years?
Trailaer came in to the studio on Friday. He’s in his eighties now and moving a little slower but still wearing a big cowboy hat, with a stylish cowboy shirt and bolo tie.
- Rex Trailer of “Boomtown”
Anthony Brooks: You also did some great shooting, and I remember that as a kid. And that was sort of a thrill because anytime you saw a real cowboy with real guns on his hips it was sort of exciting.
Rex Trailer: I learned that from the cowboys. I became quite a marksman and then when I was on the air and Kennedy was assassinated, I figured that was the time to hang up the guns.
They stopped being part of the act on “Boomtown,” right?
Yeah. You know, I figured after Kennedy was assassinated, that was the end of the guns.
“Boomtown” was part of this golden era of relatively early live television. What was special about down that show? Can you tell me a story about anything that went wrong in a live show or not the way it was planned?
Everything! I remember we had this bunch of kids there and all of a sudden while I was singing a song, I got a tug on my trousers. And I looked down and there was a little kid. And so I stopped the song, and I said, “Can I help you son?” And he said, “Rex, I got to go to the bathroom…and I already did on your studio floor.”
And I told him where the outhouse was. And off he went.
And you got back to your song, I hope?
Then I finished the song.
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