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Massachusetts Could Get Its Very Own ‘Official Cowboy’

Rex Trailer in the studio.

Rex Trailer in the studio.

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.

Guest:

  • Rex Trailer of “Boomtown”

Interview Highlights

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.”

Oh boy.

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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  • Chris Santos

    I had the pleasure of seeing Rex Trailer a few months ago in Waltham when a “lost” video segment from “Boomtown” had been discovered and was shown at the gathering.  It was the second time I had met him – the first being during the summer of 1964 when I was involved with Boston Children’s Theatre’s Stagemobile and the cast appeared on the show.

    This time, I shared with Rex that I had a recurring dream that he brought me my own golden Palomino, leading it up the stairs to my family’s apartment.  When he heard that it was four flights, he shook his head and said that he never would have climbed that many flights. ;-)

    He’s so gracious and I’m ecstatic about the prospect that Rex will be the Commonwealth’s “Official Cowboy”!

  • Dfaneuf

    I’ve met Rex three times, once when I was working at WKOX in Framingham and they talked him into filling in for me while I was on vacation, he came in to shadow me one morning. Years later I interviewed him on Oldies 103 and I reminded him of the WKOX vacation and told him what a thrill it was for me and he said that he’d never do morning radio again! lol lol lol And Friday I was walking into the station just as Rex came in so we chatted again. He is the most gracious person you’d ever want to meet! If you see him give him a big HOWDY REX!
    Dave Faneuf

  • Anonymous

    I was on Boomtown as a child…. I still have fond memories of seeing RexTrailer that day!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=23901875 Jenna L. Norton

    I moved here from Texas and this article has has me laughing all day. 

  • Amy Duchin

    I was Rex’s teachers assistant in the 80′s when he taught a TV course at Endicott College
    What a thrill ,he was such a pleasure to work for!

  • Linda

    I met Rex and his family a few years ago in a doctor’s office. They are truly beautiful people. As a child I also remember watching Boomtown and was very excited, even at the age of 55 to meet Rex Trailer. I nominate him as the Cowboy of Massachusetts!

  • Anonymous

    Not being from Boston, I didn’t know who Rex was until I moved my new illustration studio (12 years ago) into an office upstairs from his!

  • Anonymous

    I was also a Boomtown kid, and performed a drum solo in the Boomtown Opera House in 1958. I remember Rex Trailer standing in the back of the room as I was performing, making faces to try to make me smile. (I was a very serious female drummer.) He even let me sit on Gold Rush. What a day! I’m so glad that he is being honored.

  • http://twitter.com/JewelDole Julie Dole

    Rex Trailer!  My hero! 

    When I was a kid, my mom used to tell me stories after dinner, little ad-libbed ditties starring me :)   She’d often add Rex Trailer to the story, giving him the line “isn’t she a cutie” when he’d meet the fictional me ;)

    One year we went to see him appear at a local carnival, and when I got a chance to get his autograph, he said “isn’t she a cutie!”

    Then in 1974  mom took me on one of his January tours to California, and we had a blast!  It was so amazing to leave the snow behind us… and California seemed so exotic to this 14 year old…
    I still have a photo of Rex Trailer and I, standing together and smiling away, in the door of a Disneyland cable car  from that trip – and yup, he was wearing his 10-gallon hat :)

    Years later I moved to CA!  Been in Cali since 1986. :)

    Love you Rex!  You’ll always be a bright spot in my childhood memories!

Hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks introduce us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and bring us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3.

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