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Celebrities Visit the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo

February 16, 2015

Celebrities have entertained audiences since the early days of the annual livestock show and rodeo.  In recent times, about 20 different entertainers come for one or two shows.  During the first few years, only a couple of well-known performers were featured.  These hardy individuals would usually stay throughout the event, participating in a variety of ancillary activities:  a public welcoming ceremony at the airport, the western parade, presentation of the livestock winners, receptions– and visits to schools and hospitals between formal events.

These are photographs from the Zintgraff Studio Collection (MS 355) that provide glimpses of those celebrity visits from the 1950s through the 1970s.

 

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans arrive in San Antonio on a Trans-Texas airliner, February 14, 1961 (MS 355:  Z-2492-A-22738)

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans arrive in San Antonio, February 14, 1961 (MS 355: Z-2492-A-22738)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Students, civic dignitaries, and business leaders are among the crowd welcoming the “King and Queen of the Cowboys.”  (MS 355:  Z-2492-A-22726)

Students, civic dignitaries, and business leaders are among the crowd welcoming the “King and Queen of the Cowboys.”  (MS 355: Z-2492-A-22726)

 

Rex Allen pauses to greet a fan as he circles the arena on KoKo,” the miracle horse of the movies,” during the rodeo entertainment program, 1953.  (MS 355:  Z-2469-B-22738)

Rex Allen pauses to greet a fan as he circles the arena on KoKo, ” the miracle horse of the movies,” during the rodeo entertainment program, 1953.  (MS 355: Z-2469-B-22738)

 

Gene Autry and Gail Davis “Annie Oakley” lead the western parade that officially opens the Stock Show and Rodeo, February 7, 1958.  (MS 355:  Z-2484-A-03)

Gene Autry and Gail Davis “Annie Oakley” lead the western parade that officially opens the Stock Show and Rodeo, February 7, 1958.   (MS 355: Z-2484-A-03)

 

Gail Davis and Gene Autry pose with admirers in front of a clothes rack at the coliseum, where they performed, February 1958.  (MS 355:  Z-2484-B-01)

Gail Davis and Gene Autry pose with admirers in front of a clothing rack at the coliseum, February 1958.    (MS 355: Z-2484-B-01)

 

Jimmy Dean “Mr. Country Music” prepares to ride into the rodeo area, where he will dismount and sing to the crowd, 1960.  (MS 355:  Z-2490-C-01)

Jimmy Dean “Mr. Country Music” prepares to ride into the rodeo area, where he will dismount and sing to the crowd, 1960.  (MS 355: Z-2490-C-01)

 

Cliff Robertson (second from left), star of the popular television program “Tales of Wells Fargo,” poses with G.D. Johnson, Jr.(left) and his Reserve Grand Champion Steer, February 13, 1961.  (MS 355:  Z-2492-A-22827)

Cliff Robertson (second from left), star of the popular television program “Tales of Wells Fargo,” poses with G.D. Johnson, Jr.(left) and his Reserve Grand Champion Steer, February 13, 1961. (MS 355: Z-2492-A-22827)

 

Anita Bryant, America’s top female vocalist at the time, performs during her first rodeo entertainment performance, February 1962.  (MS 355:  Z-2495-B-28510)

Anita Bryant, America’s top female vocalist at the time, sings during her first rodeo entertainment performance, February 1962.  (MS 355: Z-2495-B-28510)

 

Rodeo song-and-dance team performers Kirby Grant, television’s flying cowboy “Sky King,” and Gloria Winters “Penny King,” ride in the western parade, February 8, 1963.  (MS 355:  Z-2499-A-R66)

Song-and-dance team Kirby Grant, television’s flying cowboy “Sky King,” and Gloria Winters “Penny King,” ride in the western parade, February 8, 1963. (MS 355: Z-2499-A-R66)

 

Lassie, star of the “Lassie” CBS television series, rides past crowd outside the Majestic Theater, February 8, 1963.  (MS 355:  Z-2499-A-R71)

Lassie, star of the “Lassie” CBS television series, rides past crowd outside the Majestic Theater, February 8, 1963. (MS 355: Z-2499-A-R71)

 

Lassie, star of the “Lassie” CBS television series, rides past crowd outside the Majestic Theater, February 8, 1963.  (MS 355:  Z-2499-A-R71)

Lassie shakes hands with fans between appearances in the rodeo entertainment programs at Freeman Coliseum, February 1963.  (MS 355: Z-2495-B-28510)

 

Country music singer Judy Lynn, in one of her elaborate costumes by Nudie of Hollywood, poses with Joe (left) and Harry Freeman, February 1965.  (MS 355:  Z-2508-C-251)

Country music singer Judy Lynn, wearing one of her elaborate costumes by Nudie of Hollywood, poses with Joe (left) and Harry Freeman, February 1965. (MS 355: Z-2508-C-251)

 

Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner arrive at a welcoming reception, February 1970.  (MS 355:  Z-2521-C-592)

Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner arrive at a welcoming reception, February 1970. (MS 355: Z-2521-C-592)

 

Johnny Rodriguez, age 21, sings beside a special guest in the coliseum arena, February 1974.   (MS 355:  Z-2543-C-101750)

Johnny Rodriguez, age 21, sings beside a special guest in the Freeman Coliseum arena, February 1974. (MS 355: Z-2543-C-101750)

 

Singer and actor John Davidson poses with fans, February 1974.  (MS 355:  Z-2545-C-01)

Singer and actor John Davidson poses with fans, February 1974. (MS 355: Z-2545-C-01)

 

Freddy Fender poses with fans, February 1979.  (MS 355:  Z-2561-C-02-8)

Freddy Fender and fans, February 1979. (MS 355: Z-2561-C-02-8)

 

Freddy Fender on stage during the rodeo entertainment program, February 1979,  (MS 355:  Z-2561-C-01-4)

Freddy Fender on stage during the rodeo entertainment program, February 1979, (MS 355: Z-2561-C-01-4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Comment leave one →
  1. Glen Banse permalink
    April 19, 2016 2:37 pm

    The photo depicting “Cliff” Robertson is Actually “Dale” Robertson.
    Great Classic Photos, though!

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