Convict Cowboys: The Untold History of the Texas Prison Rodeo

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Description

Convict Cowboys is the first book on the nation’s first prison rodeo, which ran from 1931 to 1986. At its apogee the Texas Prison Rodeo drew 30,000 spectators on October Sundays. Mitchel P. Roth portrays the Texas Prison Rodeo against a backdrop of Texas history, covering the history of rodeo, the prison system, and convict leasing, as well as important figures in Texas penology including Marshall Lee Simmons, O.B. Ellis, and George J. Beto, and the changing prison demimonde. Over the years the rodeo arena not only boasted death-defying entertainment that would make professional cowboys think twice, but featured a ... continued below

Physical Description

xi, 436 p. : ill.

Creation Information

Roth, Mitchel P. July 2016.

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This book is part of the collection entitled: University of North Texas Press and was provided by UNT Press to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 27 times . More information about this book can be viewed below.

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  • Vicki Family Foundation The electroni edition of this book was made possible by thesupport of Vick Family Foundation.

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  • Roth, Mitchel P.

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Description

Convict Cowboys is the first book on the nation’s first prison rodeo, which ran from 1931 to 1986. At its apogee the Texas Prison Rodeo drew 30,000 spectators on October Sundays. Mitchel P. Roth portrays the Texas Prison Rodeo against a backdrop of Texas history, covering the history of rodeo, the prison system, and convict leasing, as well as important figures in Texas penology including Marshall Lee Simmons, O.B. Ellis, and George J. Beto, and the changing prison demimonde.

Over the years the rodeo arena not only boasted death-defying entertainment that would make professional cowboys think twice, but featured a virtual who’s who of American popular culture. Readers will be treated to stories about numerous American and Texas folk heroes, including Western film stars ranging from Tom Mix to John Wayne, and music legends such as Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. Through extensive archival research Roth introduces readers to the convict cowboys in both the rodeo arena and behind prison walls, giving voice to a legion of previously forgotten inmate cowboys who risked life and limb for a few dollars and the applause of free-world crowds. The contents include: Texas prisons: a pattern of neglect -- A cowboy's a man with guts and a hoss -- The Simmons years (1930-1935) -- The only show of its kind in the United States (1936-1939) -- The war years (1940-1946) -- A sad state of affairs (1947-1949) -- The West as it ought to have been (1950-1953) -- Outlaw vs. outlaw (1954-1959) -- The fund just appeared footloose and fancy free (1954-1960) -- The Texas Prison.

Physical Description

xi, 436 p. : ill.

Notes

This book "recounts the history of not just the prison rodeo, but also of the evolving prison system and the men and women who made its success possible."--ECIP Introduction.

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  • July 2016

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Jan. 16, 2017, 10:42 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Jan. 19, 2017, 4:10 p.m.

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Roth, Mitchel P. Convict Cowboys: The Untold History of the Texas Prison Rodeo, book, July 2016; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc947433/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Press.