FROM THE MAGAZINE SHELF is an occasional feature of the FOUNTAINDALE LIBRARY REFERENCE BLOG. Postings will highlight titles that you might find of interest, but haven’t picked up to read and explore. In addition to the titles that are in the Magazines Area on the 2nd Floor of our library, postings will also include titles from RBdigital Magazines, formerly Zinio, the library’s digital magazine collection.

While watching Sunday Morning on the CBS network last weekend, I learned that Saturday, July 28, 2018 is celebrated as the National Day of the Cowboy. It is a day dedicated to the preservation of America’s cowboy heritage and is celebrated regularly on the fourth Saturday of July. Their website has a wealth of information and provides many links to websites that have a connection to cowboy history, culture, art, and music. And I think you’ll enjoy the traditional acoustic Western music that plays when the website opens…let it play through, before you Click to enter the full website.

Here at our library, you can learn about the American West and the modern Western lifestyle by reading issues of the magazine, COWBOYS & INDIANS. First published in 1992 the magazine now comes out eight times a year. You can find issues from the current year and one year back in the library’s Magazines and Newspapers Area on the 2nd Floor. Back issues from April 2013 through February / March 2015 are available digitally through our RBdigital Magazines resource.

According to RBdigital Magazines , “Cowboys & Indians magazine brings you the best of the Western lifestyle, including the latest in fashion, travel, food and wine, architecture and home décor, art, music, and film, all presented with spectacular images from award-winning photographers.”

My introduction to the magazine came a number of years ago, by way of relatives who have lived in New Mexico and California. They are involved with traditional Western music through the International Western Music Association (an organization that encourages and supports the preservation, performance and composition of historic traditional and contemporary music and poetry of The West).

I’ve always found the articles in Cowboys & Indians informative and the photography throughout each issue truly captures the spirit of the West.

Each issue of this colorful magazine has a feature article connected to the cover, literally, a “Cover Story.” The August / September 2018 issue features Gil Birmingham. The actor, who is of Comanche and Spanish ancestry, is best known for his portrayal of Billy Black in the Twilight Saga films. The article / interview focuses on the career of this established movie and TV actor.

In addition, the issue features articles on Native American Pottery and Totem Carving. Among them are:

  • “Giving Voice to the Clay / Contemporary Clay Artists Carry Forward An Age-Old Tradition While Breaking New Ground” by Kimberly Field
  • “Nampeyo and Maria / Historic Potters Opened Doors for Generations of Artists” by Gussie Fauntleroy
  • “Totem Revival / Around the Northwest, New Energy Is Infusing An Ancient Tradition” by Chuck Thompson

As an aspiring guitarist and student of guitar history, one of my favorite articles to appear in Cowboys & Indians was in the August / September 2017 issue. It was “12 Guitars That Won the West” by Chuck Thompson. The list and the details about the instruments and their players were put together with the help of guitar historians, vintage dealers, and guitar players. Among the historic instruments were Jimmie Rodgers’ Martin 000-45 (1927), Maybelle Carter’s Gibson L-5 (1928), Gene Autry’s Martin D-45 (1933) and Willie Nelson’s Martin N-20 “Trigger”(1969).                                                          

And, if after reading a few issues, you’re still longing for some more spectacular scenes of the American West, have a look at some of their Special Photography Issues, like last year’s  February / March 2017 offering. Among its features are favorite entries from Cowboys & Indians magazine’s 12th Annual Photo Contest. From scenic vistas to intimate portraits, you’ll find plenty to enjoy!

-Tom D.

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