Dust off your Roy Rogers, Injun Joe or Annie Oakley period clothes and head over to Dr. Buck’s Wild West Show January 30th and 31st of 2016 in downtown Historic Buckeye. I went to his last show at Historic Sahuaro Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. Situated along the dirt paths and orchards of fruit trees were stages for shows like Pistol Packin’ Paula and Gary “Bad Dog” Bennett & Blue Eyes Jack.
Outlaws topping it off
Deciding who will win the pie eating contest
How the West Was Won
As I walked past a brick fruit packing building built in the 1800’s I heard gun shots at the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, women and men were lined up to take a try at the targets set up. As fiddle and banjo played through the fruit trees a tall lanky figure riding a horse named Concho came clomping down the dusty trail before me. Lee Anderson is a favorite at Dr. Buck’s Wild West Show who looks like a cowboy from a bygone dude ranch wearing a vintage Stetson with two deep side dents. Lee is extremely photographic which is why he can always be found welcoming guests or taking in a show among the hundreds of spectators.
Pistol Packin’ Paula
The pie eating and habanero eating contest were my favorite. Naturally not many people signed up for the habanero time slot. The cowboys, constables, sheriff, outlaws trying to keep order amid the chaos was worth watching. The stage was situated under these huge mature trees and in front of a historic house with a porch. I felt like I was witnessing a birthday party at Aunt Polly’s house from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Dr. Buck made sure each contestant ate the habanero whole and watched them place the tiny black curved stem on the table. As each crazed contestant chewed the nasty pepper and placed the stem on the table the crowd of hundreds were hushed and all you could hear was the rustling of the tree leaves in the wind. The first guy chewed and swallowed but his face got really red. Each contestant had to let out a huge Yeeehaw after the swallow. The second contestant gave a good Yeee but then the haw came out this pathetic scratchy shameless groan. The crowd went nuts with laughter. I couldn’t believe the power Dr. Buck had over this crowd with something you could pick up in the vegetable isle. He is super hands on with his production.
Your Wild West Show is coming to Buckeye Days Celebration in January 24th and 25th. Dr. Buck Productions is a sensation here in the West Valley, Arizona. It has yielded ongoing Wild West Festivals, Shoot Out Competitions in Old Tucson and Murder Mysteries to name a few. Did you ever expect it to be this popular? Actually, Yes! Being that Arizona is one, if not the first location that we think of when we envision the Wild West or where Western Movies are filmed, so the folks who live and visit here from all around the world, expect this part of America’s Western Heritage to be offered up, and that’s exactly what my award winning cast of Wild West performers do!
To what do you attribute the success of the Wild West Shows? Definitely the caliber of my performers you’ll see at my shows… several are World Champions in the Wild West Arts, such as Trick Roping, Six Gun Spinning, Bull-Whip Cracking and Trick Horse Riding! Plus the fact that it is good old family fun entertainment, the likes of which, some have never seen!
Buckeye Days Wild West Show
Typically, when you are doing a Wild West Show like the one coming to Buckeye, how do you prepare the performers for the event? Each event venue is always a bit different, so we create performances to meet the location. Plus, we always like to offer up a little something new from what they may have seen previously… but always with plenty of audience participation!
How do you structure your Wild West Festival for maximum suspense? Our audiences are always telling us, “We didn’t expect that!”, because honestly, we very often change up a Stunt Show or other performance at the last minute, to get that audience reaction. Plus, with our audience participation, guests never know if they will be in the show, and not just watching it!
Unleash the suspense!
How did you become involved in doing stunts and trick roping? Stunt work began at Disney Studios when I was a “Starving Animator” in need of extra $… and here, almost 40 years later, having worked with Clint Eastwood, Tom Selleck, Willie Nelson, Ben Johnson and several others, I’m still taking punches, kicks and falls! Things like Gun Spinning & Trick Roping, I prefer to leave that to the folks like Johnny Hotshot… and they leave the stunts to me!
Buckeye Days Wild West Show
Which western movies inspire you the most? Who is your favorite Hollywood western character? Actually some of the lesser known ones like, “Once Upon A Time In The West”, “The Sacketts”, “Barbarosa” and the “Long Riders” (ok, and not because I was in the last three) Favorite Character… any actor that played a believable Outlaw!…which was usually those valuable character actors, not the big name stars!
Once Upon a Time in the West
What is your take on downtown Buckeye being a back drop for the upcoming Wild West Festival and Rodeo? Forget the big covered stadium Rodeos and the Rhinestone Cowboy shows! This is true Wild West & Rodeo Americana, the way it was meant to be displayed and enjoyed! My Wild West cast is proud to be a “New” addition to Buckeye Days 2014…and honored to be a part of an event that Singing Cowboy Gene Autry attended a time or two!