Cowboy Names: Back in the saddle again

cowboy baby names

Just as we’ve been heralding the trend towards cowboy names, it looks like we could be in for a posse of new ones.

In the L.A. Times the other day, an article talked about prime-time television’s “reinvigorated love of the western, where projects are sprouting like cactus in the desert…and viewers may see the biggest glut of westerns since the genre’s heyday of the ‘60s.”

It was that heyday that incited the stampede of names that hadn’t been heard in a century onto the boys’ popularity lists of the 1950s, sixties and seventies, some of which are still riding tall in the saddle.

I thought it might be fun to look back at those TV cowboy names, and trace the old black-and-white shows that re-introduced them –we can check later and see whether the series scheduled to be revived, like The Rifleman, will use the same names or resurrect/create others.

Here’s some history of what and who and when. Clearly the favorite nom de cowboy was Clay, chosen by at least five different scripters.  It’s also kind of amazing to see the sheer number of westerns there were on the small screen mid-century.  Was there room on the schedule for anything else?

AdamBonanza, 1959

AeneasWichita Town, 1959

AmosHec Ramsey, 1972

ArtemusThe Wild, Wild West, 1965

BarnabasThe Iron Horse, 1966

BartMaverick, 1957

BeauTales of Wells Fargo, 1957

BeauregardMaverick, 1957 (Roger Moore)

Billy BlueThe High Chaparral, 1967

BoThe Chisholms, 1979

BrentMaverick, 1957

Bret Maverick, 1957 (James Garner)

BrodieWildside, 1985

BroncoBronco, 1958

Burgandy (!)—The Westerner, 1960

CashThe Barbary Coast, 1975

ChadLaredo, 1965

Chalk—The Outlaws, 1960

CheyenneCheyenne, 1955

ClayBlack Saddle, 1959; Tales of the Texas Rangers, 1958; Tombstone Territory, 1957, The Virginian 1962, The Deputy, 1959

Clayt—The Monroes, 1966

CodyStoney Burke, 1962

CooperThe Chisholms, 1979, Wagon Train, 1957

CullyJohnny Ringo, 1959

Edge—Young Maverick, 1979

EmmettThe Virginian, 1962

EvanThe Oregon Trail, 1977

FlintWagon Train, 1957

GideonThe Chisholms 1979

HeathThe Big Valley, 1965 (played by Lee Majors)

Heck—The Outlaws, 1960

Hoby– Trackdown, 1957 (Robert Culp)

JaceTales of the Texas Rangers, 1956

JarrodThe Big Valley, 1965

Jason: Wanted: Dead or Alive, 1958, Branded, 1965 (played by Chuck Connors)

JebTales of Wells Fargo, 1957

JebediahThe Cowboys, 1974

JedRawhide, 1959

JeffersonJefferson Drum, 1958

JerichoDaniel Boone, 1964

JesseCimarron City, 1958

JoshWanted: Dead or Alive, 1958 (Steve McQueen)

LaneCimarron City, 1958

Lofty—Annie Oakley, 1953

LucasThe Rifleman, 1958 (Chuck Connors)

LuciusJefferson Drum, 1958

MarshLife and Legend of Wyatt Earp, 1955

MattGunsmoke, 1955 (James Arness)

MicahThe Rifleman1958

MorganThe Quest, 1976 (Kurt Russell)

QuentinThe Quest, 1976

QuintGunsmoke, 1955 (Burt Reynolds)

ReeseLaredo, 1965

RenoThe High Chaparral, 1967

Rowdy–Rawhide, 1959 (Clint Eastwood)

RufeShane, 1966

SilasThe Big Valley, 1965

SimonThe Deputy, 1959 (played by Henry Fonda)

TalEmpire, 1962 (played by Ryan O’Neal)

Temple, Temple Houston, 1963

Vint—The Restless Gun, 1957 (John Payne)

WyattLife and Legend of Wyatt Earp, 1955

ZebHow the West Was Won, 1978  (James Arness)

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5 Responses to “Cowboy Names: Back in the saddle again”

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skizzo Says:

December 8th, 2011 at 12:50 pm

I love Cheyenne on a guy! Especially because of Cheyenne Jackson, and also the latin singer Chayanne. Definitely cooler than on a girl. It would go nicely with a brother named Etienne.

Rowdy is still surfing just outside the top1000.

Temple is really interesting, not sure it could work these days.

tct1219 Says:

December 8th, 2011 at 3:42 pm

I’m surprised to see Shane isn’t on this list.

miloowen Says:

December 8th, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Don’t forget all the Jameses…And the brothers Jason, Joshua, and Jeremy, which I’m sure contributed to all the Jasons/Joshuas in the late 70s and early 80s.

I loved “The Wild Wild West,” and have liked both the names Artemus(as) and Gordon since then. Ross Martin (whose real first name was Martin) was a genius and probably one of the most underrated actors of the 20th century.

As a ten year old, my babysitter’s name was Dale, after Dale Evans, and her brothers were Alan and Gary. They — Alan and Gary — had given her the name to contribute the cowboy tradition.

It’s funny, I grew up watching the Western kids’ shows — Sky King, Roy Rogers, Fury, My Friend Flicka — as well as Bonanza, Destry, Gunsmoke, etc and yet most cowboy names leave me cold. It really was the horses I liked!

Beka_92 Says:

December 8th, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Don’t forget Gil and Pete also from Rawhide

AvalonEmerald20 Says:

March 1st, 2012 at 7:40 pm

How about Ennis and Jack from “Brokeback Mountain?” I love that movie and while it’s not what most people would think of as a “cowboy movie,” it’s a pretty good movie and it involves cowboys.

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