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From the Land of Band Box Records

Captain of the Colorado Rangers

September 26, 2019
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Ozie Waters The Singing Cowboy on Screen, Radio and Vinyl

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Watched the final installment of the Ken Burns “Country Music” series on PBS last night.  Loved every minute of the series.  It has prompted me to dig in a little deeper with my country posts and material.  While going through my copy of Joel Whitburn’s “Hot Country Songs” along with Tony Russell’s “Country Music Originals”, I was led first to Eddie Kirk – who I learned resided up near Greeley , Colorado (more about him soon).

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And I revisited Ozie Waters – learning much more about the singing cowboy who loved his Colorado home:

The Journey begins

Ozie journeyed from Hawaii to Kansas City to Texas before landing in Denver, Colorado where he appeared on the “Ford Motor Co. Show” – With Harvey Gossman on fiddle and Gill Blagg on bass – Embert Michner lead guitar

Ozie was born in 1903 in Calloway, MO.  He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and first performed on the radio in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Next, after his military stint, he migrated to Kansas city appearing for six years on the “Happy Hollow Show” performing as “Ozie the Ozark Rambler.  Next top was in Del Rio, Texas for a short time before moving to Denver, Colorado taking a job on KOA radio starring in a program called the Ford Ranger Review.  He was christened by Colorado Governor Edwin Johnson as “Captain of the Colorado Rangers” – a title he would continue forward with.

Ozie departed KOA for California and the call of Hollywood. He signed on with the “Hollywood Barn Dance” and also a recording contract with Coast Records.

Waters in The Movies

Waters (right) in Landrush – 1946

While in Hollywood, Waters would appear in 16 motion pictures including “The Durango Kid” series as well as appearing in a movie with Hopalong Cassidy titled “Mystery Man” from 1944.

Durango Kid Series

Other motion pictures included “Lumberjack” (1944), ” Prairie Raiders” (1947), and Phantom Valley” (1948).

 

During this same time, Waters took to the road touring with his recording band “The Colorado Rangers”.  At the end of WW II, Waters decided to return to Denver – in part to help with his wife allergies.  Before long it was time to hit the road again and he headed for Nashville, Tennessee where he would appear on WSM TV (WSM had long hosted the Grand Ole Opry which debuted in 1925).  Waters made a stop in Springfield, Missouri appearing on the “Ozark Jubilee” and then to Chicago, Illinois working on radio station WLS while also appearing on the very popular  “National Barn Dance”

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Waters, according to his daughter Melody, always thought of Denver as his true home and so he returned to work on KBTV acting as a host – singing and showing westerns.  His “Junior Ranger Club” in Denver had 40,000 youthful members.  Most of them showed up at Elitch Gardens when Hopalong Cassidy visited Denver and made an appearance on Water’s TV show in 1954,

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Cassidy at Elitch Gardens with the Junior Rangers

Waters attempted to create a tourist attraction which he located not far from Central City which was named “Fort Cody” which featured Sioux Indians.  The endeavor was too costly and folded after one year.  Waters began appearing in Central City (see the long play albums below).  He was actually elected as Central City’s town Marshall – serving for two years.  He became known as “The Singing Marshall of Central City”.  He found law enforcement wasn’t to his liking so he returned to singing.

His bands included his Coast Records group the “Colorado Hillbillies” (first appearing on “Rodeo” records which would become “Coast”.  The original Colorado Hillbillies included Walt Shrum (bass), Rusty Cline (guitar), Jeannie Akers (vocals), Don Weston (steel guitar) and Pappy Hoag (fiddle).

His next band was The Plainsmen who backed other Coast artists as well as Waters.

Waters performed long after his recording days – in Colorado – and passed away in 1979.

Ozie Waters 78 Discography

78 – Rodeo 2002 – Tie A Saddle String Around Your Troubles/Dry Your Eyes/Tie  (B Side Walt Shrum) – November, 1944

78 – Rodeo 2003 – Don’t Sweetheart Me/There’s A Tear In Your Eye – November, 1944

78 – Coast 2002 – Tie A Saddle String Around Your Troubles/Dry Your Eyes (B Side Walt Shrum) – 1945

78 – Coast 2003 – Don’t Sweetheart Me/There’s A Tear In Your Eye (B side Walt Shrum) – June, 1945

78 – Coast 2004 – I Lost You/I’ll Be Around Somewhere (B side Walt Shrum) – June, 1945

78 – Coast 2007 – At Mail Call Today b/w Don’t Fool Around Me Any More (B Side Walt Shrum) – September, 1945

WATERS OZIE 78 MAIL CALL A WATERS OZIE 78 MAIL CALL B

78 – Coast 2009 – Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima b/w There’s A New Star In Heaven Tonight – September, 1945

78 – Coast 2012 – Cool Water/At Least a Million Years – September, 1945

78 – Coast 2020 – Lazy Day b/w Broomstick Buckaroo – May, 1946

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78 – Coast 221 – Told You So/Someday – May, 1946

78 – Coast 221 – Told You So/Someday – May, 1946

78 – Coast 228 – That’s My Name/No One To Cry To – August, 1946

78 – Coast 237 – Once In A Blue Moon/That’s The Last Straw – August, 1946

78 – Coast 249 – I Can’t Get Out Of Texas In My Dreams/It’s Indian Summer – November, 1946

78 – ABC Eagle 120 – Utah Trail/Home On The Range – 1949

78 – Topps 1013 – Jack-O-Diamonds/along the Navajo Trail – 1950

78 – Coral 64047 – Father Time Is Knocking at My Door/Iron Horse

78 – Coral 64050 – Give Me Wings to Fly/Old Man Atom (A Talking Atomic Blues)

78 – Coral 64060 – If Memories Were Made Of Money/If We Had It To Do All Over Again

78 – Coral 64067 – My Dearest, My Darling/Silver Drew On the Blue Grass Tonight – December, 1950

78 – Coral 64069 – It Is No Secret/The Place Where I Worship (with the Kentones) – December, 1950

78 – Coral 64083 – Don’t Even Change A Picture On the Wall/The Attitude Of Doin’ Right – February, 1951

78 – Coral 64091 – My Angel/That Old Gang of Mine – April, 1951

78 – Columbia HSF 5/7 – Blanket Me With Western Skies of Blue/Too Many Parties

78 – Capitol Rodeo Series 208 – Don’t Sweetheart Me

Ozie Waters 45 Discography

45 – Coral 60483 – Ace In the Hole/Just A Girl That Men Forget

45 – Columbine (Greeley Colorado Label) – “Old Man Atom” b/w “Iron Horse”

45 – Tops – Jack-O-Diamonds/Along the Navajo Trail – 1950

Ozie Waters Long Play Discography

LP – Columbine – Central City Favorites – Collector’s Album Number 1

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LP – Columbine – Central City Favorites – Collector’s Album Number 2

WATERS OZIE - COLUMBINE 2 (1) WATERS OZIE - COLUMBINE 2 (2)

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LP – Germany – Castle 8109 – Ozie Waters Wings Great Western Songs from the 1940’s

CD – BACM British Archive of Country Music (UK) – 2010