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Unkempt, rough and tough looking members of the gang, or lynch mob, or vigilantes, or posse riders, or cow herders. They had minimal or no dialog, not much screen time, and were generally not listed in the film credits. Some would show up as a face in the crowd, portraying townspeople, barflys, deputies, wagon drivers, ranch hands, etc. We tend to recognize some of their faces, but have no clue as to their real names.



Chuck Baldra (left) and Jack Jones (right) in 1934
Real life buddies who were musicians, singers, henchmen and riders in the B western.

Special thanks to Jack Lawrence Jones, and his son, Scott L. Jones, for sharing information and photos of their father and grandfather, respectively. And another thank you for the photos of Jack Jones' friend and fellow singer and musician Chuck Baldra.

Jack Jones - your old e-mail address is no longer valid. Please contact the Old Corral webmaster.



Courtesy of Jack Jones

Above from L-to-R are Jack Jones, Jack 'Pappy' Kirk and Chuck Baldra and the photo is dated September 29, 1932. Les Adams adds that these three - or any combination of two of them - worked together in at least five dozen oaters.



Jack Jones
Real name: Ferris John Jones
1906 - 1995
appeared in at least 38 westerns and 1 serial before an injury ended his Hollywood career.

Was a member of various singing groups, including the Arizona Wranglers and Range Riders.

1934


Jack Jones was born on March 5, 1906 in Bingham Canyon (City), Utah, and passed away on May 26, 1995 in Glendora, California.

He was a member of various singing groups, including the Arizona Wranglers and Range Riders, and also played henchmen and did stunt/doubling work in late 1920s silents and early 1930s talkies. His movie career ended when he suffered a severe leg injury while driving a wagon at a fast clip in the John Wayne THE DAWN RIDER (Lone Star/Monogram, 1935). The seat collapsed and Jones was tossed off the wagon and his leg was run over by a wheel.

He changed professions after the accident, and worked for the Thomas Sign Company in Los Angeles doing poster work and silk screen printing. During World War II, he worked for Consolidated Vultee Aircraft.

Appears that Jones also did some hero duty in an early sound western or two for Roundup Pictures around 1929, and the leading lady was Karla Cowan. The film titles may have been SADDLE AND SPURS and/or CODE OF THE PLAINS.  A 35mm film clip from one of those films is shown below. Les Adams has Jones identified in a several dozen westerns and counting ... and there are a lot more since Jones did stunting and doubling.

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Jack Jones: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0428280

The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), and the California Death Index have more on Jack Jones and family:

Find A Grave website confirms that Ferris John Jones and wife Katharine are interred at Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier, Los Angeles County, California: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/135533452/ferris-john-jones



(Courtesy of Jack Jones)

Above is a 35mm film clip with Jack Jones on the left.  Les Adams was able to identify the other player as Bob Card. On horseback, it looks like Jack Kirk on the left and perhaps Art Felix (face partially hidden) on the right.



(Courtesy of Jack Jones)

Above are Jack Jones and wife Katharine (nickname of Kitty) in a 1985 photo.


Above - Jack Jones, aka "The Pocatello Kid", when he sang with the Range Riders western musical group circa 1933.

(Courtesy of Jack Jones)


Above is an early 1930s photo of Jack Jones wearin' his 'butterfly boots'. Son Jack recalled that when he was a kid, his dad let him "clomp" around the house in those boots.




1935
Charles 'Chuck' Baldra
Full name: Charles Maurice Baldra
1899-1949
appeared in at least 115 westerns and 5 serials.


Baldra was also a member of various singing groups, including the Arizona Wranglers and Range Riders.


Chuck Baldra was born in Albany, Oregon in 1899. He was a member of various singing groups, including the Arizona Wranglers and Range Riders. He also did henchmen roles and often portrayed one of the cowhands sittin' around a campfire and doing tunes. Baldra was killed in 1949 when his car collided with a passenger train.

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Chuck Baldra: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0049816



(Courtesy of Jack Jones)
Baldra gave the above photo to Jack Jones
and the salutation reads "To a real Pal, From Chuck".

The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), California Death Index, newspapers, and the death certificate provide more on Chuck Baldra. Note the confusion with his birth location - Baldra was born in Albany, Oregon, but his death certificate has New York. And New York was carried over to the California Death Index. There was probably a bit of confusion and ALBANY, Oregon somehow became ALBANY, New York.

  • Ancestry had a digital birth record (not the birth certificate) for: Charles Maurice Baldra, born August 18, 1899 in Albany, Oregon to Thomas E. Baldra and Ollie Debord.
  • 1900 census summary and census takers worksheet - 30 year old Thomas E. Baldra (born Oregon; occupation "Harness maker"), his 36 year old wife Ollie M. (born Oregon), 8 year old son Hugh H. (born Oregon) and 1 year old son Charles M. (born Oregon) reside in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. Son Charles was born August, 1899 and is 9/12 years of age (meaning 9 months old): https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MSDL-RYP
  • 1910 census summary and census takers worksheet - 40 year old Thomas E. Baldra (born Oregon; occupation "Harness maker"), his 45 year old wife Olla [sic] (born Oregon), 17 year old son Hugh H. (born Oregon) and 10 year old son Charles M. (born Oregon) reside in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MLB3-F3R
  • 1930 census summary and census takers worksheet - 30 year old Chas Baldra (born Oregon) is renting at 5956 Hollywood Boulevard and occupation is "Actor - Screen". His partner is 36 year old Julian Lamoth [sic] (born Louisiana) and his occupation is "Author - Screen". There are many people living at 5956 Hollywood Blvd. - appears to be a rooming house or hotel: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XCJB-R3Z
  • 1940 census summary and census takers worksheet - 40 year old Charles Baldra (born Oregon) and 37 year old wife Marian (born Illinois) own their home at 13638 Gain Street in the Los Angeles area. He completed 2 years of high school, occupation is "Actor - Motion Picture Studio", and in 1939, he worked 40 weeks and earned $2290.00, Also living there is 67 year James W. Byrd (born Missouri; listed as "Hired hand"): https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K9HV-MJ6
  • World War II draft registration - 42 year old Charles M. Baldra was born August 18, 1899 in Albany, Oregon. He and wife Marion live at 13638 Gain Street, Pacoima, California. Employer is "Gene Autry" and "Central Casting Corp". He's 6 feet, 2 1/2 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QGF4-7G4F
  • Death certificate: Charles M. Baldra was born August 18, 1899 and they've incorrectly identified New York as his birth location. He was married; occupation was "Actor - Republic Studios"; he was a World War I veteran; parents were Thomas Baldra and Ollie DoBord [sic]. On May 14, 1949, he was involved in a "collision of auto and train". He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and skull fracture and was D.O.A. at the Van Nuys Receiving Hospital. An autopsy was done. He and wife Marion A. Baldra lived at 9747 Arleta Street, Los Angeles, and she was the death certificate informant. Burial at Oakwood Cemetery.
  • California Death Index mirrors the death certificate (including that incorrect birth place of New York) - Charles M. Baldra was born May 14, 1899 in New York, Mother's maiden name of Debord, and he passed away on May 14, 1949 in the Los Angeles area: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VG5P-V4T
  • The May 16, 1949 issue of the Van Nuys (California) News had an article about Baldra's death. Excerpts: "Charles Maurice Baldra, 50 year old ... musician, was killed instantly early Saturday morning when he drove his car into the path of an eastbound Southern Pacific passenger train ..."
  • Headstone application for military veteran - wife Marion requested a bronze marker at Oakwood Cemetery for husband Charles M. Baldra. He was a private in a Medical / Ambulance company, enlisted November 20, 1917, and was discharged on December 9, 1918: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVS1-B2S5

Find A Grave website has a picture of the grave marker for Charles M. Baldra who is interred at Oakwood Memorial Park, Chatsworth, California: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=92276206
The marker shows Baldra as a World War I vet and was a Private in an 8th Division Ambulance Company:
PVT   32 AMB CO   8 DIV   WORLD WAR I




(Courtesy of Jack Jones)

Above from L-to-R are Chuck Baldra, Jack Jones, Reb Russell is in the middle, then Jack Kirk, and on the far right is Yakima Canutt.  Scene from Reb's FIGHTING THROUGH (Willis, Kent, 1934).



(Courtesy of Jack Jones)

From L-to-R are Jack Jones, Jack's wife Katharine 'Kitty' Jones, Dick Botiller, John McGuire and Chuck Baldra in a staged publicity still from a Reb Russell oater, possibly OUTLAW RULE (Willis Kent, 1935). Kitty wasn't the heroine - she subbed for the leading lady who couldn't make the photo shoot. (If this still is related to OUTLAW RULE, the leading lady would be Betty Mack.)



(Courtesy of Jack Jones)

Above - Ken Maynard with his fiddle. And in the background from left to right are Johnny Luther (Arkansas Johnny Luther), Chuck Baldra, Al Haskell (accordian) and Jack Jones with the banjo and wearing his butterfly boots. Publicity still from Maynard's HONOR OF THE RANGE (Universal, 1934).



(Courtesy of Ed Phillips)

From left to right are Charlie/Charley Sargent, Jack Kirk, John Wayne, Cactus Mack McPeters, Chuck Baldra and Glenn Strange in a scene from Wayne's WESTWARD HO (Republic, 1935). On the far right is the non-singing Tex Palmer. In the film's opening titles, Glenn Strange is credited and "the Singing Riders" is listed under Strange's name. These "guys in black shirts" did double duty as singers as well as members of the "Singing Riders" who rode white horses and assisted Wayne. Below are crops/blowups showing the faces in more detail.

Below: Charlie/Charley Sargent, Jack Kirk, John Wayne, Cactus Mack McPeters.

Above: Chuck Baldra, Glenn Strange, and the non-singing Tex Palmer.


You'll find more about Jack Jones, Chuck Baldra, the Arizona Wranglers and the Range Riders in the Singers-Musicians-Groups section on the Old Corral.  And there's a page on Jack Jones' stuntwork in The Stuntmen and Women section.



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