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Doc Tommy Scott and his Wild West Show

Right - Tommy Scott and Colonel Tim McCoy.

(Courtesy of Donn & Nancy Moyer and Tommy Scott)

In some of my Old Corral ramblings, there has been mention of cowboy film stars owning and/or performing with circuses and travelin' shows.  "Big Guns" like Tom Mix, Ken Maynard and Tim McCoy owned circuses and had mixed success with those ventures.  And lesser cowboy stars, such as Reb Russell, Tom Tyler and Lee 'Lone Ranger' Powell hired on with established circuses.  Others, such as Bob Steele, Duncan Renaldo, Tim Holt and Max Terhune, did personal appearances and shows at local fairs, local movie houses, et al.  The reason for doing this work was simple - they needed to supplement their income and provide a more consistent paycheck (as the salaries that some of these performers received for doing six or eight B-westerns per year was often meager).

One of the more famous of these "traveling shows" was owned by "Doc" Tommy Scott.

Why should Tommy Scott's show be highlighted in the Old Corral?  For about a 20 year period beginning in the 1950s, Scott and his traveling show was home to several B western performers: Tim McCoy, Johnny Mack Brown, Sunset Carson, and Al "Fuzzy" St. John.  In addition, the Scott show represents an interesting slice of entertainment history.  Lastly, the B western film had faded away by the mid 1950s, but Scott, via his show, would highlight the ol' western movie performers for another 20 years, thus extending our memories of these actors and their heroic adventures on the silver screen.

People still remember how important the Tommy Scott show was in their life ... and in their memories.

Got an e-mail from cowboy fan Bill Weathersby in mid-April 1999, and he said:

"What a deserving tribute!  The Tommy Scott show was in Albany, Georgia in 1973 ... one of the greatest moments in my life was meeting the legendary Col. Tim McCoy ... I still have the autographed program ... this show was really about the only way most fans had to see or meet one of their heroes."

Western movie author/expert Boyd Magers also recalls Tim McCoy and the Tommy Scott show.  Boyd writes:

"I had the good fortune to meet Tim McCoy in 1970 when he was touring with Tommy Scott as they came through Columbus, GA, where I was in radio at WDAK at the time.  As I was program director there, I invited McCoy to come to the station for an interview, which he did.  He was quite gentlemanly, still retaining all of his military bearing.  We traversed his whole career, quickly, and talked about touring with Scott.  He toured with Scott in order to be able to visit all the Civil War sites across the South.  Touring with Scott enabled him to visit these sites free.  McCoy was a great Civil War buff.  He drove everywhere ... to the battleground sites in the daytime and performed on Scott's show at night.  The next day McCoy appeared on a local morning TV talkshow on WRBL.  My son Alan, who was 6 at the time, came on the show with a couple of Dad's one-sheet McCoy movie posters.  Tim got a great kick out of that (as did my son).  McCoy's stage show, incorporated into Scott's performance, consisted of a few ancedotes and a whip act with one of Scott's lady performers.  Even in his 80's, McCoy was more than handy with the whip.  Odd that he never used one in a film."

Got an e-mail from David Brooks in May, 2000, and he writes:

"I never saw the Doc Tommy Scott show. But my wife and I were camping just the other day in Paris Mountain, South Carolina. And he and his wife, Mrs. Frankie Scott, stayed in the campsite next to ours. We had the privilege of talking to them for a couple of hours. We really had a great time. He told us all about the old days and Tim McCoy. He even gave us an autographed picture, a tape and a bottle of Snake Oil. He is truly one of a kind and I hope our trails will cross again sometime."

One interesting tidbit that I did learn in the Tommy Scott communications - I was aware that cowboy sidekick and comic Al "Fuzzy" St. John passed away from a heart attack on January 21, 1963 while on a personal appearance tour.  However, I was not aware that ol' Fuzz was working with the Scott show at the time of his death.  St. John worked for about 5 years with the Scott Wild West Show, and his passing occurred during a stop in Lyons, Georgia (not the oft reported Vidalia, Georgia).

Following are some pictures and playbills, courtesy of Minard Coons, Donn and Nancy Moyer ... and Tommy Scott.

'Doc' Tommy Scott Tommy Scott passed away on September 30, 2013 at age 96. There was a memorial by his friend Randall Franks, but was no longer working when I checked in December, 2020:

There is an official website for "Doc" Tommy Scott. But it hasn't been updated since about 2006 and does not include info on his death in 2013:

Ramblin' 'Doc' Tommy and Frankie Scott collection is at the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries:
Poster collection is available at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library, Southern Folklife Collection:

Find A Grave notes that Scott and his wife Frankie are interred at Stephens Memorial Gardens,Toccoa, Stephens County, Georgia:

(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above - after several years with the Carson Barnes Circus in the 1950s, Colonel Tim McCoy spent about a dozen years as the featured performer with the Tommy Scott show.

(Courtesy of Donn & Nancy Moyer and Tommy Scott)

Above - the last B western hero to work on the Tommy Scott show was Sunset Carson, who at that time was being billed as Sunset "Kit" Carson.  Tommy Scott is pictured on the right, and recalled that Carson worked on the show for about three years.

(Courtesy of Donn & Nancy Moyer and Tommy Scott)

Above - Colonel Tim McCoy toured with the Scott show from the 1950s through early 1970s, and was with Scott for about a dozen years.  The above publicity still shows a young McCoy and the reference in the lower right corner notes that Scott was also McCoy's "agent" during this period:

(Note: don't write to the above address as it's no longer valid)

(Courtesy of Donn & Nancy Moyer and Tommy Scott)

Above is the entire cast of the Scott show which features Johnny Mack Brown (shown center). Scott is wearing the cowboy hat and fringed shirt and is 4th from the left. Tommy Scott recalls that Brown was with the show for about six months.

(Courtesy of Donn & Nancy Moyer)

Col. Tim McCoy in his later years ... still has that stern look when leveling the ol' six gun.

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