From the beginning, a popular feature of our John Wayne Birthday Celebration benefit dinners has been the action-packed auctions of John Wayne collectibles and memorabilia. We never know what might turn up but past auctions have included autographed photos, vintage movie posters, John Wayne bourbon and brandy, original artworks, commemorative firearms and screen-worn movie wardrobe. Returning this year as celebrity auction host will be Duke’s daughter Aissa Wayne who will join champion auctioneers Jon & Chuck Garrison in what always promises to be an exciting event. Sure to generate lively bidding is an original 16″ x 20″ oil painting of our hero in his prime by Artist of the Legends, Jerry Harris. www.theartistoflegends.com. See the “Click to Purchase Tickets” link on our 2017 Birthday Celebration page, or call toll free (877) 462-1044.
When Winterset’s venerable Iowa Theater closed without notice in May of 2015 it seemed the end of an era. For nearly a century the vintage movie house had offered the finest in Hollywood entertainment including John Wayne’s most classic films. Thanks to preservationists Marianne and Rebecca Fons, the theater will return to life in time for the 10th Anniversary John Wayne Birthday Celebration (May 26 & 27) when it will present Stagecoach, Fort Apache and El Dorado on the big screen where John Wayne belongs. Discussing the films will be Joseph Malham, author of John Ford: Poet in the Desert. Tickets can now be ordered online at https://www.the-iowa.com/john-wayne-weekend/.
The 10th Anniversary John Wayne Birthday Celebration proudly welcomes back the world-renowned Wells Fargo Stagecoach. This crowd pleaser will be a featured attraction of the all-horse parade which will wind through the streets of historic Winterset, Iowa on Saturday, May 27th. Nothing symbolizes the Old West better than the overland stage, especially since John Wayne rode to movie stardom in the 1939 film classic Stagecoach. The parade will also include riders and rolling stock from throughout the Midwest and interested participants may contact Frank Santana for details (520) 241-6442.
Actor/singer Johnny Crawford has been a welcome guest in millions of American homes ever since 1955 when he was featured as one of Walt Disney’s original Mouseketeers. Best known as young Mark McCain, Chuck Connors’ son in the hit series The Rifleman, Crawford appeared regularly in such television classics as The Lone Ranger, Wagon Train, Zane Grey Theater, The Donna Reed Show, Hawaii Five-O and Murder She Wrote. And, of course, he had the honor of being shot dead by John Wayne in Howard Hawks’ El Dorado (1967).
Mr. Crawford has also enjoyed a successful musical career, first as a Billboard Top-40 teen pop star and, since 1992, as the leader of the Johnny Crawford Dance Orchestra featuring classic American music from the 1920s and 1930s by such hit makers as Duke Ellington, Cole Porter and Cab Calloway.
We could not be more pleased to announce that Mr. Crawford will be our guest of honor at our 10th Anniversary John Wayne Birthday Celebration where he’ll perform at our benefit dinner on May 27th and share Hollywood stories and sign autographs at events to be announced.
Welcome, Johnny, Crawford!