Johnny Crawford to Headline 10th Anniversary John Wayne Birthday Celebration

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!

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John Wayne Birthplace & Museum Wins Outstanding Attraction at 2016 Iowa Tourism Conference

Congratulations to the John Wayne Birthplace & Museum on the tourism award they brought home last week. The Iowa Tourism Office and the Travel Federation of Iowa presented 27 awards recognizing excellence in the tourism industry at a ceremony in Davenport during the 2016 Iowa Tourism Conference, and the John Wayne Birthplace & Museum won “Outstanding Attraction.”

Brian Downes accepted the award on behalf of the John Wayne Birthplace & Museum. Photo by Teddi Yaeger, Madison County Tourism Director.

Click to see a full list of 2016 Iowa Tourism Award recipients.

“The Duke of Iowa” by Life to the Max TV

WCCO-TV, Channel 4, Saturdays at 11:05 PM

After the 1995 release of the movie, “The Bridges of Madison County,” Winterset, IA, achieved international notoriety as the home of the covered Bridges of Madison County. Winterset is also the birthplace of Marion [Robert] Morrison–better known as John Wayne, “The Duke!” Guest host Greg Thunder hits the road to show us Wayne’s birthplace home and a museum of this international film and television icon. Thunder visits museum Director Brian Downes, former writer for the Chicago Tribune, who once interviewed “The Duke” in 1977.