Joe Tex

The singer by this name was born on August 8, 1935 (some sources give the year to be 1933) as Joseph Arrington, Jr. in Rogers, Bell County, Texas and went to school in McNair, just outside Baytown. His parents were Joseph Arrington and Cherrie Warren Arrington. He was a high school athlete and played in the band. As a youth, he won a talent contest and was invited to perform in New York City’s Apollo Theater. Early on, he adopted the stage name of Joe Tex.

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Movie Cowboys’ Texas Ties: Some are True, Some are False

Film studios were known for occasionally exaggerating the resumes of their stars back in the early days. One example was the film resume of singing cowboy actor Ken Maynard. His biography said he was born in Mission, Texas when in reality he was born in Vevay, Indiana. It could have either been an inadvertent miscommunication or an intentional statement to give him more of a “Texas” connection, but Maynard (1895-1973) had a long film career, appearing as a western actor in about 90 productions. One biographical paragraph says that Maynard learned to ride horses and rope in Texas when he was a boy, but it is not clear whether the family lived within the state, or if they did, for how long. Maynard is believed to have worked with circus or wild west shows before becoming and served in the Army in World War I. The rest of his resume may well have been factual.

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Anne Gwynne

The actress known as Anne Gwynne was born Marguerite Gwynne Trice in Waco, McLennan County, Texas on December 18, 1918. Her parents were Jefferson Benjamin Trice and Pearle Guinn Trice. Her father was in a number of businesses, but seems to have worked as a traveling salesman from time to time. They lived at 1308 N. 15th Street in Waco, just outside of the downtown business district.

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Ramiro Gonzalez Gonzalez

Ramiro Gonzalez Gonzalez was an actor in films for many years. He usually played comedic and dramatic roles of a certain type and would be considered a character actor. His name was Gonzalez Gonzalez because both his parents had the same surname. He also was a comedian and made personal appearances as such.

Gonzalez Gonzalez was born in Aguilares in far South Texas in 1925 to a family of entertainers, including his Spanish mother, a dancer, and his Mexican American father, a trumpet player. He left school at age 7 to perform with his family in a traveling group and was involved in some aspect of entertainment for almost his entire life. He is said to have gotten his break in films after appearing in 1953 on a segment of Groucho Marx’s television quiz show “You Bet Your Life.” Gonzalez Gonzalez’s witty and quick responses caught the eye of actor John Wayne, who then signed him to a seven year contract leading to Gonzalez Gonzalez’s appearance in many movies including “The High and the Mighty,” “Rio Bravo,” “McLintock!,” “Hellfighters” and “Chisum.”

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James Brown, Actor

James E. Brown was born in Desdemona, Texas to Floyd Estle Brown and Cordie Mae Bowen Brown on March 22, 1920. In 1920, the Brown family was living in Desdemona during Eastland County’s early oil boom. They had previously lived in Waco but had followed the oil business to Eastland County for a short time before returning to Waco when James was just three months old. James was the second of four siblings and though he was the only sibling not to be born there, he considered Waco to be his home town. He graduated from Waco High School in 1936 where he helped the school tennis team win a championship that year. Brown attended Schreiner Institute in Kerrville for one year before enrolling at Baylor University on a tennis scholarship. Along the way, he played football briefly until injuries (broken eardrum and cracked kneecap) led him to concentrate on tennis. Brown’s family remained in Waco and for a number of years lived in Brook Oaks and North Waco, in the general vicinity of Cameron Park. At the time of his father F. E. Brown’s death, the elder Brown was said to have lived in Waco for fifty years. He and Cordie Mae had divorced at one point, but they are both buried at Oakwood Cemetery.

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