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All About Cowboys for Kids brings today's West and its history to kids—and grownups will find themselves drawn in as well. Shot on location in Wyoming, the engaging, educational videos (and DVDs) are narrated by young Jeff McComas with help from local cowboys, ranchers, rodeo participants, trick riders, and others. The beautifully filmed videos include visits to the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo, Big Creek Ranch, and Wyoming Territorial Park. Bethany Zill's performances of classic and original Western songs tie it all together for a completely enjoyable experience for the whole family. 

All About Cowboys for Kids has received the coveted Parents' Choice Award and a 3.5 star rating (of 4) from Video Librarian Magazine.

There is also a CD available with the videos' original songs and Cowboy classics.

We have an additional review of the videos/DVDs here.

 

The Video and DVDs

The Music CD

About Bethany Zill
Where Roots Run Deep

Order Information and More

 

 

View the latest information at the 
All About Cowboys for Kids
web site.

 


The Videos

 

  All About Cowboys for Kids Part 1

Young Jeff McComas narrates these fun and interesting videos (and DVDs). In Part 1, viewers visit a rodeo, learn how to tame a wild horse, see a trick roper and trick riders, get to know a 7-year-old cowboy and his pony, and take a ride on the Union Pacific railroad.  

Bethany Zill starts things off right with her song, "All About Cowboys" (and she adds it will be "about cowgirls, too").  Wyoming vistas and ranch and rodeo scenes full of action keep the viewers' interest throughout.

Among the interesting segments:

  • Cowboy "Rattlesnake Jake" talks about how cows got to America, how cowboys came to be, and how they came to be called cowboys.  He later demonstrates the bullwhip, talks about how cowboys used it, and does a trick demonstration that is full of humor and some suspense.

  • Various rodeo events are pictured and described, including calf roping, bronc riding, and bull riding -- all on-the-scene at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo.  A bull rider explains his event and the expression "Cowboy up." Rodeo history and the importance of keeping the tradition alive is woven into the segment.

  • A horse trainer at the 84,000 acre Big Creek Ranch in Encampment, Wyoming, shows his modern techniques in an absorbing section that begins with some background history about wild horses and bronco busters.  

  • A visit to Wyoming Territorial park is the setting for a piece about stagecoaches, Percheron draft horses, old wagons, history, and trivia. Bethany Zill's rendition of the 1850's song, "Wait for the Wagon" is the perfect accompaniment.

  • A segment on railroads covers their importance to the West.

  • Seven year old Bridger Rardon steals the show as he helps on the family ranch, rounding up sheep with his pony Mable, doing chores, and taking care of his pony.  Branding time at the Rardon's ranch shows kids involved in work and fun.

  • Girls get their due, with words about how they once had to ride side saddle, but today barrel
    race, ride in rodeos, and ride in roundups.  It's pointed out that Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote, that Montana was the first state to send a woman to congress, and that the first Supreme Court Justice came from Arizona.  Bethany Zill's fun song about cowgirls with some fancy yodels finishes this segment.

  • A piece on trick riders traces their skills back to Romans and Cossacks, and the male and female experts talk about what they do. As Jeff McComas says, it "takes lots of practice, courage, and a good relationship with your horse. It also helps if you are little nuts."

  • There are roping lessons, and back at Big Creek Ranch during branding, the cowboys set aside some calves for kids to learn heel and head catches.  Trick roper Max Reynolds demonstrates his fancy techniques.

See below for order information.

  All About Cowboys for Kids Part 2

Co-producer Tom McComas says "We shot so much great footage and came up with so many good stories that we couldn't fit them all into one video." So Part 2 continues the tone and format of the first video, continuing to tell the story of real cowboys, with a look at life on Wyoming's Big Creek Ranch, a cattle drive, and more rodeo action. Two youngsters learn to ride to ride a horse, there are fun demonstrations by a fast-draw expert, and more well presented classic and original songs by Bethany Zill.

Among the interesting segments:

  • A visit to Big Creek Ranch shows "what real cowboys do," as opposed to what is seen in the movies. Viewers get a feel for a typical day in the lives of some real cowboys during fall roundup, and learn about fencing, shoeing, haying, and other chores. One of the cowboys talks about how kids who aren't raised on a ranch can get involved with ranches and cattle, and others talk about their work and their life.  

  • Cattle drives from the "golden age" of cowboys (1866-86) are discussed with interesting historical detail, contrasted with the way cattle are moved today.  More great footage and some photos of the early days add to the story. The point is made that the work is the same, as are the qualifications for cowboys, which are to be "courageous, self reliant, and tough."

  • Fast draw expert Bryan "Bad Billy Blackjack," a Marshall at the Territorial Prison demonstrates the art of the fast draw and some fancy target shooting.

  • There's more rodeo history and a return to Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. There is exciting footage of  steer wrestling (bulldogging), bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, barrel racing and bull riding.  Competitors talk about their events with an enthusiasm that puts the viewer in the middle of the action.

  • "Rattlesnake Jake" talks about the what cowboys wear, and how designs came to be, for boots, spurs, chaps, vests slickers, hats, and more.

  • Two "greenhorn" kids go horseback riding for the first time and learn not only how to ride, but also how to act around horses and how to work with and care for them.

  • The Big Creek Ranch Manager tells about American Quarterhorses and their value to the working cowboy.  He shows how they are trained to work cattle, and as in other segments, gives some interesting history and background.  

  • In a fitting final segment, people share their ideas about cowboys' code of ethics and what "The Cowboy Way" means to them.  Cowboys, the Ranch Manager, the Head Wrangler (who happens to be a woman) and others comment.  One cowboy points out that he can involve his kids in his work, "and you can't do that in a lot of other jobs."  The Ranch Manager observes that "everybody would like to be a bit of a cowboy," and singer Bethany Zill beautifully sums it all up in her closing song, "Where the Cowboy Calls His Home."

See below for order information.

 

The Music CD

The soundtrack from the All About Cowboys for Kids videos is available on CD. Bethany Zill sings classic and original Western songs, including:

All About Cowboys
I Wanna Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart
Where The Cowboy Calls His Home
She'll Be Comin' Around The Mountain
Get Along, Little Dogies
Back In The Saddle, Again
My Grandpa Is A Cowboy
Wait For The Wagon
Cowgirls
Wahoo!
Red River Valley
Let's Go For A Ride
Old Chisholm Trail
Home On The Range

 


Order Information and More

The All About Cowboys for Kids videos were co-produced by Bethany Zill and Tom McComas, and are distributed by TM Books & Video and Wyoming West Designs. TM Books & Video has been producing books and videos about Lionel trains since 1974.

The All About Cowboys for Kids 45-minute videos are $12.95 each, plus postage.  DVDs are $14.95 each, plus posted. You can view a preview at the All About Cowboys for Kids web site.

 

 

The All About Cowboys for Kids music CD is $12.95, plus postage.  You can preview the music CD at the All About Cowboys for Kids web site.

 

To order, visit the All About Cowboys for Kids web site

or call

800-892-2822

 


 

About Bethany Zill

Bethany Zill grew up on a North Dakota ranch and wheat farm, and her love of that life is reflected in her singing and songwriting.  When asked what inspires her, she says "Everyday musicians, not any famous singer.  Like the mother who sings sweet lullabies to her children or my grandpa, who at 92 still plays his fiddle...they have a heart for the music, not for fame and fortune.

She co-produced All About Cowboys for Kids, inspired by her young sons. She says "When I couldn't find find an appropriate video on the shelves, I decided to go for it and make one myself...I wanted the video to capture the spirit of the West and show what life is like out here."

Visit Bethany Zill's web site.

 

In 2004, Bethany Zill told us she was working on a new recording.  She told us that it ".. will feature mostly original songs along with a few old-time.  The kind of music I'm focusing on with this project is not just the sounds of cowboy music, not just blue-grass, not just old-time but rather a unique sound that combines them all focused on subjects like the prairie, farm/ranch live, roots, history and all that encompasses the good life.  This is music that is happy and uplifting--fun, too.  I'm very excited. "  

Bethany shared the lyrics to one of the original songs that will be a part of the recording.  She introduces it by saying "My great grandpa, Samuel Burtman, homesteaded near Wildrose, North Dakota, in the Spring of 1906. Today, my brother and his family live on that land and in the house Great grandpa built."


Where Roots Run Deep

Way up North, a home came forth
A hundred years ago
Great Grandpa homesteaded some land
Little did he know
The house he built with his own two hands
And the farm that's it's become
Would be the home of five generations
And where I come from

WHERE I COME FROM, THE PAST ISN'T DONE. BREAD IS STILL BAKED FRESH AND THE
COFFEE'S ALWAYS ON.  GRANDPA WORKED THE SAME SOIL THAT GREAT GRANDPA DID.
WHERE ROOTS RUN DEEP, THE LAND WILL KEEP MY HEART FOREVERMORE.

In the spring, the meadowlarks sing
And the crocuses bloom
Cattle are moved to the big pasture
Where they'll have more room
It's been this way for a hundred years
And I hope a million more
I'm proud to say I grew up this way
It's where I'm longin' for

WHERE I COME FROM, THE PAST ISN'T DONE. BREAD IS STILL BAKED FRESH AND THE
COFFEE'S ALWAYS ON.  DADDY WORKS THE SAME SOIL THAT GREAT GRANDPA DID. WHERE
ROOTS RUN DEEP, THE LAND WILL KEEP MY HEART FOREVERMORE.


INSTRUMENTAL

In that house, that old farmhouse
There are little ones growin' up
They will come to love that land
And the wheat that rises up
The memories of our family
And the way of life there
Are being passed down to them
They, too, can say where.

WHERE I COME FROM, THE PAST ISN'T DONE. BREAD IS STILL BAKED FRESH AND THE
COFFEE'S ALWAYS ON.  DADDY WORKS THE SAME SOIL THAT GREAT GRANDPA DID. WHERE
ROOTS RUN DEEP, THE LAND WILL KEEP MY HEART FOREVERMORE

© 2004, Bethany Zill, All Rights Reserved
This song may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Bethany's recording, Where Roots Run Deep, was released in 2006.  From the official media release:

AMERICANA SINGER/SONGWRITER DEBUTS NEW ALBUM

LARAMIE, WY - Wyoming-based singer/songwriter Bethany Zill debuted her new album, Where Roots Run Deep, this summer. The album carries themes of community, the values of a farm/ranch heritage and the importance of preserving the native prairie.

"I was inspired by my own childhood growing up on a five-generation farm/ranch in North Dakota," says Zill. "Through my music, I want to remind people of the good things in life, much of which is rooted in our past."

Zill wrote five of the 12 songs featured on the album including one cut that features her gift for yodeling. She has recorded with top names in country and bluegrass music, including multi-Grammy award winners Stuart Duncan and Gene Libbea.

"When people ask what kind of music I write and perform, I call it 'Americana,'" explains Zill. "Every project I choose to work on is steeped in good old-fashioned American values and history."

In 2004, Zill wrote, co-produced and starred in a 2-part video series entitled All About Cowboys For Kids. Zill received a Parents' Choice Award for each DVD as well as a third for the companion music CD featuring several of her original songs.

Zill's latest projects include co-producing a new children/family film, licensed by Boeing, called All About Airplanes and Flying Machines, released in November of 2006 and a songwriting project for the farm equipment company John Deere.

Includes:

Home on the Prairie
Home
Back Porch Point of View
Barndance Boogie
Blues
Where the Cowboy Calls His Home
Yodel Blues
Where Roots Run Deep
Fire Up That Old John Deere {From All About John Deere}
Our Town
Keep on the Sunny Side
Fields of Gold

 

available for $17 postpaid from:

Bethany Zill
1062 Banock Drive
Laramie, WY 82072

Visit Bethany Zill's web site: www.BethanyZill.com  for audio samples and more.

 

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