Randy Boone Vietnam War Song

“It’s So Hard To Tell Mama Goodbye” is an early example of a music video (on film) from 1967 featuring Randy Boone on vocals and film. Randy had left The Virginian when this film was shot but the song provides an interesting insight into the concerns of young people in the Vietnam War era. Concerns that had a dramatic effect on the Western genre leading to the anti-hero as a lead character. Traditional Western stars such as John Wayne saw their popularity waver in the late 1960s and the TV Western become less relevant to an increasingly jaded generation. The few key TV Westerns (The Virginian, Bonanza, Gunsmoke) that survived through the 1960s into the 1970s all began their runs in more optimistic times for America and the few TV Westerns that began production during the mid-to late sixties all suffered early cancellation with the exception of The Big Valley and The High Chaparral which both ran to four seasons.


Author: PGreen

Published work in U.S.A. for McFarland & Co. Inc. : A History of Television’s The Virginian 1962-1971 (2006, 2009 Softcover edition) Pete Duel : A Biography (2007, 2009 Large Print edition; Kindle edition) Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns (2009) Jennifer Jones : Life and Films (2011)

17 thoughts on “Randy Boone Vietnam War Song”

  1. Hello, I am seeking some info as to the railroad equipment and/or the name of the railroad that furnished the engine and rolling stock that was used in the series. any info from anyone would be greatly appreciated. Thank you,, Donald Mack, Montello Nv.

  2. All I can tell you Donald is that the train on the Medicine Bow set only went up and down the track and not into open countryside. Another train was used for location shooting near Bishop according to what Frank Price told me for my book.

  3. What is so interesting is that the demise of the western tv show was that it was “too violent”! But look at what has replaced it today on tv…the csi and other shows are much more violent and immoral…I think someone owes the western genre an apology!

    1. Yes I dislike the numerous “autopsy’ shows that trivialize and objectify the dead body. It’s a disturbing trend.

  4. Great, lovely voice both singing and talking. Great shame he left the Viginian so early; should have stayed to the end!

    1. Randy didn’t leave voluntarily Allan. His contract wasn’t renewed after season 4. I agree it would have been good to him continue through to the end of the show to see how his character matured.

  5. Thanks for that PGreen. I have just ordered the book on the programme and I m looking foirward to reasding all the ins and outs. I have always thought that along with Trampes, Lee J Cobb,The Virginian and Steve, Randy was the best thing that happened to the show! I rest my case.

  6. Hope you enjoy my book Allan. It’ll answer many behind-the-scenes questions for you thanks to the contribution of executive producer Frank Price and the cast.

  7. I am looking forward to the book; should come this week. I have also ordered one of the CDs of Randy. Why was his contrcat not renewed? Or shall I wait for the book to tell mer all! I watched The Horse Fighter again last evening too. Allan.

    1. Best to wait for my book Allan. There’s a long interview with Randy where he talks about his career and time on The Virginian. He’s a friendly, humble guy and was a pleasure to interview.

  8. Hello Paul. Your book arrived last week and its great! I have not read it from cover to cover yet, but I intend to. I have read the chapters on Randy and Gary Clarke and dipped into a few more bits. Shame about them both; they could have gone on but now I understand what happened. I wonder why Randy was allowed to keep his own name – I guess they just though it fitted. I have the complete set from a guy in America who does lots of former TV shows and makes a super job, so I have been working my way through them, although I have to say I cannot ever recall seeing on TV here, any of the episopes after Lee J Cobb and company left. After I gave up TV as a lot of rubbish, I did continue to watch The Viginian on Friday evenings! I must admit in going through them now, I keep having a secord and third (!) look at some of my favourites; including the ones with Randy in! I just love his voice! I see the book is a second edition; I must try and get hold of an original. The only one I have found so far, was at a silly price – I thought – should please you though!
    Anyway, many thanks for the book and correspondance.


    PS I assumed you were American!

    1. Thanks Allan. Yes I’m English but now live in Virginia. The first edition is out-of-print. It was a limited hardback edition of 500 copies that sold out. Hence the often silly prices by dealers for back copies. You have lots of interesting reading ahead of you. 🙂

  9. Paul, I have now had time to read your book cover to cover, some parts several times and I have found it fascinating and very informative. Not only about the characters, but also something of how the episodes were made and I guess, how all TV type shows and films were made. As I say, fascinating material. I also find the episode guide useful – congraulations on a very good book. I am now working my way through the later episodes but there are dozerns still to look at although I keep going back to the odd favourite! Incidentally, I got the Randy Boone’s DVDs of his songs via the James Drury web-site and as I got them in two seperate lots, I send a message with the second order and got a very nice personal letter from Randy. As you say, a very nice guy.
    Thanks again for all your help.

    PS. I acquired the complete Cimeron Strip on DVDs so I am working through those too! I don’t think they ever appeared in thios country. However, I prefer Randy’s rig in The Virginian!

    1. Thanks Allan. I recall BBC showing Dale Robertson’s Iron Horse from this period but as you say I don’t recall Cimmaron Strip being shown. One 75-minute Western was enough I guess. Neither shows were a success. I watched episodes on cable TV here in America recently. Sadly Randy’s character was often nothing more than a supporting player.

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