Cowboy Songs and Singers: Of Lifeways and Legend

I first heard of D.J. 0'Halley in 1932 when I was singing Western songs over the radio in New York. He had written to Western Story Magazine (issue of January 23, 1932) complaining about one R.O. Mack whose name appeared as author of a sheet music version of "Nhen the Work's All Done in the Fall" issued in 1929 by the F.B. Haviland Publishing Company. I corresponded with him and in the fall of 1933, because I happened to tie making a trip through the West, arranged to visit him at his home in Lau Claire, Wisconsin, and have a look at his unusual scrapbook.

Shortly thereafter I wrote a brief item about him for the February 1934 issue of Marvin Hunter's "Frontier Times" published_at Bandera, Texas. The facsimile reproduction of "After the Roundup" in the front of this pamphlet accompanied the article. On seeing this, a prominent Southwestern folklore authority wrote me that he took Mr. O'Malley's claims to authorship with a large grain of salt. Thus challenged, I decided to do a more thorough job of research.

I advertised in a Miles City newspaper for old copies of the "Stock Growers' Journal" with cowboy poems. I was fortunate enough to obtain seven containing verses signed by Mr. OMalley. These covered the period from August 3, 1889,L to April 7, 1894. I then wrote this pamphlet and gave most of the copies to Mr. O'Malley, who distributed then to old friends at a Golden Jubilee celebration at Miles Citv in the summer or 1934.

Mr. O'Malley wrote many verses which I did not include because I felt they were not up to the standard of those printed here. He also wrote, in his later years, nmerous historical sketches for Montana newspapers. He was born April 30, 1867 at New York City and died March 6, 1943, at Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

John L. White
310 Canterbury Road
Westfield, New Jersey

December 1965

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