News and Events
April 11, 2023
Our website store is temporarily offline. We appreciate all your support, and your orders, and we hope to have the store back soon!
February 26, 2023
Thank you to Tom Burke for sending us this clipping from the Ft Worth weekly wrestling program from November, 1961. It’s always fun to read about Johnny’s rodeo days!
February 2, 2023
Johnny used to enjoy meeting fans at the various western festivals and nostalgia shows around the US. A new one is starting up this year in March, called TV WestFest. It’s being held in Tucson, Arizona, and all the details can be found on their website. Be sure to check it out and attend if you can!
January 26, 2023
We have new stories about Johnny on our Stories page, with more coming soon. Be sure to check them out!
September 12, 2022
We recently changed hosting services, and this has led to some formatting issues on our Store pages. We’re working to fix them. If you have any difficulties ordering merchandise, we’re here to help. Just email us at JohnnyCrawfordMusic@gmail.com
August 6, 2022
The online version of the Johnny Crawford Remembrance at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum is now available to view. All the materials are linked on their festival page. This includes the restored short film The Resurrection of Broncho Billy (1970) and an interview with Johnny’s siblings, Bobby and Nance Crawford. Enjoy!
July 9, 2022
The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum’s
Johnny Crawford Tribute and Remembrance Event
In person event: Saturday, July 30, 2022
Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum has announced both an in person and online celebration of Johnny Crawford! A variety of unique experiences include seeing Johnny on the big screen at the Edison Theater, a historic former nickelodeon located in Fremont, CA. The event—part of the Museum’s Broncho Billy & Friends Silent Film Festival—encompasses Johnny’s film, television and music careers. There’s also a special new video interview with Johnny’s siblings, Bobby and Nance Crawford, which includes many never-before-heard tales.
A highlight of the festival features a rare screening of Johnny’s starring role in the Oscar winning short film, The Resurrection of Broncho Billy (1970), in which he also had a strong creative hand. The exclusive festival print was recently digitized from the original 35mm so audiences will see Broncho Billy the same way it looked to moviegoers at time of release. The 35mm print is courtesy of producer John Longenecker.
So, if you missed The Resurrection of Broncho Billy in cinemas during the early 1970s—or want to relive the experience of seeing Johnny in his highly acclaimed role on the big screen—the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum’s event is your chance! While Johnny portrayed silent star William S. Hart in his last film, Bill Tilghman and the Outlaws (2019), his earlier The Resurrection of Broncho Billy is also considered silent film related—inspired by Broncho Billy Anderson, first cowboy western star in the 1910s.
Background: The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum is well-known internationally for their dedication and preservation of silent films. From 1912-1916, a studio was built in Niles for the western division of the Chicago-based Essanay Studios and was a hub of silent film activity during the 1910s. Both Broncho Billy and Charlie Chaplin made some of their most famous shorts in Niles (now Fremont). The Edison Theater, built as a nickelodeon theater in 1913, is the home of the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, where they celebrate the history of the studio, the theater and the place where REEL history was made. Additional offerings at Niles Essanay’s 2022 Broncho Billy & Friends Silent Film Festival July 30 and July 31 include Buster Keaton, Diana Serra Cary/Baby Peggy, western shorts and more.
Fans may be aware that Johnny had a lifelong love of the silent film genre, and he would undoubtedly much enjoy this celebration of his career. Everyone is invited to watch a collection of Johnny’s performances and special extras with Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, whether in person or online, at the Edison Theatre. So mark your calendars now!
In person at the Edison Theater, Fremont – Saturday, July 30th at 12:45 pm
An online edition of this special tribute to Johnny, for those who are unable to attend in person, will also be made available beginning Saturday, August 6th at 12 am.
Information about the event is available here: https://nilesfilmmuseum.org/?tv=4997833899900928
July 4, 2022
The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Valley Relics Museum was a success, and we’ve added a page of photographs in our Photo Gallery section: https://johnnycrawfordlegacy.com/the-johnny-crawford-collection/
June 13, 2022
For those in the Los Angeles area, mark your calendars! June 25th is the long-awaited Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Valley Relics Museum’s new Johnny Crawford Collection.
January 14, 2022
Johnny appeared at the 11:31 mark in the CBS Sunday Morning Hail and Farewell for 2021.
UPDATE: Unfortunately the video on YouTube is no longer available.
January 5, 2022
Tracey Bacus is stepping down as administrator of the Johnny Crawford Legacy Facebook page. Members of the Crawford family will take over and keep the page active, starting this week. Tracey will continue to help in the background as she becomes involved in other projects related to festivals and the western fans. We’re grateful for all her hard work on Johnny’s behalf.
M. Stacey Shaffer has taken over shipping duties for the website store.
MeTV included Johnny in their 2021 In Memoriam video, at the 2.33 mark.
November 28, 2021
A message from Johnny’s wife:
Hello Everyone –
As you read this today, I am on the road with my family, destination: South Dakota. As I said in my last post, my family feels it’s time for me to be closer to them. At first, I didn’t think I was ready to move, but now that it’s all underway, I am feeling good about it.
I don’t have enough words to thank all the Legacy Team members who have worked so hard, and all of you who helped Johnny in so many ways through the last years of his life. Goodbyes are tough, but please know how thankful I am for your love and support, freely given and overflowing for Johnny and for me. Please do all you can to see that his Legacy goes on.
November 7, 2021
A message from Charlotte, Johnny’s wife:
There has been a lot happening with me over the past month. Actually, a lot has been happening over the past year. Looking at what is best for me for the future, my family has convinced me that moving to South Dakota and starting a new life experience there, with them, is the right thing to do. Since I was born and raised in South Dakota, I will have gone full circle and experienced magnificent people and loves along the way. My good friends have come together to pack me up. My daughter and granddaughter will come to California soon to help, and I will move with them on November 28th. I have definite mixed emotions about this, but I’m being positive.
I am, and will always be, eternally grateful to you all for your loyal love and support for Johnny. He touched so many lives with his talent and personality. I know you will continue to support his legacy. The Archive that is being created at UC Santa Barbara will be cataloged. It’s not a museum, but a resource for research. I am very thankful that this will be in place as a permanent compilation of Johnny’s life achievements, and talents. I hope you will keep tuning in to Facebook and the Website. Tracey and Stacey will (thankfully) keep administering those.
I will post again and let you know how I’m doing in the snow banks of South Dakota! Huge blessings to you all.
October 29, 2021
On this day, we remember Johnny, six months after his passing. We are excited to announce that The University of California, Santa Barbara has enthusiastically agreed to establish the Johnny Crawford Archive at their facility. They have taken over 60 banker’s boxes of treasures to begin the archiving process. This will be the majority of items, but there is still more in storage that will probably be added as the team continues to go through everything. Johnny’s wife, Charlotte, is determined to preserve as much as possible of the things he valued.
A university archive is typically for research purposes, and the collection is available to researchers by appointment. It’s not the same as a museum. As soon as we have more information specific to the Johnny Crawford Archive, we will share it here.
October 19, 2021
Ron and Clint Howard have an excellent new memoir called The Boys. Ron mentions Johnny in the book. He talks about Johnny’s acting talent, as well as his ease when dealing with the public and signing autographs. Be sure to check it out!
July 28, 2021
The video of the Celebration of Life for Johnny is now available to view here on the website, on the Johnny Crawford Legacy Facebook page, and on Rob Word’s YouTube channel, A Word on Westerns. Filmed on July 11th at the William S. Hart Regional Park in Newhall, California, the video features the program with speeches from family and friends, a highlight reel of Johnny’s career, and tributes from the folks who attended, all to honor Johnny’s life and career.
Celebration of Life – Johnny Crawford Legacy
July 23, 2021
We are delighted to announce the release of a brand new CD of Johnny’s dance orchestra music. It’s now exclusively for sale in our website store: https://johnnycrawfordlegacy.com/limited-edition-cds/
We also have the newly re-issued CDs of Sweepin’ The Clouds Away. We hope you add one or both CDs to your music collection!
July 18, 2021
Photos from Johnny’s Celebration of Life are now on the website: Celebration of Life – Johnny Crawford Legacy
A message from Charlotte:
I want you to know that I am so pleased and thankful for all the love for Johnny that was present at his Celebration of Life Memorial Event last Sunday. I felt your love coming through too! Tracey and Stacey will be posting the pictures they took on the Website and the Facebook for all to see. There will be a video coming too, but there is some more work to be done on it first.
Although it was a hot day in Santa Clarita, everyone was excited and happy to be there. Brother Bobby spoke and Sister Nance had to talk over a cell phone hookup since she wasn’t feeling well enough to come. Niece Patti spoke as well as a few good friends so all of that will be on the video when we can release it. A montage of Johnny showing all his talents played on a loop and was wonderful. The catered food was a hit, and there was plenty of cold water, beer, wine, and soft drinks. Music! Some of Johnny’s veteran orchestra musicians and some musical friends from years ago jammed to everyone’s complete enjoyment.
I am so grateful for all the help I had getting this super memorial together – Julie and Bob Ream, Harry and Brian, Brett Hampton, Rob Word, Mike Clark, Stacey, and Tracey just to name a few.
I am doing fairly well adjusting to life without Johnny. It is very different. I am going to South Dakota in August to visit my family. Please watch the Facebook and Website as the new CD is coming very soon.
July 12, 2021
The Celebration for Johnny was a moving tribute to his life and legacy, and the team is resting up. Reports, photos and videos are coming soon.
June 28, 2021
Thank you for all the inquiries about donations or flowers for Johnny. Charlotte, Johnny’s wife, asks that in lieu of flowers, please donate in Johnny’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association. Here’s the link:
You’ll see the option for “other amount” under the suggested gift buttons on the page.
If you choose to have Charlotte notified of the donation, please use this mailing address: Charlotte McKenna Crawford, PO Box 7073, Burbank, CA 91510.
June 13, 2021
Bobby Crawford will be one of the celebrities appearing at the Western Legends Heritage & Music Festival in Kanab, Utah. The festival is August 26th through August 28th. Dennis Holmes, another child actor from the TV series Laramie, will also be attending. Johnny’s good friend Darby Hinton is also going, and his father Ed Hinton will be getting a plaque this year on the Kanab Walk of Fame. The celebrities will sign autographs, appear in the parade, and participate in a panel discussion. Bobby will have some of Johnny’s website merchandise at his autograph table. They will also attend the kickoff “Dinner With The Stars” and a Saturday “Breakfast with the Stars.” The festival is paying tribute to Johnny by screening some episodes of The Rifleman on Saturday, August 28th at 3pm.
Kanab, Utah, is located near the Arizona border, and it’s known as Little Hollywood because of the many westerns filmed in the area.
May 23, 2021
An update from Johnny’s wife, Charlotte McKenna Crawford
Hello Everyone –
I am working diligently with the Legacy Team to get Johnny’s Celebration of Life put together. There is still a COVID restriction situation to overcome. The California Governor is supposed to make an announcement on June 15th as to how many of the restrictions will be lifted.
I am planning to have the celebration on July 11th. Even if the governor lifts the state restrictions, the location is still under the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors decision on how many of the restrictions they will lift. I am hoping for the best in that regard. That said, I am going to have to make it by invitation only. We will have a photographer and videographer there taking pictures and to do filming so that we can post it on the Website, Facebook and YouTube for all to see.
Brother Bobby and our Team Members, Bret Hampton and Stacey Shaffer, are working hard to get the next CDs ready to put up on the website for sale.
I am finding some of the days kind of hard to get through. Your cards, letters, phone calls, texts and flowers are very kind and helpful in keeping my spirits up. Thank you so very much.
May 22, 2021
A beautiful piece about The Rifleman from Jim Martorano, written in response to the news of Johnny’s passing:
May 12, 2021
Here’s a lovely tribute to Johnny, written by Jim Longworth:
May 11, 2021
There have been a lot of visitors to these pages since Johnny’s passing. Thank you for all the heartfelt Guest Book comments! We’ll be adding a lot of never-before-seen photos of Johnny to the website Photo Galleries over the next few weeks, so please check back often.
May 2, 2021
A Message from Charlotte McKenna Crawford
Let me start by saying how touched and grateful I am for the huge and wonderful outpouring of affection for Johnny and for so many offers to help in any way needed. Bless you all.
It was a real blessing for me to be there at his passing. On that day, I noticed by mid-afternoon that his breathing had changed. I contacted the Hospice nurse but by the time he arrived, Johnny was not breathing well and suddenly he just stopped. It was 6:34 p.m. on Thursday, April 29th. It was quiet and simple. I am relieved that he is not battling that dreadful disease any longer.
I am now reflecting on all the memories. Johnny had a magnificent life. He was able to pursue so many of the things that captured his imagination. He loved the Old West (William S. Hart in particular). He was so happy to be able to act in The Rifleman and be around horses and learn to trick rope. He loved the movies and music of the 1920’s and 1930’s, and was so glad to be able to form his own dance orchestra and perform for others who appreciated the era too. We are all thankful that his passions and talents are preserved on film and in music so that we can enjoy them today. All his accomplishments are too numerous to list here.
I will be planning a Celebration of Life gathering as soon as I can make the proper arrangements. I will keep everyone informed. Right now, I am feeling like suddenly my mission in life is gone. I feel certain there are a lot of you who have been in that situation in your lives and understand.
There are so many to thank. Natalie, Laurie, Bobby, Tracey, Johnny’s family, friends, and all of you who have stood by him, encouraged him, and prayed for him. Thank you as well for the financial donations for his care, it made all the difference. You are kind and generous people. Please know how grateful I am.
April 30, 2021
It is with great sadness that we share the news of Johnny Crawford’s passing. He slipped away peacefully on Thursday, April 29, 2021, with Charlotte, his wife, by his side.
We are grateful for the outpouring of love and support from friends and fans around the world. Johnny touched so many people, through his music and his performances. We are truly blessed that they remain as his legacy.
More will information with be shared here later. For now, our prayers and our hearts are with the Crawford family.
April 16, 2021
Western fans will enjoy this event on April 22nd focusing on the history of black cowboys. Dan Searles and Wayne Shipley wrote and directed/produced Johnny’s last film, Bill Tilghman and The Outlaws. Ginger Cook hosted our two day fundraiser for Johnny in February. Guy Davis is a brilliant musician, and he’s got some great stories about being on western film sets with his parents, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. I hope you can join in the fun!
March 27, 2021
Johnny’s birthday party on the patio was a happy gathering with about 15 guests, including sister Nance, brother Bobby, nieces Shawna, Patti, and Kathie, and nephew Brian. Johnny’s wife Charlotte made sloppy Joes and baked beans. Helper Laurie brought her musician friend Jerry, who played his guitar. Paul Petersen and his wife Rana also joined in the fun.
Johnny received many cards, letters and gifts from his friends and fans. The Crawford family appreciates and thanks everyone for their devotion to and affection for Johnny. Thank you!
March 26, 2021
Today is Johnny’s 75th birthday! The family is having a small party on the patio tomorrow at his board-and-care.
Happy birthday, Johnny!
March 17, 2021
Our website fundraising Store has just been redesigned, and we hope folks find it easier to navigate. We will be adding some new items very soon!
March 12, 2021
Our special online auction was a success, and we thank all the folks who bid on items. We’re also grateful to the donors, including Darby Hinton and Dawn Wells, Russ Hill, and Elizabeth Holland.
Some folks who placed bids on the BetterWorld auction site didn’t notice that there was an option to add a “tip” to the site. This charge was made to bids at the time a bid was placed, and not at the end of the auction on winning bids. If bidders didn’t intend to tip the site, they can request a refund here: https://share.hsforms.com/1B9erSdBASgWdCEyOPjnOYQ4a1uz
February 28, 2021
We’re having an online auction to benefit Johnny’s Alzheimer’s Fund.
Johnny Crawford Alzheimer’s Care Fund by The Legacy Series Fund | BetterWorld
THIS AUCTION OFFICIALLY STARTS TOMORROW (March 1st) AT 12pm EST. It will run for 10 days and end on Thursday, March 11th. This is a PUBLIC AUCTION so PLEASE SHARE! ALL FUNDS raised will go to help Johnny Crawford. Thank you to Darby Hinton, Russ Hill, Robert Crawford jr., and Elizabeth Holland for their generous donations. We have a pair of boots owned and worn by Dawn Wells, a poster autographed by Johnny, Darby, and Dan Haggerty, several Bobby Crawford autographs, and some art prints by western artist Tim Cox.
It’s not too late if you have something you’d like to donate to support this cause https://lsf.betterworld.org/donate-an-item
If you’ve already donated – thank you – please help us by sharing the auction page with others. We really appreciate it!
And today we’re happy to report that Johnny is being moved to a small board-and-care home very close to his wife Charlotte. He will be able to have visitors outside on a lovely patio.
February 10, 2021
We will be adding some new merchandise to our fundraising Store soon, and we will also be doing a website re-design that may mean the Store will be offline for a couple of days. We know the effort will make the site easier to navigate and the shop pages more efficient.
February 7, 2021
We are happy to report that our 2-day Celebration and Fundraiser was a success. We raised a good amount for Johnny’s Alzheimer’s care, and we also enjoyed spending time with some of his many friends and fans. Ginger Cook kept the videos rolling and never panicked at the occasional technical glitch or when we got a bit behind schedule. Bobby Crawford’s live Q&A was a highlight, and we premiered several new music videos, with sound by Bret Hampton and editing by either Bret or M. Stacey Shaffer. The finale screening of Bill Tilghman and the Outlaws had a lively discussion between the panelists. Along with donation tickets, the event gave our fundraising Store a big boost. We’re grateful to everyone who helped make the event possible, and we appreciate those who took the time to join us for the celebration. Johnny wasn’t able to be with us, even with the virtual setup, but he was always present in his music and many onscreen performances.
January 15, 2021
Johnny’s friends and family are uniting to put on a 2-day celebration and fundraiser February 5-6, 2021. All the funds raised through donations and ticket sales will go to Johnny’s care. It will feature screenings of a wide selection of Johnny’s work, with a live Q&A with Johnny’s older brother, Robert Crawford, Jr. The celebration will end with a special screening of Bill Tilghman and The Outlaws (also released on DVD as The Marshal). This screening will be hosted by actor Darby Hinton and feature guests including director/producer Wayne Shipley, writer Dan Searles, and actors Ken Arnold, Lana Wood, Richard Cutting, and Don Collier. More details and the schedule are coming soon. We sure hope you’ll join us!
The Schedule (which we may adjust slightly)
Donation tickets for the 2-Day Pass
Tickets for the Finale Screening
December 26, 2020
We’re excited to announce the launch of a new section in our fundraising Store. You can now purchase 45 RPM records from Johnny’s personal collection. These include his rare Sidewalk Records recordings. We’re taking orders now, and we’ll start shipping them out after January 1st.
December 25, 2020
A Christmas gift from the Crawford family! Enjoy the audio track from Johnny’s jazz band performing Santa Claus is Coming to Town. The music video, different from this version, is available on the DVD Johnny Crawford Jazz Band in our fundraising Store.
December 24, 2020
Levy-Gardner-Laven Productions created a beautiful Christmas card for Johnny on the official website for The Rifleman, with three pages of greetings from fans around the world. Please take a look!
December 13, 2020
A Word on Westerns shared a test run of the show from 2013, with Johnny and his wife singing Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer with the audience.
December 4, 2020
Johnny’s last feature film was Bill Tilghman and the Outlaws, winner of the Best Feature Film and eight other awards at the Sunny Side Up Film Festival. The production company, One-Eyed Horse Productions, has just produced a limited edition of the film with an on-screen dedication to Johnny. One of the extras is a thirty-minute interview with Johnny on set in his William S. Hart costume, where he speaks of this love for westerns and for his music. A generous portion of the proceeds from the DVD will be donated for Johnny’s care. It will make a wonderful Christmas present!
To purchase: https://one-eyedhorse.com/2020/12/04/bto_specialeditiondvd/
October 10, 2020
We’ve now added a set of 4 postcards to our fundraising Shop. You can mail ’em, frame ’em, or wrap ’em up for stocking stuffers!
October 4, 2020
Rob Word shared a moving 2018 interview with Johnny and brother Bobby on this week’s edition of A Word on Westerns. Please subscribe to his YouTube channel for more great western programs!
August 29, 2020
Johnny’s second DVD of music videos is now available to purchase on our Store page! You can buy both limited edition DVDs for a special price and save on shipping as well.
July 23, 2020
Darby Hinton (Daniel Boone) is a good friend of Johnny’s, and he’s added some fundraising merchandise to his official website on Johnny’s behalf.
Please check it out!
July 4, 2020
June 27, 2020
Johnny’s CD Sweepin’ The Clouds Away is now available to purchase on our Store page. Our quantities are limited, so order while you can!
June 14, 2020
Today begins the new Rifleman series of comics on Instagram, which are also being shared on the official Rifleman Facebook page.
May 31, 2020
A new series of four-panel comics based on The Rifleman will be shared at TheRifleman.net every Sunday starting in June. Here’s an interesting article about it: https://bleedingcool.com/comics/putting-the-rifleman-back-into-comic-books/
May 7, 2020
We’ve launched our Store! Please check out the new limited edition DVD The Singing Cowboy Johnny Crawford, with more DVDs and photographs coming soon.
March 23, 2020
Johnny Crawford won Best Cameo at the Sunny Side Up Film Festival, which was streamed from Oklahoma over the weekend. Congratulations to all the film’s participants and winners!
March 14, 2020
In honor of Johnny’s birthday, there will be a drawing to win this beautiful Rifleman quilt. It’s large enough to fit a full size bed, with four images from The Rifleman surrounded by color blocks. The back is a solid cream color.
To be entered in the drawing, just make a donation of $10 to the Go Fund Me campaign for Johnny’s care between March 16th and 25th. Once you have donated, send a message with your full name to firstname.lastname@example.org so you can be included in the drawing. (Simply donating during these dates not automatically enter you in the drawing. We can’t verify anonymous donations, so please be sure to use your name at Go Fund Me.) The drawing will be held on Johnny’s birthday, March 26, 2020. The winner will be asked to forward the email (or a screenshot) of the Go Fund Me message that is generated when a donation is made. Please click on the link below to donate, and thank you!
March 13, 2020
Johnny’s film Bill Tilghman and the Outlaws has been nominated for ten awards at the Sunny Side Up Film Festival. Darby Hinton and Johnny won’t be in attendance, but we’re cheering from afar!
Update: Unfortunately, the film festival has now been moved to an online event. Festival organizers are streaming some of the films. Check the website for more details!
March 8, 2020
Bill Tilghman and The Outlaws has been released on a new DVD with a title change. It’s now The Marshal, and it’s available for purchase online and at retailers like Walmart and Barnes & Noble. Johnny makes a cameo appearance as silent film cowboy William S. Hart. Check it out!
Johnny also appears in a new book of western portraits by Steve Carver. It’s available online and at bookstores. (If your local bookstore doesn’t have it, request it!)
Thanks to You, We Are Blessed
Thank you to all involved for a wonderful evening featuring Johnny Crawford at the West Coast premiere of Bill Tilghman and the Outlaws.
We’re elated to say it was a sold out event and fun was had by one and all. To read all about this special evening: https://www.thedesertway.com/bill-tilghman-and-the-outlaws/
The original invitation read: “Dust off your cowboy boots, strap on your spurs and save the date of September 7, 2019 for a special event.”
Bill Tilghman and The Outlaws had its West Coast Premiere and Pre-National Release Party in Thousand Oaks, California, under the stars. Many thanks to Wyatt and Lisa McCrea for donating and hosting this event at the beautiful Joel McCrea Ranch on their big outdoor screen.
Also, a huge shout out to Wayne Shipley and Dan Searles and all involved in the making of Bill Tilghman for donating ALL the proceeds from this event directly to Johnny Crawford and his wife Charlotte, to help them battle Johnny’s Alzheimer’s, especially with all the expense of needing full time assistance. Johnny and Charlotte thank you from the bottom of their hearts.
Johnny’s buddy and event organizer Darby Hinton was there, and of course the man of the hour, Johnny Crawford. And there were some truly amazing people who showed up for the event. Bruce Boxleitner was the very first to tell Darby, “Sign me up!”
Just some of the cast members from Bill Tilghman and The Outlaws who joined Darby and Johnny at the premiere: Lana Wood, Robert Carradine, Johnny Alonso, Eliza Kelley, and Don Collier—who drove all the way in from Arizona.