Herb Jeffries Western Movies to Watch Free.
Herbert “Herb” Jeffries, born Umberto Alexander Valentino (September 24, 1913 – May 25, 2014), was an American jazz and popular singer and actor. In the 1940s and 1950s Jeffries recorded for a number of labels, including RCA Victor, Exclusive, Coral, Decca, Bethlehem, Columbia, Mercury and Trend.
His album Jamaica, recorded by RKO, is a concept album of self-composed calypso songs. He starred in several Western feature films Harlem on the Prairie (1937), Two-Gun Man from Harlem (1938), The Bronze Buckaroo (1939) and Harlem Rides the Range (1939) and acted in several other films and television shows.
Jeffries was born Umberto Alexander Valentino in Detroit to an Irish mother who ran a rooming house. His father, whom he never knew, was of mixed Sicilian, French, Italian and Moorish roots. He also claimed that his paternal great-grandmother was an Ethiopian woman named Carey.
Jeffries once characterized himself in an interview as “three-eighths Negro”, claiming pride in an African-American heritage during a period when many light-skinned black performers were attempting “to pass” as all-white in an effort to broaden their commercial appeal. In marked contrast, Jeffries used make-up to darken his skin in order to pursue a career in jazz and to be seen as employable by the leading all-black musical ensembles of the day.
However, much later in his career, Jeffries would assume the identify of a white citizen for economic or highly personal reasons. Jet reported that Jeffries identified himself as White and stated his “real” name as “Herbert Jeffrey Ball” on an application in order to marry Tempest Storm in 1959. Jeffries told the reporter for Jet Magazine “… I’m not passing, I never have, I never will. For all these years I’ve been wavering about the color question on the blanks. Suddenly I decided to fill in the blank the way I look and feel. Look at my blue eyes, look at my brown hair, look at my color. What color do you see?” he demand to know. “My mother was 100 per cent white,” Jeffries said, his blue eyes glinting in the New York sun. “My father is Portuguese, Spanish, American Indian, and Negro. How in the hell can I identify myself as one race or another?”
He began his career working with Erskine Tate and his Vendome Orchestra when he moved to Chicago from Detroit at the urging of Louis Armstrong. His break came during the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair—Century of Progress Exposition singing with the Earl Hines Orchestra on Hines’ national broadcasts live from the Grand Terrace Cafe. His first recordings were with Hines in 1934, including “Just to be in Carolina”. He then recorded with Duke Ellington from 1940 to 1942. His recording of “Flamingo” (1940) with Ellington was a best seller in its day. He was replaced in the Ellington band by Al Hibbler in 1943.
Jeffries starred as a singing cowboy in several all-black Western films, in which he sang his own western compositions. Jeffries obtained financing for the first black western film and hired Spencer Williams to appear with him. In addition to starring in the film, he sang and performed his own stunts as cowboy Bob Blake.
Playing a singing cowboy in low-budget films, Jeffries became known as the “Bronze Buckaroo” by his fans. In a time of American racial segregation, such “race movies” played mostly in theaters catering to African-American audiences. The films include Harlem on the Prairie, The Bronze Buckaroo, Harlem Rides the Range and Two-Gun Man from Harlem. Jeffries went on to make other films, starring with Angie Dickinson in Calypso Joe (1957). He later directed and produced Mundo depravados, a cult film starring his wife, Tempest Storm. In 1968, Jeffries appeared in the long-running western TV series The Virginian playing a gunslinger who intimidated the town. In 1995, at age 81, he recorded The Bronze Buckaroo (Rides Again), a Nashville album of songs on the Warner Western label.
1996 The Cherokee Kid (TV Movie)
1994 The American Experience (TV Series documentary)
– Midnight Ramble (1994) … Commentator (actor) (as Herb Jefferies)
1979 Portrait of a Hitman
1974 Twice in a Lifetime (TV Movie)
1973 Jarrett (TV Movie)
1969-1973 Hawaii Five-O (TV Series)
Professor Kung / Klosmosky / Professor / …
– The Diamond That Nobody Stole (1973) … Professor Kung (as Herbert Jeffries)
– Is This Any Way to Run a Paradise? (1971) … Klosmosky
– Highest Castle, Deepest Grave (1971) … Professor
– Face of the Dragon (1969) … Jardine
1971 Chrome and Hot Leather
1970 Where’s Huddles? (TV Series)
– One Man’s Family (1970) … Freight Train (voice)
– A Sticky Affair (1970) … Freight Train (voice)
– The Odd Trio (1970) … Freight Train (voice)
– Get That Letter Back (1970) … Freight Train (voice)
– To Catch a Thief (1970) … Freight Train (voice)
– Hot Dog Hannah (1970) … Freight Train (voice)
– The Offensives (1970) … Freight Train (voice)
– The Ramblin’ Wreck (1970) … Freight Train (voice)
– A Weighty Problem (1970) … Freight Train (voice)
– The Old Swimming Hole (1970) … Freight Train (voice)
1969 The Virginian (TV Series)
– Stopover (1969) … Frank Hammel
1968 The Name of the Game (TV Series)
W.B. Keys / Deputy Coroner
– The Black Answer (1968) … W.B. Keys
– Fear of High Places (1968) … Deputy Coroner
1967 I Dream of Jeannie (TV Series)
– The Second Greatest Con Artist in the World (1967) … Copter Pilot
1957 Calypso Joe
1951 Disc Jockey
1939 Harlem Rides the Range
Bob Blake (as Herbert Jeffrey)
1939 The Bronze Buckaroo
Bob Blake (as Herbert Jeffrey)
1938 Rhythm Rodeo
1938 Two-Gun Man from Harlem
Bob Blake / The Deacon (as Herbert Jeffrey)
1937 Harlem on the Prairie
Jeff Kincaid (as Herbert Jeffries)