When it comes to cowboy singers, some artists, such as Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, come to the field as adults, and very successfully. Others, such as Harry Jackson, start earlier. Born in Chicago in 1924, Jackson was interested in horses, riding, and cowboys very early in life, and learned his first songs in the genre from a real-life veteran cowpuncher at the Chicago stockyards. He later worked at a stable outside of DeKalb, IL, dropped out of school after the tenth grade, and headed to Montana, where he lived the life of a working cowboy -- still a viable option in the West of the 1930s and early '40s -- and, in the process, learned the songs of the older cowboys that he met. He recorded for Folkways in the 1950s, in both accompanied and unaccompanied performances, and also became a successful artist, both as a painter and sculptor, dealing with Western subjects. In the early '60s, he recorded for Columbia Records in New York. In the October-November 1962 issue of Sing Out, he was quoted by Gil Turner in an article about a then-new singing talent on the New York folk scene named Bob Dylan, saying, "He's so goddam real, it's unbelievable." Jackson's repertory included such songs as "The Pot Wrassler" and "The Streets of Laredo," all sung in an authentic, unadorned style far removed from popular music or the folk-pop of the period, which makes his admiration of Dylan all the less surprising. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi