Boomtown Children's Television Programming

Boomtown was a weekend children's show on WBZ-TV in Boston, Massachusetts that ran from 1956 through 1974. Boomtown was hosted by Rex Trailer, a singing cowboy. Rex rode his horse Goldrush onto the western-themed Boomtown studio set for several hours on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Rex Trailer's Boomtown
With a natural ease and charisma, Trailer led his young studio audience (or "posse") in contests of skill and singalongs. Trailer also regularly demonstrated his considerable cowboy skills, which he picked up while spending his childhood summers on his grandfather's ranch in Texas. In addition, Rex took part in skits, and he introduced the cartoons that rounded out the program, including Popeye, Davey and Goliath, The Mighty Hercules among others. He was aided on the show by a succession of sidekicks and guests over the years, including Pablo, Cactus Pete, and Sgt. Billy.

One recurring, memorable segment of Boomtown was set to the music of Hey, Look Me Over. Rex would appoint two children sheriff and deputy, and hand them a wanted poster showing another member of the studio audience thinly disguised. As the music played, the entire "posse" would march through the sheriff's office, waving for the camera (and for their families and friends watching; the segment ensured that every child had a chance to be on screen at least once). Trying for a prize, the young lawmen would attempt to pick out the person shown on the poster as he passed through the office.

Trailer had moved from Philadelphia (where his TV series had ended) to Boston to host Boomtown on a short-term contract, but the show ended up running for almost two decades. Two-hundred thousand children appeared on Boomtown during its run, and another four million watched on TV or saw Rex at his many personal appearances across New England. Trailer essentially played himself, so he was never caught out of character: kind, quietly confident, eminently capable, and wholesome. Parents and children alike responded to Boomtown's subtle, integral messages encouraging respect for others and nature. Rex Trailer settled in the Boston area permanently where he remains a major local celebrity decades after the final episode of Boomtown aired.

The lyrics to the show's theme song, Boomtown, are:
Howdy there, folks, we're glad to meet you in
Boom- Boom- Boomtown!
There's a bunch of folks who'd like to greet you in
Boom- Boom- Boomtown!
You can bet we'll have lots of Western fun
And excitement for you
We'll ride and rope, do a square dance and shoot a gun
And we'll sing a song or two
Come along, folks, now we're gonna start the fun in
Boom- Boom- Boomtown!
From six to sixty there's something for everyone in
Boom- Boom- Boomtown!
So do-si-do and swing around,
Get your gal and promenade down to
Boom- Boom- Boomtown!

Precious little footage exists of Boomtown because many of the shows were broadcast live, and the segments that were taped were routinely taped over after broadcast.

However, a documentary film titled Rex Trailer's Boomtown was produced by Milford, Massachusetts native Michael Bavaro. Bavaro used archival footage along with the memories of Boomtown fans to provide a nostalgic overview. The film aired on WBZ-TV on June 18, 2005 and is now sold in DVD format.