New Technology Revives History and Celebrates the Old West
April 21, 2019 — Chris Wimmer, host and producer of the Legends of the Old West podcast will team with international photographer Matt Loughrey, creator of My Colorful Past, to utilize modern technology to breathe new life into popular eras of Western history. Wimmer’s show uses thorough research, cinematic storytelling, and engaging sound design to deliver true tales of the American West to audiences across the globe. With listeners in all 50 states and nearly 80 countries, it is the most popular show of its kind in the podcast medium.
Loughrey is an award-winning photographer who uses cutting-edge technology to digitally colorize black-and-white photos. He has transformed some of the most iconic images of the past as well as those that have been forgotten by time. This unlikely partnership between Wimmer, who is based in Texas, and Loughrey in County Mayo, Ireland, grew through a mutual acquaintance and a random encounter on social media.
“I had seen Matt’s work on a TV documentary without knowing about his project,” Wimmer said. “Some time later, the city historian of Tombstone, Arizona contacted me and said he was talking to a photographer in Ireland about producing some color images. I quickly realized the pictures I’d seen on TV were created by the same photographer. I connected with Matt on social media and we began exchanging emails. As we talked, we decided it would be a great chance to combine audio and visuals in a new way.”
Wimmer’s series about the Texas Rangers will begin Sunday, April 28th and will cover the time period 1840 to 1860. The series will weave together the stories of six early inductees into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame — John Coffee Hays, Ben McCulloch, Samuel Walker, John “RIP” Ford, William “Bigfoot” Wallace, Lawrence “Sul” Ross — and their participation in the major events of the day, including the Mexican-American War; the Comanche conflicts of the 1850s; and the famous tale of the capture and “rescue” of Cynthia Ann Parker.
Loughrey used modern computer technology to digitally transform old black-and-white photos of these Rangers, and several others, into color images that coincide with the podcast series. According to the research of Loughrey and Wimmer, this process has never before been applied to photos of the Texas Rangers. You can see examples of his work below.
Following the Texas Rangers series, Legends of the Old West highlighted the infamous Old West town, Deadwood, in a mini series to coincide with the release of the HBO movie, ”Deadwood.” The first episode of the two-part special series featured an in-depth interview with “Deadwood” star W. Earl Brown, who plays “Dan Dority,” the enforcer for brothel owner, Al Swearengen.
Brown recently played Ivy Methvin in the Netflix film “The Highwaymen,” which starred Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as the Texas Rangers who brought down infamous outlaws, Bonnie and Clyde. Episode two focused on some of the real-life events portrayed in the “Deadwood” film and events that would have been included in the show’s originally planned arc of five seasons.
The podcast will also utilize Loughrey’s color photos of icons Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane during the Deadwood mini series. Loughrey’s work has been featured in museums; in publications ranging from National Geographic to The Guardian to the Houston Chronicle; and in television programs like, “Alcatraz: The Untold Truth” on the History Channel.
In addition to the international collaboration, the Texas Rangers podcast series also featured an interview amateur historian and fellow podcast producer, Justice Ken Wise. Wise is a member of the 14th Court of Appeals in Houston, Texas and is well known throughout the state for his successful podcast about Texas history, “Wise About Texas.”
Check out the season trailer!
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Mandi Wimmer, Co-Owner of Black Barrel Media, LLC | Producer of Legends of the Old West Podcast | Infamous America
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