William Cody’s travels with his Wild West Show took him all over the world — Buffalo Bill even did two performances in Croatia in 1906 — and across the continental United States. But he never made it to Alaska or Hawaii. “Interestingly enough, in our collection is a poster — it’s in tatters — of a paniolo, a Hawaiian cowboy,” says Steve Friesen, director of the Buffalo Bill Museum. “And Buffalo Bill had Hawaiian cowboys in his show.” He’ll have them at his gravesite and museum today, too, when the sixth annual Mountain Melodies Music Festival sounds off on Lookout Mountain from noon to 5 p.m.

Every year, in addition to kids’ activities and crafts, the free festival features a lineup of local musicians. This year it includes the Martin Gilmore Duo, the Uptown Relics, Finders and Youngberg, and Book Em Danno, Colorado’s foremost Hawaiian swing band. “Some of this music has its roots within Buffalo Bill’s time,” Friesen explains, then admits, “With Hawaiian swing, we’re going to the edge. The Pacific Rim, actually.” But that’s because they want people to think about Buffalo Bill, and this Denver-owned museum, in new ways. “We’re trying to really look at roots music with this festival,” concludes Friesen. “I’ve found ways to relate Buffalo Bill to rock and roll, but that’s another conversation.”

The museum is located on Lookout Mountain Road in Golden; for more information, go to or call 303-526-0744.
Sun., Aug. 9, 12-5 p.m., 2009

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun

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