History : Jan-Feb 2019
IN SONG. Songwriting duo Lewis and Klickman copyrighted their composition about James in 1911 (below), riding the huge popularity of 19th-century broad- sides, such as the one at right. Some 50 films have been made featur- ing the Missouri bandit, and he has been portrayed by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Tyrone Power, Roy Rogers, Audie Murphy, James Coburn, Robert Du- vall, Kris Kristofferson, Colin Farrell, and Brad Pitt. Little wonder that today the out- law Jesse James is an iconic figure known around the world. IN BOOKS. Fascination for Jesse James stoked a publishing boom. Left, a 1903 dime novel recounting yet another hairbreadth escape by “the outlaw king.” Below, a 1908 dime novel in which a detective comes to a sticky end. Below left, Jesse’s son’s account of his father, first published in 1899.