John is interviewed by Jeff Hildebrandt on growing up as an "Ornery Mitchum".
In Lone Pine, California, near the Alabama Hills where countless western films were made, John discusses some of the amazing stunts Loren Janes performed, here beneath majestic Mt Whitney.
When the world lost John Mitchum, several stalwarts of Hollywood's Old-school — the men that exemplified men, and the women that exemplified women — perceived a crisis of American culture, a subject very dear to Mitchum's heart. Seeing a way to rescue the spirit of American culture based in faith in God, …
Actor Ernest Borgnine and Producer A.C. Lyles approached Cindy, John's daughter, and her husband Steve Azbill with their idea of perpetuating the love of American culture engendered by Mitchum by having colleagues and admirers record their favorite poem or prose with a musical accompaniment, in the style of John Wayne's recording of "America - Why I Love Her", which earned a Grammy nomination for Mitchum.
Ernie was the first to offer his talents, gathering a number of friends for our first recordings. John's dear friend, Jim Drury, went straight to the University of Houston and completed 2 recordings, "The Pledge of Allegiance" and "Charlie Goodnight", both with music embedded.
The standard had been established.
Steve was a capable musician, well-versed in digital and electronic music production, having provided his talents to musical instrument distributors, e.g., Oberheim Electronics, Europa Technologies (as PPG product specialist), as well as notable studio sessions including appearing on Peter Cetera's #1 hit, "The Next Time I Fall", in a duet with Amy Grant.
But this task required a level of honesty difficult to achieve with computer technology, especially as it was at the project's conception in 2001. In addition, many of the contributing talents used recording services that didn't meet the standards we required, and so more work was needed to better achieve a balance among 53 diverse tracks. Thankfully, along the way, Ted Perlman offered his state-of-the-art recording studio to capture most of the contributors, as well as performing on and producing two of Mitchum's light-hearted songs.