Kansas state song featured in film about its path to popularity

Jan 3, 2017

The Smith County Kansas cabin where Brewster Higley wrote the song, "Home on the Range," which was originally a poem he wrote called, "My Western Home."
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A Kansas-made film about a Kansas-made song will premiere later this month in Wichita.

As the Wichita Eagle reports, the Kansas state song “Home on the Range” will premiere in a film with the same name on Jan. 13 at the Orpheum Theatre in Wichita.

The made-for TV movie is about the song’s journey to popularity, as an NBC attorney from New York City tracks down its origins to a cabin in Smith County, where Brewster Higley wrote the song’s now famous verses as a poem he called “My Western Home." The song later made its way along cattle trails to cowtowns and then quickly gained national popularity with the advent of radio.

The song became the Kansas state song in 1947.

The film features various recordings of the song by the rock group Kansas, which itself originated in Topeka, Kansas.

The 48-minute movie was filmed in and around Wichita and features Buck Taylor, famous for his role as Deputy Newly O’Brien on TV’s “Gunsmoke” and Rance Howard, father of actor-director Ron Howard.

The “Home on the Range” movie will also be shown at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 14 and 15 at the Center Theater in Smith Center and at 7 p.m. on Jan. 19 at Union Station in Kansas City.

Here is a trailer about the film and the Smith County cabin where the song was written can be seen at this website.