James Taylor now wearing LBJ’s cowboy hat?

James Taylor

Yeah, I know he lost his hair and no longer looks like this. And guys who lose their hair often wear hats, even in this post-JFK era.

I still found it disconcerting to see him wearing LBJ’s cowboy hat, in a promo picture with a Groupon offer for tickets to a concert in Charlotte.

Or was it Ike’s hat? Or Harry Truman’s? Or FDR’s? Or W’s?

For whatever reason — maybe it was the suit and tie, which also seemed weird for James Taylor — he didn’t look like a cowboy, but like a politician trying to look like a cowboy…

lbj-cowboy-hat

1348488portraitofformerimagesBMUd0Kv

 

bush_hat_wave

25 thoughts on “James Taylor now wearing LBJ’s cowboy hat?

  1. Leon

    Wasn’t JFK at least partially responsible for American men abandoning hats? He did not wear one in public as far as I know and actually declined to try on a cowboy hat which was given to him in Texas the week he was assassinated. He told the crowd that he would try it on when he got back to the White House. I assume that he did not like to wear hats and that is about the time I remember even my father stopped wearing hats.

    Reply
  2. Bryan Caskey

    I like this style of cowboy hat. Unfortunately, I’m not on the list of people who can pull off a cowboy hat.

    LBJ and Bush were Texas boys. They get to wear cowboy hats. Ike was born in Texas and lived in Kansas, so he’s allowed. (Also, SHAEF gets to wear whatever hat he wants.) FDR was elected so many times, he gets to wear whatever hat he wants. Truman was a midwesterner, so he’s in cowboy hat country.

    James Taylor isn’t on the list either. He looks a little funny in it.

    Reply
  3. Bart

    A guy working on a cattle ranch wearing a baseball cap, jeans, knit shirt, and sneakers. A visitor asked him why he wasn’t wearing a cowboy hat, boots, jeans, western shirt, and a big buckled belt. Reply – I don’t want people to think I drive a truck for a living.

    Most people who wear cowboy hats are not cowboys or live in the West. Go to any Country-Western bar or club in South Carolina and ask how many ride horses and herd cattle.

    Reply
      1. Bart

        Now that was funny, no matter how high your PC index is. And Matthew Bodine’s reaction and comment was priceless.

        Reply
        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Whatever happened to that guy?

          As a former high school wrestler, I’m a huge fan of “Vision Quest.” That was a great flick. He seemed to have made one or two movies after that, and disappeared.

          It may be that he was perfectly suited to be the gawky high school kid trying to become a man and make his mark in the world, and wasn’t suited to much as he grew too old for that…

          Reply
          1. Bart

            Actually, he has had a rather varied career. And, I had the last name wrong, it is Modine, no Bodine. My favorite was “What the Deaf Man Heard” for television and he was great in “Full Metal Jacket” and “Mephis Belle”. His worst movie of all times and it made the worst list was “CutThroat Island” with Geena Davis.

            Reply
  4. Brad Warthen Post author

    OK, here’s an awkward confessional, especially for someone who grew up in the generation in which all boys wanted to be cowboys…

    I can’t wear cowboy hats.

    Oh, I can wear a cheap, soft, malleable one — if I can find one large enough — because it can be pulled and stretched into the right shape to fit.

    But I can’t wear a serious cowboy hat.

    I discovered this during the time when I lived in Wichita. I went to Shepler’s, billed as the world’s largest Western store (how western was it? well, they had a lariat department), and decided to get myself a real cowboy hat, since I fully expected never to live out West again.

    I tried on a couple, and they just wouldn’t fit. That’s because they were hard, and round. And my head is long, from front to back, and somewhat narrower in the front than the back. Yeah, egg-shaped, kinda.

    So basically, if I put on one that was long enough, there were these big gaps alongside my temples.

    After I tried on a couple, the salesman broke the news to me: “You have an English head.” I suppose I must remain grateful to him for not adding “dude,” “greenhorn” or “tenderfoot” onto that sentence. But I felt utterly dismissed. Like I was expected to take my English head and skedaddle, because there was nothing for me there.

    I came back to the East Coast not long thereafter, and here I have stayed.

    Reply
    1. Bart

      Likewise with the head shape. Not suited for a Western style hat and not great for a baseball cap either. And to make matters worse, my arches are too high to get into Western boots.

      Reply
    2. Norm Ivey

      Being raised in southern Arizona (Tombstone was the next closest town), a cowboy hat and boots were mandatory wardrobe articles. Never liked either one because I was never comfortable in them. I can’t wear baseball caps either because my head is too big. The only hat I’ve ever found that both fits well and looks decent is the one in my avatar.

      Reply
    3. Chris

      Dude, they can shape good hats to fit.
      A good Stetson fur felt hat wit a little steam will shape. Check out YouTube .
      That hat that everyone is wearing is a Stetson open road .

      Reply
  5. Bryan Caskey

    My father-in-law has some cowboy hats that a pretty expensive. At least I think they are. He has hard, black plastic cases for them when he’s not wearing them. He lives in Shreveport, LA, which is more like East Texas than Louisiana.

    And he definitely pulls them off. He’s a USMC vet with a mustache, so he’s tough and old enough to not look pretentious wearing it, and the facial hair makes him look the part. Here’s a picture of him from the early 1960’s while stationed in Okinawa.

    Reply
    1. Bart

      Haven’t missed an episode since it first aired. One of the best shows to ever hit the television screen, ever. I have always been a Tim Olyphant fan because he reminds me of the flawed almost hero who does get it wrong on occasion. He said there would be just one more season after this one. Too bad.

      Reply
      1. Kathryn Fenner

        This season is a bit diffuse. Maybe one scene with Raylan and Boyd so far, almost zero Tim, Art is pouting, Ava is on her own? They need to bring ’em together! I do like the Crowes as villains, though.

        Reply
        1. Bart

          Yes, the Crowes are good as villains but seem to be missing the same believable element the Crowder’s brought to the series. Just wondering where this season is going with the story line.

          Reply
          1. Kathryn Fenner

            The chemistry between Boyd and Ava and Boyd and Raylan, and Raylan and Art and Tim and anybody are the best parts, IMHO

            Reply
    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      I read that Elmore Leonard wasn’t too crazy about the hat that Raylan wears on the TV show:

      Though even with this version, he’s not entirely in love with the hat — a large, crisp Stetson that sets Givens apart from the modern-day Marshals he works alongside.

      “I think he ought to just chuck it,” Leonard says. “What’s he need it for? He’s not in the West; he’s from Kentucky. I think it’s got out of hand. It’s not the hat that he wears in the book — which is the small, little businessman’s Stetson, but well-worn, and crushed and disfigured.”

      Yost acknowledges that he and Leonard had a difference of opinion on the hat — “We got very specific photographs, about, ‘This is the hat,’” he says, “but you have to find a hat that fits Tim.” — but overall found that the wisest way to do an Elmore Leonard adaptation is to follow a mantra that he eventually had made into a bracelet he gave to all of his writers: “WWED,” or “What Would Elmore Do?”

      Reply
      1. Mark Stewart

        There is a big difference between the evocativeness of the written word and an actual visual appearance; especially when some things work, and others don’t work, with certain people – even actors.

        WWED totally misses that reality.

        Reply
  6. Harry Harris

    He’s been wearing that for a while now from time to time. i don’t care if he wears a beret; the man can still sing and write a song – and he’s got soul.

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Speaking of his having soul…

      I’ve always found it incredible that he would have the drug and emotional problems that have plagued him. I hear him sing, and I think that if I could sound like that, I could calm and soothe and reassure myself at any time, without drugs or any other therapy…

      Reply
      1. Harry Harris

        Yes, indeed, and that is one reason I’m very glad for his less troubled, yet still productive later years.

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *