KINGMAN – Actor Andy Devine, western writer Zane Grey and local author and illustrator Bob Boze Bell were inducted into the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame in November.
The Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame, located in Scottsdale, was formed in 2002 to recognize the contributions of musicians, entertainers, venues and people who made a mark on the entertainment culture of Arizona.
Its first two inductees were Wayne Newton and Alice Cooper.
“For both Devine and Bell, the recognition was well deserved,” said Jim Hinckley, a local author and Route 66 historian. “Their induction was an incredible marketing and promotional opportunity for Kingman.”
Along with Andy Devine Avenue, the actor has an exhibit at the Mohave Museum of History Arts and film-related artwork at many restaurants and businesses around Kingman.
“There are only a few male actors who claim to come from Arizona,” said Mark Myers, member of the induction committee. “The most recognized one of them is Andy Devine. We are proud and grateful to have him as an inductee in the Hall of Fame. We are also grateful for the help from his sons and the Mohave Museum.”
Devine, a character actor and cowboy sidekick distinguished by his whiny voice, grew up in Kingman and is honored with a portion of Route 66 named in his honor. His family owned the Beale Hotel.
He attended Arizona State Teacher’s College, now Northern Arizona University, where he played football and basketball.
His football experience led to his first sizable role in the 1931 film, “The Spirit of Notre Dame.”
He appeared in more than 400 films, most notably as Cookie, sidekick to Roy Rogers, and as Danny in the 1937 film, “A Star is Born.” He made several films with John Wayne, including “Stagecoach” in 1939 and “Island in the Sky” in 1953.
Devine also worked in radio as Jingles, sidekick to Guy Madison in “The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok,” and had numerous roles in TV shows and series. He has a star on Hollywood Boulevard.
He died of leukemia at age 71 in 1977 in Newport Beach, California.
Bob Boze Bell
Originally from Iowa, Bell moved to Peach Springs and then Kingman at an early age with his family and fell in love with Western culture and history.
Growing up on Route 66 influenced Bell’s interest in the Wild West, and he wrote nine books about it, including his autobiography, “Route 66 Kid: Raised on the Mother Road.” It features Bell’s illustrations, writings and postcards from the Mother Road.
Bell attended University of Arizona, where he majored in art. He started The Razz Revue magazine in 1972, an underground humor magazine along the lines of National Lampoon.
“I’m a cartoonist first and foremost,” Bell said while promoting his book at the 2014 International Route 66 Festival in Kingman. “People say, ‘Why are you wearing a cowboy hat?’ It’s not a cowboy hat. It’s a cartoon hat.”
He spent a few of his early years playing drums in a rock ’n ’roll band called The Exits, hoping to make it big like Duane Eddy, a hometown hero from Phoenix. His band opened for the Beach Boys in the 1980s.
He published his first book, “The Illustrated Life and Times of Billy the Kid,” in 1992. He’s also written articles and illustrated for publications, including Arizona Highways, Wild West and Playboy.
He eventually purchased True West magazine, and has lived in Cave Creek since 1986.
There’s an exhibit on Bell at the Powerhouse Visitor Center.
Born in Ohio in 1872, Pearl Zane Grey had a great interest in history from an early age and would become one of the most renowned authors of books on the American frontier and Wild West.
He attended the University of Pennsylvania on a baseball scholarship and studied dentistry, graduating in 1896. He went on to play minor league baseball with several teams, but struggled with the idea of becoming a baseball player for a career.
His father was a dentist, and he followed in his footsteps, writing in the evening to offset the tedium of his dental practice.
He eventually closed the practice to become a full-time writer, completing his first Western, “The Heritage of the Desert, in 1910. It quickly became a best-seller.
He followed that with “Riders of the Purple Sage,” which would become his best-selling book and one of the most successful Western novels of all time.
Grey took a mountain lion-hunting trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in 1907 and fell in love with the rugged country of Arizona.
He built a cabin on the Mogollon Rim in central Arizona and spent several weeks a year there from 1923 to 1930.
He visited many areas of Arizona and many of Zane Grey’s stories take place in Northern Arizona. The Weatherford Hotel in Flagstaff has a plaque that recognizes he stayed and wrote there.
Grey’s cabin was restored in 1966 as a museum free of charge, but was destroyed in the 1990 Dude Fire. In 2003, the Zane Grey Cabin Foundation raised $200,000 to replicate the cabin on the grounds of the Rim Country Museum in Payson, 25 miles away.
Grey died in 1939 at his home in Altadena, California.