This poem to Hopalong Cassidy first appeared on the
inside record sleeve of the American Pie album, and seemed
strangely out of place at the time; I couldn't begin to see what
a TV cowboy had to do with Buddy Holly. And I had almost forgotten
it through the years, as subsequent reissues of the album had
all omitted this dedication. It is only fairly recentlythanks
to the Mobil Fidelity Sound Labs re-mastering of American
I was able to revisit the inner sleeve once again; and suddenly,
there it wasblack hat, white horse, black holsters, white
Black and white, that was you Hoppy.
An ode to the memory of some TV cowboy no longer
seemed the odd irrelevance it once appeared to be: just as television
itself was in these years of its infancy a simpler black and white
medium, Hoppy too is emblematic of the safer, less complicated black
and white values of the 1950sa hero of homespun virtue, and
defender of the way we once saw ourselves. The way we once were.
The black and white days are over.
So long Hopalong Cassidy; bye bye Miss American Pie.