Banjo Hackett (TV Movie)

Owen has an easy traditional style that’s conducive to banjo playing, which will appeal to teachers and students of irish tenor banjo alike. This tutor is especially welcome among Irish tenor banjo instructors as it gives direct assistance from one of Ireland’s finest banjoists – plus contains airs, marches, polkas and jigs!


Banjo Hackett (Don Meredith), an unorthodox horse trader, travels throughout the West with his orphaned nephew Jubal Winner (Ike Eisenmann). Uncle Banjo has given Jubal responsibility for Dido’s Lament – an Arabian mare prized by him; now their race to find her before bounty hunter Sam Ivory takes her from them begins.

Contrary to most TV Westerns, this one features some lighthearted humor. Although the plot may not be profound, but the journey is entertaining nonetheless. Chuck Connors stands out as a talented adversarial bounty hunter in this one.

Steve Hackett of Genesis provides the cinematic score with his outstanding guitar work on this film and subsequent solo efforts, becoming a recognized name within prog circles and beyond. Furthermore, he is widely-recognized as an esteemed writer and poet with several books published under his name and known for speaking on spiritual matters – currently living in Seattle, Washington.


Kristina Gaddy brings this forgotten instrument back to life through this insightful book. Leveraging diaries, letters, and archives as sources, she explores its roots at the crossroads between slavery, religion and music – unearthing its hidden history at every step.

Gaddy illustrates how African Americans created the distinctive instrument from gourds or calabashes, playing it at gatherings that white governments attempted to outlaw for fear of sparking rebellion. When Blackface minstrels adopted it during the nineteenth century, it quickly became a national craze.

Creswell observed young white boys upsetting their tutor by dancing to negro banjo playing, and Weir wrote in 1798 that even “backcountry whites” had taken to dancing to this music. So by 1800 the banjo had already become well known and widespread across America (both plantations-bound and free). Of course this happened long before song sheet cover illustrations ever featured banjos; most inaccuracies can be attributed to artists not understanding what a banjo looked like and drawing it as though it were something like guitar/lute type instruments which leads to holes being drawn and missing 5th peg etc.


Don Meredith plays Banjo Hackett, an orphan cowpoke caring for his orphan nephew following the death of the boy’s sister. Banjo Hackett travels across America in search of Dido’s Lament – his Arabian mare stolen by bounty hunter; on their journey they come across an unscrupulous horse breeder with millions in investment dollars who has unsavory associates, writer Ken Trevey turns this script into an engaging inversion of Western staples while featuring well-known character actors such as L.Q Jones Carol Connors, Jan Murray among many others.

Anne Francis, Dan O’Herlihy and Slim Pickens round out the cast in this California film set on Moron Steven’s novel of the same name. Click any name of cast members for more information. Filming began in April.


After Jubal Winner is orphaned after his mother passes, horse trader Banjo Hackett (Don Meredith) becomes his sole caretaker until his departure to pursue Dido’s Lament, an Arabian mare that was stolen by bounty hunter Sam Ivory (Chuck Conners) and stolen from Banjo by bounty hunter Sam Ivory’s bounty hunters – although along their journey they encounter wealthy breeders, small town doctors, and unscrupulous individuals all trying to make offers for their prized prized possession – each offering something different in exchange for Dido’s Lament.

Although predictable, this comical TV-movie Western is entertaining and well-acted. Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Meredith gives an enjoyable performance as the title role while Ike Eisenmann rounds out the supporting cast. Director Ken Trevey keeps things fast-paced and funny for an enjoyable family ride. A perfect Christmas treat!