A transformation by makeup and costume took place on stage on Friday,
February 9, 1996 at the Sam Noble Special Events Center at the
National Cowboy Hall Of Fame in Oklahoma City.
After many years, Barry Corbin once again walked out on stage at 8:00
p.m. and actually became trailblazer
Charlie Goodnight. The event was
the national premiere of a one-man show called "Charlie
Goodnight's Last Night".
Barry co-wrote the play with Cowboy/Poet-singer Andy Wilkinson:
more of it was written by Andy than by me. What happened is that I was
casting for a one-man project, something I could just take out of the
trunk whenever I liked. I read the J. Evetts Haley biography of
Charlie Goodnight and I thought his story was pretty dramatic. But
then I read in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal about Andy's musical
project on the life of Goodnight, and I sure didn't want to step on
any toes. So I called Andy long distance and, when I talked to him, he
told me that he thought our two projects could compliment each
Months of work were devoted to writing and shaping the one-man play,
and a few
months before it premiered Barry said:
play has progressed to a point where I think we're doing more than
just telling the life story of Charlie Goodnight. It says something
about the land and the values of the people who
settled the land -
because those values are something we are in danger of losing. We have
become a fragmented, shattered society in which everybody is afraid of
everybody else. We've been afraid of each other for a long time and
the fear I'm talking about just doesn't refer to color lines. We have
got to come to an understanding with each other without the help of
the government. And Charlie is a good example of a man who went his
own way; he did what he did with no apology to anyone. Goodnight did
not judge people externally, say, by the color of their skin. It was
the core that concerned him, the fiber of a man, and he judged that
"Sure, this is
Charlie Goodnight I'm going to portray. But I
think if people come out and see an old man on stage talking about
integrity and honor and loyalty, it might help - especially if we can
make the play entertaining."
And the play was a success. After its premiere The Lubbock
Avalanche-Journal wrote: "Corbin shines in one-man show 'Goodnight'. The timing that Corbin displays as he laughs heartily at
his own jokes only to stop abruptly as another distant harsher memory
returns, is a combination of directorial know-how and the actor's
Barry Corbin's distinctively deep voice has become familiar from his
many narrations and commercials over the last two decades.
In 1993 he signed a contract with Audio Renaissance Tapes to record 12
on Max Brand's westerns which were published between 1993
and 1994: "Carcajou's Trail",
"Chip Champions a
"The Three Crosses",
"The Red Bandanna."
AudioFile Magazine said about Barry's work:
"Barry Corbin is a
Max Brand hero incarnate. His reading is so easy to listen to you
don't want these short Westerns to end. Craven outlaws, bloodthirsty
bandits and of course, beautiful women are all portrayed equally well
in Barry's resonant voice. Characters accents and genders are easily
During the same year, Barry did a TV documentary called
West Part 3: Gunfighters"
in which he lent his voice to Wild Bill
In 1995 he was back into the record studio to read the classic
"Old Yeller", which stands as one of his most moving and
powerful narratives to date.
School Library Journal wrote:
"Actor Barry Corbin is a narrator
par excellence in this familiar story of love between a boy and a dog.
His timing and inflection are perfect, and his Texas accent lends
authenticity and a touch of humor to the narration."
One of Barry's personal highlights is
documentary written by astronauts Shepard and Slayton, members of the
original Mercury Seven Team, which tells the inside story about their
journey to the moon. Barry worked in both versions, the TV documentary
and the Audio Book, which were released in 1995.
On Saturday, May 4, 1996, Barry read
story by Tom Doyal about a middle-aged bookkeeper's day off, to a
packed auditorium at the Dallas Museum of Art, and he could barely get
through a line without hysterical laughter from the audience.
The New York Times wrote:
"On the first night of the new literary
season, the actor Barry Corbin brought the house down, Texas
This performance was recorded and is part of a of two tapes set called
"Texas Bound III. More Stories by Texas Writers Read by Texas
Actors", published in 1998.
Barry's vocal talent is also heard in
"Fate Of The Plains",
(1995) a documentary about the struggle to survive on America's last
frontier, "Eyes in The Sky" (1996) about the satellite
technology at AMSAT, "The U.S.-Mexican War 1846-1848"
(1998), a valuable retelling of this largely forgotten conflict, and
even in the hit animated series "King Of The Hill" (1999),
playing a Fire Chief.
He's done some voice work for stage like in the rock opera
Man Who Rides The Wind" (1998) and
(2000). This piece was scored for a 52-piece orchestra plus 7 offstage
instruments and where Barry does the voice of an 81-year-old oilman
reminiscing about a long-ago morning in a West Texas canyon that
changed his life.
Latest Barry's voice and hosting works include
Texas" (2000), a promotional tape about tourism in Texas, and two
documentaries that may be released during 2001: "Texas Tales and
and "Cowboy Country".
voice is on the radio as well. On May, 2000, he signed a new two year
exclusive agreement with the Dallas-Ft. Worth radio station KPLX-FM,
99.5 "The Wolf". The distinctive voice of Barry is featured
on various Wolf on-air productions, and he also does the station's TV
commercials and appears at special events. Barry has been the voice of
"The Wolf" since
Since the second half of the 90's the new technology has given Barry
another field to show his talents:
Interactive Video Games.
Barry has starred in
"The Pandora Directive" (1996)
"Steven Spielberg's Directors Chair"
with Quentin Tarantino, "Red Alert: Retaliation"
(1998), "Red Alert 2"
just recently in "Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge", which hit the stores in
Barry explains what it is like to work on a Video Game:
usually takes one long day to do my part in a game. So, as you can
see, there are not a whole lot of takes. It is an entirely new
technology to me and I have to depend on the director a lot more than
I normally do, because there are alternate ways to play the game and
there are some scenes that must be played very neutral so that you can
go in either direction."
However, Barry admits he's never even seen any of his video games:
enjoy doing interactive games, but I haven't mastered how to play them
yet. I haven't even seen any of them! If I ever see the full thing
I'll have to be watching someone play the game from an easy chair! I've heard good reports