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Belle Starr

TOMBSTONE BLUES (From the album "Highway 61 Revisited") (Words and Music by Bob Dylan ) (1965 Warner Bros. Inc ... The ghost of Belle Starr she hands down her wits To Jezebel the nun she violently knits A bald wig for Jack the Ripper who sits At the head of the chamber of commerce ... SEEING THE REAL YOU AT LAST (from the album "Empire Burlesque") (Words and Music by Bob Dylan) (1985 Special Rider Music ... When I met you, baby, You didn't show no visible scars. You could ride like Annie Oakley, You could shoot like Belle Starr. ...

Subject: EDLIS Belle Starr [was Highway 61 Questions] Date: Wed, 8 Feb 1995 16:39:17 UNDEFINED
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Finally, an outlaw question comes up again. About Belle Starr... She's probably the best know female bandit of the American frontier. Her unmarried name was Myra Belle Shirley. She became involved with Cole Younger soon after the Civil War, and had a daughter with him. She was later married or attached to a string of lesser-known outlaws. The name of "Starr" she acquired from her husband Sam Starr, a Cherokee outlaw. She and Starr were convicted of horse theft, and after her release from prison she was suspected of a variety of "criminal activities." She was killed in 1889 by someone who attacked her from ambush with a shotgun. The identity of the culprit was never determined. Belle's notoriety comes mainly from the completely fictionalized "biography" of her written by Richard Fox, called _Bella Starr, the Bandit Queen, or the Female Jesse James: A Full and Authentic History of the Dashing Female Highwayman_. Of Belle, it claimed, "Of all women... the universe produced none more remarkable than Bella Starr, the Bandit Queen. Her character was a combination of the very worst as well as some of the very best traits of her sex. She was more amorous than Anthony's mistress, more relentless than Pharaoh's daughter, and braver than Joan of Arc." A later book, _Belle Starr "The Bandit Queen"_ appeared in 1941 and was loosely used for the movie of the same title, in which the Bandit Queen was played by Gene Tierney. This film spawned a succession of very bad Belle Starr movies through the 40's and into the 50's. Perhaps the most infamous of the lot is _Montana Belle_ starring Jane Russell. Among other reprehensible scenes is what has been called "perhaps the worst musical number to appear in any wild western film," "The Gilded Lady." Tim L. EDLIS Outlaw agent
Subject: Re: Annie Oakley and Belle Starr From: (Mark Landis) Date: 2 Mar 1997 22:46:53 GMT >In 'Seeing the Real You At Last', Dylan sings: >'You could ride like Annie Oakley, >You could shoot like Belle Starr'. Can't find any reference to a Belle Starr comic strip in the standard reference works of Maurice Horn. She was not, in any event, a fictional character. She was a real life horse-thief and cattle rustler, and in all likelihood a prostitute. Karl Erik's Expecting Rain page has an entry in the Who's Who. Not mentioned in that entry are the fact that she hid Jesse James at one point, shortly before he returned to Missouri and was shot by Robert Ford. Also not mentioned is the suspicion that her son, with whom she is believed to have had incestuous relations, killed her after she whipped him for using her favorite horse without permission.
From: Date: Mon, 21 Jul 1997 Subject: Belle Starr and Bob Dylan I'm a researcher of Belle Starr who is mentioned in this reference. ... I have researched her character rather extensively and much of what is regarded as fact about her life is either speculation, rumor, or came from the dime novels written about her. There is a musical about her which is performed at Robber's Cave State Park in Oklahoma (Previously Indian Territory) where she hid out with Sam Starr. She is one of the most interesting female characters in history and many of the old families in the area around Robber's Cave tell stories about her.

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