Call of the Canyon

Call of the Canyon trail, near Sedona, Arizona

Joe and I recently traveled to Sedona, Arizona for a rejuvenating spring break filled with stunning desert hikes. West Fork Trail, a.k.a “The Call of the Canyon,” just a few miles north of Sedona, is a popular hike that meanders back and forth across a rippling creek and through a canyon maze of spectacular striated rock ledges, peaks, and walls. We also took in the Grand Canyon-the South Rim. I was delighted with the hiking trail that runs parallel to the canyon for several miles! The day was glorious, the canyon, well, grand!

I learned that among the many early Westerns filmed in Sedona, was a 1923 movie called The Call of the Canyon. In 1924, The Pullman Herald urged, “Better answer The Call of the Canyon and come along to the Western thrill-land. Where a son of toil teaches a daughter of jazz the a-b-c of living and loving.” Sign me up, I need to watch this old movie ASAP!  

Another movie, Rhythm on the Range, made in 1940, features the theme song, “The Call of the Canyon.” Here is Frank Sinatra’s recording: New York a

The Monday after I arrived home, McFarland Publishers emailed with my page proofs for Music in the Westward Expansion: Songs of Heart and Place on the American Frontier, which means that I am currently working on the final task- creating the index! Hurray! Seeing the pdf of the book as it will print, complete with the images and sheet music (10 lead sheets in the back), is thrilling! The book will be published very soon-within the next couple of months! You can pre-order your copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, McFarland, or wherever you buy books.

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8 thoughts on “Call of the Canyon

    • lauradeanmusic says:


      Thank you very much! When I’m finished with the indexing I am going to work on the article for “No Dead Guys”…. the topic I’m thinking of is inspired and interesting solo piano music that I stumbled upon while doing research for the book. Some of the composers.. still living. 🙂

      • Rhonda Rizzo says:

        Can’t wait to see that article, Laura! Congratulations again, and best of luck with the indexing!

        On Tue, Apr 26, 2022 at 5:49 PM Laura Dean: Musical Artist, Teacher, Author

  1. Jill Nussinow says:

    Way to go Laura. Do you know Laura Gallerstein who does sound healing at the ranch? She lives in Sedona.

    I am heading there in a few weeks to cook for a small retreat that she and another Laura (lots of Lauras in my life) will be hosting.

    I feel a bit crazed about this but I am sure that it will be a learning experience. Speaking of learning experiences, I know (or think) that you teach singing. Is this true? I am not sure that I am ready to sign but starting to explore the potential.

    Welcome home. Trip sounds wonderful.

    And index – I very much enjoyed doing the indices for my first 3 books. I did them on index cards – made sense to me.

    Enjoy everything, Jill

    On Tue, Apr 26, 2022 at 7:09 AM Laura Dean: Musical Artist, Teacher, Author

  2. lauradeanmusic says:

    Hi Jill,
    So great to hear from you! the cooking retreat sounds wonderful! Maybe you can try that Chocola Tree restaurant if you haven’t already. The food was amazing! Lots of vegan options! I’m obsessed with the chia seed crackers they served us!

    I do teach singing, that sounds like a wonderful new pursuit for you. So much of it is about breath and then just finding songs that you love that are a match for your range- that is the motivator.

    I admit, I am enjoying the indexing process and I’ll also be happy when the task if finished. It is a heavy lift, to be sure. I’ll finish and then Joe and I head to the ranch on May 22 where I’ll be a guest presenter for the week featuring music inspired by the forthcoming book.

    Happy spring and I love hearing all of your news!

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