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From the Land of Band Box Records

….Must Have Been the Best!

So many shoot ’em up westerners occupied our television screens throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s – some of the Saturday morning young audience type and many throughout the week for the enjoyment of all ages.

Those days are mostly gone.  Seems that about only one or two motion picture westerns come along each year (if that many) on the big screen – and when did a weekly TV western last grace our flat screens?

Following is a selective discography of TV westerns which found their way in some form onto vinyl during the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Not many of the western TV program themes managed to reach the charts – the big exception being “The Ballad of Davy Crocket” as well as a late era release by War “The Cisco Kid”.  “Bonanza” crackes the charts but that was about it.  One common thread to every western on TV was the resulting comic books – We bought as fast as they came out and traded them just as quickly!

The Lone Ranger – 1949/1957

Clayton Moore & Jay Silverheels – Lead Actors

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Hopalong Cassidy – 1949/1954

William Boyd – Lead Actor

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The Cisco Kid – 1950/1956

Duncan Renaldo & Leo Carrillo – Lead Actors

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“The Cisco Kid” by War charted in 1973 peaking at number 2!

The Roy Rogers Show – 1951/1957

Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Pat Brady – Lead Actors – Brady – like Ken Curtis of Gunsmoke – was a member of the Sons of the Pioneers as was Roy Rogers an original member

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The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok – 1951/1958

Guy Madison and Andy Devine – Lead Actors

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The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin – 1954/1959

Lee Aaker (Corporal Rusty) – James Brown (Lt. Rip Masters) & ‘Private’ Rin Tin Tin (“Rinty) – Lead Actors

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Rin Tin Tin started off as a series of Hollywood movies – first one coming in 1922 – The original Rinty was born in 1918 and died in 1932 – On the Television show most episodes starred one dog named “Flamed Jr.”  Another German Shepherd who had suffered from an eye injury while very young – filled in to perform fight scenes and to do the more difficult stunts.

The First Rin Tin Tin

Davy Crockett – 1954/1955

Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen – Lead Actors

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Bill Hayes charted number 1 for 5 weeks in 1955 – Tennessee Ernie Ford charted number 5 in 1955 – Fess Parker charted number 5 in 1955 and Walter Schumann charted number 14 in 1955

During the peak years of the coonskin cap made famous by Crockett – 5,000 caps were being ripped from the retail shops a day!

Annie Oakley – 1954/1957

Gail Davis – Lead Actor

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Gunsmoke – 1955/1975

James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, Buck Taylor, Ken Curtis & Dennis Weaver – Lead Actors

Gunsmoke ran longer on TV than any other series in the history of prime time television. Ken Curtis (Festus) was a member of the Sons of the Pioneers”.

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Cheyenne – 1955/1963

Clint Walker – Lead Actor

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Judge Roy Bean – 1955/1956

Edgar Buchanan – Lead Actor

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Sergeant Preston of the Yukon – 1955/1958

Dick Simmons – Lead Actor

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The Life & Times of Wyatt Earp – 1955/1961

Hugh O’Brian – Lead Actor

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The Adventures of Jim Bowie – 1956/1958

Scott Forbes – Lead Actor

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The Sheriff of Cochise – 1956/1958

John Bromfield and Stan Jones – Lead Actors

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Wagon Train – 1957/1965

Ward Bon, Robert Horton, John McIntire and Robert Fuller – Lead Actors

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Zorro – 1957/1961

Guy Williams & Gene Sheldon – Lead Actors

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Charted Number 17 by the Chordettes in May of 1958

Maverick – 1957/1962

James Garner, Jack Kelly, Roger Moore and Robert Colbert – Lead Actors

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Tales of the Texas Rangers – 1955/1958

Willard Parker & Harry Lauter – Lead Actors

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Have Gun, Will Travel – 1957/1963

Richard Boone – Lead Actor

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Sugarfoot – 1957/1961

Will Hutchins – Lead Actor

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Tales of Wells Fargo – 1957/1962

Dale Robertson – Lead Actor

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Bat Masterson – 1958/1961

Gene Garry – Lead Actor

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The Rifleman – 1958-1963

Johnny Crawford and Chuck Connors – Lead Actors

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While not a “Rifleman” release this Johnny Crawford single has him decked out as “Mark McCain”

Bonanza – 1959/1973

Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts, Dan Blocker & Michael Landon – Lead Actors

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Al Caiola charted number 19 in 1961 and Johnny Cash charted number 94 in 1962.

Rawhide – 1959/1966

Eric Fleming, Clint Eastwood, Sheb Wooley, John Ireland – Lead Actors

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Rawhide by Frankie Laine failed to make the Billboard Charts  – Link Wray’s “Raw-Hide” was a different recording

 

The Rebel – 1959/1961

Nick Adams – Lead Actor

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The Virginian – 1962/1971

James Drury & Doug McClure – Lead Actors

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Daniel Boone – 1964/1970

Fess Parker – Lead Actor

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The Big Valley – 1965/1969

Barbara Stanwick & Lee Majors – Lead Actors

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F Troop – 1965/1967

Forrest Tucker – Lead Actor

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The Legend of Jesse James – 1965/1966

Christopher Jones – Lead Actor

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