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Classic TV Westerns
What We Used To Watch on TV Classic TV Westerns - "Cheyenne." Photo above: Actor Clint Walker (left) with his stand-in Clyde Howdy (centre) on the set of "Cheyenne." US 1957. When television became popular in the late 1940s and 1950s, TV westerns quickly became an audience favorite. The peak year for television westerns was 1959, with 26 such shows airing during prime-time. Cheyenne is a western television series of 108 black-and-white episodes broadcast on ABC from 1955 to 1963. The show was the first hour-long western, and in fact the first hour-long dramatic series of any kind, with regular characters, to last more than one season. It was also the first series to be made by a major Hollywood film studio which did not derive from its established film properties, and the first of a long chain of Warner Brothers original series produced by William T. Orr. The series' strength was its charismatic star and TV western icon, Clint Walker, who dominated the screen with his powerful physique. Off the set, Walker battled the studio over his contract, making Cheyenne one of the more tempestuous productions in the history of television. Norman Eugene "Clint" Walker (born May 30, 1927) is an American actor best known for his cowboy role as "Cheyenne Bodie" in the TV Western series, Cheyenne. Walker was born in Hartford, Illinois; he was a twin, and is of one-quarter Cherokee descent. He left school to work at a factory and on a river boat, then joined the United States Merchant Marine at the age of seventeen in the last months of World War II. After leaving the Merchant Marine, he labored at odd jobs in Brownwood, Texas, Long Beach, California, and Las Vegas, where he worked as a doorman at the Sands Hotel. He also was also employed as a sheet-metal worker and a nightclub bouncer.Classic TV Westerns
What We Used To Watch on TV Classic TV Westerns - Wagon Train Photo above: A scene from the TV show "Wagon Train" being filmed in the US 1957. The show was based on the 1950 film Wagon Master directed by John Ford and starring Ben Johnson, Harry Carey Jr., and Ward Bond. This rolled across our screen from 1957 through to 1965, Rollin': Robert Morton in Wagon Train though, as I recall, the overnight camp sites that the settlers pulled up at seemed to be very similar in foliage and surroundings. Major Seth Adams was the wagon master (played by Ward Bond), while Flint McCullough was his trusty scout. The Wagon Train left St Joseph, Missouri, for the West Coast and faced a series of adventures and mishaps on the Indian controlled plains in post-Civil War America. Stories also revolved around encounters with friendly and unfriendly folk they met during their travels through the endless deserts, and the towering passes of the Rocky Mountains. The great thing was the fact its characters changed regularly because of the transient nature of the trekking. So one week we might have some God-fearing folk in a flight for their lives and another we could be dealing with a right nasty piece of work heading West. Astonishing, now, to think that over here Wagon Train became a British political issue. The year was 1959 and the Labour Party fretted about the general election being held on the same day as the series was screened, in case it kept their supporters away from the polling booths. They could well have been right as the result later showed.
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