Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The Cowboys I Missed

 Post by Doris McCraw

Writing as Angela Raines

Photo Property of the Author

Have you ever noticed how sometimes you just want to do nothing? I hit that state multiple times during the summer when the heat drives me inside. Are you like me and the heat makes even holding a book difficult? What's a person to do? Well, my solution is to try and find those old TV shows I didn't see when growing up. I think of it as 'research'. Now, don't laugh. Let me explain.

We had the second television in our small town, and while I was not censored in what I could watch or had a strict bedtime, there was this thing called 'parents'. What they wanted to watch was the priority. If they were not wanting to watch a Western then I didn't see those shows. Saturday morning was a different story. Sky King, Roy Rogers were part a parcel of those early years before I headed outside to travel around the area either on my bike or with my own two feet. Now that I'm older, it's fun to search out and watch what I might have missed.

Rory Calhoun as 'The Texan'
photo from Wikipedia

I wrote about some of my finds and will post the link at the end of this post. Today, I'm going to talk about two more of the shows I missed, "The Texan" and "Frontier Doctor". When I find these gems, I try to find out more about the actors also. So, here we go on a trip down the memory lane I missed.

"The Texan" starred bad boy Rory Calhoun, who not only starred in the show but was the executive producer along with Victor M. Orsatti. According to IMDb the character was created by Kathleen Hite and James Gunn. The series centered around Calhoun's character 'Bill Longley'. The logline for the DVD series reads, " A Civil War veteran ... roaming the West in this fast-paced, action-packed drama. The show ran for two seasons over three years. 

The one thing I admired about Calhoun is his willingness to not let his past juvenile delinquent record, including time spent in a Federal Prison before the age of twenty-one, worry him. One 'story' states that when he heard the studio he was under contract with was going to publish his record to deflect stories about another star, Calhoun beat them to the punch and made the record public himself. 

Rex Allen
photo from Wikipedia

The second show "Frontier Doctor" starred Rex Allen and ran one season, thirty-nine episodes. The series takes place in the Arizona territory near the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. It centers on the work, challenges, and adventures of Allen's character Dr. Bill Baxter as he heals the sick in the small town of Rising Springs, Arizona. According to Wikipedia the show ran in syndication and was also known as 'Unarmed' and 'Man of the West.'

Allen started out as a Vaudville singer and later became a singing cowboy in the 'B' westerns, often paired with Slim Pickens. The other cool thing about Allen, he narrated several nature documentaries for the Disney Company. If you watched any of those Disney documentaries, you will recognize his voice.

For those who would like to see an episode of each of these shows, here are the links.

"The Texan": YouTube - The Texan

"Frontier Doctor": YouTube - Frontier Doctor

First in this series: 'Summertime'

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History

Author of "The Agate Gulch" novellas 
and "The Kiowa Wells" novels.
Angela Raines - author: Telling Stories Where Love & History Meet

Post (c) Doris McCraw All Rights Resrved.


Julie Lence said...

That Rory Calhoun is a handsome fella! Thank you for sharing Doris.

Renaissance Women said...

He is, Julie. He also had quite the career. Glad you enjoyed the information. I'm having a lot of fun finding and watching these older shows.

Elizabeth Clements said...

Rory Calhoun is one of those lucky actors who stayed handsome right into old age. I last saw him in Pure Country, George Strait's one and only movie. I'm so glad his juvenile past didn't deter him from a successful movie career. I enjoyed the post, Doris.

Renaissance Women said...

I agree with you about his staying handsome. I also, from my own experience, believe that those like him who get into trouble are extremely intelligent. The story goes, he ran away at 15 to escape his step-father's cruelty. Doris