Sunday, October 21, 2012

Celebrity Rock: Tumbling Tumbleweeds (1986)

Here's one for the "Bet'cha Didn't Know" file.

Before he was cast as Festus on Gunsmoke for the final 11 years of its run, Ken Curtis had already had a long, distinguished career in show business, mostly as a singer. Curtis sang with the Sons of the Pioneers, and with the Tommy Dorsey & Shep Fields bands. With Dorsey, Curtis stepped into some pretty big shoes, as he succeeded------Frank Sinatra. Talk about a tough act to follow!

Curtis came to Gunsmoke after a 2 year run on Ripcord, and created the distinctive appearance of Festus, a scruffy, illliterate sort who became more or less Matt Dillon's sidekick. After Gunsmoke ended, Curtis returned to his musical roots, taking the occasional acting job.

Following is a clip of Curtis performing a song commonly associated with the Sons of the Pioneers, "Tumbling Tumbleweeds", recorded in Germany in 1986.

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