Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Classic TV: Davy Crockett (1954)

Here's another piece of the anthology series, Disneyland, and, perhaps, its most famous.

Davy Crockett appeared in three episodes in the first season, in what Walt Disney himself would describe as a trilogy. Fess Parker starred as Crockett, with Buddy Ebsen as George Russel.

Even though there were five episodes in all---the last two take place presumably before "Davy Crockett at the Alamo"---, Crockett was enough of a hit to warrant merchandising, such as replica coonskin caps, trading cards, and comic books. Parker even recorded his own version of the theme song, "The Ballad of Davy Crockett", most commonly associated with actor-singer Bill Hayes (Days of Our Lives).

I barely remember seeing reruns airing on The Wonderful World of Disney as a youth, and at one point in that same period, I acquired a bio on Davy that was later donated to a local church after I moved to my current abode. Early on in the following video, you'll see a proverb made famous by Crockett that I've taken to heart over the years:

"Be sure you're right---then go ahead!"

Crockett served as a Congressman from his native Tennessee before the fateful battle at the Alamo. Following is the first portion of that episode, with guest star Hans Conreid as the gambler known simply as Thimblerig, so named for the game he plays, which happens to be a variant on the more well known three card monte.

In the 60's, Parker would bring another famous frontiersman to life. Daniel Boone, however, lasted much longer than Davy Crockett did, and found its way into syndication, unlike Crockett.

Rating: A.

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