Saturday, October 22, 2016

Classic TV: Daniel Boone (1964)

Fess Parker had made coonskin caps a marketing phenomenon in the 50's as Davy Crockett. And, so, it was that same headgear that helped him make another historical hero a TV icon of the 60's.

20th Century Fox signed Parker to star as Daniel Boone, which lasted six seasons on NBC (1964-70), and currently airs on cable on INSP and Me-TV. In between Crockett & Boone, Parker had been cast in a sitcom adaptation of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1962), which lasted just 1 season.

Boone was structured around the frontiersman's family, most notably wife Rebecca (Patricia Blair) and son Israel (Darby Hinton). Daughter Jemima (Veronica Cartwright) appeared during the first two seasons, but was written out of the show. Albert Salmi, who played Boone's scout-sidekick, Yadkin, left after the first season, meaning that Ed Ames, as the Oxford-educated Native American, Mingo, would become Boone's de facto partner-in-peril, at least until Ames left the series following season 4.

After that, country singer Jimmy Dean came aboard as Josh Clements in season 5, and former football player and part-time singer Roosevelt Grier joined the show in the final year as former slave Gabriel Cooper. As memory serves, Dean's time on Boone would lead to his landing one last variety show, this time for ABC.

Parker, while not formally credited, was actually a producer as well, through his Fespar Productions.

Right now, let's go back to the series opener, from 1964.

The Ken Darby Singers performed the title song for the first season, but the theme would be more up-tempo as time wore on.

Rating: A.


Mike Doran said...

That was Angela Cartwright, Veronica's younger sister, who was on Lost in Space, starting in 1965.

That was Daniel Boone's second season; the runs of the two shows overlapped, as did the Cartwright sisters's tenures on same.

hobbyfan said...

I will correct that, Mike. Thank you.

Mike Doran said...

Uh, hobbyfan ...

On Make Room For Daddy ...

... that was also Angela Cartwright.

Veronica Cartwright was best known at that point as Rod Taylor's kid sister in The Birds.

hobbyfan said...

Oh. I'll go back and fix that.