Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Saturday Morning's Forgotten Heroes: The Roy Rogers Show (1951)

Hollywood's "King of the Cowboys", Roy Rogers, transitioned to television in 1951 with a Sunday night oater on NBC that lasted for 6 seasons. Roy and wife Dale Evans were joined by comedy relief Pat Brady of the vocal group, The Sons of the Pioneers, the same ensemble that another actor, Ken Curtis, sang with before he became an icon as Festus on Gunsmoke. Add Trigger & Buttermilk and Bullet, a German Shepherd "wonder dog", sort of Roy's answer to Rin Tin Tin, if ya will, and all the elements are there for a family adventure show.

After 4 years away, the series returned as an all-rerun Saturday morning entry on CBS from 1961-4, though I doubt that they were able to air all of the episodes. A few years ago, the Variety Channel, a small cable channel, carried repeats of the series on its original night, Sundays, but at a later time, around 9 (ET), and that's where I ran across it after acquiring a DVD that had a single episode, coupled with a radio episode (yes, Roy did radio, too), from Radio Spirits.

The plots were generic and typical of the era, as you'll see in the episode, "Ranch War". Wild West Toys, an online retailer, has a number of channels on YouTube, and RoyRogersShow is one of them........



Rating: A.

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