Thursday, September 5, 2019

"Laramie" Debuts – September 1959

When I saw this promotional photo for the TV series “Laramie,” I chuckled and knew I would have to post it here on the blog. It appeared next to the TV listings in the Lorain Journal on September 1, 1959 – 60 years ago this month.

It amused me because I watch a lot of the GRIT TV channel, which is mostly Westerns, and the ever-popular “Laramie” is a mainstay of its daytime programming. Episodes run from mid-morning until mid-afternoon most weekdays, so its fans can do a little Western-style binging.

The series was brand new and soon to debut on September 15, 1959 when the publicity photo ran. It includes the original cast, John Smith (Slim), Robert Fuller (Jess), Hoagy Carmichael (Jonesy) and Bobby Crawford, Jr. (Slim’s brother Andy). By the time of the second season, Andy would be pretty much packed off to boarding school, and replaced by a new kid in the third season. Jonesy disappeared in the second season as well.

Anyway, my mother watches a lot of GRIT too, with the result that we often have funny conversations about things like whether we prefer episodes featuring Slim or Jess. I was surprised to discover that Mom prefers watching Slim (who she thinks is handsome) while I would rather watch the hot-headed Jess spring into action with his fists or his guns.

Interestingly, when “Laramie” was first broadcast in color in 1962, NBC launched a special promotional introduction featuring its peacock to go with it. It has become known as the “Laramie Peacock," and ran for many years on the network before its color programming.

Watch this clip and don’t be surprised if memories of the 1960s come flooding back.

Happily, 60 years after “Laramie” debuted, Robert Fuller is still with us. Here he is in a short, funny 2010 interview in which he explains how he got his job on “Laramie.”


-Alan D Hopewell said...

Bobby Crawford is the brother of Johnny Crawford, from THE RIFLEMAN.

Dan Brady said...

It's funny both brothers landed gigs on Westerns. After "The Rifleman," Johnny Crawford had a gut-wrenching scene (literally) with John Wayne in "El Dorado."

Anonymous said...

Last night an episode was on in the middle of the night on GRIT. Robert Fuller wasn't on it. I always thought he was pretty good looking. And, stupidly, wondered for awhile in the early 70s if he was the president of Oberlin College......