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I have to admit this TV series is near and dear to my heart.  I may have thrown some of you off with the “teen heart throb” comment, for that part of the co-star’s career was not as much of a rising star as, say, Ricky Nelson from Ozzie and Harriet. And Christine was absolutely right, I worded my comment about the name of the series poorly. It wasn’t exactly the name of the weapon. But did you guess it anyway? It was…

The Rifleman

It had a VERY short intro! It was cut down from the way Sam Peckinpah had it filmed, which was horribly violent for that day. This is the shortened version.

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The theme of this show was that everyone deserves a second chance. I think that’s why I liked it so much. Then, of course, there was Johnny Crawford, who played Connor’s movie son Mark. An original on the Mickey Mouse Club, Crawford went on to do a lot of TV acting as well as establishing a singing career. And though that career was not as stellar as some of the young teen idols around at the time, Crawford never lost his love of music. He now has his own orchestra, The Johnny Crawford Dance Orchestra, which travels the country reminding folks of the Big Band era.

He also never lost his love for his TV father. They stayed close for the rest of their lives. Crawford gave the eulogy at Connor’s funeral. Below is a tribute video to them. The track playing behind the video is Johnny Crawford singing “Living in the Past.”

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I hope YOU had some fond memories of this show. And, btw, my favorite song by Crawford is “Rumors.” And YES! I do have the album! 😀 And as a little aside, a few years ago Village Inn Restaurant revamped their menu and on the front was a picture I recognized!

I emailed the corporate office to verify my suspicions, and sure enough, it was a stock picture of Johnny Crawford when he was 12. And Village Inn was kind enough to send me a copy of the menu! LOL
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Now the S for the April A to Z Challenge gave me quite a problem because there were THREE TV series in that category that I loved. So for tomorrow — since this is the weekend and you’ll have a bit off extra time to do some research — you’re going to get a threefer! 😀

Our first entrant in this category is a television series produced by Walt Disney about an American Revolutionary War hero. It was part of Disney’s effort to provide a little education to the kids in his viewing audience. Eight episodes were made from 1959 to 1961. In fact, my home town in Ohio was named after this man (as are more than 30 OTHER towns and counties across the US!). And in 2000, Mel Gibson starred in a movie about him. His character really WAS larger than life.

Our second entrant set off a budding interest for me in underwater adventures. I went on to become like the #1 fan of author Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt series. 😀 The TV show was about a free-lance scuba diver who had all kinds of adventures! Produced by Ivan Tors, the series ran from 1958 to 1961. And though I am scared to death of the water, it had me wanting to become a marine biologist or some such thing. 😀 (And this actor is the father of two well-know stars of today. 😀 )

The last entry in this category was an American radio and TV series. Its lead character was an Arizona rancher and aircraft pilot. The series was supposedly based on a true-life personality of the 1930’s known as the “Flying Constable” of Twentynine Palms in San Bernardino County, California. The main character NEVER shot the bad guys! The show became an icon in the aviation community. Many pilots, including American astronauts, grew up watching it and named the series as an influence in their career choices. The “Songbird” was one of the co-stars.

Now there’s a NOT of information there! That ought to keep you busy for the weekend. What do you think? Can you…

(Btw, if you know the answer, please keep it to yourself so as not to give it away. Stick a smiley face on your comment instead. Thank you so much!)

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(Just a quick note. If the title of the show is preceded with the word “The”, it will NOT be included in the name.)

Picture Sources:
Saturday Special — Amblecote Christian Centre
The Rifleman — TV Guide
Johnny Crawford Dance Orchestra — Pinterest
Letter S — http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/to-z-badges-and-banners.html
Name That TV Show — Pinterest

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