My tribute to James Drury for Ed Robertson’s TV CONFIDENTIAL radio show is now available as a podcast at: https://www.televisionconfidential.com/radio-stations/podcast-of-tv-confidential-show-no-507-tribute-to-james-drury-with-guest-paul-green-is-available-for-listening-on-demand/?fbclid=IwAR2h28Wy6rdOIcaRJ_VbjcRRplkDdMrmLJmukwcfCzHjBR1KDFv3lhcZr2w
Following the discussion on “The Awakening” thread elsewhere on my site here’s the cover of Randy Boone’s LP featuring a song used in that episode. It’s a rare collector’s item that’s extremely difficult to locate for sale.
A few of you have been asking about the sheet music to “Tomorrow” by John Williams and Frederick Herbert. Originally written for an episode of “Wagon Train” it became a standard on “The Virginian” and other Revue-Universal productions. This is all I’ve been able to locate.
Happy birthday to James Drury – 85 today.
Happy birthday to Gary Clarke who is 85 today. It was a great disappointment to his fans that he couldn’t remain on The Virginian for its entire run. Good to see he’s still very active working on new film projects.
Cozi TV have begun broadcasting the Morgan Starr episodes. Since my original post back in 2013 I can approach Starr with a new perspective. The introductory episode is arguably one of the better episodes of an uneven season. At first glace Starr’s stern manner is a stark contrast to Judge Garth, but as the episode progresses his relationship with Jennifer softens and we see a lighter side to his character. It is still hard to accept Judge Garth would have recommended a surly authoritarian to succeed him at Shiloh. And just as difficult to accept that The Virginian turned down the job as boss of Shiloh ranch given the fact he admits to Starr that his allegiance to Judge Garth is paramount. The introduction to Starr by Garth in person before he assumed his Governor position would have eased the transition for viewers. Instead we got a sudden departure without any goodbye. Apparently Lee J. Cobb didn’t want to stay around longer than he had to.
With all its faults “Morgan Starr” remains an interesting episode. A pity Trampas was absent for such a key episode.
INSP have begun broadcasting the Morgan Starr episodes. Arguably the least popular addition to the Shiloh “family” – Morgan Starr succeeded Judge Garth as the boss at Shiloh Ranch for a brief period during Season 4. The dark tone of Starr’s episodes was in stark contrast to Judge Garth. Starr’s stern, abrasive manner and military type persona was ill fitting for a show that relied on a friendly extended family at Shiloh Ranch.
Even the Virginian’s character was compromised and at times he took orders from Starr with an eagerness that bordered on servitude as in ‘Harvest of Strangers’ (4:22). It’s hard to accept Judge Garth would have recommended a surly authoritarian to succeed him at Shiloh. It is this basic lack of character continuity that adds to the confusion for the viewer in late Season 4. With the departure of Betsy and Judge Garth the introduction of Morgan Starr…
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On May 15, 1967, the Universal Studios backlot caught fire resulting in roughly $1 million worth of damage. Denver Street (Medicine Bow) was one of the sets destroyed in the fire. It was rebuilt to enable filming on “The Virginian” and other Universal TV series and films to continue without major disruption. (UPI photo)
The iconic Shiloh Ranch set was built in 1962, specifically for “The Virginian” TV series. A few years earlier the same location (minus Shiloh Ranch) was used in the final scenes of “Spartacus” (1960) where Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) was crucified along with many of his followers.
Happy birthday to James Drury who is 84 today. His talent continues to shine through the years.
“The Virginian” is 55 today. It was first broadcast on NBC September 19, 1962 where it was promoted as the first 90 minute TV Western (length before adverts approx. 74 min.). A testament to its lasting quality is the fact the show is still in syndication today.