Many thanks to Val for posting extensive video footage of The Virginian cast panel at the 50th Anniversary event. To view the footage click on the Comments section of “Clu Gulager at the 50th Anniversary Autry Event.’ Clu Gulager is in fine form and I’m very pleased to hear him and Don Quine giving credit to producer Frank Price.
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Front Row:(seated) Lou Elias (stuntman brother of James Stacy leaning on chair) James Stacy, Michael Dante, BarBara Luna, James Drury, Roberta Shore, and William Smith. Middle Row: Peter Ford, Dennis Holmes, Johnny Washbrook, Don Quine, Randy Boone, Gary Clarke, and Jimmy Baird. Back Row: John Saxon, Tony Numkena, Robert Wolders, James Hampton, John Buttram, Roger Mobley, and Bobby Diamond. (Thanks to Ray Nielsen)
Memphis Film Festival organizer Ray Nielsen has kindly given me permission to post his photographs from the recent Virginian reunion in Memphis, Tennessee. From left to right are : Don Quine, Gary Clarke, Roberta Shore, Randy Boone, James Drury and BarBara Luna (Doug McClure’s 2nd wife). This was the first time Don Quine had attended a Virginian reunion event.
“It’s So Hard To Tell Mama Goodbye” is an early example of a music video (on film) from 1967 featuring Randy Boone on vocals and film. Randy had left The Virginian when this film was shot but the song provides an interesting insight into the concerns of young people in the Vietnam War era. Concerns that had a dramatic effect on the Western genre leading to the anti-hero as a lead character. Traditional Western stars such as John Wayne saw their popularity waver in the late 1960s and the TV Western become less relevant to an increasingly jaded generation. The few key TV Westerns (The Virginian, Bonanza, Gunsmoke) that survived through the 1960s into the 1970s all began their runs in more optimistic times for America and the few TV Westerns that began production during the mid-to late sixties all suffered early cancellation with the exception of The Big Valley and The High Chaparral which both ran to four seasons.