22 September 2004 | rcj5365
Longest Running Syndicated Show On Television
Hmmm................"Death Valley Days"..........
I remember this show very well. It was a part of a lot of Saturday evening programming,and some Saturday afternoons as well when I was a kid growing up. It's amazing that this show would go on to make history as well which ran on television for an impressive 23 years(1952-1975)...It became the longest-running syndicated Western/Drama program in the history of television,and it stands besides some of the best Westerns of their day.....the legendary drama that ran on prime-time television,"Gunsmoke",which ran for 20 years on CBS,and the Western adventure drama "Bonanza",which ran for 14 years on NBC. "Death Valley Days" has also made its mark in tying with another classic show as well,"The Ed Sullivan Show",which ran for 23 years on CBS,making it the longest-running variety show ever on prime-time.
For most of the show,I do recall the opening bugle call and the announcer opening to the title of the show and the sponsor,which was 20 Mule Team With Borax,which to this day is still on the market! Believe me,20-Mule Team With Borax will clean almost anything including everything around the house..its just that good! About those episodes,especially with the earlier episodes which were in black and white(1952-1965). The Black and White Episodes were exciting to watch since they were based on the true stories about the struggles of the Old West and the Pioneers who would go through the trials and tribulations of the American frontier. Each week there were stories based on gunslingers,Indians,Traders,Wagon Masters,United States Calvary,Mexican Bandits,Sheriffs,Deputies,Posses,along with the usual sort of Western fare that I saw plenty of on television back in those days. Some of these scenes were filmed around Death Valley,California; and in Arizona or on some Hollywood studio backlot.
However,when the show made the transition to color(1965-1975),the stories got flimsier and rather stagy in some spots but the shows would switch location shots,one scene was filmed in Death Valley,CA; and the others were either filmed around Arizona and parts of the Upper California Valley,and I do recall one episode that was filmed around the Colorado Valley area. Some of the "color" episodes were quite boring and slow,and that's when I quite watching the show altogether. Some of the hosts that brought out the show were "The Original Old Ranger",who was played by Stanley Andrews,and then on by Ronald Reagan before he went into politics. There was one segment where country superstar Merle Haggard was guest host as well. The guest star roster that appeared on this show were some of the Hollywood's who's who and you'll see a lot of that here. It was the quinessential American Western,and for the 23 years that it ran in syndication was quite popular,depending on some of the episodes,which some were good and some were just awful. Now how about having those episodes out on DVD and Video sometime?