The Early Years With Mu Heroes

My Heroes

It was important to have heroes and my heroes were the guys on the 1950s. These folks were not flashy, certainly were not super heroes (we knew the difference even as a 6 year old), but they were the heroes we wanted to emulate.  We knew the difference between good and bad, shades of grey did not exist!

Autry, Gene 1907-1998

Orvon Gene Autry
Every boys hero in the 1950's

Orvon Gene Autry (September 29, 1907 – October 2, 1998) was an American performer who gained fame as The Singing Cowboy on the radio, in movies and on television.

He was always doing the right thing and led a life we could all look up to!

He retired from show business in 1964, having made almost a hundred films up to 1955 and over 600 records.  I still hear many of his recordings to this day on the 40's channel of XM radio!

He was a patriot and served our country in the armed forces.  He walked the talk!

Autry served as a C-47 Skytrain pilot of the United States Army Air Forces with the rank of Flight Officer in the Air Transport Command during World War II flying dangerous missions over the Hump between Burma and China.

Autry created the Cowboy Code or Cowboy Commandments in response to his young radio listeners aspiring to be just like Gene. It's too bad parents don't stress these values today!/p>

  1.  The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair>
  2.  He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
  3.  He must always tell the truth.
  4.  He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.
  5.  He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
  6.  He must help people in distress.
  7.  He must be a good worker.
  8.  He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.
  9.  He must respect women, parents, and his nation's laws.
  10. The Cowboy is a patriot.

Just listen and close you eyes:

Evans, Dale 1912-2001

Dale Evans Though Dale Evans is more famous for being married to singing cowboy star Roy Rogers, she is an accomplished performer in her own right. She was born Frances Smith in Uvalde, Texas on October 31, 1912.

She spent her teen years in Arkansas and married at sixteen. The marriage was short-lived, however, and she soon embarked on a career as a pop singer.

She sang with the Anson Weeks Orchestra, appeared on numerous radio programs, and held a regular spot on the CBS News And Rhythm Show.

Dale Evans married Roy Rogers in 1947, and the couple often appeared together on the big screen.

Dale's film credits include "Orchestra Wives" (1942), "Swing Your Partner" (1943), "Casanova In Burlesque" (1944), "Utah" (1945), "Bells Of Rosarita" (1945), "My Pal Trigger" (1946), "Apache Pass" (1947), "Slippy McGee" (1948), "Susanna Pass" (1949), "Twilight In The Sierras" (1950), and "Pals Of The Golden West" (1951).

Roy Rogers (1911-1998)

Roy Rogers Leonard Franklin Slye (November 5, 1911 – July 6, 1998), who became famous as Roy Rogers, was a singer and cowboy actor. He and his third wife Dale Evans, his golden palomino Trigger, and his German shepherd, Bullet, were featured in over one hundred movies and The Roy Rogers Show.

The show ran on radio for nine years before moving to television from 1951 through 1957.

His productions usually featured two sidekicks, Pat Brady, (who drove a jeep called "Nellybelle"), and the crotchety Gabby Hayes.

Roy's nickname was "King of the Cowboys". Dale's nickname was "Queen of the West." For many Americans (and non-Americans), he was the embodiment of the all-American hero.

We would go to the movies or in the mid-1950;s wait for the latest TV serial featuring Roy and the gang.  He wore the white hat and took care of the bad guys!  He was real!

Listen to the adventures:

Flash Gordon

Flash Gordon
He saved the Universe every Saturday afternoon at the movies!

Essentially forgotten by the early 1980s, when videotapes of episodes of the series began to appear in toy stores, this US/West German/French production was briefly notorious in its day when a children's' programming watchdog committee testified before a Senate subcommittee that the program featured "nearly continuous violence." The same watchdog group found CAPTAIN VIDEO equally violent, which induced Al Hodge to appear before the subcommittee and testify that his scriptwriters never even used the word "kill," and that all the Captain's adversaries were ultimately reformed and rehabilitated. [He seemed to forget that Dr. Pauli generally wound up "disintegrated to atoms" at the end of each story line in which he appeared. But Dr. Pauli was always revived or reanimated, after all, at least once by Captain Video himself.]

The German/French FLASH GORDON, as a matter of fact, owes far more to CAPTAIN VIDEO than it does the classic newspaper strip by Alex Raymond, or the equally classic three Universal serials starring Buster Crabbe. "Flash" Gordon (Steve Holland), Dale Arden (Irene Champlin), and Dr. Hans Alexis Zarkov (Joe Nash), in something like the 30th Century, are agents of the Galactic Bureau of Investigation, sent out in their spaceship Skyflash to battle a wide range of Continental-looking bad eggs, including the Queens of Cygni, of Lyra, of Prudentia, and of Fulvia, Prince Klangor, and civilians Zaldu, Fizdar, Tridon, Rabeed, Zydereen the Mad Witch of Neptune, and the god Em of Odin(!). Irene Champlin makes a surprisingly plain and unattractive Dale Arden, and the script writers seen to stretch themselves to invent various tortures for her to undergo. Also, Flash is certainly the only 1950s space hero to have a talking parrot as a sidekick! Just as Captain Video takes his orders from Commissioner of Public Safety Carrey, Flash takes his from GBI Commissioners Herric and Erickson.

There were some scripts by mystery writer and amateur magician Bruce Elliot, who took over THE SHADOW's pulp adventures after Walter B. Gibson, and others by Earl Markham. Direction is credited to Wallace Worsley, Jr. and Gunther von Fritsch. At some point the production switched from Inter-Continental Film Productions studios in West Berlin, to La Telediffusion studios in Paris. Crews, sets, costumes and guest casts were totally different for the two different production centers. The special and visual effects for the German series were done by F. W. Wintzer; the space ship "Skyflash II" used in the Paris films looks quite different from the German version, called "Skyflash," which appears to be animated rather than an actual miniature like the Paris version. In early episodes, GBI costumes resemble the strange outfits worn by Space Patrollers in 1950-51, including blouses with large, puffy sleeves.

Flash Gordon
Buster Crabb played an excellent Flas Gordon in the 1930's

The initial appearance of FLASH GORDON on TV, however, came in 1951, when DuMont broadcast the original 1936 Buster Crabbe Universal serial on its Serial Theater series. Lame-brained New York Times television critic Jack Gould, who had apparently never seen a serial before, was so aghast at the incessant combat shown in the first two episodes that he launched a direct personal attack on Dr. Allen B. DuMont for "reckless social behavior." With parents following Gould's lead, DuMont pulled the serial, the first instance in which critical and parental pressure caused a drastic change in TV programming. Needless to say, when the serial was shown in its entirety a few months later, by another New York station, there was no comment at all, and the three Universal FLASH GORDON and the one Universal BUCK ROGERS serials, starring good old Buster Crabbe, were shown over and over, becoming the most consistently popular of all the classic serials broadcast during TV's Golden Age.

Just listen to the excitement on old time radio:

Gabby Hayes

Gabby Hayes Gabby Hayes Day in Wellsville, NY Republic Stars of '40s George "Gabby" Hayes starred in hundreds of Republic westerns, Gabby was sidekick to many of Western Stars among them John Wayne, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy, Wild Bill Elliott and Roy Rogers.  He was always the super friend and the guy you could depend upon.

Gabby Hayes one of the most beloved of all B-western movie characters and teller of tall tales to show up on the silver screen.

Author of such outrageous sayings as; "Dern Persnickety Women", "Why you young Whipper Snapper"  and "You dern Tooting" Roy and Gabby movie clip from "Along the Navajo Trail".  I still use those expressions today!

John Wayne

John Wayne  I have long been a fan of John Wayne. Through his honesty of living and grace in the face of adversity and criticism as well as all the glory he showed us all that he was truly a man of honor. John Wayne said that his father told him:

"Always keep your word, never intentionally insult anyone, and don't go around looking for trouble." I believe he kept his fathers wish all during his life. We all could learn something from this man.

John Wayne (May 26, 1907 June 11, 1979) was an Academy Award-winning American film actor. He epitomized ruggedly individualistic masculinity, and has become an enduring American icon. He is famous for his distinctive voice, walk and physical presence. He was also known for his conservative political views and his support in the 1950s for anti-communist positions.


Listen to a hero:

Lone Ranger

Lone Ranger

A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty "Hi Yo Silver!" The Lone Ranger. "Hi Yo Silver, away!" With his faithful Indian companion Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains, led the fight for law and order in the early west. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. The Lone Ranger rides again!

No matter if I live to be a hundred, there'll never be a time when hearing those first few blasts of brass of the William Tell Overture won't take me back to my childhood.

To a simpler time when I believed that there was a man who, with his Indian companion, was out there righting all the wrongs and teaching villains that greed and prejudice will fall before justice in the end.

In a time when our society desperately needs heroes, I wish he was out there still.

But, until somebody wises up and brings back the masked rider of the plains, I'll have to settle for my memories.

Randolph Scott, 1898-1987

Randolph Scott

Randolph Scott (January 23, 1898 – March 2, 1987) was an American motion picture actor whose career spanned from 1928 to 1962.

As a leading man for all but the first three years of his cinematic career, Scott appeared in a variety of genres, including social dramas, crime dramas, comedies, musicals (albeit in non-singing and non-dancing roles), adventure tales, war films, and even a few horror and fantasy films.

However, his most enduring image is that of the tall-in-the-saddle Western hero.

Out of his more than 100 film appearances more than 60 were in Westerns; thus, "of all the major stars whose name was associated with the Western, Scott most closely identified with it.

Sky King

Sky King
This as a great series which I watched every
Saturday morning like clockwork

Sky King was a 1940s and 1950s American radio and television adventure series featuring Arizona rancher and aircraft pilot Schuyler (or Skyler) "Sky" King. The series was likely based on a true-life person, Jack Cones, the Flying Constable of Twenty-nine Palms during the 1930's.

Although it had strong cowboy show elements, King always captured criminals and even spies and found lost hikers using his plane.

King's personal plane was called the Songbird. Though he changed from one plane to another over the course of the show, the later plane was not given a number (i.e., "Songbird II"), but was simply known as Songbird.

He and his niece, Penny (and sometimes Clipper, his nephew) lived on the Flying Crown Ranch, near the (fictitious) town of Grover City, Arizona. Penny and Clipper were also pilots, though still relatively inexperienced and looking to their uncle for guidance and mentoring. Penny was an accomplished air racer and rated multiengine pilot, who Sky trusted to fly the Songbird.

The television version starred Kirby Grant as Sky King and Gloria Winters as his teen-aged niece Penny. Other regular characters included his nephew Clipper, played by Ron Hagerthy, and Mitch the sheriff, played by Ewing Mitchell. Unlike many "lawman-acquaintance" characters on other shows, Mitch was competent, intelligent and skilled. He was always coming to Sky for help, due to friendship and recognizing the utility of Sky's flying skills. Other recurring characters included Jim Bell, the ranch foreman, played by Chubby Johnson as well as Sheriff Hollister played by Monte Blue and Bob Carey played by Norman Ollestad.

Like most TV cowboy heroes of the time, Sky never killed the bad guys, even though one episode had him shooting a machinegun into his own stolen plane.

Largely a show for kids, although it sometimes aired in primetime, Sky King became an icon in the aviation community. Many pilots (including American astronauts) who grew up watching Sky King name him as an influence.