Rawhide

Guest star Ruta Lee with Clint Eastwood (Rowdy Yates) and Eric Fleming (Gil Favor)

 

Text and pictures courtesy of Sierra

 

"Rawhide" was the saga of a group of cattle drovers and their weekly adventures and travails as they tried to guide a herd of cattle up the Chisholm trail from Texas to Kansas. The show premiered on  January 9, 1959 and ended on December 7, 1965. The crew was led by their Trail Boss and father-figure Gil Favor, played by Eric Fleming. A very young Clint Eastwood played the volatile young ramrod, Rowdy Yates, a man who regularly won the loyalty of his crew and the hearts of young girls.

Wishbone, played by Paul Brinegar, was the crusty cook with a heart of gold -- a man who could offer both sage advice and acerbic comments as the situation warranted. Sheb Wooley, who was a singer as well as an actor (he's best known for his song "Purple People Eater") played scout Pete Nolan. After Wooley left the cast, Charles Gray joined the trail drive as scout Clay Forrester.

Each week, the drovers had to overcome either natural disasters such as flood or drought, or human problems with the dangerous or odd characters they collected along the way as they struggled to deliver their herd of cattle. Occasionally, the series would have the crew reach their destination and deliver their herd, only to start a new trail drive the next week. The series was considered to be a more realistic portrayal of life in the old West than most of the other TV Westerns, and its episodes could be harsh and unsentimental. Guest stars included Barbara Stanwyck, Buddy Ebsen, Lon Chaney Jr., Frankie Avalon, Claude Akins, Robert Culp, Mary Astor, Charles Herbert, Earl Holliman, Alan Hale Jr. and Dwayne Hickman.

"Rawhide" was one of the most popular of the early Westerns, but the series ended rather abruptly after Eric Fleming drowned while filming a movie. After Fleming's death, Eastwood took over as trail boss for the last 13 episodes during the final season. In all, 217 episodes of Rawhide were filmed. The show premiered on  January 9, 1959 and ended on December 7, 1965. The series is often remembered as the vehicle which launched the budding career of Clint Eastwood. 

The theme song by Frankie Laine is one of the most well-remembered theme songs of the westerns:

RAWHIDE

Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Though the streams are swollen
Keep them doggies rollin'
Rawhide!

Through rain and wind and weather
Hell-bent for leather
Wishin' my gal was by my side
All the things I'm missin'
Good vittles, love and kissin'
Are waiting at the end of my ride

CHORUS
Move 'em on, head 'em up
Head 'em up, move 'em on
Move 'em on, head 'em up
Rawhide!
Count 'em out, ride 'em in
Ride 'em in, count 'em out
Count 'em out, ride 'em in
Rawhide!

Keep movin', movin', movin'
Though they're disapprovin'
Keep them doggies movin'
Rawhide!

Don't try to understand 'em
Just rope 'em, throw and brand 'em
Soon we'll be living high and wide
My hearts calculatin'
My true love will be waitin'
Be waitin' at the end of my ride
Hyaa!


CHORUS

Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin'

Hyaa!
Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Hyaa!
Rawhide!
Rawhide!

 

 

      

 

 

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