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Westerns
The Californians

Title Card - THE CALIFORNIANS

NBC Network
1957 - 1959
Drama
30 Minutes

Set in the Gold Rush days of the 1850s, Dion Patrick (Adam Kennedy) worked as a crusading Irish prospector turned newspaper reporter for The California Star based in the booming town of San Francisco. He helped establish the "Vigilante Committee" to maintain law and order.

Other concerned citizens included:

  • Herbert Rudley as Sam Brennan, the newspaper's editor
  • Sean McClory as Jack McGivern, a storekeeper and strong supporter of the "Vigilante Committee"
  • Nan Leslie as Martha McGivern, Jack's wife
  • Richard Coogan as Matthew Wayne, saloon owner and town Marshal who formed the City Police Force of 50 men (that slowly replaced the "Vigilant Committee." His cousin Anthony Wayne was a deputy (played by James Coburn).
  • Carole Mathews as Wilma Fansler, a widow, casino manager and love interest of Matthew Wayne.
  • Art Fleming as Jeremy Pitt, a young, ambitious attorney who is often at odds with the town Marshal.
  • Howard Caine as Schaab
Matthew Wayne and Wilma Fansler - THE CALIFORNIANS Martha and John McGivern - THE CALIFORNIANS

Matthew Wayne
and Wilma Fansler

Martha and Jack
McGivern

Dion Patrick - THE CALIFORNIANS Jeremy Pitt - THE CALIFORNIANS

Dion Patrick

Jeremy Pitt

Here is a list of just some of the problems facing the Marshal and the Vigilante Committee during San Francisco's Gold Rush period:

  • Intolerance of Ethnic Groups
  • Blackmail
  • Murder
  • Robbery
  • Unscrupulous Businessmen
  • Prospectors and Their Gold
  • Bank Swindlers
  • Gambling Hall Brawls
  • Crooked Card Games
  • Feuds among the Settlers
  • Duels to Satisfy Honor
  • Interracial Marriages
  • Roadside Bandits
  • Medicine Show Quacks
  • Shanghaied Sailors

Theme Song Lyrics

I've traveled here, I've traveled there,
I guess I've been most everywhere,
But I like where I am today,
And here is where I'll stay.

Chorus
I've come to Californiay, Californiay;
There's gold in them there hills, in Californiay.
I've come to live where life is best,
In the golden west,
I'm gonna strike it rich in Californiay.

I heard about the sunny skies,
I thought that folks was telling lies,
But now I'm here and I can see
It's true as true can be.

Repeat Chorus

Now, one thing I just can't endure
Is being broke and being poor,
So, I've come out to take the cure,
I'm telling you for sure.

Final Chorus
I've come to Californiay, Californiay;
There's gold in them there hills in Californiay.
I've come to live where life is best,
In the golden west,
I'm gonna strike it rich in Californiay.
Californiay, Californiay,
There's gold in them there hills in Californiay.


TRIVIA NOTE: Because the show's sponsors (Singer Sewing Machines and Lipton Tea) became uneasy about a show where Vigilantes were in control, the producers introduced the character Matthew Wayne, a gentleman gambler from Philadelphia who eventually created the San Francisco City Police force. As his 50 man police force began to control crime along the Barbary Coast, the Vigilante Committee and its founder Dion Patrick were phased out of the program. The Jack McGivern character, a staunch supporter of the Vigilantes, also took a back seat to the new format on the show.

The series theme song "I've Come to California" (written by Harold Adamson and Harry Warren) was performed by The Ken Darby Singers.

Obituaries: Nan Leslie: 07/30/2000; Herbert Ludley: 09/09/2006; Adam Kennedy: 10/16/1997; Sean McClory: 12/10/2003; Art Fleming: 04/25/1995.


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