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Death Valley Days


1952 - 1975
30 Minutes

Western anthology series based on real events about the homesteaders and miners that crossed over the barren landscape of Nevada and California known as Death Valley in the days of the 19th century. 

The TV program is based on the radio program created by Ruth Woodman that debuted September 30, 1930 on the NBC Blue Radio Network.

Over the years, the hosts of the program have included: (The Radio Years - 1930-1944) William Shelley, George Rand, Tim Frawley, Harry Humphrey, and John "Jack" MacBryde; (The TV Years - 1952-75) Stanley Andrews, Ronald Reagan, Robert Taylor, Dale Robertson, and Merle Haggard. The series ran 532 episodes.

Stanley Andrews as 'The Old Ranger'

 "The Old Ranger"

[Announcer] "As the early morning bugle call of covered wagon trains fade away among the echoes, another true DEATH VALLEY DAYS is presented by the famous
Borax family of products-20 Mule Team Borax and Boraxo. Well, old Ranger, what's your story about?"

"Howdy Folks, I am the Old Ranger with a new and exciting yarn. True, mind you, about the historic Death Valley country."

Stanley Andrews, the host of the TV series from 1952 through 1964, was the last person to play the role of "The Old Ranger." Early in his career, Andrews was the voice of  Daddy Warbucks on "Little Orphan Annie" radio program.

In syndication, the program's episodes were given alternate titles and hosts: FRONTIER ADVENTURE (Dale Robertson), THE PIONEERS (Will Rogers, Jr.), TRAILS WEST (Ray Milland), WESTERN STAR THEATRE (Rory Calhoun) and CALL OF THE WEST (John Payne).

[Alternate opening] "Stories of the Old West, stories of hardship and adventure, of dreams and courage; stories of the American pioneer are all a part of our past, our heritage."

TRIVIA NOTE: Death Valley, set aside as a National monument, is 276 feet below sea level and stretches about 140 miles through California into Nevada.

Both Radio and TV series were sponsored by Boraxo Company, makers of "Twenty Mule Team Boraxo".

The series haunting opening bugle call was composed by Josef Bonime

Death Valley was the honeymoon site of Gomez (John Astin) and Morticia (Carolyn Jones) from the bizarre sitcom THE ADDAMS FAMILY/ABC/1964-66. See also - METALS & MINERALS: "Borax"

Obituaries: Stanley Andrews: 06/23/1969

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