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Have Gun - Will Travel


CBS Network
1957 - 1963
30 Minutes

Western adventure starring Richard Boone as Paladin, a refined West Point educated, ex-army officer who became a gun-for-hire after the Civil War.

Paladin was based at the elegant Hotel Carlton in downtown San Francisco. His  Chinese servants at the hotel were Kim Chan (Kam Tong) referred to as "Hey Boy" and "Hey Girl" (Lisa Lu).

Richard Boone as Paldin - HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL
Paladin in his black work cloths

Paladin's business card read: "Have Gun Will Travel. Wire Paladin, San Francisco." 

Paladin's Fancy Clothes
Paladin arrives by Stagecoach to take on a job

Paladin's normal routine was to look for clients by perusing the various newspapers to which he subscribed. When he read a story about someone with a potential need for his services, he sent them his card, along with a clipping of the story. Paladin's standard fee was  $1000.

Paladin's Gun and Holster - HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL
Paladin's trademark gun and holster

Listen to Theme Music

Theme Song Lyrics
("The Ballad of Paladin" sung by Johnny Western )

Have Gun Will Travel reads the card of a man.
A knight without armor in a savage land.

His fast gun for hire heeds the calling wind.
A soldier of fortune is the man called Paladin.

Paladin, Paladin
Where do you roam?
Paladin, Paladin,
Far, far from home.

He travels on to wherever he must.
A chess knight of silver is his badge of trust.
There are campfire legends that the Plainsmen spin.
Of the man with the gun, of the man called Paladin.

Paladin, Paladin
Where do you roam?
Paladin, Paladin,
Far, far from home.

Far from home,
Far from home.


TRIVIA NOTE:  In 1974, a federal magistrate ruled that a Rhode Island rodeo performer, Victor DaCosta actually created the idea for the Paladin character and was entitled to the profits realized from the popular western.

The Rob Reiner film Stand By Me (1986) featured a memorable railroad track scene with a group of young boys walking the rails and singing the theme from HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL ["Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam..."]

Obituaries: Richard Boone: 01/10/1981; Kam Tong: 11/08/1969.

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