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Westerns
Laramie

Title Card - LARAMIE

NBC Network
1959 - 1963
Drama
60 Minutes

The story of the Sherman brothers, Slim (John Smith), a 28-year-old Civil War veteran, and Andy (Bobby Crawford, Jr.), a free-spirited 14-year-old  who inherited their father's (Matthew) Wyoming cattle ranch after he'd been killed by land-grabbers in the 1870s.

The Sherman's supplemented their income by using their ranch as a way station for the Great Central Overland Mail stagecoaches traveling in and out of nearby Laramie. The Sherman Ranch (aka "Twelve-Mile House") is located twelve miles west of Laramie. The ranch supplies horses for the relay teams, and  meals for the passengers passing through.

Friends of the Sherman family included:

  • Robert Fuller as Jess Harper, a drifter who threw in with the brothers to make the ranch a success. Jess had been a gunfighter and had fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. When Jess first met Slim he was sleeping by a lake on Slim's property. Slim chased him off and later got into a fist fight with Jess before Slim asked Jess to stay on at the ranch. Jess left home at sixteen after his parents were killed when his family farm and homestead was raided and burned by the Bannister gang. Jess has a sister named Francie whose husband Gil Brady (Clu Gulager) died.
  • Hoagy Carmichael as Jonesy, the chief ranch hand and family cook. He plays the piano, has a bad back, isn't very good with horses and acts as a father figure for the Sherman boys. Jonesy accompanied Andy to school in St. Louis and never returned to the ranch. Daisy Cooper took over his domestic responsibilities.
  • Spring Byington as Daisy Cooper, a strong-willed widow from the east who intended to buy a store but was swindled out of her money. Slim and Jess hired her to be housekeeper/cook (she makes a great apple pie) and surrogate mother for the male's only ranch, especially, Mike, a boy new to the ranch.
  • Dennis Holmes as Mike Williams, an orphaned nine-year-old whose parents were killed by Indians. He took up residency at the ranch after Andy went to school in St. Louis, Missouri. Mike had a pony named Flash that he later had to turn loose.
  • Stuart Randall as Sheriff Mort Corey, the law in Laramie
  • Eddy Waller as Mose Shell, a stage driver

Cast of LARAMIE
Slim,  Jess, Jonesy and Andy

Listen to Theme Music

During their careers as ranchers and relay station operators, the Sherman family and partner Jess Harper had many adventures. Here are some of them:

  • When the Sioux Indians threaten to go on the warpath, Slim and Jess volunteer to lead forces to defend the territory. Jess scouts for General Custer and Slim and others block the Indians retreat through a mountain pass.
  • Slim and Jess offer a group of stage passengers protection from a tornado as it passes through the Laramie area.
  • Cattlemen are importing gunman to attack farmers and Slim and Jess intervene to stop a bloody range war.
  • To earn extra money Slim and Jess take jobs as lawmen in a small town outside of Laramie.
  • A competing stage line wants Slim and Jess to cancer their contract with Central Overland Overland Mail and Stage.
  • Slim agrees to showdown (pistol duel) to save Jess whose been taken hostage by the feuding Parkinson family whose patriarch blames Slim for killing his son.
  • Slim saves an Indian girl from danger and suddenly she becomes his property, to the chagrin of an Indian brave who loves her.
  • Outlaws hide a time bomb onboard the stage that Jess if riding shotgun.
  • Slim and Jess hire on as bodyguards to protect General George Barton, who just might be the next US president.
  • Outlaws bent on stealing an incoming gold shipment hold Slim and Daisy hostage at the ranch.

Memorabilia


TRIVIA NOTE: In 2007, John Smith was posthumously awarded the Cowboy Spirit Award at the Festival Of The West in Arizona.

Bobby Crawford, Jr. was the brother of Johnny Carwford who played the Mark McCain on western series THE RIFLEMAN starring Chuck Connors.

Hoagy Carmichael was a veteran singer-composer of such tunes as "Stardust" (1927),  "(Up a) Lazy River" (1931) and "Ole Buttermilk Sky" (1946). Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison expressed a fondness for Carmichael's musical and song writing skills.

On episodes "Glory Road", and "The Legend of Lily" Carmichael's character Jonesy sang the song "Marry Me in Laramie."

In the James Bond novels "Casino Royale" and "Moonraker", author Ina Fleming described his iconic British spy 007 as resembling Carmichael (with a scar on his cheek). 

Robert Fuller also appeared as trail scout Cooper Smith on the western series WAGON TRAIN/NBC/1957-1965. Years later, Fuller starred Dr. Kelly Brackett on EMERGENCY/NBC/1972-79 and made an appearance as Wade Harper, a descendant of Jess Harper on the police drama WALKER, TEXAS RANGER/CBS/1993-2001.

Obituaries: John Smith: 01/25/1995;  Spring Byington: 09/07/1971; Stuart Randall: 06/22/1988; Hoagy Carmichael: 12/27/1981; Eddy Waller: 08/20/1977;


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