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Westerns
Rawhide

Title Card - RAWHIDE

CBS Network
1959 - 1966
Drama
60 Minutes

Lead by a trail boss and a ramrod, this was the story of the cattle drovers who moved them doggies (cattle) to market from San Antonio, Texas to Sedalia, Kansas in the days of the 1860s.

"This is the landscape of Rawhide: desert, forest, mountain and plains; it is intense heat, bitter cold, torrential rain, blinding dust; men risking their lives, earning small reward -a life of challenge- Rawhide. It is men like trail scout Pete Nolan, the cantankerous Wishbone, Ramrod Rowdy Yates, good natured Mushy, and trail boss Gil Favor - these men are Rawhide!" -- Announcer

Gil Favor, Trail Boss - RAWHIDE

The crew of the cattle drive  included:

  • Eric Fleming as Gil Favor, the trail boss responsible for getting the cattle to market. His daughters Gillian (Candy Moore) and Margaret (Barbara Beaird) live in Philadelphia. A wealthy rancher tried to adopt Gil's daughters when they traveled west to see their father. While on the trail, Gil's men ran across a woman who claimed to be his widow.

"The 'Trail Boss' is the man in charge. The man who rides herd on the hands as well as the cattle. The Leader. The man whom experience has taught. The man who had learned from another trail boss. The man who sets the pace. The man who gives the orders...and must be obeyed. The man who has full responsibility for the safe conduct of the herd all the way. The man who knows everyone's job. The man who leads from start to finish."   

  • Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates, Gil's chief ramrod who hates sheep. His father Jake (Tom Tully) showed up after years of absence and got the drovers involved with Mexican bandits. Rowdy fought for the Confederacy in the war and years later he was brought to "trial" by his former confederate army buddies who believed he betrayed their planned escape from a union prison. Rowdy later negotiated an exchange of  three captive white orphans held by Arapaho Indians. The ransom: 40 head of cattle. Rowdy took over as Trial Boss when Gil Favor departed.
  • Paul Brinegar as George Washington Wishbone, the trail cook and healer of the drover's wounds. He once found an ailing old Indian on the prairie trail and refused to let him die. Another time, three brothers mistook Wishbone for their sister's fiancé and tried to force him into marriage. He was later was temporarily blinded from a bad fall off a cliff. And if that bump on the head was not enough, Wishbone  decided to leave the cattle drive to pursue a married woman name Elizabeth Harmon (Barbara Barrie) who had an abusive husband. Wishbone also had a relative named T.J. Wishbone (Regis Toomey).
  • James Murdock as Mushy, the slow-witted assistant trail cook. His mother, Martha (Mercedes McCambridge) tried to lure her son off the trail to run his late father's barber shop. Mushy also has a 15-year-old cousin named Posie (Jena Engstrom) who got involved with a gambler. Mushy once left the cattle drive to follow a prospector who sought the the fabled city of Quivera. When he returned, Mushy won a small fortune in a card game with saloon owner Lorelie Mars (Barbara Stuart).

Gil Favor, Pete Nolan, Rowdy Yates - RAWHIDE

  • Steve Raines as Jim Quince, a trail hand. He once faced the hangman's noose on a false charge of cattle rustling.  He later faced the charge of murdering a prominent town citizen after a a wild night of celebrating with the other drovers.
  • Rocky Shahan as Joe Scarlett, trail hand.
  • Robert Cabal as Hey Soos, a Mexican trail hand. He was once captured by a tribe of strange Indians who forced him to drink a brew laced with Peyote.
  • Charles H. Gray as Clay Forrester, a trail scout.
  • Sheb Wooley as Pete Nolan. a trail scout. He replaced Clay. Pete once escorted the wife of an invalid rancher to a dance but soon regretted the troubles that followed.. 
  • William R. Thompkins as Toothless
  • Raymond St Jacques as Simon Blake, a black drover.
  • John Ireland as Jed Colby
  • David Watson as Ian Cabot
  • L.Q. Jones as Pee Jay
  • Bert Remsen as Murdock
  • John Erwin as Teddy
  • John Cole as Bailey
  • Don Harvey as Collins
  • Paul Comi as Yo Yo

Rowdy, Pete, Wishbone and Gil Favor - Cast of RAWHIDE

As Gil Favor and his crew of drovers and scouts moved their living cargo of cattle across the plains to market they had the pleasure and misfortune to encounter a variety of predicaments and people along the way. They included:

  • Prisoners on the way to trial.
  • Stagecoach and wagon accidents.
  • Tough frontier towns.
  • Renegade confederates who still defy the Union.
  • People seeking revenge for the murder of a loved one.
  • Rival cattle drovers  and rustlers.
  • Diseases effecting the cattle, like tick fever.
  • Roving bandits and greedy land barons.
  • Homesteaders held hostage by criminals.
  • Drought conditions and bone-dry plains.
  • Injured trail hands in need of medical attention.
  • Cattle stampedes and wolf attacks.
  • Strange drifters and travelers, like a black-garbed man who walks into the drovers' camp during a thunderstorm, but
    his clothing is absolutely dry or an English valet whose master was killed by buffalo hunters.
  • Forced to be jurors in a fixed murder trial.
  • Prairie fires, electrical storms and flash floods.
  • Crossing treacherous rivers.
  • False accusations of murder and other crimes.
  • Wagon loaded with nitroglycerine.
  • Scoundrels and schemers with false promises.
  • Mexican mystics and princesses.
  • Native Americans (both hostile and peaceable).

Wishbone, Rowdy Yates and Gil Favor - RAWHIDE

  • Military deserters and disgruntled soldiers, like an army officer who plotted to steal the government payroll when
    he retires as restitution for his years of service.
  • Harsh financial climates effecting the sale of cattle.
  • Mistreatment of Native Americans, like a Pawnee Indian enslaved by a carnival boss.
  • Traveling entertainers, like a ballet company hired by a man to perform in the middle of nowhere or a lion from a traveling circus whose roar almost stampeded the cattle.
  • Homeless or helpless folk found along the trail, like a blind girl whose father was murdered by a cattle drover or a mentally-disturbed woman rescued from the Cheyenne Indians who wanted to burn her as a witch.
  • People wanting to reunited with others, like an outlaw who wanted to regain the love of his son.
  • A lone US Army fort commanded by a woman and civilians.
  • Three wagon loads of "mail-order" brides in need of help.
  • Larcenous senior citizens, like the sweet little grandma who tried to steal money from Rowdy Yates.
  • Acts of kindness, like two nuns who rescue a tortured Comanchero left to die by his former compatriots or celebrating Christmas in mid-summer for a sick boy.

Cast of RAWHIDE


Listen to Theme Song

Theme Song Lyrics

"Rawhide"
(by Dimitri Tiomkin & Ned Washington
Performed by Frankie Laine)
 
Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’
Keep movin’, movin’, movin’,
Though they’re disapprovin’,
Keep them doggies movin’
Rawhide!
Don’t try to understand ‘em,
Just rope and throw and brand ‘em,
Soon we’ll be living high and wide.
My heart's calculatin’
My true love will be waitin’,
 Be waiting at the end of my ride.

Move ‘em on, head ‘em up,
 Head ‘em up, move ‘em on,
 Move ‘em on, head ‘em up
 Rawhide!
Cut ‘em out, ride ‘em in
Ride ‘em in, let ‘em out,
Cut ‘em out, ride ‘em in
Rawhide!


Memorabilia


TRIVIA NOTE: The series was inspired by Charles Marquis Warren's movie Cattle Empire (1958). Three of its actors - Paul Brinegar, Steve Raines & Rocky Shahan - reprised their roles on the TV adaptation..

Rowdy Yates was promoted to Trail Boss on the final season. Raymond St Jacques, who played Simon Blake on the final season, was the first black actor to have a recurring role on a TV western.

Most of the episode titles on the series contained the word "incident" as in "Incident near Gloomy River," "Incident at Cactus Wells" or "Incident of the Gallows Tree."

Frankie Lane who performed the rousing theme song for the show, appeared on episode No. 60. as Ralph Bartlet, a man who tried to make amends for money he stole from Gil Favor 10 years earlier.

Officially, the last episode of RAWHIDE aired in November, 1965. Only reruns aired in the early portion of 1966.

In the comedy film The Blues Brothers (1980), Jake (John Belushi) and Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) belt out a stirring rendition of the "Rawhide" theme while inside a  metal cage designed to protect performers from flying beer bottles and other debris thrown by drunk customers at Bob's Country Bunker.

Eric Fleming (a.k.a. Gil Favor) left the series at the end of the seventh season. He drowned in Peru on the Huallaga River (Tingo Maria area) on September 28, 1966 while filming the two-part MGM adventure series "High Jungle."

Obituaries: Paul Brinegar: 03/27/1995; Steve Raines: 01/04/1996; Eric Fleming: 09/28/1966; James Murdock: 12/24/1981; Rocky Shahan: 12/08/1981; Sheb Wooley: 09/16/2003.


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