Gunsmoke is an American radio and television Western drama series created by director Norman Macdonnell and writer John Meston.
The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during the settlement of the American West. The central character is lawman Marshal Matt Dillon, played by William Conrad on radio and James Arness on television.
It made its television premiere on CBS on September 10th 1955, with 635 total episodes.
Did you know James Arness, younger brother Peter Graves starred in the television series Mission Impossible?
An urban legend has it that John Wayne was offered the leading role of Matt Dillon in the longtime favorite television show Gunsmoke, but he turned it down, recommending instead James Arness for the role.
The only part of this story that is true is that Wayne did indeed recommend Arness for the part. Wayne introduced Arness in a prologue to the first episode of Gunsmoke, in 1955.
The Norwegian-German Arness had to dye his naturally blond hair darker for the role.
Today’s YouTube video presentation brought to you by user name, TV Land, introduces to you the theme song from Gunsmoke.
Rumor has it that Rex Koury had so little time to pen the theme song that he hastily scribbled it while in the bathroom. It was originally written for “Gunsmoke” when it was a radio show and later adapted for TV.
I wasn’t too much of fan of Gunsmoke and I find it kind of hokey to watch now. The story line didn’t make too much sense to me.
The one character called Doc, who was the actual doctor for the town; sort bothered me that a doctor would hang out at a saloon, which maybe why he didn’t have a very BIG clientele.
Did you know Denver Pyle from Gillian’s Island and Raymond Burr from Perry Mason were both considered for the role of Matt Dillon?
Dennis Weaver was the first actor cast. Weaver said on the DVD commentary that he knew they were leaning towards James Arness for Matt, but he was in the Bahamas at the time filming a movie with John Wayne. They went ahead and started casting the other parts, so he ended up being the first one officially chosen for the TV series.
As we ride off into the sunset knowing how today on September 10th 1959, Gunsmoke aired on CBS on today’s days to remember.
Written & Designed by JD Mitchell