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Television Trivia/obscure western characters


WBrown wrote at 2011-09-24 15:32:03
With respect to the song's stanza concerning Jefferson Thomas...many of the lyric listings for this stanza are in error.  The actual words are as follows:

Here's the story of a certain Wagon Train McCord

A broken arrow has broken my heart.

Jefferson Drum un-slips his gun

All died my baby and the fight was won.

TV Series:

Jefferson Drum was a western series broadcast on the NBC network in the United States.   Jefferson was a newspaper reporter wanting to make his town a safer place to live.  Aired 1958-59 starring, Jeff Richards.

Wagon Train wss an Western series that ran on NBC from 195762 and then on ABC from 196265.  The series depicted the migrationof settlers Westard via Wangon Train.  Starred Ward Bond as Major Seth Adams, Trailmaster and Robert Horton as Scout Flint McCullough.

Broken Arrow is a Western series which ran on ACB prime time from 1956 through 1958.  The series portrayed a fictionalized storyline about the historical relationship between Indian Agent, Tom Jeffords, played by John Lupton and Cochise, played by Michael Ansara.  

Richard Allen wrote at 2012-01-11 05:57:49
Dear Mike and John,

I was having the same problem when I came across this post.  It helped sort out several things for me.  Bat Masterson seemed a natural for the song to me, but when I looked deeper, The Olympics recorded Western Movies in the summer of 1958, and Bat Masterson did not begin airing until October of 1958, so he would not have been included.  I still had a problem with "Jefferson draws" until I did a search for "TV western Jefferson" and came up with "Jefferson Drum", a.k.a "The Pen and the Quill", a TV western series that first aired on April 25th of 1958, thus fitting the timeline.  I tried to listen to the youtube link, but it had been removed.  However, I found another one at, and listened carefully to that section and it does sound more like Jefferson Drum than Jefferson draws.  And for heaven's sake, it wouldn't have been complete without Gunsmoke's Matt Dillon.

Modern Moon wrote at 2013-01-19 00:52:58
Most of Mike's corrections here are correct with a couple of exceptions.

1. It's "Wham, bam, shootin' 'em up, pow"

2. The original line "Thanks for reminding me about Maverick" is correct. Mike's corrected "Thanks for reminding me, it's time for Maverick" is wrong.

3. The correction "Jefferson draws with his restless gun" is incorrect.  The correct line is "Jefferson Drum with his restless gun".  Jefferson Drum (aka The Pen and the Quill) was a 30 minute western TV show that lasted one season in 1958, the year this song came out.  It starred Jeff Richards, probably best remembered today as part of the cast of the film 7 Brides For 7 Brothers.

4. It's "All fight my baby and the fight was won" not "All died, my baby..."

5. Finally, Marshall Dillon's horse in Gunsmoke was not named Cochise.  The line "Mr. Dillon he rode on that ol' Cochise" is correct but refers to the Broken Arrow TV series, mentioned later in the song, which had a character called Chief Cochise played by Michael Ansara. There was also a TV series during this time called Sheriff of Cochise but this was a contemporary show set in Arizona and technically not a western.  

There is some controversy as to Dillon's horse's name.  Ken Curtis (Festus) said in a later interview that it was called Old Buck.  A Gunsmoke trading card identified the horse as Marshal.  No episode has been found giving the horse's name

Hope this helps,

Richard Aldrich

Ray Kawal wrote at 2015-04-11 20:57:08
I've been trying to figure out these lyrics for decades, and I'm still not sure the above answers are entirely correct.  It would sure be great if one of the original Olympics singers could offer his opinion.

The second line in the first verse sure sounds like "Baby's got it tuned on channel eight".

I believe Matt Dillon's horse was named Buck, so it doesn't make sense that "he rode on that ol' Cochise".  Maybe that's correct, but how about "he rode with that ol' Cochise"?  He didn't actually, but at least Cochise was a person, not a horse.

And I wonder about the "certain Wagon Train McCord", because McCord was a character in The Deputy, not Wagon Train. McCord was also a character in Branded, but neither McCord goes with Wagon Train.

And I think the line "Jefferson Drum with his Restless Gun" must be correct.

We may never know the actual complete lyrics, but we're probably getting closer.  Great song, anyway

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Mike Hensel


I will try and answer all questions dealing with names, plots, actors, roles, networks, etc...US shows primarily; not real knowledgeable on TV from other countries...I lean heavily into past, more so than current, television...and, my knowledge dealing with "reality" shows is limited, due to the fact that I really can't stand the genre (my apologies to all the "Reality" fans out there...)


Years of watching and cataloging television shows

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