Saturday, March 02, 2024

Palm Springs and Wild Bill Hickok, 1950s

I have a few fun slide scans (undated) from Palm Springs today. This first one features actors Guy Madison and Andy Devine, who starred in "The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" from April of 1951 through September of 1958 (eight seasons). Wikipedia's synopsis says The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok starred Guy Madison as the legendary Old West lawman (in real life, also a gunfighter) United States Marshal James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok, and Andy Devine as his comedy sidekick, Jingles P. Jones. The series was set in the 1870s, with Hickok and Jones based at Fort Larabee. 

Madison and Devine are participating in a parade, apparently in conjunction with some sort of annual rodeo, though I could find no old news articles about it.

There are the boys again, this time presumably in the stands at the rodeo. Andy Devine is known today to many folks from his appearance on "The Twilight Zone", as well as the 1966 "Batman" series, or as the voice of Friar Tuck in the 1973 animated feature, "Robin Hood". 

Madison starred in many lesser movies of the 1940s and 1950s, though Wikipedia says that... his career began to suffer, in part because of his limited acting ability. Ouch! Still, he had success as Wild Bill, and eventually did many movies in Europe (spaghetti westerns, sword and sandal epics, and such). 

Here's a publicity photo, if I had to guess I'd say that the picture was taken near Corriganville. In fact, I just did a little research and found a man's account of his visit to Corriganville, in which he said Guy Madison and Andy Devine were there (along with the cast of Rin Tin Tin, filming in another section of  Corriganville). What do I win, Johnny?

Wow, that's quite a crowd! The lesson is: FOLKS LOVE A RODEO.


walterworld said...

Andy Devine RIP. Corriganville done too... Thanks Major, lest we forget...

Nanook said...

"... his career began to suffer, in part because of his limited acting ability".

Well... actors such as Guy Madison were meant to be looked at and not judged by how well they could recite Shakespeare-! (He's far from being the only one). Sometimes, that's how it works out, Wikipedia. But, Andy Devine - that's another story entirely-!

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

Wow, these scans are really clear and sharp. They look like they could've been taken with a digital camera, today!

The thing I remember most about Andy Devine was the quality of his voice; hard to explain, but very distinctive.

As for Guy Madison, the only movie I can remember him being in is "The Beast of Hollow Mountain"
(1956). About a dinosaur trying to eke out a living in Mexico, eating cattle and people.

That last pic looks like it was taken during a thunderstorm.

We rarely see celebs here on GDB (other than a few of our Jr. Gorillas!). Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

I always picture Andy Devine with John Wayne in Stagecoach and Island in the Sky. JB hit the nail on the head - his voice was very distinctive.

Hiking Corriganville Regional Park is on my bucket list. Maybe next time I’m out in LA…

Neat find, Major. Thanks for sharing!

K. Martinez said...

Andy Devine had one of those distinct voices like Slim Pickens. Enjoyed them both in movies.

Enjoyed this post. Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

I always remember Andy Devine from the "Buck Benny Rides Again" episodes of the Jack Benny show. And I just realized today that I've been conflating Guy Madison and Guy Williams in my head for years. It's a good thing Guy Smiley was a puppet or he'd probably be in the mix, too. "Yeah, he played Wild Bill AND Zorro AND hosted game shows on Sesame Street!"

TokyoMagic! said...

I remember visiting Downtown Palm Springs on several occasions with my grandparents, and I recall many of the buildings having tile roof tops like the one in that first photo. I just checked, and the building is still standing. And so is that palm tree. Hey, this ain't my first time at the rodeo!,-116.5468568,3a,48.5y,101.58h,89.67t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s7vRCz3zHF8LYxt44Re0yVA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192!4m15!1m8!3m7!1s0x80db1bbbb3805c23:0x623e1d59caf367ee!2sDowntown+Palm+Springs,+Palm+Springs,+CA!3b1!8m2!3d33.8231268!4d-116.5455518!16s%2Fg%2F11h0bq1_1w!3m5!1s0x80db1ba52b234507:0x6755c8f0fa12c98c!8m2!3d33.825852!4d-116.546626!16s%2Fg%2F1q5bmtzy6?entry=ttu

JG said...

Interesting find, Major.

I have no specific memory of Andy Devine other than his voice. I know we watched films and shows with him, but can’t recall anything more. Always in westerns too and never in lead roles. Now I know why.

We traveled to Palm Springs a few times too, almost always on Presidents Day holiday. It was warm and sunny there when the Valley was deep in cold fog. I remember Palm Canyon Drive had palm trees instead of street lights. Most of the buildings resembled these in the photo. There was a movie theater in that Spanish Revival style and the billing was for “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, which should date that trip. Tokyo, thanks for that map link!

Thanks Major, fun to see celebrities other than you in GDB!


Major Pepperidge said...

walterworld, I’m saluting my computer screen!

Nanook, it sounds like Guy Madison wound up with a decent career, better than many; just being on a series that ran for 8 seasons is pretty impressive.

JB, yes, Andy Devine was famous for his gravelly voice. And he could really cut a rug. Probably. I’ve heard of “The Beast of Hollow Mountain”, but won’t watch it because it will be too scary.

Chuck, I’ve gone hiking near the old Corriganville location, but have never actually gone to the actual place - it isn’t that far from where my mom lives.

K. Martinez, maybe Andy Devine and Slim Pickens were separated at birth??

Melissa, I went through a phase when I listened to LOTS of old Jack Benny radio programs. J-E-L-L-Ooooooo! I probably heard at least one “Buck Benny” episode, but there were so many. I particularly liked the wartime episodes when the troupe would perform at a military base in SoCal, talk about enthusiastic audiences!

TokyoMagic!, wow, I am amazed that both the building AND the palm tree (twice as tall now?) are still there. Thanks!

JG, I was such a fan of “The Twilight Zone” that my main memory of Andy Devine is from the episode of that show in which he plays a man (Somerset Frisby) who tells “tall tales” about his exploits. It was one of my favorites when I was a kid. I’ve never been to Palm Springs, I’m not allowed after THE INCIDENT.

JB said...

Melissa, you can also add Guy Fieri to your "Guy" list. He has 'muppet hair' so he'd be easy to conflate with Guy Smiley!

Tokyo!, that palm tree done growed a bit!

Major, I was trying to come up with something analogous to Andy Devine's voice. I suppose it's sort of like Watson hearing Alexander G. Bell's tinny, raspy, "Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you!" through their early telephone prototype.
As for "The Beast of..." I saw it a few months ago (probably on Tubi). It's worth watching just to see the (stop-motion) dinosaur's long red tongue flicking around, snake-like.