A Man Called Shenandoah

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A Man Called Shenandoah
Robert Fuller A Man Called Shenandoah.jpg
Robert Horton in the title role.
Genre Western
Written by Ed Adamson
Robert C. Dennis
Robert Hamner
E. Jack Neuman
Samuel A. Peeples
Paul Savage
Daniel B. Ullman
Directed by David Alexander
Murray Golden
Tom Gries
Harry Harris
Nathan H. Juran
Joseph H. Lewis
Don McDougall
Jud Taylor
Starring Robert Horton
Opening theme "Oh Shenandoah"
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 34
Production
Producer(s) Robert Hamner
Running time 30 mins.
Production company(s) Bronze Enterprises
MGM Television
Release
Original network ABC
Original release September 13, 1965 – May 16, 1966

A Man Called Shenandoah is an American western series that aired Monday evenings on ABC-TV from September 13, 1965 to September 5, 1966.[1] It was produced by MGM Television. Some of the location work for the 34 half-hour black and white episodes was filmed in California's High Sierras and Mojave Desert.[2] When reruns aired on Turner Network Television in the 1990s, only 29 of the 34 episodes were rebroadcast. In February 2014, Warner Archive Instant offered all 34 uncut episodes as part of their streaming service, but they still are not available on DVD.

The series starred Robert Horton, who had costarred on Wagon Train from 1957 to 1962. He left that series, vowing to never do another television western, but agreed to star in A Man Called Shenandoah because he felt the show would be a great opportunity for him as an actor.[3]

The series, set in 1870, is about an amnesiac facing hardship and danger while trying to unravel his identity and his past. Similar plots have frequently been used in films and television before and since, most recently in the 2015 NBC drama Blindspot.[citation needed] The show is being seen on the U.S. broadcast network, GetTV, on the weekends as part of a Western themed programming block.

Synopsis[edit]

Robert Horton plays a man who was shot and left for dead. Two buffalo hunters find him out on the prairie and, thinking he might be an outlaw, take him to the nearest town, in hopes of receiving reward money.[4] When he regains consciousness he has no recollection of who he was, or why anyone would want to harm him.

The doctor who treated his wounds gives him the name "Shenandoah," stating the word means "land of silence." [5] For the remainder of the series Shenandoah roams the West in search of clues to his identity. He learns that he had been a Union officer during the Civil War, and comes to believe he had been married.[6]

The last episode, "Macauley's Cure", ends with Mrs. Macauley telling Shenandoah: "It's not always important who you are; it's always important what you are".

"Unfortunately, stiff timeslot competition doomed Shenandoah after 34 half hour episodes. CBS had the established Andy Griffith and NBC aired the popular Andy Williams. Even though Shenandoah was preceded from 8:30-9 by another Western, The Legend of Jesse James, it too faced insurmountable competition from Lucille Ball on CBS and Dr. Kildare on NBC. It seems Shenandoah’s search for his identity was as futile as ABC’s search for ratings and the series was cancelled, offering no resolution to Shenandoah’s search for truth, after 34 episodes on May 16, 1966" ([7]).

Among the guest stars were Claude Akins, Ed Asner, Jeanne Cooper, John Dehner, Bruce Dern, Elinor Donahue, Leif Erickson, Beverly Garland, Sally Kellerman, DeForest Kelley, George Kennedy, Martin Landau, Cloris Leachman, John McIntire, Martin Milner, Leonard Nimoy, Jeanette Nolan, Warren Oates, Joyce Van Patten, James Doohan, and Michael Witney.

Theme song[edit]

The show's theme song was the traditional American folk tune "Oh Shenandoah", with new, specialized lyrics written by Horton himself. Horton, who had performed in musical theater, also sang the song.[8] His recording became a Columbia single in 1965. It is from Horton's Columbia album The Man Called Shenandoah (Cs-9208, stereo; Cl-2408, mono; both 1965).

The series is surprisingly popular on Rhodesian Television (RTV) in central Africa, and the song, reworked by local talent Nick Taylor, reached Number 3 on the Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation hit parade.[9]

Episodes[edit]

Title Air date
1 "The Onslaught" TBA TBA September 13, 1965 (1965-09-13)
2 "Survival" TBA TBA September 20, 1965 (1965-09-20)
3 "The Fort" TBA TBA September 27, 1965 (1965-09-27)
4 "The Caller" TBA TBA October 11, 1965 (1965-10-11)
5 "The Debt" TBA TBA October 18, 1965 (1965-10-18)
6 "Obion - 1866" TBA TBA October 25, 1965 (1965-10-25)
7 "The Verdict" TBA TBA November 1, 1965 (1965-11-01)
8 "Town on Fire" TBA TBA November 8, 1965 (1965-11-08)
9 "Incident at Dry Creek" TBA TBA November 15, 1965 (1965-11-15)
10 "The Locket" TBA TBA November 22, 1965 (1965-11-22)
11 "The Reward" TBA TBA November 29, 1965 (1965-11-29)
12 "A Special Talent for Killing" TBA TBA December 6, 1965 (1965-12-06)
13 "The Siege" TBA TBA December 13, 1965 (1965-12-13)
14 "The Bell" TBA TBA December 20, 1965 (1965-12-20)
15 "The Young Outlaw" TBA TBA December 27, 1965 (1965-12-27)
16 "The Accused" TBA TBA January 3, 1966 (1966-01-03)
17 "Run, Killer, Run" TBA TBA January 10, 1966 (1966-01-10)
18 "Rope's End" TBA TBA January 17, 1966 (1966-01-17)
19 "The Lost Diablo" TBA TBA January 24, 1966 (1966-01-24)
20 "A Long Way Home" TBA TBA January 31, 1966 (1966-01-31)
21 "End of a Legend" TBA TBA February 7, 1966 (1966-02-07)
22 "Run and Hide" TBA TBA February 14, 1966 (1966-02-14)
23 "The Riley Brand" TBA TBA February 21, 1966 (1966-02-21)
24 "Muted Fifes, Muffled Drums" TBA TBA February 28, 1966 (1966-02-28)
25 "Plunder" TBA TBA March 7, 1966 (1966-03-07)
26 "Marlee" TBA TBA March 14, 1966 (1966-03-14)
27 "The Death of Matthew Eldridge" TBA TBA March 21, 1966 (1966-03-21)
28 "Aces and Kings" TBA TBA March 28, 1966 (1966-03-28)
29 "The Imposter" TBA TBA April 4, 1966 (1966-04-04)
30 "An Unfamiliar Tune" TBA TBA April 11, 1966 (1966-04-11)
31 "The Clown" TBA TBA April 18, 1966 (1966-04-18)
32 "Requiem for the Second" TBA TBA May 2, 1966 (1966-05-02)
33 "Care of General Delivery" TBA TBA May 9, 1966 (1966-05-09)
34 "Macauley's Cure" TBA TBA May 16, 1966 (1966-05-16)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earle, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946 - Present (Seventh Edition), Ballantine Books, 1999
  2. ^ Summers, Neil and Crowley, Roger M., The Official TV Western Round-Up Book, The Old West Shop Publishing, 2002
  3. ^ A Man For All Seasons, in the Spring 1994 issue of Trail Dus
  4. ^ Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earle, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946 - Present (Seventh Edition), Ballantine Books, 1999
  5. ^ see Shenandoah Episode Guide in External Links
  6. ^ see Shenandoah Episode Guide in External Links
  7. ^ Magers, Boyd. “A Man Called Shenandoah.” Western Clippings: Do You Remember? http://www.westernclippings.com/remember/mancalledshenandoah_doyouremember.shtml
  8. ^ Eder, Bruce, liner notes for Small Screen Cowboy Heroes (AT 57474), Sony Music Distribution
  9. ^ Illustrated Life Rhodesia magazine, 14 July 1972

External links[edit]