ken curtis singing with tommy dorsey

November 3, 2020  •  

[3][6], A statue of Ken Curtis as Festus can be found at 430 Pollasky Avenue in Clovis, California, in Fresno County in front of the Educational Employees Credit Union. Dana Daly He was a singer in the movie's fictional band The Regimental Singers that actually consisted of the Sons of the Pioneers; Curtis is not listed as a member of the principal cast. Curtis met his first wife, Lorraine Page, at Universal Studios, and they were married in 1943. Trouble is, we don’t always have the answer.
( Log Out /  He’d have to be doing a fine job for someone to get him confused with Howard Morris. But I really got interested in sky diving and if I were younger (he’s 48), I’d take it up as a hobby.”.

When Curtis quit he took a job with Shep Fields’ all-reed band. Curtis starred in one 12-episode serial for Republic Pictures, as the title character in “Don Daredevil Rides Again.”). Curtis married Torrie Connelly in 1966. I had the opportunity to interview Stone – well, I was one of many journalists who talked to him press-conference style – in Chicago in 1964. Festus' character was known, in part, for the nasally, twangy, rural accent which Curtis developed for the role, but which did not reflect Curtis' actual voice.

(Inexplicably, the most popular bet call these days concerns Bing Crosby’s age.

Buck Taylor's father, Dub Taylor, had a minor role in it. This proved rather fruitful for Curtis when, in 1941, he joined the Tommy Dorsey band. And because he was a fixture on television in the same role for 21 years, many Americans came to regard him almost as a member of the family. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Ken Curtis, actor, 74, Festus on 'Gunsmoke, "Ken Curtis appeared in a number of cheesy movies,", Michael Breid shares memories of being part of Ken Curtis' backup band for his stage show during the 1970s,, High school football players in the United States, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles needing additional references from April 2015, All articles needing additional references, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 October 2020, at 23:39. In his later years, Curtis resided in Clovis. 'Gunsmoke' Star Ken Curtis Had a Prior Career in Country Music That continued even after he began to show up regularly on TV. It is possible that he played a bit part, but Curtis is best remembered as Charlie McCorry in The Searchers, The Quiet Man, The Wings of Eagles, The Horse Soldiers, The Alamo, and How The West Was Won. Ken Curtis joined the Sons of the Pioneers as a lead singer from 1949 to 1952. Ken Griffis' reference book on the Sons of the Pioneers, Hear My Song: The Story of the Celebrated Sons of the Pioneers, mentions: that Dorsey was the one who suggested the name change from Curtis Wain (not Wayne) Gates to Ken Curtis; and he joined the Sons of the Pioneers singing group in 1949 and was with them through 1953 (and he continued to record with the SOP through 1957). He was 75 years old. When he died at age 74 in 1991 he was mourned by his many friends and fans.

Curtis died in 1991, suffering a heart attack while he slept.

Curtis brief time with Dorsey was mentioned in the November 26, 1941 issue of Variety: "Ken Curtis, singer, who recently made couple sides with Tommy Dorsey in place of Frank Sinatra, replaces Pat Foy with Shep Fields' band." Go the BMI homepage at:

YouTube has a video of Curtis singing with the Shep Fields band: In 1964, Curtis appeared as muleskinner Graydon in the episode "Graydon's Charge" of the syndicated Western television series, Death Valley Days, also guest-starring Denver Pyle and Cathy Lewis.

She died in 1937. Curtis remains best known for his role as Festus Haggen, the scruffy, cantankerous, and illiterate deputy in Gunsmoke. He then went on to Shep Field’s Orchestra. Curtis also joined Ford, along with Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell, and Jack Lemmon, in the comedy Navy classic Mister Roberts.

Curtis enrolled at Colorado College in 1935 with plans to be a doctor. His firsdt was Ellen Morrision, who he married in 1925. “Larry and I did some skydiving before we started the series just so we’d be able to understand what it was all about. He was featured in all three of the only films produced by Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney's C. V. Whitney Pictures: The Searchers (1956); The Missouri Traveler (1958) with Brandon deWilde and Lee Marvin; and The Young Land (1959) with Patrick Wayne and Dennis Hopper. Cedar Jack, who lived 15 miles south of town, made a living cutting cedar fence posts. During World War II, Curtis served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1945. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account.

They said the cause of death was unkown. Milburn Stone, who made his first movie in 1935, had done more than 150 of them before he was cast as “Doc” Adams on “Gunsmoke” in 1955. Now I’m used to it.

The jail is located for historical preservation purposes on the grounds of the Bent County Courthouse in Las Animas.

He was the son of a sheriff and worked on a jail farm as a boy.

Later, he appeared in Ripcord, a first-run syndicated action/adventure show about a company providing skydiving services, along with its leading star Larry Pennell. Curtis Wain Gates, known commonly as Ken Curtis, had all the ingredients in his upbringing to be a musical Western star. Same thing today, but with a twist.

Curtis' last acting role was as the aging cattle rancher "Seaborn Tay" in the television production Conagher (1991), by western author Louis L'Amour.

In Chester’s absence, it’s up to Festus to provide comedy relief on the program. And there's photos and info on the memorial statue of Ken/Festus in Clovis, California which was crafted by local artist Sam Hutchings: They were married until his death in 1991 and he had two step-children. For much of 1948, Curtis was a featured singer and host of the long-running country music radio program WWVA Jamboree. The title has a lot of words but the album actually has a lot of tracks Festus sings, including “The Warden” and “Comanches is Soft.”, Not Just A Deputy Sheriff, Festus Got To Sing — Really Well — On ‘Gunsmoke’. This comes from Curtis’s own experience as a singer. Seems everyone tries to settle a bet by calling a newspaper. Even when he went to college to study medicine he continued to be active in campus musical activities, and in the late 1930s he left school for Hollywood to try for a singing career.

To easily peruse what Festus sings throughout Gunsmoke, look no further than the 1968 album, Gunsmoke’s Festus Sings ‘n Talks ’bout Dodge City ‘n Stuff.

Some actors, even those who had been in Hollywood for many years, found their best roles in television. Growing up in Colorado as the son of a sheriff probably meant that young Curtis Wain Gates was exposed to a lot of cowboys, but every member of his family was musically inclined and he fit right in. I was reminded of this recently when I re-read a story about my phone interview with actor Ken Curtis in 1964.

Also, in the film adaptation 'Conagher' based on a book by popular writer Louis L'Amour, he starred opposite Sam Elliott as an aging cattleman. No, I explained, they’re both named Ken Curtis because they’re the same person. These films, with such titles as “Rhythm Round-Up,” “Throw a Saddle on a Star,” “That Texas Jamboree” and “Singing on the Trail” either provided the second feature on a double bill, or were shown with the weekly serials that were popular in the 1940s.

Curtis’s musical background came up quite a bit in Gunsmoke. Foreshadowing? He did show up in some "A" films, including "Made for Each Other" (with Carole Lombard and James Stewart in 1939), "Johnny Apollo" (with Tyrone Power and Dorothy Lamour in 1940); "Cass Timberlane" (with Spender Tracy and Lana Turner in 1947)' "Operation Pacific" (with John Wayne and Patricia Neal in 1951), and "The Long Gray Line" (with Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara in 1955). Curtis auditioned and was given the job as Sinatra’s replacement, but Sinatra changed his mind and remained with Dorsey. He and his family lived below a jail and cooked meals for prisoners. So he went to Hollywood where he tried to sell his songs. Curtis said he was happy to be playing a comic relief character rather than a leading me. The story was as much about the calls we received from our readers as it was about Curtis, because as luck would have it the actor was the subject of several questions that were puzzling Akron-area residents.

Curtis then joined Shep Fields and His New Music, an all-reeds band that dispensed with a brass section. Joining Curtis in the supporting cast was Noah Beery Jr., who had been so memorable previously as James Garner's father on "The Rockford Files.". LISTEN: Judy Norton Of ‘The Waltons’ Is Actually A Very Gifted Singer Outside Of Acting. Ken Curtis was featured in program #6, Clem Norman Story and #17, The Vought Cowboy:, The Internet Archive also has a lot of Ken Curtis songs:, The Internet Archive has the Ken Curtis productions of THE KILLER SHREWS (1959) and THE GIANT GILA MONSTER (1959):[]=%22ken%20curtis%22#collection-date-archived, Daniel Neyer's "The Files of Jerry Blake" serial website has details on Curtis starring in the DON DAREDEVIL RIDES AGAIN (Republic, 1951) cliffhanger:, Calin Coburn (Bob Nolan's grandson) and Elizabeth Drake McDonald have created a fantastic website on Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers, etc.

He graduated in 1935.

We’re going to spotlight the singing career of a guy who was better known as a Western actor. Curtis died on April 28, 1991, in his sleep of a heart attack in Fresno, California. Whatever Happened To Amanda Blake, Miss Kitty From ‘Gunsmoke’? In 5 Steps to Danger (1957 film), he is uncredited as FBI Agent Jim Anderson. At first I felt grubby. Curtis replaced Frank Sinatra on Tommy Dorsey’s band after Sinatra left to become a solo artist.

Curtis guest-starred five times on the Western television series Have Gun – Will Travel with Richard Boone. Here he is, appearing in two programs, and he told me he never even wanted to be an actor until fairly recently. When his college years came, Ken Curtis fully intended on pursuing medicine, but actually stopped to pursue music and singing. by

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