Saturday, April 20, 2013

From Primetime to Daytime: Rawhide (1959)

Rawhide originally aired on Fridays during its network run (CBS), but after a Saturday afternoon run on Retro a few years back, it's now airing back-to-back episodes at lunch time on Saturdays on AMC (formerly American Movie Classics) as part of the network's attempt to mount a Western block in response to rival cable networks such as Me-TV and upstart INSP. Too many commercials, of course, disrupt the flow of the episodes.

While the iconic theme song, sung by Frankie Laine ("High Noon"), was covered by the Blues Brothers in 1980 (with Dan Aykroyd, as Elwood, on vocals), it took several more years before the series re-entered the public's consciousness thanks to those cable deals. Rawhide is also known as the series that helped launch the career of movie legend Clint Eastwood, and counted singer-comic Sheb Wooley as part of its ensemble cast as well.

Speaking of that theme tune, here's the inimitable Mr. Laine:

Rating: A.

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