I see that “Wyatt Earp,” the ’50s TV western, has been released on DVD. Nothing against Hugh O’Brian, but I don’t need to see the show again. But the theme song? Yeah. I definitely want to hear that again.
The Wyatt Earp theme was an anthem to a man. It sounds as if The Ken Darby Singers performed it standing at attention, saluting a picture of the lawman himself.
Then there was “Maverick,” starring James Garner and Jack Kelly as Brett and Bart Maverick, as slick a brother act as there ever was, relying more on their mouths than their guns as weapons.
The Maverick theme song made you want to ride along with those boys, stopping to fleece the local yokels at the saloon card table, flirt with the ladies, then tip your Stetson and move along.
And “Rawhide.” The only one of the three that wasn’t made into a movie, which is fine by me. Hugh O’Brian is my Earp, not Kurt Russell. And James Garner is my Brett, not Mel Gibson.
“Rawhide” had the king of the TV western themes. Frankie Laine’s voice put you on the back of a big ‘ol horse, riding the dusty trail with Gil Favor (Eric Fleming) and Rowdy Yates (Clint Eastwood).
Too bad network TV theme songs went the way of the Western. Now, they want to grab you as quickly as possible so you won’t pick up the remote during a theme song.
But you’re smarter than that.