Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Hats off to Marshal Dillon
His name was James Arness, but most of us baby boomers (and our parents) knew him as the larger-than-life Marshal Matt Dillon of the long-running TV western "Gunsmoke."
The 6-foot-7 inch Arness died a few days ago at the age of 88, but his legacy of no nonsense toughness will last for many years. Scan the channels and you'll probably find a re-run of "Gunsmoke."
The show had a strong following for 20 years (an eternity on TV), finally signing off in 1975.
Who can ever forget the towering Marshal Dillon? The marshal, with his trusted sidekick and stiff-legged deputy Chester Goode (played by Dennis Weaver), maintained peace and order in wild, wicked Dodge City, Kan. Other regulars on the show were Miss Kitty Russell (played by Amanda Blake), who managed the Long Branch Saloon (where the marshal hung out and sipped cool ones), and spunky, wise old Doc Adams (Milburn Stone).
In recent years, Marshal Dillon and Miss Kitty were memorialized in Toby Keith's hit song "I Should've Been A Cowboy."
Here are a few lyrics from that blockbuster tune:
I bet you've never heard ole Marshall Dillion say
Miss Kitty have you ever thought of running away
Settling down will you marry me
If I asked you twice and begged you pretty please
She'd of said Yes in a New York minute
They never tied the knot
His heart wasn't in it
Stole a kiss as he road away
He never hung his hat up at Kitty's place
Want to hear the song and re-live a bit of Marshal Dillon lore?
Turn your sound up and click here.