Memory Lane: ‘Have Gun, Will Travel’

I only got to see this show if I stayed at my Grammy’s for the weekend; but it’s the kind of show you remember.

For one thing, it had fantastic music: the Paladin theme by Richard Boone and Johnny Western, played above in its entirety, plus background music by Bernard Herrmann, one of the all-time great movie and radio music composers. It had a great star in Richard Boone, compelling stories by a stable of fine writers that included Gene Roddenberry of Star Trek fame, and talented guest directors including William Conrad, Ida Lupino, Sam Peckinpah, and Boone himself. In short, it had everything!

I find this theme song haunts me. Although Paladin was a hired gun, he always sought a peaceful solution first. And he did pro bono work for the poor. I guess you could say he was a real trouble-shooter: he faced the trouble, and shot it.

It takes me back to a better time. I was born into and raised in a world of men and women, not freaks. When we imagined heroes, they were human heroes: not a lot of caped and costumed comic book characters poncing around like fashion models on a runway.

Could we go back to being the people we were then? It wasn’t perfect, but it was a towering sight better than what we’re doing now.

I saw it. I lived it. I know.

6 comments on “Memory Lane: ‘Have Gun, Will Travel’

  1. Thanks, Lee! Paladin was one of my favorites and I sure haven’t heard that theme song in a very long time. Memories of much better days 🙂

    1. Patty and I were in a bookstore once, circa 1977, and a guy was stacking the shelves while softly singing the Paladin theme. He had the sweetest voice you ever heard! We could only stand and listen.

    2. It’s sure not a song one would expect to hear someone singing without prompting. Must have been a real treat 🙂 There seemed to me always to be sort of a wistful loneliness to that song.

    3. There is a loneliness to it. You don’t hear music like that anymore. Modern TV and movie themes tend to force noise upon us. Sounds like Laurindo Almieda on guitar.

  2. I had just about forgotten this one, but now I recall very well. My husband and two sons loved that show, and I didn’t mind it either.

  3. I’m with you!! Some of my fondest memories of my Dad are all the times we watched Westerns together in the 1950’s. Q: What city was Paladin’s home-based town? A: San Francisco

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