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Updated on March 21, 2012
Paladin's calling card
Paladin's calling card | Source

Paladin-The Man in Black

The year is 1957. Television is becoming a great part of family entertainment. When searching for adventure the audience is enjoying the history period of the old west. The post Civil war era is exciting with new promise of freedom and opening new territories in the west. Though western television series are mostly fiction, they still have a believable touch of realism for their faithful viewers.

CBS Television Network produces a show with the story following a well educated gentleman with a military background. He was once a Union officer. He was a graduate of the West Point Military Academy. He was a gentleman of fine taste and distinction. He called himself Paladin (white knight) and carried a calling card to be handed to intended clients for his services which included being a hired gun, bodyguard, courier and anything else which his talents could earn him the $1000 fee he asked for. The calling card read “Have Gun-Will Travel, Wire Paladin, San Francisco”. He lived at the Hotel Carlton in that city. He dressed in fancy apparel unless he was traveling for clients. While on the road he dressed in black and wore a holster with a white knight emblem (Paladin) on it which held a Colt .45. Paladin also carries a concealed derringer under his gun belt.

Ballad of Paladin

Six Seasons 1957-1963

On Sept. 14, 1957, CBS airs Have Gun Will Travel starring Richard Boone as Paladin. Its first half hour episode is called Three Bells to Perdido with guest stars Jack Lord, Janice Rule and Judson Pratt. The story begins with a rancher desperate to get his daughter and son-in-law out of the Mexican hole in the wall. The rancher hires Paladin to bring them home.

Each week brings another adventure with the man in black and his side kick known as Hey Boy (Kam Tung) who helps unite Paladin with his clients working out of the Hotel Carlton. Hey Boy is recurring in the entire run of the show other than one season (Season four, 1960-61) where Hey Girl (Lisa Lu) is his messenger. Each episode brings another half hour of great guest stars in various roles requiring the services of Paladin (Richard Boone).

Have Gun Will Travel ran six seasons and in 1963 its last episode, Squatters Rights aired with Paladin hired to rid a squatter from a man’s land for $1000. But after the landowner shows Paladin reasons not justified. The hired gun changes his mind. One of Paladin’s famous quotes is “I may no longer be an officer or a gentleman, but I’m not an assassin.”

In Memory of Richard Boone

We lost the star of this show in 1981. As with many fine actors of his time, his memory lives on in his well known roles. Paladin is certainly one of Richard Boone’s finest titles. Today we can still watch him entertain us in Have Gun Will Travel as it is aired on Encore Westerns at 2:30 p.m. EST weekdays.

Check out the Have Gun Will Travel website.

Encore Westerns


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    • Diana Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana L Pierce 

      7 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Thanks, KoffeeKlatch Gals. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Diane, I love this series. My husband and I were watching it everyday when we got home from work until they changed the time they show it. Now we haven't been able to watch it since. Great review of a great story.

    • Diana Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana L Pierce 

      7 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      So glad you like it, Deborah. Writing about these old shows have been fun. I plan to write about more of them. I guess I shouldn't be running out of ideas for awhile.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      7 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Oh we loved Paladin.. the best show.. In fact we watch all the reruns and tape them on DVR.. thanks for a great hub

      voted up


    • Diana Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana L Pierce 

      7 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Glad you like memory recall, hyphenbird. With so many shows making a come back on television channels which play the classics, I'm glad to try my luck at keeping people interested in them.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Paladin has always been a favorite of mine. I always thought he was suave and debonair. Thanks for stimulating my memories.

    • Davesworld profile image


      7 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

      "Johnny Yuma was a rebel, he roamed through the west ... well he searched the land, this rebel lad, and he packed no star as he wandered far where the only law was a hook and a draw ..." yeah Steve McQueen

      All those old theme songs consuming brain cells

    • Diana Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana L Pierce 

      7 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Thanks, dahoglund for stopping by. I'm so glad they are airing a lot of these old shows. It brings back many childhood memories of watching them with my folks who are both gone now. As I've started writing reviews on them I've discovered other people are still interested as well.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids


      It was one of my favorites. Most of these westerns were on during my college years so my opportunities to see them were limited. I don't get the Western channel but there are so channels that carry old shows. hopefully some of these will show. "The Rebel" is on one of them now.A show I din't see much before but is a good one.

    • Diana Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      Diana L Pierce 

      7 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Thanks, Davesworld. I love all these old classics.

    • Davesworld profile image


      7 years ago from Cottage Grove, MN 55016

      Have gun will travel reads the card of a man.

      A knight without armor in a savage land.

      A soldier of fortune is the man called Paladin.

      Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam.

      Paladin, Paladin, far far from home.

      Oh the things that get stuck in your brain cells...


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