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LAWMAN- Reviewing a Classic Western

Updated on November 10, 2014

ABC Introduces Lawman

Keeping the peace and keeping it fair to those involved meant a lawman had to play two parts. He not only had to be a strong law enforcer, but he had to teach values as he played peacemaker. In the booming years of the early westerns on television, stories had to not only been packed with mild violence, but they needed role models who could bring the importance of values to a family viewing audience. The west was not won by gun fire alone.

In 1958, ABC introduces to the television audience a new adventure focusing on a stern sober faced lawman, Marshal Dan Troop (John Russell). Lawman became one of best remembered shows of its time leading the way for many others to follow as stories of the old west was dominating our viewing habits of choice. As if, Marshal Troop wasn’t dashing enough and flaunted his intentions upon at least three ladies of interest who were Julie Tate (Barbara Long) owner of the Laramie newspaper, Dru Lemp (Bek Nelson) owner of the Blue Bonnet Cafe, and Lily Merrill (Peggy Castle) at the saloon called The Birdcage Saloon whose character was added in Season 2, the creators (Warner Bros.) enlisted a second character in the very first episode to swoon the female audience and drive ratings out of sight as young Deputy Johnny McKay (Peter Brown) made them sit up and take notice. The two fought crime to keep their town (Laramie, Wyoming) safe, but at the same time ensuring fairness to be an important lesson taught as they rid the outlaws from their territory.

Currently Aired on Encore Westerns

October 5, 1958, Lawman’s first episode, The Deputy aired. The marshal of Laramie is killed and the new man sworn in for the job must first find the killer to bring justice to his town before he takes on any other duties. Marshal Troop gives the job of deputy to Johnny McKay intrusting him to keep the peace among the people in town in Troop’s absence. The Hawk brothers were played by Edward Byrnes, Jack Elam and Lee Van Cleef bringing to life a group of bad guys whose fame soared for years to come after guest starring on Lawman.

Guest stars of exceptional talents kept Lawman’s adventures flooding with excitement for seasons to come. Lawman ran four seasons with 156 half hour episodes to entertain any western fan. And the film keeps rolling decades later enlightening the younger generation as much as it did the baby boomers.

The final episode held just as much appeal to the audience as the first. Season four went off the screen with The Witness as its fair-well adventure. A man’s wife is killed and with the murder suspect standing trial, the jury setting him free may result in him being a victim of revenge. Even the Lawman will have problems protecting him. Another show of talented guest stars like John Agar, Jay Novello and Sarah Selby help Lawman’s memories live on in its viewers.

Lawman is currently being aired on Encore Westerns each weekday at 2 P.M. EST, with two back to back episodes. April 10, 2012, they start all over again with Season 1, episode 1, The Deputy. Reunite yourself with one of Warner Bros. Television Production’s finest classic westerns.

The Theme song to Lawman by Jerry Livingston and Mack David

Lawman, Lawman, the Lawman came with the sun.
There was a job to be done.And so they sent for the badge and the gun
Of the Lawman.

And as he silently roved, where evil violently ploved
they knew he'd live or he'd die by the code
Of the Lawman.

The man who rides all aloneand all that he'll ever own,
is just a badge and a gun and he's known
As the Lawman.


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    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 5 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      I love all the old western. Thanks for stopping by, Abbyfitz.

    • Abbyfitz profile image

      Abbyfitz 5 years ago from Florida

      Just started watching this show a few months ago. Very well written article! It gave me a lot of info about the show.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 5 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Thanks for stopping, dahoglund. There are a few of them on youtube.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I remember the name of the show but don't recall watching it. I'll keep an eye out for reruns.I don't get the western channel.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 5 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Me, too. I'm watching Lawman right now. Thanks for stopping by, Hyphenbird.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I just love these old Western you write about. I could sit and watch them all day. This is a favorite of mine, but I suppose they all are. sigh

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 5 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Thank you, Deborah. I'm a real western fan-addict.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      wow we tape this show every day.. LOL .. we love it..great hub

      voted up