August 05, 2009

Daniel Boone TV series

Here's some info on the Daniel Boone TV series, a show I didn't watch and don't know much about:

Daniel Boone (TV series)Daniel Boone is an American action/adventure television series that aired from September 24, 1964 to September 10, 1970 on NBC for 165 episodes, and was made by 20th Century Fox Television. The title role was played by Fess Parker. Ed Ames co-starred as Mingo, Boone's American Indian friend, for the first four seasons of the series.


Daniel Boone was one of two iconic historical figures played by Fess Parker. He previously appeared as Davy Crockett in a series of episodes of the Disney anthology television series, to considerable acclaim. For his role as Boone, which lasted far longer but had arguably less impact, Parker again wore a raccoon-hide coonskin cap, which had been popularized years earlier by the Crockett shows. Daniel Boone's headgear was even mentioned in the show's theme song: "From the coonskin cap on the top of ol' Dan..." although the real life Daniel Boone did not actually wear a coonskin cap.

The series was set in the 1770s, just before and during the American Revolution, and mostly centered on adventures in and around Boonesborough, Kentucky. Some aspects of the show were less than historically faithful, which at one point led the Kentucky legislature to condemn the inaccuracies.

The character Mingo was half-Cherokee and highly educated, somewhat in the Tonto mold but with updated sensibilities and without the broken English. (A graduate of Oxford University, Mingo passed as a British officer in at least two episodes, and sang opera in another.) Singer Ed Ames's role as Mingo led to an infamous tomahawk-throwing demonstration on The Tonight Show that was rerun on anniversary clip shows for decades afterward. In reality, the Mingo were a small group of Natives (and not one man) who were related to the Iroquois.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Mercurie on 1960s Westerns and TV Shows Featuring Indians.

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