OLD TIME RADIO - CD-ROM - 41 mp3
Fort Laramie opened with "Specially transcribed tales of the dark and tragic ground of the wild frontier. The saga of fighting men who rode the rim of empire and the dramatic story of Lee Quince, Captain of Cavalry".
When Norman Macdonnell created Fort Laramie in late 1955, he made it clear to his writers that historical accuracy was essential to the integrity of the series. Correct geographic names, authentic Indian practices, military terminology, and utilizing actual names of the original buildings of the real fort, was insisted upon. So when the radio characters referred to the sutler's store (which is what the trading post was called prior to 1870), the surgeon's quarters, Old Bedlam (the officers' quarters) or the old bakery, they were naming actual structures in the original fort.
While Macdonnell planned to use the same writers, soundmen, and supporting actors in Fort Laramie that he relied upon in Gunsmoke, he naturally picked different leads. Heading up the cast was a 39 year old, Canadian-born actor with a long history in broadcasting and the movies, Raymond Burr. He had begun his career in 1939, alternating between the stage and radio. He turned to Hollywood, and from 1946 until he got the part of Captain Lee Quince in Fort Laramie in 1956, he had appeared in thirty-seven films. A few were excellent (Rear Window, The Blue Gardenia) some were average (Walk a Crooked Mile, A Place in the Sun) but many were plain awful (Bride of Vengeance, Red Light, and Abandoned).
With Burr in the lead, Macdonnell selected two supporting players: Vic Perrin as "Sgt. Goerss" and Jack Moyles as "Major Daggett", the commanding officer of the post. (The original Fort Laramie usually had a Lieutenant Colonel as the C.O. but Macdonnell probably preferred a shorter military title.) Perrin, a 40 year old veteran radio actor had been in countless productions, but had achieved name recognition only on The Zane Grey Show where he played the lead, "Tex Thorne." Jack Moyles was also a busy radio actor, having started in 1935 in Hawthorne House, with later major roles in Romance, Twelve Players, Night Editor as well as the lead in A Man Called Jordan. From 1947 to 1948 he was a regular in The Adventures of Philip Marlowe, which Norman Macdonnell directed, although this may not have been their first association.
By the mid-1950s when Fort Laramie began, most of the actors on the west coast were doing some television and movie work so the program was rehearsed and taped for transcription during the evening. Once a week the cast and crew gathered at CBS Studio One in Hollywood to tape the show. In 1956 this was the last radio production studio in use in California. The series debuted on January 22, 1956 with an episode entitled "Playing Indian."
Fort Laramie aired forty one episodes from January 22, 1956 to October 28, 1956. An audition episode was recorded on July 25, 1955.
First Episode: January 22, 1956 (Plus an earlier audition show on July 25, 1955)
Last Episode: October 28, 1956
Number of Episodes: 41
Network: CBS Radio Network
Cast Members: Raymond Burr (Captain Lee Quince), Jack Moyles (Major Daggett), Vic Perrin (Sergeant Goerss), Harry Bartell (Lieutenant Seiberts)
Series Creator/Producer/Director: Norman MacDonnell
Announcers: Dan Cubberly
Sound Effects: Bill James, Ray Kemper
Music: Amerigo Moreno
Writers: Les Crutchfield, Gil Doud, John Dunkel, Kathleen Hite, John Meston, E. Jack Newman, William N. Robson
Sponsor: Fully supported by CBS
Typical Episode Length: 30 Minutes
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55/07/25 0 (Audition)
56/01/22 1 Playing Indian
56/01/29 2 Boatwright's Story
56/02/05 3 Squaw Man
56/02/12 4 The Woman at Horse Creek
56/02/19 5 Boredom
56/02/26 6 Captain's Widow
56/03/04 7 Shavetail
56/03/11 8 Hattie Pelfrey
56/03/18 9 The Beasley Girls
56/03/25 10 The Coward
56/04/01 11 Lost Child
56/04/15 12 Stage Coach Stop
56/04/22 13 The New Recruit
56/04/29 14 Quince's Capture
56/05/06 15 Never the Twain
56/05/13 16 War Correspondent
56/05/20 17 Black Hills Gold
56/05/27 18 Sergeant Gorce's Baby
56/06/03 19 Don't Kick My Horse
56/06/10 20 Young Trooper
56/06/17 21 Winter Soldier
56/06/24 22 The Loving Cup
56/07/01 23 Trooper's Widow
56/07/08 24 Talented Recruits
56/07/15 25 Old Enemy
56/07/22 26 Spotted Tail's Return
56/07/29 27 Nature Boy
56/08/05 28 The Massacre
56/08/12 29 Assembly Line
56/08/19 30 Goodbye Willa
56/08/26 31 The Chaplain
56/09/02 32 The Return of Hattie Pelfrey
56/09/09 33 The Buffalo Hunters
56/09/16 34 The Payroll
56/09/23 35 The Woman at Horse Creek
56/09/30 36 A Small Beginning
56/10/07 37 Galvanized Yankee
56/10/14 38 Still Waters
56/10/21 39 Indian Scout
56/10/28 40 Army Wife