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Death Valley - Located in southeastern California, this arid patch of land was the inspiration for the western anthology DEATH VALLEY DAYS/SYN/1952-75.

Death Valley Title Card

Stanley Andrews as 'The Old Ranger'

Series Title Logo  "The Old Ranger"

Based on actual events, the series told tales of human interest about the homesteaders and miners that crossed over this barren landscape in search of a new life in the early days of the 19th century. Death Valley, set aside as a National monument, is 276 feet below sea level and stretches about 140 miles through California into Nevada.

The DEATH VALLEY DAYS TV program is based on the radio program created by Ruth Woodman that debuted September 30, 1930 on the NBC Blue Radio Network.

Over the years, the hosts of the program have included: (The Radio Years - 1930-1944) William Shelley, George Rand, Tim Frawley, Harry Humphrey, and John "Jack" MacBryde; (The TV Years - 1952-75) Stanley Andrews, Ronald Reagan, Robert Taylor, Dale Robertson, and Merle Haggard.

In syndication, the program's episodes were given alternate titles and hosts: FRONTIER ADVENTURE (Dale Robertson), THE PIONEERS (Will Rogers, Jr.), TRAILS WEST (Ray Milland), WESTERN STAR THEATRE (Rory Calhoun) and CALL OF THE WEST (John Payne).

Both Radio and TV series were sponsored by Boraxo Company, makers of "Twenty Mule Team Boraxo". The series haunting opening "Bugle Theme" was composed by Josef Bonime.

Stanley Andrews, the host of the TV series from 1952 through 1964, was the last person to play the role of "The Old Ranger." Andrews died June 23, 1969. in Los Angeles, California. Early in his career, Andrews was the voice of  Daddy Warbucks on "Little Orphan Annie" radio program.

Vintage 'Death Valley' Postcard

TRIVIA NOTE: Death Valley was the honeymoon site of Gomez (John Astin) and Morticia (Carolyn Jones) from the bizarre sitcom THE ADDAMS FAMILY/ABC/1964-66. See also - METALS & MINERALS: "Borax"

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