Skip to main content

The Wonderful Relationship of My Mother and The Philco TV

Kenneth, born and raised in the South, resides in Hamilton, Alabama. He enjoys sharing his unique perspectives on life through his writing.

Seriously, What I Would Love to Happen

about this hub is for it to be considered as ONE of my best efforts. I say this from the heart and with a lot of truth—and NO phrases or hints of me being a braggart or someone who would love to gloat over anyone. That is all.

Now that you have read my Personal Introduction, feel free to read the below and I hope that you get a wonderful blessing about the topic, NOT anything about yours truly.

Thank you, Kenneth

William Bendix, the star of "The Life of Riley."

William Bendix, the star of "The Life of Riley."

What About “The Life of Riley," That

starred radio comic, William Bendix as blundering Chester A. Riley, a wing rivete rat the fictional Cunningham Aircraft plant in California. His frequent exclamation of indignation—"What a revoltin' development this is!"—became one of the most famous catch phrases of the 1940s.

The supporting cast featured Paula Winsloweas Riley's wife, Peg, and as Riley's mother-in law; Brown as O'Dell and as Riley's co-worker Jim Gillis; Francis "Dink" Trout as Waldo Binny; Tommy Cook, Bobby Ellisand Scotty Beckettas Junior at various times during the show's run Sharon Douglasas Riley's daughter, Babs; Shirley Mitchellas Honeybee Gillis; Hans Conriedas Uncle Baxter; and, Alan Reedas multiple characters, including Riley's boss (Mr. Stevenson) and Peg's father. Henry Morgan voiced Riley's father in one episode.

With a leading man, William Bendix, and the cast filled with every known talent as acting to voice characterizations . . .”The Life of Riley” was an instant-favorite to those of early TV, such as my mother.

"Frank Ballinger," (Lee Marvin) starred on M-Squad.

"Frank Ballinger," (Lee Marvin) starred on M-Squad.

Enter the Police Series

M-Squad, set in Chicago, it starred Marvin as Detective Lieutenant Frank Ballinger, a member of "M Squad", a special unit of the Chicago Police, assisting other units in battling organized crime, corruption and violent crimes city-wide. A young actor, Paul Newlan,co-starred as his boss, Captain Grey. Although Marvin had been appearing in feature films since 1951, it was this series that made him a star, and he later went on to an even bigger film career afterward. Nelson Case was the announcer.The popularity of M-Squad was proven in the ratings wars by the NBC network choosing a Thursday night time slot opposite Frank Sinatra's ABC variety show in the fall of 1957 and Phil Silvers' long running CBS comedy, Sgt. Bilko, in 1958. Both series were eventually canceled.

My mother loved this action-packed series. Even at a young age, I would watch her as she got all of her house work finished just in time to sit in her favorite chair, relax, and watch M-Squad. It was like, (as I watched her), like she was starring in one of the scenes that featured Lee Marvin. And now, years later, who could blame her.

"Dan Matthews," Broderick Crawford,  was the star of "Highway Patrol."

"Dan Matthews," Broderick Crawford, was the star of "Highway Patrol."

Just Who Was Dan Matthews?

the graveled-edged voice and exterior, Broderick Crawford, (December 9, 1911 – April 26, 1986)? He starred as a tough captain in Highway Patrol.

Crawford had also worked on stage, film, radio, and television, often cast in tough-guy roles and best known for his Oscar and Golden Globe-winning portrayal of Willie Stark in All the King's Men and for his starring role as Dan Mathews in the television series Highway Patrol (1955–1959).

Sure as shooting, Highway Patrol did not lack in action whatsoever. From the first minute until the credits were rolled, a viewer could always count on Dan Matthews leading the charge of his fellow Highway Patrol officers in helping to arrest careless drivers and those who think that speed was king.

Until filming All the King's Men, Crawford's career had been largely limited to "B films" in supporting or character roles. He realized he did not fit the role of a handsome leading man, once describing himself as looking like a "retired pugilist". Nevertheless, he excelled in roles playing villains and authoritarian figures.

At the end of every show, Crawford always had a short highway safety notice to educate, I assume, the young drivers. One notice that I heard stayed with me . . .”Clowns are funny if they’re in the circus,but on the highway, they are murder. See ya’ next week.” And my mom, dad, and I never missed Highway Patrol.

I Hope That

you will not mind, but I am sharing even more of my mom’s best-liked shows, but without the added background information.

Riverboat – with Darren McGavin; Hawaiian Eye; Surf Side Six – with Troy Donahue; Rawhide – with Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood; The Texan – with Rory Calhoun; Gunsmoke – with James Arness; Milburn Stone; Dennis Weaver and Amanda Blake; Tightrope – with Mike Connors; The Roy Rogers Show; 77 Sunset Strip – with Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Edd Byrnes, Richard Long and Roger Smith; Wagon Train – with Ward Bond The Rifleman – with Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford;The Sheriff of Cochise – with John Broomfield; Shotgun Slade – with Scott Brady and Monica Lewis andThe Whirlybirds – with Kenneth Toby and Craig Hill.

Like I said, these are only a small portion of my mom’s TV favorites. I know what you are thinking. With this many shows that my mom watched, when did she find the time to do her household chores?

That’s an easy question, now the simple answer: I told you that my mom was an amazing woman.

March 31, 2019_____________________________________________

© 2019 Kenneth Avery

Related Articles