High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A 65 Week Engagement at the Sands!

In 1933, one year after Olympic Gold Medal
swimming champion Johnny Weissmuller
played the lord of the Jungle in Tarzan the
Ape Man, another U.S. Olympic swimming
champ, Buster Crabbe, played Tarzan the
Fearless... a role that implied a rivalry
between the two. Buster Crabbe went on
to star as Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers.


What is the name of Crabbe's 1950s TV
serial filmed on location in Morocco?




Buster Crabbe starred as Michael Gallant,
a captain in the French Foreign Legion in
North Africa, in the mid 50s TV series
Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion.

Captain Gallant was similar to another favorite
series of mine, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin.
A fort was the setting for both shows and
both featured a young boy as mascot.

In Captain Gallant, Crabbe's real life son,
Cullen, played Cuffy, the Legion's mascot.

On Rin Tin Tin, Lee Aaker played Corporal
Rusty, an orphaned boy adopted by the
soldiers at Fort Apache in Arizona.

Rin Tin Tin premiered October 15, 1954.
That same week Rosemary Clooney was
breaking into the top 5 with "This Ole
House," a record my parents owned
and played often. Rosemary's single
featured vocals by bass man Thurl
Ravenscroft, the actor who gained
fame as the voice of Tony the Tiger
shouting " "They're grrreat!" in the
Kellogg's Frosted Flakes commercials.

"This Ole House" - Rosemary Clooney
(Nov. 1954, highest chart pos. #1)

Captain Gallant premiered February 13, 1955.
That same week the Fontane Sisters, a pop trio
from New Jersey, were climbing the chart with
their latest single "Rock Love," a song originally
recorded by singer and actor Eddie Fontaine.

"Rock Love" - The Fontane Sisters
(Feb. 1955, highest chart
pos. #14 Cash Box)

 Did you watch Captain Gallant

 Do you remember Rin Tin Tin

 Do you like Rosemary Clooney 

 and The Fontane Sisters? 

Have a Shady day!


  1. I remember Rin Tin Tin but not Captain Gallant. Cool his real life son was in the series with him.

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Thanks for claiming early bird honors for the 23rd week in a row, good buddy! :)

      When I watched Captain Gallant in the mid 50s, I didn't pay much attention to the opening credits. Therefore I didn't know (or remember) until recently when I composed the post that Buster Crabbe's son Cullen played Cuffy in the series.

      Thanks again for your first day visit and comment, good buddy Alex, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  2. I do like Rosemary Clooney. Going to have to wait for the weekend to see if I recognize The Fontane Sisters (unless you're talking about Joan and Olive D, but I think the spelling's different.) Have heard of Rin Tin Tin, but never saw the actual show. Never heard or seen Captain Gallant but prefer Crabbe as Flash Gordon to Tarzan.

    1. Hi Kirk!

      Thanks for coming over, good buddy!

      Well now, you touched all the bases here, my friend. This is like a game of Six Degrees because there are many famous names that can be drawn into the conversation. A while back, Mrs. Shady and I watched Rosemary Clooney as an actress appearing in a couple episodes of the outstanding TV medical series ER which starred her nephew George Clooney. When Rosie married for the third time in 1997, the wildly famous George Clooney did not attend because he didn't want to steal the spotlight from his aunt on her special day. Rosemary Clooney is also the mother-in-law of Pat Boone's singing daughter Debby Boone.

      No, good buddy. The Fontane Sisters are no relation to actresses Joan Fontaine and her sister Olivia de Havilland. The are closely associated with Perry Como, having been featured artists on his radio and TV shows. At the beginning of last year I devoted a full post to these singing siblings who specialized in cool covers:

      I think I saw every episode of Captain Gallant and Rin Tin Tin and have seen many episodes of Flash Gordon but not Buck Rogers. I might have seen Crabbe's Tarzan film along the way but considered Johnny W. to be the definitive lord of the jungle.

      Thanks again for reporting in, good buddy Kirk!

    2. I should add, Kirk, that the singer who originally recorded "Rock Love," Eddie Fontaine (born Edward Reardon), is also no relation to Joan Fontaine, Olivia de Havilland or to the singing Fontane Sisters.

  3. We just had a discussion about the many faces of Tarzan at our house not long ago. For me, the film Tarzan I always think of is Weissmuller and for TV it's Ron Ely.

    I was more of the Lassie era than Rin Tin Tin. :)

    Never a great fan of Rosemary Clooney's voice (and I don't care for her nephew, George, either).

    1. Hi, Kelly!

      Thanks for coming over, dear friend. I am very happy to see you!

      It surprises me that by sheer coincidence you and your family recently discussed the many faces of Tarzan. Perhaps it was my posting of the song "Tarzan Boy" last week that got you started on the subject. :) As I told Kirk (above) I will always think of Johnny Weissmuller as the "real" Tarzan just as I think of Sean Connery as the "real" Bond, George Reeves as the real "Superman" and Adam West as the "real" Batman.

      I'll have you know that I watched Lassie from the beginning of the series in 1954 when it was called Jeff's Collie. :)

      Thank you again for joining the fun this week, dear friend Kelly, and enjoy the rest of your week. (Still waiting for Peaches & Herb! :)

  4. I faintly remember Rin Tin Tin, friend Shady … but never owned a tv back then … these days travellin peeps have solar panels in order to collect wifi and tv signals. Love, cat

    1. … ahem … me think Christopher Reeve is the real superman … smiles … Love, cat.

    2. Hi, cat!

      How are you, dear kitty friend? I can always count on you to run up my total with an extra comment or two. :) Thank you very much for coming all the way down from Western Canada to bust your brain on my trivia question.

      My family owned an early model television set. The screen was small, the picture black and white, and it burned coal, filling the room with smoke. :) I watched Captain Gallant and Rin Tin Tin regularly. I'm glad you remember the latter if only faintly.

      Chris Reeve did a fine job of playing Superman in the movies. My favorite TV Superman was and is George Reeves. Sad to remember that both of those Superman actors died under tragic circumstances.

      Thank you again for taking a peek at the post, dear friend cat, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  5. Hello Shady. The Foreign Legion series was a favorite in my household. My mom would watch anything foreign that might provide any memories of her home and life in India! But, we truly loved the show. I remember Buster Crabbe, but didn't watch Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers so much! And, "Rin Tin Tin" was also a good series, and pretty popular. Rusty was such a cute kid!

    Oh, Rosemary Clooney! She was a's nice to see the video and song you presented, with so many photos of her. She was a favorite of my parents also.

    The Fontane Sisters "I'm In Love Again" is one that sticks in my mind, and "You Always Hurt The One You Love". They were pretty fantastic. I'm guessing some of our later girl groups took plenty of tips on vocals and costuming from the earlier sister singers!

    Thank you for this look back, Shady. I enjoyed the reminisce! I do remember a lot of 50's events and entertainment, even though I was a youngster through most of that time! But, the music you've been exposed to back in the day, will always be unforgettable, I say!

    So good to see you...hope you're not roasting and melting to the sidewalks yet. We are almost to 100 degrees as I write. Great picks for today, Shady...take care dear friend! Have a great evening!

    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      Thanks a lot for making time for a first day visit, dear friend. I am very happy to see you!

      What? Your mother once lived in India? I don't think you ever told me about that. Please share more info in an email when you get time.

      I am also delighted to have found a reader friend who actually watched these two old TV adventure series of the mid 50s. I was riveted to both shows whenever they came on. Remember the song "Yo Rinny, Yo Rinny - Pals through thick and thin"? Another 50s adventure series that I might mention, one that was also set in an exotic locale, is the show I featured on SDMM in early 2017 - Ramar of the Jungle featuring "Lightnin'" from Amos 'n' Andy:

      I think its safe to say that R&B and teen pop girl groups of the mid 50s through mid 60s drew at least some inspiration from the sister acts of the 40s and 50s including the Andrews, the McGuires and the Fontanes. Then in 1963 and 1964 girl groups changed significantly with the rise of tough, street savvy acts like the Ronettes and Shangri-las who dressed provocatively and sang songs about bad boys and other topics that were more spice than sugar.

      Rosemary's "This Ole House" played quite frequently around my house. My parents bought the 45 and I played it on my tiny tinny turntable down in the basement. It became one of my early favorites. Another 45 that suddenly springs to mind, one that goes way way back to when I was only one year old, is the Debbie Reynolds & Carleton Carpenter doublesider "Aba Daba Honeymoon" backed with "Row, Row, Row." Ever hear their record?

      Thank you very much for helping me keep the music and memories alive, Suzanne. As you can see, I try to mix it up week by week, posting a wide range of music from the 40s to present. Seems there are too few people around anymore who remember the music of the 50s.

      Yessum, it is very warm and humid, but not anywhere near 100 degrees. I feel for you over there. I hope Scootie is staying in touch. Thank you again for coming by, dear friend Suzanne, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  6. Oh Gosh I remember all of them but This Old House.
    I remember a show that had singers singing the Top 10 ? do not remember the name.
    Fuzzy Knight... love the name !

    cheers, parsnip

    1. Hi, Gayle!

      How are you, dear friend? It's so nice of you to come by. Thank you!

      The radio and TV series you are probably thinking of was called Your Hit Parade. Each week regular vocalists Dorothy Collins, Russell Arms, Snooky Lanson and Gisèle MacKenzie sang the most popular and best selling songs in the nation.

      I remember seeing the name Fuzzy Knight on the credits of Captain Gallant every week. Knight (no relation to Shady Del) built a career playing the cowboy hero's comic sidekick in Western films of the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s.

      Thanks again for joining the fun this week, dear friend Gayle!

  7. My favourite Tarzan will always be Johnny Weissmuller but Buster wasn’t bad. I never knew about the Foreign Legion tv show but do know the Rin Tin Tin Show although I never really saw a full episode and love the silent movies with the original. I wonder what happened to his son? I love Rosemary Clooney

    1. Hi, Birgit!

      Thank you very much for coming down to learn some trivia about Buster Crabbe and related people, films and TV programs.

      Cullen Held Crabbe was the boy's full name, the son of Buster who played "Cuffy" on Captain Gallant. The IMDB lost track of Cullen after the mid 50s which is very unusual. Seems the role he played in his dad's series was Cullen's only acting gig.

      Rosemary Clooney was in two episodes of ER that Mrs. Shady and I watched a while back. ER's Geo. Clooney is her nephew and singer Debby Boone, daughter of crooner Pat, is Rosemary's daughter-in-law.

      I'm glad you saw at least one episode of Rin Tin Tin. I agree that Johnny Weissmuller was the greatest Tarzan.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and comment, dear friend BB!

  8. Hi Shady,

    Of course I’ve heard of Rin Tin Tin and Rosemary but as for the other two, noooooo! Just a little before my time! My earliest TV memories were the Mickey Mouse club, Lassie, Flipper and Roy Rogers and Dale Evans!

    Rosemary Clooney was very pretty in her youth! I can even see George in her!
    Have a great day in the Florida heat! It’s coming up our way on Friday.

    Toni Deroche

    1. Hi, Toni!

      Thank you very much for dropping by to soak up some nostalgia in this post harking back to the mid 50s.

      The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin actually made its debut a few months earlier than Captain Gallant, but Rinny ran longer, to 1959, 164 episodes in all, while Gallant had only "a 65 week engagement at the sands" and ended in December 1957. Both series ran many more years in syndication, but Rin Tin Tin was the better known of the two and that would explain why you know it and not Gallant.

      As for The Fontane Sisters, take a look at the post I ran at the beginning of 2017 which featured those queens of cover:

      Thank you again for being here this week, dear friend Toni. Have a happy Thursday and enjoy your weekend!

  9. Tom,

    I've heard of Rin Tin Tin but I don't think I ever saw it as a rerun. I hadn't really thought about if I like Rosemary Clooney but I do enjoy her older mewsic. The classic "White Christmas" is one of my favorite movies. DH got me one of her Christmas CDs a couple of years ago which is really nice. The Fontane Sisters were probably introduced to me by you in a previous post. They retired from the industry the year I was born (1961) but I learned from Wikipedia they had a mini hit with The Tennessee Waltz (1951). Their rendition is quite beautiful. For those interested, you can hear it HERE. Thanks for sharing more mewsic and memories from your yesteryears, my friend. :)

    1. Hi, Cathy!

      Thank you for coming over on your day off, dear friend. I am very happy to see you!

      Yessum, there is a significant difference in our ages, and therefore it doesn't surprise me that most of this material is uncharted territory for you.

      All three Fontane sisters died during a ten year span from 1993 to 2003. They had voices like buttah and were, in my opinion, as good as the more famous singing sister acts of the period. Thanks for posting the Fontanes' version of "The Tennessee Waltz." It was common back then for several artists from several different record companies to jump on a hot tune and release singles simultaneously. Trade mags like Cash Box routinely lumped two or more artists together in the same listing as they followed the progress of the hit song up and down the chart. There was no separating the versions by artist like there was in the later 50s and 60s.

      I'm so glad you came over and enjoyed my mewsic and memories, dear friend Cathy. Thank you again and enjoy the rest of your week!

  10. Rin Tin Tin is one of my favourites! I also love the Rat Patrol. I might have to check the others out.

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Thanks a lot for popping in, dear friend! I'm glad we have a match on Tin Tin Tin. Did you know that Rat Patrol starred Hans Gudegast who changed his state name to Eric Braeden and went on to become famous as Victor Newman on my favorite soap opera The Young and the Restless?

      Thanks again for your visit and comment, dear friend JM!

    2. Hi Shady,

      I did not know that! I'm not a big fan of soaps, but maybe on Wednesday when I am off, I can watch one. :) I guess it's true that actors start small, then go big.

      Also, Johnny Weismiller is my dad's favourite! I remember watching a lot of his movies growing up.

      I hope you have a great Sunday, dear friend!

    3. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      I agree that Johnny W. is the "real" Tarzan, and Maureen O'Sullivan, one of my favorite actresses, was the ideal Jane. I watched their early 1930s films as a boy and they filled me with wonder.

      Thanks again for coming back to chat, dear friend JM, and enjoy the week ahead!

  11. I do remember Rin Tin Tin and I watched it in the 60's...probably reruns? I don't remember Captain Gallant but if my name were Crabbe I'd rather go by Gallant! I love Rosemary Clooney, especially in White Christmas. Such a beautiful lady. Is that where George got his looks perhaps? Have a great week for the 4th holiday. We're having some Florida weather up here. Hot and humid! But it's better than snow and ice I guess!

    1. Hi, YaYa!

      Thank you for dropping in for a nostalgic post recalling two of my favorite TV series of the mid 50s. Most people remember or have heard of Rin Tin Tin. So far, friend Suzanne is the only person other than Shady who remembers, watched and loved Captain Gallant. Hey, I think Kathleen Crabbe has a nice ring to it! :)

      Mrs. Shady and I recently watched Rosie Clooney in two episodes of the TV series ER with her nephew George. The ladies are constantly raving about George. Heck, take away his good looks, his charisma, his talent, his fame and fortune, and whaddaya got? Shady! :)

      It's sizzling down here, too. Cheer up. By the end of July, northern summer comes to an end and the snow will start flying again. :)

      Thank you again for joining the fun, dear friend YaYa, and enjoy the week ahead!

  12. Hey Shady,
    Happy Monday. Forgive my tardiness. It’s been a flurry of activity around here.
    I never heard of Capt Gallant or the actor that played him, Buster Crabbe and of course never watched it. Rosemary Clooney has a nice voice but I wasn’t so keen on her “Tony the Tiger” partner. I didn’t think they made a good match on that song.

    The Fontaine Sisters were fabulous and I really enjoyed their song.
    Of course I’m familiar with Rin Tin Tin, but not so much that I can say I watched it. I did see an episode here and there during my childhood. What a gorgeous German Shepherd!

    Hope you’re having a great start to your week!
    I think you have another post so I’ll be swinging back by for that later on. Talk soon...

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, Michele!

      Thanks for joining the fun as I return to my childhood and reminisce about two of my favorite TV shows of the mid 50s - Captain Gallant and Rin Tin Tin.

      Buster Crabbe was a little before your time. My first exposure to Buster was as the star of the film serial Flash Gordon which I watched regularly in reruns on TV. Just now, as I did some extra research into Buster's career, I remembered him appearing on a very early TV series that I watched - The Gabby Hayes Show - which ran from 1950 to 1954. Gabby became famous in Roy Rogers and Gene Autry Western movies.

      I figured you'd have something to say about the handsome stunt dog that played Rin Tin Tin. Let's hope the methods used to train him were humane.

      Thank you again for making time for a visit, dear friend Michele. Enjoy the week ahead!


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