Gunsmoke

Chester & Matt Walking

Picture 7 of 9

Parley Baer (Chester), William Conrad (Matt Dillon)

Gunsmoke was a long-running old-time radio and television Western drama program set in Dodge City, Kansas during the settlement of the American West. The radio show first aired on April 26, 1952 and ran until June 18, 1961 on the CBS radio network. The series starred William Conrad as Marshal Matt Dillon, Howard McNear as Doc Charles Adams, Georgia Ellis as Kitty Russell, and Parley Baer as Deputy Chester Proudfoot. Doc’s first name and Chester’s last name were changed for the television program. Gunsmoke was notable for its critically acclaimed cast and writing, and is commonly regarded as one of the finest old time radio shows. Some listeners have argued that the radio version of Gunsmoke was far more realistic than the television program. Episodes were aimed at adults, and featured some of the most explicit content of the day: there were violent crimes and scalpings, massacres and opium addicts. Miss Kitty’s occupation as a prostitute was made far more obvious on the radio version than on television. Many episodes ended on a down-note, and villains often got away with their crimes.

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