When I was a nipper in the 1970s, the UK TV schedules seemed to be full (and remember, there were only three channels) of two sorts of US TV imports – cop shows and westerns.
My gran, who lived with us, was a huge fan of western TV shows and movies, so I saw a LOT of them during my formative years.
I never quite acquired my gran’s love of these shows but did enjoy them at the time and have often wondered where all the westerns went – they seemed to fall out of favour at the end of the 1970s. There have been a few notable westerns on the big screen over the last 30 years or so but, with the exception of the brilliant Deadwood, TV has continued to largely ignore the genre.
Anyway, my favourite western theme tune was from the High Chaparral. The NBC show ran for only four seasons (98 episodes), from 1967 until 1971. It was created by David Dortort, who had previously created the hugely successful and long-running Bonanza for the network.
The High Chaparral told the story of the Cannon family, cattle ranchers in 187os Arizona, battling hostile indians. Mexicans and rival ranchers.
Here are the opening and closing credits:
Here’s a longer, higher-quality, audio-only version of the theme tune: