01 Festus Talks About Gunsmoke's Dodge City Dodge City 02 Festus Tells About His Grandpa 03 Hawg Haagen 04 Festus Talks About Girls 05 GOLLY BILL 06 Festus Talks About Teenage Music and Dances 07 CORN BREAD AND BUTTERMILK 08 Festus Tells About His Home Town 09 MY HOME TOWN 10 Festus Writes To His Girl 11 PHOOEY ON YOU LITTLE DARLIN' 12 Festus Talks About Mules 13 YOU'RE NOTHIN' BUT A "IT" 14 Festus Tells About His Trip To Las Vegas LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
Ken Curtis (July 2, 1916–April 28, 1991) was an American singer and actor best known for his role as Festus Haggen on the long-running CBS-TV Western drama, Gunsmoke.
Most people who grew up with Festus' distinctive high pitched twang ringing in their ears (and I can just hear it now), have no idea that Ken Curtis had one of the finest voices ever to grace vinyl and the silver screen.
Ken began his career in Hollywood as a NBC radio staff singer, then went on to become a big band vocalist. His next step up was to singing cowboy in a series of films for Columbia.
The films themselves are amazingly silly, largely because of the contemporary post-war western "laugh-happy action musical" scripts and the "novelty" band the Hoosier Hot Shots, who add their "special" brand of music and comedy to all Ken's singing cowboy films. Nonetheless, Ken's singing contributions to the films are sublime and he also wrote the title song for Lone Star Moonlight. Bend an ear to these tunes (and forgive the sound quality, the films weren't in great condition)
Festus Haggen, bless his heart, did not put an end to Ken Curtis' singing career. In fact, he loved to sing his ownself (made up songs, in particular) and did so on some rare but welcome occasions in his early Gunsmoke days. In the episode "Once a Haggen" (1964) Festus sings quite a bit including Six Shiney Black Horses, composed by Ken Curtis. Ken Curtis made two albums during his Gunsmoke run: Festus Sings 'n Talks 'Bout Dodge City 'n Stuff and Gunsmoke's Festus Haggen Calls Out Ken Curtis. He performed a few of the songs in his earlier Gunsmoke episodes, including “The Ballad of Hawg Haggen” and “Cornbread and Buttermilk.” Ken wrote most of the monologues and songs on the first album...