Sunday, December 29, 2013

Maverick is Back! :) a big way!

After being AWOL for a while from US TV, Maverick is taking another bow on the Encore Westerns cable network. Maverick moseys back to Encore each weekday starting January 2 at 2:00 pm ET.

If you can't wait until next year for your daily Maverick fix, you can catch the show now on Cozi TV, as the channel's cute promo illustrates:

And, that's not all. Hot on the heels of the recent third season DVD release comes the fourth season of Maverick on January 7. But, who is the tall dark stranger there?

Instead of Jack Kelly as Bart, it's Roger Moore as Bart's upstart cousin, Beau Maverick.

I am shaken and definitely stirred! :0

Really, I have nothing against Roger Moore. He was great as Simon Templar and James Bond. But, his fleeting stint as Beau Maverick was hardly his finest hour. He appeared in only 15 of the fourth season's 32 episodes. So, why did Warner Archive put a solo portrait of Moore on the DVD cover?

WA probably figured that the future Bond would be a sure-fire DVD draw. Fine--but there are plenty of Maverick publicity pix they could have used which show JK and RM together, such as this one:

And, again Warner Archive is going the "manufacture on demand" route with Maverick's fourth season and charging nearly $50 for the set.

I know I should be grateful that Maverick is available on DVD at all. I'm just disgusted that Warner Archive is handling a true legend of the TV west in such a cavalier manner...and keeps neglecting one of its stars. Here's hoping they'll let Jack Kelly have the 5th season DVD cover all to himself! :)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

"Maverick" Season 3 on DVD! :)


It looks like the complete third season of Maverick is now available on DVD. But, don't look for it on Amazon (or most anywhere else) just yet. 

According to TVShowsOnDVD, Season Three is being sold online only in the U.S. and only from for now. It's listed as a "manufacture on demand" (MOD) title, although a blurb on's product page states, "Initial quantities of this release will be traditionally replicated (pressed) in anticipation of high consumer demand." 

The price for Season Three is $49.99. Since the set is priced over $25.00, basic shipping is free, but there is also a two-day ($10.00) or next-day ($15.00) shipping option. A bit pricey, especially if one is accustomed to a pre-order discount from Amazon, but as old Pappy might have said, "It is what it is." ;-)

And, while Jack Kelly stood tall beside James Garner on the front of the Season Two DVD set, on the Season Three cover Garner stands (or rather sits) alone: 

Which gives me an idea: since Maverick Season Three is a "manufacture on demand" product, perhaps Warner Bros. should also print the cover on demand and let us choose which Maverick(s) will appear on our copy. My Season Three cover would look more like this:

Incidentally, speaking of Maverick, did you know you can watch clips from various episodes on "The WB" website? Well, now you do! :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy Birthday, JK! :)

"Hey, Jack! I baked you a cake for your birthday!"

"Why, thank you, Goldie! What kind of cake is it?"


"I had a feeling you'd say that!"


(From La Bartista, TDS...and Goldie! :->)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Jack Kelly: It's All in the "Game"! :)


In August 1963, Jack Kelly was strutting his stuff as a song-and-dance man in Anderson, Indiana. While JK was hoofing it in the Hoosier state, he also showed off his fashion sense. And, I have the pictures to prove it! :)

While the quality of these photos from my Kellection isn't the best--they are faded with age and look like they were cut from a photo album--they do provide a rare, candid look at JK as he prepares for his role in the musical comedy The Pajama Game at the Geeting Summer Theatre.

This 1963 production of The Pajama Game was presented by the Madison County Dramatic Players, a theater company which exists to this day and is now known as The Mainstage Theatre. Their shows were originally held on land owned by the Geeting family of Anderson. The Geeting "theater" was first a tent (which kept falling down) and later a pole barn. According to a 2009 article about the Players in the Anderson Herald Bulletin, "Cast and audience alike had to contend with stifling heat and humidity, insects, wandering animals and the occasional thunder, lightning and hail. On a tin roof."

In the same article, a Geeting crew member recalled, "At one performance [in the barn], the electricity went out. We were about finished with the play, so we pulled cars up to the building and shined their headlights in. It had canvas sides, so that we finished the play.”

Despite their humble home base, the Players dreamed big, and for a time tried to feature professional actors in their productions. However, they were able to attract only two "name" performers--the ill-fated Frances Farmer and JK--before they ran out of funds. 

But, the Players went all-out with The Pajama Game. Linda J. Alexander notes in A Maverick Life: The Jack Kelly Story that The Pajama Game was the company's "largest cast show" to date (including "twenty-two speaking parts", "a twelve-member chorus" and "six dancers") and that JK was "a local hit" in the popular show.

Indeed, the local paper gave plenty of publicity to the erstwhile Maverick, including a lengthy article which was primarily about his wife, Donna.

In the news clipping below, a jovial JK is shown trying on a jacket he will wear in The Pajama Game:

The caption reads: "TAKES TIME OUT--Jack Kelly took time out from rigorous rehearsal schedules to get outfitted for his role as 'Henzie' in the up coming musical comedy 'Pajama Game' that opens Monday night for a six-day run at the Geeting Summer Theatre. Jay Russell, left, helps 'Bart Maverick' into a sports coat that he will wear in his comedy lead with the Madison County Dramatic Players." 

JK's "comedy lead" in this production of The Pajama Game is actually named "Vernon Hines", who opens the show with the title song. Hines is a time-study man at the "Sleep-Tite" pajama factory in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where the workers are threatening to strike if they don't receive a 7.5 cent raise. "Hinesey" is in love with the factory owner's secretary and becomes very jealous when he suspects her of flirting with the new factory superintendent. 

The Pajama Game originally premiered on Broadway in 1954 and was adapted into a film starring Doris Day and John Raitt in 1957. The show's score includes such now-classic hits as "Hey There", "Steam Heat" and "Hernando's Hideaway". 

"Hines" has several numbers in the show. Unfortunately, we don't have a recording of Jack Kelly's performance in The Pajama Game. But, to give you an idea of what one of "Hinesey's" songs sounded like, here's a video featuring Eddie Foy, Jr. (who played the character in both the Broadway and film versions) singing "Pajama Game/Racing With the Clock" with the ensemble:

And, here are two more shots of JK having a ball as he chooses his character's wardrobe. Below, with Jay Russell: 

And, all by his stylin' self:

Incidentally, in addition to picking out his wardrobe and his "rigorous rehearsal schedules" for The Pajama Game, JK was able to squeeze in some golf during his stay in Anderson. :)

Read more about JK's adventures in summer stock here

Thursday, June 20, 2013

General-ly JK! :)


As you may remember, in an earlier "TDS" post I explored Jack Kelly's career as a voiceover artist and spotlighted some YouTube videos featuring JK's mellifluous tones. 

For your listening pleasure, here are two more classic examples of JK's voiceover work, this time for General Tire:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Pappy's Day! :)

La Bartista and "TDS" wish every Pappy 
a fantastic Father's Day! :)

Incidentally, here's the scoop on this amazing Maverick publicity photo. The original ABC network caption reads, "James Garner greets James Garner with Jack Kelly's approval when the Maverick brothers--Bret (Garner) and Bart (Kelly) introduce their 'Pappy' on the first show of the third season of ABC-TV's Warner Bros.-produced Maverick, Sunday, Sept. 13 [1959] (7:30-8:30 PM, EDT). Garner plays the dual role."

The photo is an excellent example of photo editing, but I can't determine how the two images of Garner were merged. His hands fit together perfectly in the handshake, and I can't detect any tell-tale "cut and paste" lines (this was decades before Photoshop) in either image. Oh well, maybe it was just Maverick magic. ;-)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

"Mi Nombre es Bart Maverick" :)

Howdy! Or, should I say, "Hola!" 

I just stumbled upon an unusual YouTube find. It's the first ten minutes of "One of Our Trains is Missing", the last episode of Maverick--dubbed en espanol! Bet you didn't know Bart could speak Spanish so well. ;-)  As a bonus, the episode's end credits are also included. Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013



A long-awaited Jack Kelly gem has just been released on newly remastered DVD by Warner Archive:

FBI Code 98

The synopsis from Warner Archive: "Robert Cannon (Jack Kelly), Fred Vitale (Ray Danton) and Alan Nichols (Andrew Duggan), three men vital to America’s missile program, are en route to Cape Canaveral when a bomb is discovered in a suitcase. Defused by Vitale, the device is turned over to the FBI, which takes charge of the investigation. Assigned to determine if it’s a case of sabotage or attempted murder, Inspector Leroy Gifford (Philip Carey) and his squad race to track down the bomber before he can strike again. Originally shot as a TV pilot, FBI Code 98 was based on a book by the film’s writer/producer, former police reporter Stanley Niss. Produced with the cooperation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI Code 98 was released in theaters instead, making its U.S. debut one year before Warner Bros. revisited the premise with the long-running TV series The F.B.I., which aired on ABC from 1965 to 1974."

The Warner Archive site also has a preview clip.

I've already ordered my copy and it's scheduled to arrive the same day as my copy of the second season of Maverick, which was released today (4/23) by Warner Home Video. ;->

Expect a full report after I've viewed JK in FBI Code 98. :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

How to Get Your Man Without a Gun :)

What's the deal with Bart Maverick?!
Did he just invent "52 Pickup"? Is he demonstrating his new card swallowing trick? Did Goldie step on his foot? 

Actually, Bart's clowning for this lovely lass, who wandered onto the Warner Brothers lot for a western-themed fashion shoot which appeared in a 1962 issue of Teenagers/Ingenue magazine: 

The text says, "...It's hard to outdo Bart Maverick's sleight-of-hand with cards. We'll bet high stakes, too, on the sleight-of-styling in these back and white striped cotton-ticking pants with a western hip-slung look and bell-bottom legs. Winningly paired with a red and white polka dot shirt and sash."

Bart's cowboy compadres "Deputy Johnny McKay" (Peter Brown of Lawman) and "Bronco Layne" (Ty Hardin of Bronco) also show up in the light-hearted layout.

And, in a special feature titled "How to Get Your Man Without a Gun", such "pistol packing western heroes" as Michael Landon of Bonanza and Eric Fleming of Rawhide give dating advice to teens. Bart Maverick's alter-ego Jack Kelly also contributes some wise words: 

"Be yourself, not a carbon copy of someone else. Don't cover up your personality with what you think a man wants you to be. Let Liz Taylor be herself; you be yourself. No man wants a counterfeit. Whatever you are is unique. I fell for a girl because there was nobody else like her." 

(JK's advice is still valuable today--even for those of us who said "Adios" to our teen years a while back. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Look What I Just Found! :)

Two Jack Kelly episodes from Kraft Suspense Theatre for your enjoyment! 

The first is "The Name of the Game" (1963), in which suave gamblin' man JK rolls the bones for a filthy rich oilman (Pat Hingle) in Las Vegas. Watch for one of the worst staged fight scenes ever filmed in this otherwise excellent episode.

Next is "Four Into Zero" (1965), in which pampered husband JK tries to assert himself and impress his wealthy wife (Martha Hyer) by masterminding a daring heist on a train. Robert Conrad is another member of JK's scheming quartet. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Jack Kelly DVD News: Maverick and More! :)

Howdy Everyone!

For the past few months I've been haunting various entertainment sites in search of news about the Maverick Season 2 DVD set. 

YAY! TVShowsOnDVD finally came through for me today with the release date (April 23) and cover artwork for the upcoming Maverick release:

If you ask me, I think this set will be a vast improvement over Season far as the cover art goes, that is.  Of course, the fact that JK is in more episodes in Season Two can't hurt either.   ;-)


Maverick Season 2 isn't the only Jack Kelly related DVD set about to be released. The fantastic folks at Shout! Factory are releasing The Hardy Boys: Season 3 on February 12 in the US and Canada. This is the 10-episode final season where Jack Kelly rode herd on the Hardys at the Justice Department. It's available for pre-release now directly from Shout! for only $18.98. It would make a great Valentine's Day gift--for yourself, or any other JK fan. :) 


By now, you've probably heard about the big doings at the Huntington Beach Library scheduled for January 26, but in case you haven't, here's a link with all the info. It sounds like it's going to be a splendid event featuring our friend Linda J. Alexander (along with some pretty amazing guest stars, I'm told). Any JK fans who are able to attend are in for a rare treat, I'm sure. Believe me, I would give anything to be in HB on 1/26,  but, alas...Well, if any reader attends and would like to share the experience, I have a guest blogger spot all warmed up for you here on TDS. Just drop me a line! 

I have some other fun stuff planned for TDS in 2013, including a special look at little Jack Kelly...or Jack Kelly when he was little. However you want to look at it, it's going to be big. Stay tuned--and thanks so much for reading TDS.  :)