Skip to comments.George Walsh, newsman and "Gunsmoke" announcer, dies at 88 (KNX-AM, Los Angeles; Roswell,NM 1947)
Posted on 01/11/2006 9:32:21 AM PST by NormsRevenge
MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (AP) - George Walsh, a longtime newsman and announcer for the "Gunsmoke" radio and television programs, has died. He was 88.
Walsh died of congestive heart failure Dec. 5 at Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park, said his daughter, Fran.
He became the "Gunsmoke" announcer in 1952, introducing the live, weekly radio series with the following words: "Around Dodge City and in the territory out West, there's just one way to handle the killers and the spoilers, and that's with a U.S. marshal and the smell of 'Gunsmoke.'" He remained the announcer when the show moved to television in 1955.
In the Los Angeles area, Walsh was a longtime fixture at KNX-AM radio, serving as an interviewer, sports reporter, newscaster and announcer from 1952 to 1986. His voice also was used in the Smokey Bear forest fire prevention campaign and on the now-closed Disneyland rides Flight to the Moon and Mission to Mars.
In June 1947, he scored what appeared to be a huge scoop while working at a radio station in Roswell, N.M., breaking a story about a UFO landing based on an Air Force press officer's claim that a flying saucer had been captured near the city. The military eventually determined that the UFO was in fact a radar target, but the story by then had spread worldwide.
In addition to his daughter, Fran, Walsh is survived by his wife of 49 years, Charlotte; two other daughters, Janice and Carolyn; two brothers; two sisters; five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
Gunsmoke, my all time favorite TV show. They don't make them like that any more. The early shows were the best...
Re: Roswell, he was at KSWS
I used to listen to the Gunsmoke radio show.
I want that on a t-shirt.
I did too. On Far East Network in Tokyo in the 1950s.
I listen to the show every Sunday on NPR. I am too young to remember it on radio or TV, but I have become a fan.
Sad news, RIP
Agreed. They just don't take the time to make them that good anymore.
Ken Curtis as "Festus Haggans" and Milburn Stone as "Doc Adams"...of course loved Amanda Blake and James Arness (still living). Incidentally, Ken Curtis, who played the illiterate Festus and took the brunt of Doc's jokes was, at one time, almost a real doctor as he tried medical school before acting.
Ken Curtis took over the deputy role from Dennis Weaver who played Chester, who had a stiff leg. There was also a certain blacksmith character, played by ...?
What time is the show on NPR (time zone)? I'd love to hear some of those old shows.
I live in Baltimore, we listen to it on the Washington DC station. It is sunday nights at 8. They also play old Dragnet and other shows. Not all stations play it but luckily our local NPR does.
Ken Curtis was one of the original Sons of The Pioneers.
Agreed. I enjoyed old time radio shows on KNX until their new management dropped the reruns and made other programming changes in Fall 2003.
William Conrad (Jake and the Fat Man) was Marshall Dillon. Georgia Ellis was Kitty, Howard McNear at "Doc"...don't remember the others.
Parley Baer was the voice of Chester Proudfoot in Gunsmoke.
His name became Chester Goode when Dennis Weaver payed the role in early TV.
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