Thursday, 8 December 2011

The High Chaparral (1967-1971)

The High Chaparral was a Western-orientated television series that starred Leif Erickson and Cameron Mitchell which aired on NBC from 1967 to 1971. The show was created by David Dortort, who had previously created the hit Bonanza for the network. The theme song was also written and conducted by Bonanza scorer David Rose.
The show revolved around "Big" John Cannon (Leif Erickson), a rancher who lived in the Arizona Territory in the 1870s. He ran the ranch with his brother Buck (Cameron Mitchell) and son Billy (Blue Boy) (Mark Slade). Blue Boy's mother Annalee (Joan Caulfield) was killed in the first episode by an Indian arrow through the window, and to ensure his future, John Cannon courted and later married Victoria (Linda Cristal), the daughter of the powerful Don Sebastián Montoya. His marriage to Victoria Montoya brought her brother Manolito (Henry Darrow) into the picture, and he also came to live with the family. Cameron Mitchell was offered the part of Buck following an airline flight to Tucson where he had sat next to the series originator and his wife.
The High Chaparral was Dortort's brainchild, and he left the day-to-day running of Bonanza in the spring of 1967 so he could focus all of his energies on The High Chaparral. After the show's cancellation in 1971, Dortort did not return to Bonanza, but retired instead. All exterior and most interior filming was done at Old Tucson Studios.

Yoffi lifts a finger, and a Mouse is there. Puts his hands together and a Seagull takes the air! Remembering Fingerbobs

Yoffy lifts a finger
And a mouse is there,
Puts his hands together
And a seagull takes the air;
Yoffi lifts a finger
And a scampi darts about;
Yoffi bends another
And a tortoise head peeps out;
These hands were made for making,
And making they must do!

Fingerbobs was a charming kids television programme made by the BBC in 1972. The first episode was broadcast on 14 February 1972 on BBC1 as part of Watch with Mother. The show was created by Joanne and Michael Cole, who also created Bod. Only thirteen episodes were ever made.

Presented by Mime Artist "Yoffy" (played by Canadian actor Rick Jones), each ten-minute episode told a story centred around a paper finger puppet animal, and usually involved collecting various items (such as pebbles or feathers) to make up another object at the end. The finger puppets, each of whom had their own song, included:

Fingermouse gained his own series in 1985. In this series, the focus was more on musical instruments. One series was made of thirteen programmes.

The memorable theme tune went "Yoffy lifts a finger, and a mouse is there/Puts his hands together, and a seagull takes the air/Yoffy lifts a finger, and a scampi darts about/Yoffy bends another, and a tortoise head peeps out/These hands were made for making, and making they must do."

At the end of the series Jones was so sick of making the show that he destroyed the finger puppets while the camera was still rolling.

Fingermouse, Fingermouse
The never stop to think a mouse
The always on the brink a mouse
Fingernouse, that's me
I am the mouse called Fingermouse
The mouse with guts and verve
I get past cats so easily with my favourite body swerve
Fingermouse, Fingermouse
I'm a sort of wonder mouse
A hit, a miss, a blunder mouse
Fingermouse, that's me.