I feel like I was lucky growing up in the 60's and 70's as, in my opinion, there were some fantastic television shows. During that time a lot of shows were going from black & white to color.

But think about those that didn't have TV. They had the radio, and with that, came the theater of the mind. There's one of my favorite TV classics that started out that way.

I'm a huge fan of the TV series Gunsmoke. I grew up watching Sheriff Matt Dillon, Festus, Chester (pre-Festus), Miss Kitty and Doc Adams, but I didn't know this!

Howard McNear aka Floyd the Barber (Andy Griffith Show) played the role of Doc Adams on the original Gunsmoke. No, not the TV version but the radio series.

The radio series ran from 1952 to 1961. William Conrad played the role of Matt Dillon. You may remember Conrad in the 70's series Cannon. He was also  narrated the animated television adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and The Fugitive.

One name that surprised me in the radio version of the western series, Gunsmoke, was Howard McNear. That's right, Floyd Lawson, the bumbling barber of Mayberry. He played the role of Doc Adams on the radio. Of course, it was Milburn Stone that played Dodge City's saw bones on television.

(Here's some more TV trivia for you...In a 1958 episode of Leave it to Beaver,  McNear made his first TV appearance as a barber named "Andy", who gave Wally his first shave.)

So for you fans of radio and television from years past, some insights to Gunsmoke and beyond.

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