VAV!/October 29, 2011
"From out of the clear blue of the western sky comes Sky King!"
With those immortal words, in 1946 "Sky King", America's Favorite Flying Cowboy, first aired as a 15 minute serial radio adventure series. By 1947, the serial had been upgraded to a 1/2 hour, twice a week success!
Flying aboard his beloved Cessna T-50 twin-engine bamboo bomber airplane "Songbird," Schuyler 'Sky' King was neverendingly involved in one frantic adventure after another. Operating his Flying Crown Ranch in Arizona, near a fictional town called Grover, Sky's bigger than life character was portrayed through the years by actors Jack Lester, Earl Nightingale, and eventually, Roy Engel. Beryl Vaughn played Sky's niece Penny; Jack Bivens was Chipper and Cliff Soubier was the foreman.
This serial, like many others of 1940's decade offered radio premiums to fans. Sky King Secret Signalscope was one such premium that daily enticed listeners, along with The Sky King Spy-Detecto Writer, complete with a decoder, scale and magnifying glass AND Magni-Glo Writing Ring! Wow!
Airing on the radio until 1954, the show ran simultaneously and enjoyed its premier on television in 1952.
The television version of Sky King starred Kirby Grant as Sky King and Gloria Winters as his teen-aged niece Penny. Other regular characters appeared, including Sky's nephew Clipper, played by Ron Hagerthy, and Mitch the sheriff, portrayed by Ewing Mitchell.
The television series ran through 1959.
Video Courtesy of Archives.org.
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