Curtis, Ken 1967-08-00

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There are four tapes in this series, recorded in August 1969. The first three are of his performance, combining music and comedy monologue, at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo in Lovington, New Mexico. In the fourth tape, Curtis (real name Curtis Wayne Gates) recalls his early life and acting career and discusses the character of Festus Haggen and the "Gunsmoke" television series.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Ken "Festus" Curtis

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: August, 1967

Location: Lovington, New Mexico

Interviewer: Charles Townsend

Length: 1 hour, 20 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Comedy monologue about his poor childhood and his grandfather, Sings "Tumbling Tumbleweeds", Sings "Out on the Texas Plains", Comedy monologue about members of the "Gunsmoke" cast and an ugly girl named Jessie Sue, Introduces singer Joanie Hall, Miss Hall sings "I'll Never Be Free", Curtis sings "Winchester Cathedral" and "Walking in the Sunshine", Concluding speech of thanks, Sings "May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You"

Tape 1, Side 2: Blank

Tape 2, Side 1:

Tape 2, Side 2:

Tape 3, Side 1: Comedy monologue about grandfather and other subjects, Sings "Tumbling Tumbleweeds", Sings "Out on the Texas Plains" and "Way Out There", Comedy monologue about members of the "Gunsmoke" cast , and an ugly girl named Jessie Sue, Sings comedy version of "Gentle on my Mind", Joanie Hall sings "I'll Never Be Free", Curtis sings "Winchester Cathedral"

Tape 3, Side 2: Blank

Tape 4, Side 1: Curtis Wayne Gates - real name, Parents and childhood in southeast Colorado, Education, Early career, Sang with Tommy Dorsey Band, Use of professional name, First acting experience in movies, Joins the Sons of the Pioneers, Acting on television shows, Gets part on "Gunsmoke", "Gunsmoke" actors discussed, Character of Festus, Cedar Jack recalled, Use of dialect, Attitude toward violence on Westerns, Authenticity of "Gunsmoke" series, Cultural contribution of "Gunsmoke", Popularity of the show, Curtis' parents

Tape 4, Side 2: Blank

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Access Information

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