Oral History Collection

MAIN ENTRY: Curtis, Ken ("Festus")
DATE OF INTERVIEW: August 1967
LOCATION OF INTERVIEW: Lovington, New Mexico
INTERVIEWER: Charles Townsend
LENGTH OF INTERVIEW: 1 hour, 20 minutes
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE: This is a recording of a performance by Ken Curtis, who plays the part of Festus Haggen on the television show "Gunsmoke," at the Lea County Fair and Rodeo in Lovington, New Mexico, probably in August 1967.
TAPE ONE, SIDE ONE:
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 ONE, SIDE TWO: Blank
TAPE THREE, SIDE ONE: 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 THREE, SIDE TWO: Blank
TAPE FOUR, SIDE ONE: 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 FOUR, SIDE TWO: Blank
RANGE DATES: None given
BULK DATES: None given