Question: I vaguely remember a show in the '60s in which Jack Lord played a rodeo cowboy and, if I'm not mistaken, Bruce Dern played the sidekick/friend. I believe it was called Stoney Burke. Can you confirm? Thanks!
Answer: That I can, Martha. Lord, who later went on to enjoy a two-decade-plus career as Det. Steve McGarrett on Hawaii Five-O, did indeed star as rodeo rider Burke on the ABC series, but he only did it for one season from October 1962 to September 1963. And Dern was along for the ride, as were Warren Oates, Bill Hart and Robert Dowdell.
Lord, never one to underplay anything he did in his life, called the series "the most successful failure in television" in a 1969 TV Guide interview. The actor claimed to have raked in $200,000 a year making personal appearances as Stoney, showing up in cowboy boots and costume, saddle slung over his shoulder, to sing the Western songs he learned in an intensive four-week vocal course. "They thought he was a real person in those small towns," he said, "and I still get mail addressed to Mission Ridge, South Dakota, which was supposed to be Stoney's home town."