I was lucky enough to catch re-runs of Have Gun Will Travel on Channel 39 in the Dallas, Texas area when I was a kid. Paladin (played by Richard Boone) was a stark contrast to the other heros of the Westerns I watched each Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Dressed in black he was almost the visual antithesis to characters like the Lone Ranger or the Rifleman. And his cool demeanor was juxtaposed to the comedic tilt of the Maverick brothers. All Westerns of that time were formulaic to an extent, however I feel that HGWT holds up a bit better than it’s peers.
The Have Gun Will Travel theme song always stuck with me too. Here are the lyrics:
Have Gun Will Travel reads the card of a man.
A knight without armor in a savage land.
His fast gun for hire head’s the calling wind.
A soldier of fotune is the man called Paladin.
Where do you roam?
Far, far from home.