Friday, September 22, 2017

Forgotten Stories: MICHAEL AVALLONE meets BAT MASTERSON (1960)

I've read Mike, and I've seen Bat, but never dreamed the twain had met. If fact, I'd be willing to wager that even so avid an Avallone fan as Mr. Stephen Mertz had no notion of it. But meet they did, and here's the proof.

This record has resided in my collection for fifteen or twenty years, and the line "Stories by Michael Avallone" was right there on the back cover, but I never noticed it until recently, when I was fixin' to post it to YouTube. There's no date on the LP, but I found an ad for it in an August 1960 issue of Billboard magazine, and that seems about right.

The stories themselves are no great shakes, by any standard. I'm guessing Avallone dashed each one off in thirty minutes or less, collected his paycheck, and promptly forgot them. But they're interesting enough, and suitable for children, and what the heck, they are about Bat Masterson.

Most interesting to me was "The Duel in the Bella Union," in which Bat faces his doppelganger. Yeah, it's an overused device, trotted out for just about every pulp, comic and movie hero sooner or later, but it's still worth a listen. This version of the Bat Masterson Theme, attributed to The Nightriders, ain't bad either.


Todd Mason said...

This would've been the period Avallone had the TALES OF THE FRIGHTENED Boris Karloff project similarly released on LP, after the radio clearance didn't work out...though he also got paperbacks and two issues of a magazine out of the TALES project. See

George said...

I've never seen or heard of this BAT MASTERSON album, but I'll try to track down a copy. BAT MASTERSON was one of favorite TV shows as a kid.

Avallone said...

He wrote two more like this, aside from Tales of the Frightened, which most people know of: an adaptation of Treasure Island, which I want to say was read by Sir Cedric Hardwicke, and The Story of the Alamo, read by Claude Rains. He was particularly thrilled to have his work read by Claude Rains.

Evan Lewis said...

Jeez, now I have more records to look for - especially The Story of the Alamo.