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At a time when many of the older television series are returning for a new generation to view, This one should be included. "Everglades" was a straight forward crime drama show, set in the everglades of Florida. Constable Lincoln Vail was the man charged with protecting life in the everglades. Constable Vail patrolled his beat in an airboat, which was often the star of the show. Other television shows (Flipper, Gentle Ben) later came along with similar action themes, but "Everglades" was the original, and in my opinion, the best. It featured the best theme song on television at the time, and to this day, I find myself occasionally humming or singing the song.
One wouldn't think there would be very much crime in the everglades but there was. Lincoln Vail was a game warden or a sheriff or police officer (I can't recall which) assigned to Florida's everglades and patrolled the swampy wilderness in his high powered airboat chasing bad guys and rescuing folks. This early 60's show didn't last long but as a kid I thought that airboat of Vails was the greatest thing around. I'd love to be able to see the episodes of this action series again. I still remember the shows theme song that proclaimed "Lincoln Vail of the Everglades, The man on patrol in the Everglades"
I too would love to see episodes of this show. I can still hear the lyrics
of the theme song (as remembered by someone who was 6 years old when the
show originally aired):
In the Everglades there's a way of life,
There's a way of peace without stress or strife,
There's a fellow there to protect the rights,
Lincoln Vail of the Everglades,
The man on patrol in the Everglades.
As I grow older, I have more times when a old TV show theme song and lyrics will pop back into my head and it won't go away for a couple of days. The Everglades was such a series. The tag lyric was "Movin' ever movin' through the Everglades." I wish I could find the soundtrack of that song, just to confirm that my memory is accurate. Although I was not yet a teen when this show was on TV, and it only ran one or two seasons at most, it seems it had a profound impact on many of us boomers. Maybe it was that catchy name "Lincoln Vail" who patrolled the swamps stopping crime and saving people from alligator dinnertime, but most of all, I remember that very cool boat propelled by a huge fan that Lincoln drove through the swamps to reach his objective or save the day. I would love to see a few of those old episodes even if just to hear that catchy theme music again and bring back the innocence and openness of youth again. There was a certain kind of timelessness about those episodic TV shows that have faded into oblivion here in the US, that our youth today could do well to see instead of all those cheap production reality TV shows with wackos being revered and showcased for their nonconformity for the sake of nonconformity, like all the other tattooed and pierced and punctured kids today. No production costs to bring back some of these old shows like Everglades, Whirlybirds, Circus Boy & Fury. The shows where character and morality were on display for kids instead of today's aberrants & freak shows passing as youth media entertainment. Many of today's shows haven't even sprung for cost of theme songs let alone screenwriters.
For most of my life the phrase "Lincoln Vale of the Everglades" would
pop in and out anytime I heard of the everglades. I knew it was from a
TV show, but nothing else. I couldn't remember the show or anything
about it. I was born in 1958 and would have been very young when this
aired, but it has always been burned in my memory.
I can only imagine that my dad was a big fan of the show. I do remember "Flipper" and "Sea Hunt" and watching them with my dad. I have visuals in my mind of these shows and can even remember the stars. Not so with "The Everglades", but if I ever get a chance to see it again.....
I'll be singing "Lincoln Vale of The Everglades" for another 50 years!
"In the Everglades there's a way of life, There's a way of peace
without stress or strife, There's a natural danger and a man to face,
Lincoln Vail of the Everglades."
This theme song was to the tune of "Everglades," a Kingston Trio song of the period, and totally unrelated in its story:
He was born and raised around Jacksonville. A nice young man, not the kind to kill. But a jealous fight and a flashing blade sent him on the run to the Everglades. Runnin' like a dog through the Everglades.
Now, the posse went in and they came back out. They said he'll die and there ain't no doubt. It's an eye for an eye so the debt is paid. He won't last long in the Everglades. A man can't live in the Everglades.
Chorus: Where a man can hide and never be found and have no fear of the baying hounds. But he better keep moving and don't stand still. If the 'skeeters don't get then the 'gaters will. Running like a dog through the Everglades. (Last time - Skipping like a frog through the slimy bog. Running through the trees from the Everlys.)
Now, the years went by and his girl was wed. His family gave him up for dead. But now and then the natives would say they'd seen him running through the Everglades.
Now, he never heard the news on the radio. He was deep in the 'glades so he'll never know. His running and hiding didn't make much sense for the jury had ruled it was self-defense. Running like a dog through the Everglades.
There must have been something enchanting about those lyrics and the
whole air of adventure that surrounded the TV show "The Everglades." I
wonder if the old shows are available anywhere? I grew up in Miami FL
in the 50s and 60s and the Everglades were naturally a part of our
lives down there. I remember watching all these shows on WTVJ channel 4
(the CBS affiliate back then) and WCKT (now WSVN) TV channel 7 in
Miami, Florida. Then there was the ABC affiliate, on channel 10. They
had a whole list of different call letters. This is from Wikipedia:
"The station began broadcasting on August 2, 1957 as WPST-TV, as the
second ABC affiliate in the Miami market under the ownership of
National Airlines. Prior to this time ABC had been carried by WITV,
channel 17. When the more powerful channel 10 came on the air, however,
channel 17 quickly went out of business. In the early 60's the
ownership of WPST got in trouble with the FCC and lost its license.
L.B. Wilson won the right to start a new station on channel 10 which
signed on just a week after WPST was forced to sign off. This new ABC
station had the call letters WLBW-TV for the initials of its owner. In
1967, WLBW moved to its present studio facility location on Biscayne
Boulevard. In 1969, WLBW was purchased by Katharine Graham. On March
16, 1970, WLBW was renamed WPLG, named for Katharine Graham's late
husband Philip L. Graham." But I digress...
Honestly I can't remember for sure which network carried The Everglades, but memory tells me it was Channel 4 - the CBS affiliate. Then again it may have just been local (and not network) programming.
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