Long running series about cattleman Sky King and his Cessna 310-B named “Songbird.” Kirby Grant starred as Sky King and Gloria Winters was his niece Penny. Kids ate this show up. Sky was referred to as a flying cowboy. The show was all over the place, Sunday afternoons, Saturday mornings, Monday nights and then into syndication for a few years. There were a total of seventy-two episodes. Kirby Grant really was a pilot.
Typical episodes: “Bullet Bait - Two thieves hijack a truck. While unloading it along comes Joe. He’s run out of gas. He recognizes one of the men as Mr.Frost a local owner of a warehouse. The truck driver runs towards Joe and he’s shot and killed. Joe is told to unload the truck. Frost and his pal have no intention of letting him live. Joe manages to get away.
Meanwhile, Joe is supposed to be getting married at Sky’s Flying Crown Ranch. When he doesn’t show everyone goes home.
Frost and his partner can’t find him. Frost yells out that he’ll let him live if he goes far away. He overhears them say that his bride to be will be killed if he talks.
The sheriff comes across the murder scene and sees Joe’s car. Sky shows up and the sheriff says Joe is his number one suspect. Just in case Joe heads for his girlfriend’s place, Frost’s partner has it staked out. He sees her getting and opening a letter. She jumps in her car and heads for Sky’s ranch. The letter is from Joe. He says he’s at Lake Fletcher and won’t be back. He doesn’t explain.
Sky fuels up the “Songbird” and he and Penny take off for the lake. Frost’s partner overhears the destination. At the lake Joe is a handyman. It’s the off season and no guests are there. Sky and Penny arrive and Joe explains everything. They don’t know it but Frost and his pal have ridden up via horseback.
Sky, Penny and Joe head for the plane. Sky spots gas on the ground. Frost comes out of the plane with a gun and tells them to take off. He knows they’ll crash with almost no gas. That’s the idea.
Sky takes off and whaddya know??? He finds a dry lake bed to land on. When the crooks come to check out the scene Sky and Joe ambush them. Not a bad episode.
Gloria Winters was the original Babs Riley on the Jackie Gleason version of “The Life Of Riley” (1949-50).