Saturday, September 13, 2014

Still Real After All These Years: The Real McCoys


I found out today that the final two seasons of The Real McCoys went on sale in August.  I also found out that they are sold out already.  Why did I just now find out about this Amazon, when you have a record of me buying the other four seasons?  Isn’t your “recommendations” supposed to be the best system on the internet?

So I just checked again, and they now say available in 5 to 11 days.  I guess that’s narrowing it down, right Mr. McFeely’s Speedy Delivery?

Season Six would be a curiosity piece at best since that was the year they killed off Kate and shipped the kids out, thus totally wrecking the show.  Even in the sixties TV Executives were a bunch of know-it-all dumbasses.  Decades later, and nothing has changed.  But I still want it, because I always like to complete a set of my Classic Series when possible. 

If you are unfamiliar with the series, as I’m sure many of you are Read On.

From Wikipedia, my favorite source of infallible information:

The Real McCoys revolves around the lives of a mountain family who originally hailed from fictional Smokey Corners, West Virginia. The McCoys moved to California and became dirt farmers.

The family consisted of Grandpa Amos McCoy (Walter Brennan); his grandson Luke (Richard Crenna), Luke's new bride Kate (Kathy Nolan), Luke's teenage sister Hassie (Lydia Reed), and his 11-year-old brother, Little Luke (Michael Winkelman).

The double-naming of the brothers was explained in the first episode by the elder Luke: Because their parents were so excited over the birth of the younger boy, "they forgot all about me!" Only Crenna was in every episode.

The McCoys' farm had previously been owned by an uncle, Ben McCoy, who died. The former West Virginians joined the Grange farm association and acquired a Mexican farm hand named Pepino Garcia, played by the Puerto Rican-born Tony Martinez.

In the episode which aired on January 8, 1962, Pepino becomes an American citizen and takes the surname name "McCoy".

The McMichaels, a brother and sister combination played by Andy Clyde and Madge Blake in twenty-nine and twenty-one episodes, respectively, lived on the hill not far from the McCoys. Amos McCoy and George MacMichael, both rather devious individuals, would sometimes quarrel, particularly over their games of checkers.

Kate was friendly with Flora McMichael, George's sister, and became involved with life in the community. Though still in her twenties, Kate served as a mother figure for Luke's younger siblings, Hassie and Little Luke, and one episode shows her bewilderment in trying to entice the children to take responsibility for their school studies.

Many episodes have a moral theme consistent with the conservative views of Walter Brennan, such as two 1957 segments entitled "You Can't Cheat an Honest Man" with Joseph Kearns, later of Dennis the Menace, and "Gambling Is a Sin," in which Amos allows a casino to advertise on McCoy property before the ethics of the matter is brought to his attention.

Other such episodes are "Go Fight City Hall", "The Taxman Cometh," "You Can't Always Be a Hero", "You Never Get Too Old," "Where There's a Will", "Beware a Smart Woman", "Money in the Bank", "How to Win Friends," "You're As Young As You Feel", "Honesty Is the Best Policy", and "Never a Lender Be".

I must have them.  So hopefully they’ll still be around come next pay day.  Season Two, after having been out of print for a while is now available with the same waiting period.  Season One is still showing “not available.”  But I suspect they may finally reissue it because the price gougers who were charging over $100 and they are nowhere to be found.

I highly recommend the series because after watching the first four seasons, I found them to be much more entertaining then I remember from back when I was five or six or eight or whatever it was.  Meaning, I didn’t really remember a damn thing about them except for the “divining rod” episode which is mentioned in the Wikipedia article.

And if nothing else, it is my honest opinion that Kate McCoy (Kathleen Nolan) was the hottest farm wife to ever grace your TV screen and that’s reason enough to own this set.  I’m sure you’ll agree.

Of the original cast, only Kathy Nolan and Lydia Reed survive.  Brennan died in 1974 at the age of 80, Crenna passed away in 2003 at age 76, and Tony Martinez in 2002 in Las Vegas at age 82.  Michael Winkelman, who also served in Veitenam, would die at the age of 53 in Riverside, California.

Anyway, if you’re familiar or curious, you might invest in at least a season or two because don’t count on them coming back if they disappear this time.  I’ve been waiting about five years or so for these final seasons so that should give you a clue.  And you won’t be shortchanged.  Although the price may seem steep, remember there were 30 episodes or more in a season in those days.  Plenty of entertainment in that deal.  Use the picture of the DVD set at the top of the page for a link.


  1. It's a very good show. Killing off Kate was a terrible idea.

    1. It changed Networks, and I think they were trying to short change Kathy Nolan or something. So they decided to cut costs and it was Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie. Kathleen Nolan went on to do a McHale's Navy clone called Broadside.

      She became president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1975 - 1979 and was a tough negotiator. She was the first woman to hold that position.

      She's done a boatload of guest appearances, the last being on Cold Case in 2008.

      Quote: When I was six years old, I negotiated a raise for myself with the captain of the showboat because I was making 50 cents and everybody else was earning $2.50 a night and I didn't think that was right. So I went to him on my own and I not only ended up with my raise but everybody went up to $3.00. I guess that was my first negotiation.

    2. I'm really looking forward to seeing that reunion DVD even though Lydia Reed isn't on it. I think once she left show business she didn't want anything to do with it.