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Six Shooter

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Six Shooter

James (Jimmy) Stewart starred as Britt Ponset, whose gun of “gray steel and rainbow mother-of-pearl” rarely leaves the holster but always does its job. From September 20, 1953, to June 24, 1954, he was known in the west as the Six Shooter, a slow-talking, easy-going, philosophical maverick who could stare down trouble and mediate solutions to troubles on the trail and in family feuds. Stewart is perhaps best known for his role as George Bailey in the 1946 Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” that is rebroadcast every year during the holidays.

While The Six Shooter is generally described as an adult western, the wisdom, philosophy and generally gentle nature of Britt Ponset made it popular among older children as well. The single run of just 40 episodes disappointed an audience of avid listeners. Stewart was the one who dropped the program, not the network. The Six Shooter had been a sustained program, meaning it had no sponsor and was supported by the network, a common practice during the Golden Age of radio. During the summer hiatus, NBC landed a sponsor for the program, and Stewart was offered a second season in the role. He turned it down. The sponsor was Chesterfield, and he did not want his name or image associated with cigarettes.