at the tone…

Perhaps the simplest and yet most iconic answering machine message in television history.  As any self-respecting baby boomer will tell you, it signalled the start of The Rockford Files, a series starring James Garner, which, during its six-year run, provided a pleasant distraction for a young man newly embarked on a teacher career and fatherhood (three times over).  James Garner had already achieved fame through his movie roles in such films as The Great Escape, The Americanization of Emily, Grand Prix and Support Your Local Sheriff!.  Television viewers knew him as Brett Maverick in a popular western series called (what else) Maverick.  As private investigator (and sometime con artist) Jim Rockford, Garner further consolidated his place in the entertainment industry.  With witty dialogue, a case to solve, at least one car chase per episode and the evident rapport between Garner and other cast members the show was reliable viewing during the 70’s.

I recently noticed that Garner also has achieved something relatively rare in Hollywood circles… he’s still married to his first wife, Lois Clarke, whom he met in 1956 at a political rally (and married two weeks later). 

Now, apart from the affection I have for the series (per se), you may wonder why I am choosing to dedicate this post to the man and the show.  Interestingly enough, I am not the only fan of The Rockford Files.  David Shore, producer of the series House, has expressed an interest in rebooting the series.

“It’s one of the shows that made me want to become a writer,” Shore has said. “I had no interest in adapting any old stuff, but this was the one exception.”

That project has been, for the time being, shelved due to the demands of the his current series.  (An aside- It is rumoured that he was considering Josh Holloway [Sawyer of Lost fame] as the new Rockford… an interesting thought.)  Meanwhile, when it was first reported back in 2009, I got to thinking about original show’s theme, penned by Mike Post and Pete Carpenter.  Would it (like this year’s Hawaii Five O theme) be part of the reboot or would a new song be composed.  And then I thought… (here it comes) wouldn’t it be fun to compose a new theme song for a new Rockford Files.  Well, I’m cheating here a bit… my theme actually started its life as a prospective NHIC anthem (see earlier post).  I’ve decided to rework the idea for this purpose and… I will upload it shortly. (Shortly because I accidently pushed the publish button and I haven’t recorded it yet!)   So, you see, David Shore is not the only one who’s “on hold”.  The good news is… I’m still on track for completing three posts per month.  Meanwhile, you can consider Garner’s monumental career…

a monumental career

p.s.  Happy Canada Day! 


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