About Christmas TV History

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Christmas in July 2021: Cimarron City (1958)


The TV western drama Cimarron City.


Happy Christmas in July! It's Day #7 of the Christmas in July party. All month long I'll be celebrating Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies with a FUN IN THE SUN attitude. Expect a run of Christmas in July stories, tropical yuletides, and island themes. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition being released later this year). 

Today's Christmas in July program is a 1958 episode from the TV western Cimarron City. In the episode "Cimarron Holiday," Beth is excited to stage “A Christmas Carol” as a part of the town festivities during the Founder’s Day celebrations. She assures everyone that the holiday play will still be an enjoyable production in July. Beth recruits Matt to play the role of Scrooge, Lane as Bob Cratchit, and even Tiny Carl as the Ghost of Christmas Present. When an accident prevents the young boy cast as Tiny Tim from continuing rehearsals, Beth is relieved that she had invited another boy as his understudy. But the Wickam boy is a naughty one--he seems to be taking after his petty criminal father. However, Beth is confident that the young Wickam will be inspired to rise to the occasion for their play.

The cast includes George Montgomery as Mayor Matt Rockford, Audrey Totter as Beth Purcell, John Smith as Deputy Sheriff Lane Temple, Dan Blocker as Tiny Budinger, and Tim Hovey as Avery Wickham.

Singer Dinah Shore is known on TV for her Dinah Shore Chevy Show variety series in the 1950s, and her 70's talk show.

Look for the beautiful woman at the cast party after the play who is smiling at Matt. That’s singer Dinah Shore smiling at her real-life husband George Montgomery. Also here are their two children Missy and John D. Shore sings along with the tune “Auld Lang Syne.”


Dinah Shore sings the "Twelve Days of Christmas" in Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special. Remember?

 Although this story takes place in July, the episode made its debut on Dec. 20, 1958.

Thanks for reading along. More Christmas in July TV episodes, specials, and movies coming up.

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2021 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com




1 comment:

  1. As I checked out the embedded episode, I couldn't help but note the most appropriately named scriptwriter: Norman Jolley.
    Mr. Jolley's writing credits in TV stretch back to the early '50s (Space Patrol), and reach clear to the turn of the '80s (Barnaby Jones), with many stops in between (as writer and producer).
    Somewhere here at home, I've got a book about the old Space Patrol series, which includes a lengthy interview with Norman Jolley, which may be as close to a memoir as we'll ever get from this estimable gentleman.
    Just so you know ...