SPIN AND MARTY were sizzling hot!

To my 5 year old eyes Spin and Marty were hot, and I didn't even know what hot meant. Okay, better term...they were dreamy. I loved Spin and Marty. And I loved Peter Pan. And I loved the Everly Brothers. I was 5. I don't have to defend myself.

Last Sunday I took a spin around the flea market. I hadn't been there since last fall. It was alive with sellers and buyers and lookers and wanderers. I covered all the areas which I haunt and found nothing the first time through. Then I went down the back aisle one more time in hopes of finding at least one little scrap. I found this. I couldn't walk away when the guy said, "One dollar." Okie dokie then. Spin and Marty is mine.

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Click on any image to see it larger.

I had no idea the show was actually based on a book published in 1942 called Monty Markham by Lawrence Edward Watkin. This edition was published in 1956 by Whitman Publishing; illustrations by Tony Sgroi.
Lawrence Edward Watkin (12/01/1901, New York, USA - 12/16/1981, San Joaquin County, California, USA) was an American author and scriptwriter. He has become known especially as a scriptwriter for a series of Walt Disney films of the 1950s.

Lawrence Edward Watkin was at first an English professor in Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. His first novel On Borrowed Time, written in 1937, was published and remains his best known work. The novel was dramatized in 1938 by Paul Osborn and was survived a successful run on Broadway. A Hollywood film version, with Lionel Barrymore and Sir Cedric Hardwicke followed in 1939. Watkins' next novel, Geese in the Forum (1940), was an allegory about university structures.

In 1947 Walt Disney hired Watkin to adapt the stories of Herminie Templeton Kavanagh featuring Darby O'Gill. The project was finally realized in 1959 as Darby O'Gill and the Little People. By that time, Watkin had written numerous other screenplays for Disney. The first of his Disney screenplays was Treasure Island (1950), adapted from the Robert Louis Stevenson novel. Three screenplays followed, which were produced by Disney in Great Britain. The popular Disney television serials Spin and Marty (1955–1957) were adapted by Jackson Gillis from Watkin's 1942 book Marty Markham. Watkin was producer of Disney's 1956 western, The Great Locomotive Chase. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)

Anthony "Tony" Sgroi (26/9/1924 - 16/7/1998, USA)
Tony Sgroi drew several adventure and western strips for Dell/Western Publishing in the 1950s. He created such Disney comics for Dell as 'Robin Hood', 'Stormy the Thoroughbred', 'Young Davy Crockett', 'Man in Space', 'Mars and Beyond' and 'Spin & Marty'. He also did 'Range Rider', 'Gene Autry', 'Johnny Mack Brown', 'Champion' and 'Tarzan'. He was an animator for Warner Bros, Walter Lantz, Bob Clampett and Hanna-Barbera. (SOURCE: LAMBIEK.NET)

Warner Bros.: Animator 1942-1944. - Walter Lantz: Animator 1947-1951. - Hanna-Barbera: Layout artist 1962-1978 (The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, Secret Squirrrel, Atom Ant, Space Ghost, The Herculoids, The Banana Splits Adventure Hour, The Harlem Globetrotters, Devlin, Jabberjaw, Scooby-Doo, Superfriends). - Ruby-Spears Productions: Layout artist 1983-1987 (Alvin and the Chipmunks). - HannA-Barbera: Character designer 1986 (Wildfire) and 1989-1990 (Hagar the Horrible, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Tom and Jerry Kids). Model designer on Jonny Quest 1996-1997.

Fawcett Comics: Artwork for Lash LaRue and Monte Hale 1950s. - Western Publishing: Artwork for Range Rider, Panhandle Pete, Rex Allen a.o. 1952-1958.
To see Tony Sgori's IMDB list click here.
Spin and Marty was a popular series of television shorts that aired as part of ABC's Mickey Mouse Club show of the mid-1950s produced by Walt Disney. There were three serials in all, set at the Triple R Ranch, a boys' western-style summer camp. The first series of 25 eleven-minute episodes, The Adventures of Spin and Marty, was filmed in 1955. Its popularity led to two sequels – The Further Adventures of Spin and Marty in 1956 and The New Adventures of Spin and Marty in 1957.

The serials were based on the 1942 novel Marty Markham by Lawrence Edward Watkin. The producer for Disney was Bill Walsh and the screenplay was written by Jackson Gillis. The shows' success led to the Spin and Marty comic books of the late 1950s. The first season's 25 episodes with bonus material were released on DVD by Disney in 2005.

Premise and major characters
The series starred David Stollery as the rich, orphaned Martin "Marty" Markham and Tim Considine as the poorer Spin Evans, the most athletic and popular boy at the Triple R Ranch. When the pampered Marty first arrives at the ranch in a chauffeur-driven limousine, his contemptuous dismissal of the dude ranch as a "dirty old farm" and evident fear of horses result in his ostracism by the other boys, led by Spin. By the end of the first series, however, Marty overcomes his fears and wins acceptance, becoming close friends with his erstwhile foe, Spin. Supporting roles include Sammy Ogg as their jokester sidekick Joe Simpson, and B.G. Norman as Ambitious, Marty's first friend at the Triple R. The second serial adds Annette Funicello and Kevin Corcoran to the cast as Annette and Moochie, respectively. The third serial adds Darlene Gillespie, and quickly turns into a showcase for song and dance sketches as part of a "Let's put on a show!" storyline reminiscent of Mickey Rooney–Judy Garland movies. All three serials also co-star Roy Barcroft as Triple R owner Col. Logan, Harry Carey, Jr. as popular counselor Bill Burnett, and J. Pat O'Malley as Perkins, Marty's butler and the Triple R's assistant cook. In the first two serials, Leonard Geer played Ollie, the wisecracking (and wise) stablehand in charge of the horses.

The series featured a couple of songs, Triple R Ranch song ("Yippee Yay, Yippee Yi, Yipee Yo"), as well as a song about Slue-Foot Sue ("Buckaroo"), named for Pecos Bill's tragic love story. Among the musical pieces featured in the third series was a cover of the Disney song Nowhere in Particular by Perkins and Sam the cook. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
To hear the shows theme song click here.

And if it wasn't for Spin and Marty I might have never known what a snipe hunt was. Thanks guys...not that anyone ever asked me to go on a snipe hunt...but I was prepared if'n they did.

And there's a part of me that still longs to live at the Triple R. I think it's all the white fences. I love white fences around pastures.

Ever wonder what became of the actors who portrayed Spin and Marty?


  1. I had a ton of Whitman books but I missed these guys. Also of the three TV channels, we only got two so I never saw the Mickey Mouse club as a kid.

  2. You were in the same boat as my friend who never got ABC. So when I throw out useless references to Surfside 6, Hawaiian Eye, 77 Sunset Strip I get nothing but a blank stare looking back at me. To think she missed Kookie parking cars or Troy in his shorts on the houseboat just leaves me wanting to explain, "Well, you didn't really miss anything but you sort of did."

  3. Ahhh, those were the days! I loved the show and the comic books. I don't think I ever had one of the regular books, though. I loved all those Saturday morning westerns. Fury was my favorite.

    My sisters always played 'Wake Up Little Susie' on their record player for me, but my favorite was 'Bird Dog'. "Johnny was a joker...he's a bird."

  4. Oh yes, Fury! And Sky King. And My Friend Flicka. Good Saturday morning fare.

    I loved "Bird Dog" and used to sing it until my folks pulled their hair out. I can remember standing in the car, feet straddled over the axle bump in the back seat, singing along with the car radio. Remember those days? When I kid could stand up in a car?

  5. Ahhh yes, those were the days! And we all managed to survive, well, maybe not ALL of us. Remember those car seats that were literally just an elevated seat that hooked over the front seat back. Nothing like protecting your wee little ones by slinging your right arm out to keep 'em from going through the windshield! 'Cause that worked so well!

  6. I can also remember sitting on my fathers lap steering the car. It turned out okay. Sure, there was that one woman who was hanging out her laundry that looked over to see me heading towards her and she took off running, but I didn't hit her.

  7. Anonymous6/08/2010

    I too loved all those saturday morning tv shows, but alas I was born in 1955 and didn't see them first run but as reruns. I grew up in the sixties. However, I made a pitch to Hollywood to make a feature length movie of Fury. I hope they will like it.

  8. Loved Fury and Flicka. I'd love to see them again. I hope your pitch fell on open ears!

  9. Anonymous11/16/2011

    I purchased a box of junk at an auction sale and found quite a treasure buried underneath an assortment of miscellaneous junk. I was surprised to find several pairs of Spin & Marty cowboy gloves for kids. They are very retro-cool, a dark brown work-type cloth glove with a yellow cuff attached. On the cuff is a nice graphic lettered Spin & Marty Triple R Ranch with a steer head. Also a copyright with W. D. P. The gloves have red fringe along one side. Amazingly, the hang tag is still intact. it says Disneyland Gloves by Wells Lamont, ages 4-7. These might have been a souvenir from a family vacation long ago. Definately a kinder and gentler time.