Doc Adams complains vehemently to Matt when a medicine man's opium-laden "cure-all" nearly kills an infant girl. Matt initially finds himself unable to intervene legally, but he is finally able to do so when abuse of the elixir results in the death of an elderly man.Written by
The Professor's banjo playing sidekick is played by the towering Jester Hairston, the first Black actor to appear on Gunsmoke. Juilliard educated and a grad of Tufts University also, Hairston had a long and distinguished career in radio, film and TV. For 15 seasons he played Leroy on the radio version of "Amos 'n Andy." He really made a mark as a songwriter: his Christmas carol, "Mary's Boy Child," was a hit for Harry Belafonte in 1956 and is now a seasonal standard. In 1964 his gospel song "Amen," heard in the 1963 film Lilies of the Field, starring Sidney Poitier (whose singing voice was dubbed by Jester), was a top 10 hit for the Curtis Mayfield-ed Impressions. He also had acting roles in "To Kill a Mockingbird," "In the Heat of the Night" and "The Alamo." Never a household name, he cast a long shadow in his time in his quiet way. It's amazing to see him in Gunsmoke and to hear him play snippets of some beloved songs. In the final scene, his austere rendition of the Gunsmoke theme song is positively haunting.
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