Back in the 1970's, when Friday nights rolled around, you can be sure that I could be found in one place - plumped in front of the television watching The Rockford Files. The show ran concurrently with my high school years and I never missed it. The show was well-written, wry and humorous at times, and starred James Garner, who is a much better actor than he's ever given credit. He simply makes it look easy, like he's not acting at all. Since it's initial run, the show seems like it's always been on somewhere in syndication, so I tried not to miss any opportunities to catch repeats. Because of that, I feel like I know every episode by heart.
One thing I always thought was original about it, was the opening credits. At the beginning of each episode you hear James Rockford's, the main character, answering machine go off and someone leaves a message for him. They're usually miniature scenarios that have nothing to do with the plot of the episode that follows. I've tried on several different occasions to collect these up into a group to have and listen to. Since every episode had a different message, I've never quite gotten all of them to complete the job. But, now.... the episodes are being remastered and released on DVD in season sets, which since I'm such a fan of the show, I've purchased every one as soon as it was released. So far, they have released the first four seasons, with only two more remaining. If you're as big a fan of the show as I am, you'll want to be sure and get your very own sets from wherever you buy your DVD's, because these are a must have! Owning these discs like I do, which are top quality, I have started my old project again, knowing that this time I'll be able to finish it and have the best possible sound in the process.
I've seen different fan-operated websites dealing with The Rockford Files, and have, in fact, supplied information about the show to one or two of them. Here's the link for one of my favorite fansites, The Rockford Files Homepage. One little fact I'll bet the average person doesn't know is this: Did you know that the small trailer which Rockford calls home was used onscreen before it was parked at 29 Cove Road, his address? Yes, the very same trailer was used in at least one movie before becoming part of the sets used on The Rockford Files. It was featured in a 1974 made-for-television movie of the week called The California Kid, starring Martin Sheen and Vic Morrow. This was just mere months before the trailer got called up for duty in the quintessential private eye show of the '70's.
So, if you're a fan of The Rockford Files like me, or know someone who is, you'll want to have this collection of answering machine messages for your very own! Click here to download all the messages from Season One of The Rockford Files. I'll be posting the second, third and fourth seasons soon, so be sure to check back from time to time. And just as soon as the final two seasons are released, I'll make those messages available, too! Beep....