It turns out that Bonanza star, Michael Landon, recorded a couple of singles prior to hitting the big time on national airwaves.
As fans of classic television, we remember Michael Landon for his role as Little Joe Cartwright in Bonanza. He played that role from 1959 until 1973. In addition, Landon also starred as Charles Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie from 1974 until 1983, and as Jonathan Smith in Highway to Heaven from 1984 to 1989.
It goes without saying that Michael Landon was a very busy and popular man during his heyday. In fact, to put Landon’s popularity into perspective, he appeared on the cover of TV Guide 22 times. That number is second only to Lucille Ball.
So is it really that surprising that he released a few singles prior to becoming a TV star? Well, not really. But it is pretty interesting that Landon was an aspiring musician gaining notoriety on the television screen.
In 1957, Michael Landon released a single through Candlelight Records called “Gimme a Little Kiss (Will “Ya” Huh).” That was two years prior to his breakout role on Bonanza. At the time, Landon playing in the horror film, I Was a Teenage Werewolf.
“Gimme a Little Kiss” charted at No. 40 on the Canadian CHUM chart in 1957. However, it did not chart on the U.S Hot 100. Take a listen to the Bonanza star’s first single down below:
Meanwhile, Landon worked with RCA Victor Records to release another single in 1964. This one was titled, “Linda Is Lonesome”/Without You.” Since then, all of Michael Landon’s songs have been part of a Bonanza various artists compilation.
Michael Landon Turned His Career Over to Acting
Despite putting out successful music, Michael Landon eventually decided to focus his interests on acting. It’s safe to say that was probably the right decision on his end. Landon went on to put together one of the most impressive acting resumes of his time.
That success all begins and ends with Bonanza. Landon starred on the show with Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts, and Dan Blocker. And during the show’s sixth season, Bonanza topped the Nielsen ratings, remaining in the No. 1 spot for three years.
Michael Landon, of course, remained with the show throughout its entire duration. Along with Lorne Greene and Victor Sen Yung, he appeared in all 14 seasons of the classic series.
For more on Michael Landon and other cast members from Bonanza, be sure to follow along with us here on Outsider.