Gary: “I was a teenager in the mid to late 1950s, so it was all about music, TV, girls and Cars. This man was born in 1946 and was a Mouseketeer in 1955 and a successful actor in 1958 as “Mark McCain” son of “Lucas McCain” who was “The Rifleman” in ABC’s very successful TV show. Then in 1962, he started a music career. He accomplished all that in the space of just 7 years, from age 11 to 18. Boy, I was lucky just to have a job at that time! I loved the TV show “The Rifleman”; I think I actually purchased one of his records, but a lot of teenage girls bought a ton of records and will never forget…
Some of His Recordings:
John Ernest Crawford (born 1946 in Los Angeles) is a talented American actor, singer, and musician.
An original Mouseketeer in 1955, Crawford has acted on stage, in films, and on television.
He received an Emmy Award nomination at the age of 13 for his role as “Mark McCain,” the son of Lucas McCain, played by Chuck Connors, on the Four Star Television series The Rifleman, which originally aired from 1958-1963 on ABC. During this time, he had wide popularity with American teenagers and a recording career that generated five Top 40 hits, including the single “Cindy’s Birthday,” which peaked at #8 on Billboard’s Top 40 Hit Chart in 1962.
Crawford played “Horsey,” Tommy Kirk’s cowboyish sidekick in the 1965 film Village of the Giants which also featured Joy Harmon, Beau Bridges, and Ron Howard.
The Naked Ape, a 1973 film directed by Donald Driver — based on the book — starred Crawford and Victoria Principal.
Crawford had a key role in the early career of Victoria Jackson of Saturday Night Live fame; after appearing together in a summer stock production of “Meet Me in St. Louis,” he presented her with a one-way airline ticket to California and encouraged her to pursue a Hollywood career. This led to her early TV appearances on The Tonight Show before she was cast as a regular on Saturday Night Live.
Crawford is currently the leader of the California-based Johnny Crawford Orchestra, which specializes in traditional jazz, early big band, and classical styles of music.
He reconnected with his high school sweetheart Charlotte in 1990, and they wed in 1995.