Gunsmoke watchers know James Nusser only as Louis Pheeters,
and perhaps for his seven minor roles in the b&w half-hrs.
Gunsmoke listeners know James Nusser as more than Louie,
because he played more than sixty roles in Gunsmoke radio
from its beginning in 1952 to its end in 1961, before Louie appeared
for the first time in the television episode 'Perce.'
Nusser was also in about twenty episodes
of CBS radio's other westerns--Fort Laramie,
Frontier Gentlemen, and Have Gun-Will Travel.
Besides incidental western episodes in other radio shows,
he appeared a couple of times in The Roy Rogers Show
and about twenty times in Wild Bill Hickok.
Moreover, beyond westerns, Nusser guest-starred
in numerous radio dramas, in which he played
an unlimited range of roles from Simon the Pharisee
to one of the villagers in Shirley Jackson's The Lottery;
from a mayor, an African, an FBI agent, and a baseball umpire,
to... a tuna fish in the ocean.
If you are a fan of James Nusser and his unique voice,
it is a thrilling part of any radio episode
when your ears pick out that familiar timbre among other voices.
For both Nusser and Pheeter fanatics,
here begins a list of Gunsmoke radio roles:
July 12, 1952 The Boughten Bride Chad Brown
October 24, 1952 The Mortgage Finnegan
October 31, 1952 Overland Express Berryman
January 3, 1953 Westbound Abilene bartender
February 14, 1953 The Round-Up Torp henchman
April 4, 1953 Jayhawkers Carl Studer
May 16, 1953 The Big Con Mr. Shaneways
August 8, 1953 Sky Luke Atkins
August 22, 1953 Gone Straight Gunther henchman
September 5, 1953 The Sutler Sy Wills
September 12, 1953 Prairie Happy Sam
November 7, 1953 Stolen Horses Quick Knife
January 16, 1954 The Bear Oasis bartender
March 27, 1954 Blood Money Clay
April 3, 1954 Mr. & Mrs. Amber Sam
April 24, 1954 Murder Warrant Mr. Jonas
July 26, 1954 Matt For Murder Jim Huggins
September 13, 1954 Dooley Surrenders Colpitt
October 9, 1954 Love of a Good Woman ambusher
October 30, 1954 The Patsy backshot man
December 25, 1954 Kitty Lost Moss Grimmick
January 15, 1955 Chester's Murder Charlie Pickard
February 12, 1955 Chester's Hanging Lee Binders
March 19, 1955 The Mistake Earl Haney
March 26, 1955 Horse Deal Moss Grimmick
April 23, 1955 Born To Hang Rojo
June 11, 1955 Trust Wells
June 25, 1955 The Army Trial Moss Grimmick
July 16, 1955 Twenty-Twenty Lee Poland
July 23, 1955 Ben Tolliver's Stud Jake Creed
August 27, 1955 Doc Quits Jake Worth
October 23, 1955 Brush At Elkader Elkader stableman
November 20, 1955 Dutch George Moss
January 1, 1956 Pucket's New Year Jed Larner
January 22, 1956 Romeo Ab Drain
Listen to the rest of the Gunsmoke episodes
where Nusser appears, and you'll be able to hear him
in at least thirty-five other roles.
Again, there's nothing more delightful
than to be listening to an episode and suddenly detect
Nusser's voice. You don't really know the talent and range
of James Nusser until you've heard
his little diamond-like performances
as a stagecoach driver, gambler, cowboy, homesteader,
and just about everyone else
you could meet on the prairie or the boardwalks.
On radio, James Nusser was never
raggedy, stubble-faced, or drunk.
Often enough, he actually played Sam or Jonas or Moss Grimmick.
Listen for him!
June 8, 2007
Copyright © 2007-2013 E. A. Villafranca, Jr.
All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved