A little book called “Spencer’s Mountain” spawned a television movie and then a series that would shape the 70’s. The television movie called “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story” aired on CBS in 1971 and took the country by storm. It was so popular that the network producers created a series from it called The Waltons.
The story was moving. A family headed by John and Olivia Walton, their 7 kids and John’s Parents all under one roof trying to make ends meet during the great depression and WWII. The narrator was John Boy, the oldest of the children and an aspiring journalist.
A lot of the series was based on “Spencer’s Mountain” author Earl Hammer and his childhood memories.
The show won 10 Emmys during its run and cemented itself as a family favorite for folks in the 70’s.
The sigature ending is one that I will always remember. As the camera shows a dark exterior of the house you would hear a few of the cast members saying something humorous, usually about something that had happened during the episode. Then the family would all say goodnight to one another from their rooms.
The Waltons ended in 1981 but after first run there were three television movie sequels were broadcast in 1982, with three more following in the 1990s. The sow is still in syndication.