The story of “The Ballad of Paladin” is best told by master story-teller Johnny Western, himself. So if you ever have a chance to hear him tell it, don’t miss it! In the meantime, and in a nutshell, young Johnny wrote the song as an expression of thanks to Richard Boone for allowing him to appear in early episodes of the tv series, HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL.
He started writing it in the waiting room of a hospital maternity ward, while he was awaiting the birth of his daughter! Boone liked the song and network executives agreed with Boone that it would make an excellent theme for the series. But when it came time to record it, Boone had to override record executives who wanted someone else to sing it. Richard Boone was adamant that the singer be Johnny Western. Obviously, Boone won the argument and Johnny’s life-long friendship as well.
The Ballad of Paladin Johnny Western (September 1958)
Lawrence Welk and His Champagne Music Makers (March 1959)
Faron Young September (1963)
Chuck Wagon & The Wheels (1980 )