Monday, January 30, 2012

The Lone Ranger Rides Again...!

Remember some of your favorite radio heroes?

I'm talking about the guys that rode into your living room on the radio, then finally on the television! I can remember hearing so many of them, Boston Blackie, The Shadow, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and one of the most remembered...the Lone Ranger! Maybe it's because he had one of the best theme songs ever!

Jan 30, 1933:
The Lone Ranger debuts on Detroit radio


With the stirring notes of the William Tell Overture and a shout of "Hi-yo, Silver! Away!" The Lone Ranger debuts on Detroit's WXYZ radio station.

The creation of station-owner George Trendle and writer Fran Striker, the "masked rider of the plains" became one of the most popular and enduring western heroes of the 20th century. Joined by his trusty steed, Silver, and loyal Indian scout, Tonto, the Lone Ranger sallied forth to do battle with evil western outlaws and Indians, generally arriving on the scene just in time to save an innocent golden-haired child or sun-bonneted farm wife.

Neither Trendle nor Striker had any connections to or experience with the cowboys, Indians, and pioneers of the real West, but that mattered little to them. The men simply wanted to create an American version of the masked swashbuckler made popular by the silent movie actor Douglas Fairbanks in The Mark of Zorro, arming their hero with a revolver rather than a sword. Historical authenticity was far less important to the men than fidelity to the strict code of conduct they established for their character. The Lone Ranger never smoked, swore, or drank alcohol; he used grammatically correct speech free of slang; and, most important, he never shot to kill. More offensive to modern historical and ethnic sensibilities was the Indian scout Tonto, who spoke in a comical Indian patois totally unrelated to any authentic Indian dialect, uttering ludicrous phrases like "You betchum!"

Historical accuracy notwithstanding, the radio program was an instant hit. Children liked the steady stream of action and parents approved of the good moral example offered by the upstanding masked man. Soon picked up for nationwide broadcast over the Mutual Radio Network, over 20 million Americans were tuning into The Lone Ranger three times a week by 1939. In an early example of the power of marketing tie-ins, the producers also licensed the manufacture of a vast array of related products, including Lone Ranger guns, costumes, books, and a popular comic strip.

The Lone Ranger made a seemingly effortless transition from radio to motion pictures and television. The televised version of The Lone Ranger, staring Clayton Moore as the masked man, became ABC's first big hit in the early 1950s. Remaining on the air until 1957, the program helped define the golden age of the TV Western and inspired dozens of imitators like The Range Rider, The Roy Rogers Show, and The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok. Although the Lone Ranger disappeared from American television and movie screens by the 1960s, he lived on in a popular series of comic books well into the 1970s.

I'm just thinking that we could sure use a few more heroes of this kind again. One thing about it, it sure wouldn't hurt!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Fresh biscuits with butter and honey OK?

14 comments:

2 Tramps said...

Being a late night AM radio addict, I know that there isn't much to listen to out there these days. In December what has been my go to station for over 30 years fired Dr. Bill Wattenburg - the guy I listened to for all those years. Sometimes change is tough - especially for me when I sleep with headphones on every night... A bit off subject but I had to vent - thanks, H.J.!!

Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

'Morning!
Please tell 2 Tramps that if the "skip" is good I can pick up radio station CFZM 740AM out of Toronto, Canada and listen to the best late night radio ever. They play great old radio shows including The Lone Ranger and The Shadow and good, really good music. You can stream it over the internet too, but I just use my little portable radio late at night. Just love the old shows. Biscuits and honey, oh my!

Momlady said...

There were a lot of good programs on to listen to when I was a kid. Loved the Lone Ranger, The Shadow, and Inner Sanctum could really be scary. Thanks for the memories.

HermitJim said...

Hey 2 Tramps...
Just when we get things like we want them, someone is always messing around with them!

I hope you find a good replacement show.

Thanks so much for coming by today!


Hey Phyllis...
I'll certainly pass on the tip for ya! Thanks for sharing it!

I appreciate you coming by today!

Ben in Texas said...

Like most of us around here, I grew up listening to the radio serials. Boston Blackie comes to mind for some reason and of course, The Shadow.
But sure loved watching The Lone Ranger when it was on B&W TV.
Biscuits sound good, but think I'll put some gravy on mine. Thanks all the same.

chinasyndrome said...

I loved the Lone Ranger When we were playing I always wanted to be Tonto Youbetchum Keemosabe!

China
III

linda m said...

I remember listening to all those old radio shows. We would huddle around the radio for The Shadow and The Lone Ranger. The Lone Ranger TV show was one of my favorites. I was fortunate enough - in the late 1970's - to actually meet Jay Siverheels, Tonto. He was the Honorary Mayor of Canoga Park, CA and I met him during a Fourth of July Festivities.

Sixbears said...

We need some heroes like that today. Too many of today's heroes have feet of clay.

John said...

All those old shows bring back memories. Fibber Magee and Molly, the Great Gildersleeve, Jack Benny and Rochester, Green Hornet, Roy Rogers with the Sons of the Pioneers Gene Autry. Saturday night Grand Ole Oprey on WSM. Good times that are gone but not forgotten!

JOJO said...

My grandmother loved all cowboy movies and shows. I loved them to.
Don't remember the radio thing but remember the TV.
Biscuits and butter yum. Thanks sounds good to me..

Dizzy-Dick said...

You do bring back the memories. You do know that a lot of the old radio shows are played on satellite radio? We love to listen to them, some are even before my time!!

HermitJim said...

Hey Ben...
Biscuits and gravy is the breakfast of champions! I like that meal anytime of the day!

Funny how such a simple thing can make your mouth water!

Thanks, buddy, for coming by today!


Hey China...
Nothing wrong with being the side kick! Tonto was pretty cool!

Guess we were just lucky to have such great role models back then!

Thanks, my friend, for the visit!


Hey Linda...
Wow! That must have been exciting for you!

We did have some good times back then, sharing adventures on the radio!

Somehow it doesn't seem the same gathering around the television!

Thanks for coming over this morning!


Hey Sixbears...
you sure got that right!

I think maybe our whole core values were much better back then! Wonder if they will ever be that way again?

Thanks for coming over today!


Hey John...
Sad to see that not many shows like those are on anywhere but the oldies stations!

Wonder who the heroes will be for the younger generation when the get to be our age?

Thanks so much for the visit today!


Hey JoJo...
Good for granny! She probably would be very disappointed with the shows today!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by today!


Hey Dizzy...
I didn't know that those old shows were on anywhere! Thanks for the heads-up!

I sure appreciate you coming by today, my friend!

Kyddryn said...

Hey, Mister Hermit, sir - I have a record (I know YOU remember records) of the first couple of episodes of the radio show! I love 'em.

On borrowed Internet for a minute...hope you and Nanny are doing fine!

Shade and Sweetwater,
K

HermitJim said...

Hey K...
Not only do I remember them, but I have quite a stack of 'em in my stuff!

Now all I need is a record player!

Good to see you on the air again, but even nicer to have you drop by to day!