Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Launching Of The Lone Ranger...!

I'll bet most of us as kids either listened to the Lone Ranger on the radio, or watched it on television.

Well, here is the story of how the Lone Ranger came to be. Makes for an interesting read, if you don't already have knowledge of how it all started.

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 used to really enjoy the show as a kid. At least back then we had some heroes to look up to, know what I mean?

Coffee out on the sorry looking patio this morning. Gotta get some new plants in the Spring, for sure.


Gorges Smythe said...

I just barely remember it and Gunsmoke on radio.

linda m said...

One of my favorites both on the radio and TV. A real Hero for kids to look up to - unlike the shows of today. Would love to join you on your patio, as here it is 30 degrees with 15 MPH winds. I'll bring some Danish to share.

Momlady said...

Loved the Lone Ranger on TV and Radio. Also the Green Hornet, The Shadow, Gunsmoke and more.

JO said...

I sure watched the Lone Ranger, but my favorite was Roy Rogers, I was so in love with good ole' Roy.

Tried to get pictures of the moon this morning should have used my tripod was a bust. So your patio and some good hot coffee and some Danish to sooth my ego is in order

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
Those were the days we struggle to remember.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Hey Linda...
Danish is always appreciated. Yeah, the wind can cut like a knife sometimes.
Thanks for coming over this morning!

Hey Momlady...
You just named off a bunch of my favorites. I knew we had a lot in common.
Thanks for the visit today!

Hey Jo...
My oldest sis had a big crush on Roy as well, if memory serves.
Thanks for dropping by today, sweetie!

Dizzy-Dick said...

They are still running re-runs of The Lone Ranger and many other old shows on some of the Dish channels. They sure do bring back memories, but some of them make you wonder why you ever did watch them. Then you remember that there were only three or so stations that you could select. Oooops, there I go again, giving my age away.

Dizzy-Dick said...

And oh yes, William Conrad was the Lone Ranger on radio.

HermitJim said...

Hey Dizzy...
I do remember when we only had 3 channels! Of course, we had public television as well, but I don't count that one. Quite a change from today isn't it?
William Conrad had quite a few voice jobs on the radio and his own series on television, as I recall. I think it was called Cannon.
Thanks for stopping by today, Dizzy!