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The Lone Ranger


ABC 1949 - 1957
30 Minutes

Set in the Southwest of the late 19th century, this was the story of Texas Ranger John Reid (Clayton Moore/John Hart), a lone survivor of an ambush by the Cavendish Gang who was found by an Indian named Tonto (Jay Silverheels) and nursed back to health

Recovered from his injuries, the ranger donned a black mask, vowing to avenge the death of his fellow rangers. Attaining his goal, he continued traveling with his faithful Indian companion to lead a fight for law and order in the early days of the Old West.

"A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty hi-yo Silver! The Lone Ranger! With his faithful Indian companion, Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains led the fight for law and order in the early West. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. The Lone Ranger rides again!"

Clayton Moore and Jaysilverheels - THE LONE RANGER
The Lone Ranger and Tonto

Listen to Opening Theme

The Lone Ranger was a friend to decent people everywhere. To protect them and himself he wore two six-shooters Especially made for him. He never shot to kill but wounded if necessary. Silver bullets were his ammunition of choice; he used the bullets as a means of identifying himself to local law enforcement.

When the Lone Ranger needed to go undercover he donned a variety of disguises, often that of a bearded, or mustachioed character.  

The many disguises of THE LONE RANGER


TRIVIA NOTE: The Lone Ranger character was created by Fran Striker and George W. Trendle and debuted on WXYZ Detroit radio on January 30, 1933 and ran until episode No.2596 entitled "Cold Spring Showdown" that aired on September 3, 1954. The television adaptation ran on ABC-TV from September 15, 1949 through September 12, 1957.

The idea for the Lone Ranger can be traced back to a program written by Fran Striker called "Covered Wagon Days' that aired in Buffalo, New York on WEBR as early as 1929.

During the 1952-54 season, John Hart played the role of the Lone Ranger. Clayton Moore who played the role of the Lone Ranger on the TV series was a stuntman, horseman and expert gun twirler. Born in Chicago on September 14, 1914, Clayton Moore spent his youth as a circus trapeze artist and later in his career became known as "King of the Serials" at Republic Pictures starring in Jesse James Rides Again (1947), The Adventures of Frank and Jesse James (1948), G-Men Never Forget (1948), and Ghost of Zorro (1949).

In 1954, George W. Trendle, the owner of the Lone Ranger character, sold his interests to Texan Jack Wrather for the sum of three million dollars. The Wrather Corporation purchased the entire Lone Ranger property including all of the radio programs, 182 half-hours Trendle black & white produced programs as well as all merchandising and related rights.

During the 1956-57 season the Wrather Corporation produced the thirty-nine new LONE RANGER adventures (these were produced in color). In August of 1955, the color feature film The Lone Ranger began production at Warner Brothers Studios followed by a second feature film The Lone Ranger and The Lost City of Gold (1958) released through United Artist. Both films starred Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels.

THE LONE RANGER - The Animated Series
The Animated Series

The Wrather Corporation later produced a Saturday morning cartoon series THE LONE RANGER/CBS/196-69 as well as the box-office bomb of a remake The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981) starring Klinton Spilsbury as the Lone Ranger and Michael Horse as Tonto, his faithful Indian companion (Michael Horse was part Cree Indian and part Caucasian).

Obituaries: Clayton Moore: 12/28/1999; Jay Silverheels: 03/05/1980; Lane Bradford: 06/07/1973; Gerald Mohr: 11/09/1968; Chuck Courtney: 01/19/2000.

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