When radio listeners heard Rossinis William Tell Overture,
they knew these words were not far behind:
A fiery horse with the speed of light! A cloud of dust
and a hearty Hi-Yo, Silver! The Lone Ranger!
Perhaps radios best-remembered drama, The Lone Ranger
debuted on WXYZ/Detroit in 1933. Under the editorial guidance of
creator George W. Trendle and writer Fran Striker, the Ranger was
a white knight who, with his faithful Indian companion Tonto
the fight for law and order in the early western United States.
The show was a huge success for WXYZ and the newly formed Mutual
Broadcasting System. Although the show was aimed a young audience,
at least half of the shows listeners were adults.
Radios first Lone Ranger, George Steinus, left the show early
and became a respected film director named George Seaton. Earle
Graser took the role from May 1933 until his untimely death in 1941;
Ranger announcer Brace Beemer stepped into the title role
until the show left the air in 1956. English-born actor John Todd
played Tonto throughout. Radio Hall of Fame inductee Fred Foy became
announcer from 1948 until the end.
The Lone Ranger was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame
courtesy of the Library of American Broadcasting.
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