The Lone Ranger
"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 madked rider of the plains led the fight for law and order, in the early western United States. Nowhere in the pages of history can one find a greater champion of justice. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. From out of the past come the thundering hoofbeats of the great horse Silver! The Lone Ranger rides again!"
A small, independent radio station WXYZ in Detroit turned to a fictional character known as The Lone Ranger to save the station from its mounting debts during the height of the Great Depression. The Lone Ranger became an instant success, evenutally becoming the cornerstorne to a new radio network, an inspiration to generations of fans, and the basis of an enduring legend.
The creation or evolution of the Lone Ranger started with the team of George Trendle, managing partner of WXYZ, James Jewell the Dramatic Director, and Fran Striker the writer who created most of the Lone Ranger mythos. Albert Tonik, in Blood 'n' Thunder #9, provides a great article into the early years of the Lone Ranger.
The Lone Ranger was first aired on radio on January 30, 1933. It quickly became one of the most popular shows and lasted until September 3, 1954. That's 2,956 episodes! With three live shows scheduled every week and a run that lasted 21 years, Fran Striker became one of the most prolific writers during the Old Time Radio era.
Although the subject matter and story lines were aimed at children, the radio plays were hugely popular with all ages. Earle Graser and Brace Beemer played the majority of performances as the masked man and John Todd played Tonto through the production run and with a large cast of over 50 characters, a highly regarded sound effects team, and the infamous William Tell Overture as its theme, the Lone Ranger was one of the top children's western thrillers.
In 1937, the Lone Ranger reached beyond the small market, radio network and broke out onto the national scene. Striker wrote 18 Lone Ranger novels as well as a Lone Ranger comic strip. The Lone Ranger appeared in cliffhanger serials and numerous merchandising promotions.
Also during 1937, the Lone Ranger had his own pulp fiction magazine which lasted for 8 issues. Many of the Lone Ranger pulp fiction novels were based on the original radio scripts and would be reworked again into the hardback novels published by Grosset & Dunlap.
In 1949, the Lone Ranger became the first Western television show and starred Clayton Moore as the masked man and Jay Silverheels as Tonto. The tv hit lasted up until 1957.
With his faithful Indian companion, Tonto, the daring and resourceful rider of the plains led the fight for law and order in the early western United States. Nowhere in the pages of history can one find a greater champion of justice.
Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear… "From out of the past come the thundering hoofbeats of the great horse Silver. The Lone Ranger Rides again!"
The Lone Ranger Products Available Today
The Lone Ranger Novels by Fran Striker
First published in the 1930s and 1950s in hardback by Grosset and Dunlap, these stories were reprinted in 1978 by Pinnacle Books.
- The Lone Ranger (1936)
- The Lone Ranger and the Mystery Ranch (1938)
- The Lone Ranger and the Gold Robbery (1939)
- The Lone Ranger and the Outlaw Stronghold (1939)
- The Lone Ranger and Tonto (1940)
- The Lone Ranger at the Haunted Gulch (1941)
- The Lone Ranger Traps the Smugglers (1941)
- The Lone Ranger Rides Again (1943)
- The Lone Ranger Rides North (1943)
- The Lone Ranger and the Silver Bullett (1948)
- The Lone Ranger on Powderhorn Trail (1949)
- The Lone Ranger in Wild Horse Canyon (1950)
- The Lone Ranger West of Maverick Pass (1951)
- The Lone Ranger on Gunsight Mesa (1952)
- The Lone Ranger and the Bitter Spring Feud (1953)
- The Lone Ranger and the Code of the West (1954)
- The Lone Ranger and Trouble on the Santa Fe (1955)
- The Lone Ranger on Red Butte Trail (1956)