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The Lone Ranger

Lone Ranger
Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger
Publication information
First appearance WXYZ radio; Detroit, Michigan, USA; January 30, 1933[1]
Created by George W. Trendle
and Fran Striker
In-story information
Alter ego John Reid
Team affiliations Texas Rangers
Partnerships Tonto
Abilities Expert marksman[2]
Trained in hand-to-hand combat

The Lone Ranger is an American radio and television show created by George W. Trendle and developed by Fran Striker.

The title character is a masked Texas Ranger in the American Old West, originally played by George Seaton (radio), but more famously by Clayton Moore (television), who gallops about righting injustices with the aid of his clever, laconic Native American companion, Tonto played by (amongst others) John Todd, Roland Parker, and (in the television series) Jay Silverheels. Tonto usually referred to the Lone Ranger as Kemo Sabe, meaning "trusty scout"[3]. Departing on his white horse Silver, the Ranger would shout "Hi-yo, Silver, away!" as the horse galloped toward the setting sun, followed by someone asking "Who was that masked man, anyway?" "Why he's the Lone Ranger." The sayings, as well as the theme music from the William Tell Overture, are indelibly stamped in the memories of millions of Americans (and Britons) who came of age during the decades of the show's initial popularity or viewed the television series run nearly continuously for past fifty years. Reruns of the Lone Ranger as portrayed by Clayton Moore are still telecast today (August, 2010) sixty-one years after their production and initial broadcast. The character has become an icon of American culture.[4]


[edit] Birth of the radio series

The first of 2,956 radio episodes of The Lone Ranger premiered January 30, 1933, on WXYZ Detroit, Michigan; next on the Mutual Broadcasting System radio network; and finally on NBC's Blue Network, which became ABC.[5] The last new episode was broadcast September 3, 1954. Elements of the Lone Ranger story were first used in an earlier series Fran Striker wrote for a station in Buffalo, New York. Each episode was introduced with the announcer's words: "In the early days of the western United States, a masked man and an Indian rode the plains, searching for truth and justice. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when from out of the past come the thundering hoofbeats of the great horse, Silver. The Lone Ranger rides again."

[edit] Music

The theme music was the "March of the Swiss Soldiers" finale of Gioachino Rossini's William Tell Overture, now inseparably associated with the series, which also featured many other classical selections as incidental music, including Bizet[citation needed], Mendelssohn Fingal's Cave Overture, Liszt Les Preludes, Resnicek Donna Dianna Overture, and Schubert[citation needed]. The theme was conducted by Daniel Perez Castaneda.[6]

Classical music was originally used because it was in the public domain, thus allowing production costs to be kept down while providing a wide range of music as needed without the costs of a composer. In the late 1930s, Trendle acquired the rights to use incidental music from Republic Pictures motion picture serials as part of a deal for Republic to produce a serial based (loosely) on the Lone Ranger. This music was then modified by NBC radio arranger Ben Bonnell and recorded in Mexico so as to be out of reach of American union rules. This music was used in both the radio and later television shows.[6]

[edit] Fictional character biography

Originally, the masked man's true identity was not revealed, though it was hinted that he might be a historical Western hero (such as Wild Bill Hickok). Then, after a preliminary version of the character's now-standard origin appeared in the Republic movie serial (1938) and elements of that story were worked into the radio series, the hero was revealed to be a Texas Ranger named John Reid, one of six Texas Rangers massacred by the Cavendish Gang.[7] After entering a canyon known as "Bryant's Gap," the Rangers were ambushed by Butch Cavendish, leader of the "Hole in the Wall Gang", and a man named Collins, who had infiltrated the Rangers as a scout. Cavendish then shoots Collins in the back, reasoning that someone who would betray the Rangers could also betray his gang.[2]

Reid's childhood friend, a Native American known as Tonto, comes upon the massacre scene and discovers Reid is still alive.[8] Tonto takes him to safety and nurses him back to health. Tonto reminds Reid that, when they were young, Reid had rescued him after renegade Indians had murdered his mother and his sister and left him for dead. Reid had given Tonto a horse, and Tonto insisted that Reid accept a silver ring, which is how Tonto recognizes the seriously wounded Reid. Tonto's tribe was seldom specified. Some books say he was probably supposed to be an Apache, while the radio programs identified him as a Potawatomi.

As originally presented in the December 7, 1938, radio broadcast, Reid had already been well established as the Lone Ranger when he met Tonto. In that episode, "Cactus Pete," tells the story of how the masked man and Tonto first met. According to that tale, Tonto had been caught in the explosion when two men dynamited a gold mine they were working. One of the men wanted to kill the wounded Tonto, but the Lone Ranger arrived on the scene and made him administer first aid. The man subsequently decided to keep Tonto around, intending to make him the fall guy when he would later murder his partner. The Lone Ranger foiled both the attempted murder and the attempted framing of Tonto. No reason was given in the episode as to why Tonto chose to travel with the Lone Ranger rather than continue about his business. A reasonable assumption would be gratitude and perhaps a sense of adventure.

While Reid recovers, Tonto buries the dead Rangers, including Reid's brother. Reid vows to bring the killers and others like them to justice. He tells Tonto to dig a sixth grave so people will believe that he, too, is dead. The traitor Collins is also still alive and tries to kill the pair so he can take Tonto's horse, Scout; but he falls to his death while trying to drop a rock on Reid. Thus perished the only other man who knew that Reid had survived.

By happenstance, the pair discovers a magnificent white stallion wounded by lightning, near a buffalo herd. Reid and Tonto nurse the stallion back to health; and Reid adopts him as his mount, giving him the name Silver. Whenever the Lone Ranger mounts Silver, he shouts, "Hi-yo, Silver! Away!" Besides sounding dramatic, this shout originally served to tell the radio audience that a riding sequence was about to start. (Bill Cosby explained, in Cosbyology, that, when the TV version came around, the Lone Ranger still used the line "Hi-yo Silver, away!" for reasons he could not figure out.)[2]

They also find an old mentor of Reid's, who had discovered a lost silver mine, "The Lone Star Mine," some time back. This man is the only person other than Tonto who knows the identity of the Lone Ranger, and he is willing to work the mine and supply Reid and Tonto with as much silver as they want. Using material from his dead brother's Texas Ranger vest, Reid fashions the mask that will mark him as the Lone Ranger. In addition, he decides to use only silver bullets—the precious and valuable metal serves to remind the masked man that life, too, is precious and valuable and, like his silver bullets, not to be wasted or thrown away. Vowing to fight for justice and never to shoot to kill, the Lone Ranger and Tonto wander the Old American West, helping people and fighting injustice wherever they find it. During these adventures, Tonto often addressed his companion as "ke-mo sah-bee", also spelled "quimo sabe," a phrase he said meant "faithful friend" or "trusty scout" in his tribe's language.

The Lone Ranger demonstrated in the adventures that he was also a master of disguise. At times, he would infiltrate an area in the identity of "Old Prospector," an old-time miner with a full beard, so that he could go places where a young masked man would never fit in, usually to gather intelligence about criminal activities.

According to the episode "The Legend of Silver" (September 30, 1938), before acquiring Silver, the Lone Ranger rode a chestnut mare called Dusty. After Dusty was killed by a criminal Reid and Tonto were tracking, Reid saved Silver's life from an enraged buffalo and, in gratitude, Silver chose to give up his wild life to carry him. Silver's sire was called Sylvan, and his dam was Musa.

The origin of Tonto's horse, Scout, is less clear. For a long time, Tonto rode a white horse called White Feller. In "Four Day Ride" (August 5, 1938), Tonto is given a paint horse by his friend Chief Thundercloud, who then takes White Feller. Tonto rides this horse and refers to him simply as "Paint Horse" for several episodes. The horse is finally named Scout in "Border Dope Smuggling" (September 2, 1938). In another episode, the lingering question of Tonto's mode of transport was resolved when the pair discover a secluded valley and the Lone Ranger, in a surge of conscience, releases Silver back to the wild. The episode ends with Silver returning to the Ranger, bringing along a companion who becomes Tonto's horse, Scout.

The name Tonto, which translates from the Spanish language as meaning "stupid" or "dumb," is renamed "Toro" (Spanish for "bull") in Spanish-language countries, while "The Paint Horse" is renamed "Pinto" (a Spanish word to refer to any "painted animal" in particular).

[edit] The Lone Ranger's name

Although the Lone Ranger's last name was given as Reid, his first name was not definitely specified. According to the story told in the radio series, the group of six ambushed Rangers was headed by Reid's brother, Capt. Dan Reid. Some later radio reference books, beginning with ''Radio's Golden Age in the 1960s, claimed that the Lone Ranger's first name was John[9]; however, both the radio and television programs avoided use of his first name. Some say[weasel words] that Capt. Reid's first name was also avoided; but the name Dan did appear in a phonograph record story of the Lone Ranger's origin, featuring the radio cast, issued in the early 1950s[citation needed] and in a miniature comic book issued in connection with the TV show.[citation needed] An obituary upon Fran Striker's death (1962) and a Gold Key Comics (1964) retelling of the origin both stated that "Dan" was the Lone Ranger's first name, not his brother's.[citation needed]

It appears that the first use of the name "John Reid" was in a scene in the 1981 big-screen film, The Legend of the Lone Ranger, in which the surviving Reid creates an extra grave for himself among those of his fallen Ranger companions. This gave the use of the first name John a degree of official standing, although the completely different name "Luke Hartman" used in the 2003 TV-movie/unsold series pilot undercuts that. The name of Capt. Reid's son, the Lone Ranger's nephew, a later character who became a sort of juvenile sidekick to the Masked Man, was also Dan Reid.

[edit] Premiums from the radio series

The Lone Ranger program offered many radio premiums, including the Lone Ranger Six-Shooter Ring and the Lone Ranger Deputy Badge. Some of the premiums used a silver bullet motif. One ring had a miniature of one of his six-guns atop it, with a flint and striking wheel, as used in cigarette lighters, so that "fanning" the miniature pistol would produce a shower of sparks.

During World War II, the premiums adapted to the times. In 1942, the program offered the Kix Blackout Kit.

Some premiums were rather anachronistic for a 19th-century hero. In 1947, the program offered the Kix Atomic Bomb Ring, also known to collectors as the Lone Ranger Atom Bomb Ring.[10] This ring was a miniature spinthariscope that actually had a small amount of radioisotope in it to produce the scintillations caused by nuclear reactions. With its tailfin piece removed, though, the "bomb" body looked like a silver bullet.

General Mills, which produces the Kix cereal brand, also produces the Cheerios brand of cereal. In 1947, Cheerios produced a line of Frontier Town cereal boxes with the Lone Ranger likeness on the front of the box. Different versions of the boxes would have Frontier Town buildings on their backs. Children would collect the different boxes and cut the buildings out. One could also send in ten cents and a box-top to get each of the four map sections of the town. These, as well as nine different boxes, were needed to fully complete cardboard Frontier Town.

[edit] Actors who played the Lone Ranger

On radio, the Lone Ranger was played by several actors, including John L. Barrett, who played the role on the test broadcasts on WEBR in January, 1933; George Seaton (under the name George Stenius) (January 31-May 9, 1933); series director James Jewell and an actor known only by the pseudonym "Jack Deeds" (for one episode each); and then by Earle Graser (May 16, 1933-April 7, 1941). On April 8, Graser died in a car accident; and, for five episodes, the Lone Ranger was unable to speak beyond a whisper, with Tonto carrying the action. Finally, April 18, 1941, the show's announcer for several years, deep-voiced performer Brace Beemer took over the role and played the part until the end. Fred Foy, also an announcer on the show, took over the role on one broadcast (March 29, 1954), when Beemer had laryngitis. Tonto was played throughout the run by actor John Todd (although there were a few isolated occasions when he was replaced by Roland Parker, better known as Kato for much of the run of sister series The Green Hornet); and other supporting players were selected from Detroit area actors and studio staff. These included Jay Michael (who also played the lead on Challenge of the Yukon aka Sgt. Preston of the Yukon), Bill Saunders (as various villains, including Butch Cavendish), Paul Hughes (as the Ranger's friend Thunder Martin and as various army colonels and badmen), future movie star John Hodiak, Janka Fasciszewska (under the name Jane Fae), and others. The part of nephew Dan Reid was played by various child actors, including Bob Martin, James Lipton, and Dick Beals.

The last new radio episode of the Lone Ranger was aired on September 3, 1954.

Transcribed repeats (1952–53 episodes) continued on ABC until June 24, 1955, and then selected repeats appeared on NBC's late-afternoon weekday schedule [5:30–5:55pm Eastern] (September 1955-May 25, 1956).

[edit] The Green Hornet

The radio series also inspired a spin-off called The Green Hornet, which depicts the son of the Lone Ranger's nephew Dan,[11] Britt Reid, originally played by Al Hodge, who in contemporary times fights crime with a similar secret identity and a sidekick, Kato. In the Green Hornet comic book series published by NOW Comics, the Lone Ranger makes a cameo through a portrait in the Reid home. Contrary to most visual media depictions, and acknowledged by developer/original scripter Ron Fortier to be the result of legal complications,[12] his mask covers all of his face, as it did in the two serials from Republic Pictures (see below). However, the properties have been acquired by separate owners and the familial link has been ignored in the Western character's various incarnations. Not surprisingly, the Lone Ranger-Green Hornet connection is part of Philip Jose Farmer's Wold Newton Universe, which connects disparate fictional characters.

[edit] Other media

The series also inspired numerous comic books, two movie serials, books, gramophone records, and a live action television series (1949–1957) starring Clayton Moore (and for one season John Hart),[13] as the Lone Ranger; Moore's tenure as the Ranger is probably the best-known treatment of the franchise.[14]

[edit] Film serials

The Lone Ranger serials from Republic Pictures are enigmas to many serial and Lone Ranger fans, because they are very rare and hard to find. Only late in 2009 was a complete version of the first serial, in English and with only minor omissions, made available on DVD through the Serial Squadron (http://www.serialsquadron.com). Previously, the existing film material for the first serial, The Lone Ranger, was incomplete and either subtitled in Spanish or dubbed in French. The hero's identity is unknown even to the audience in the original 1938 serial, with six men suspected of being behind the mask. As the chapters unreel, they are killed off one by one, but each actually appears in the costume in various scenes. As the character played by Lee Powell is ultimately revealed to be the true identity of the Masked Man, that actor is often given sole credit for the part. Two other suspects were played by Bruce Bennett and George Montgomery, then still billed under their respective birth names of Herman Brix and George Letz. Prior to the serial's release in 1938, the radio Lone Ranger's origin had been unknown and hints had been dropped that he might be a historical figure in disguise. An alternate origin for Tonto, with him being rescued in a mine accident, had also been provided on radio. The 1938 Lone Ranger serial is notable for presenting first version of the canyon-ambush and subsequent scenes of Tonto nursing the Ranger back to health and the Ranger swearing vengeance for the first time, which were adapted with minor modifications to become the standard origin of the radio and television versions of the character. Much of the familiar transitional music used in the radio series after 1938 originated in the first Republic serial. The plot device of the hero's identity being concealed from all and multiple candidates being killed off one by one was used again in the Columbia serial Flying G-Men and Republic's The Masked Marvel.

The second Lone Ranger serial, The Lone Ranger Rides Again, was released in 1939 and starred Robert Livingston. It gave the Lone Ranger a second companion, Juan, a Mexican played by Duncan Renaldo, and its standard Western plot concerned a battle over land between outlaws and ranchers. The only known copy of this serial was discovered in South America and was Spanish-subtitled and cut together as a long feature and so missing most opening titles and original cliffhanger ending resolutions. Robert Livingston wanted his face to be seen onscreen and consequently appears plain-faced, pretending to be rancher "Bill Andrews" in most dialogue scenes. Owner George W. Trendle disliked the fact that the Lone Ranger appeared without his mask throughout the serial and consequently decided to terminate Republic's license to use the character, see that both serials should be destroyed to prevent their further exhibition after the license expired, and offer the character to Universal Pictures instead. A third Lone Ranger serial was announced in promotional advertising by Universal but never produced. Some have suggested that Trendle retained prints of the Lone Ranger serials but made no effort to store them properly, and they deteriorated, however, Clayton Moore notes in his autobiography, I WAS That Masked Man, that he witnessed the master material for the Lone Ranger serials being burned on the Republic Pictures back lot. Either way, only Spanish-subtitled foreign dupe prints of the two Lone Ranger serials survive on film today. The Serial Squadron, an organization which restores classic movie serials, painstakingly reconstructed a subtitle-free English digital video version of the serial in 2007, re-creating the original opening titles and restoring the original cliffhangers.

Given all the differences between the two serials, it is perhaps surprising that Tonto was played in both by Victor Daniels, one of two actors known as Chief Thundercloud.

[edit] Television series

The Lone Ranger was a TV show on the ABC US television network. It aired for five seasons, from 1949–1957, and starred Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger and Jay Silverheels as Tonto. A total of 221 episodes were made. For the show's third season, Clayton Moore sat out and was replaced by John Hart.[15] But Moore returned for the final two seasons. The fifth and final season was the only one of the series' five seasons that was shot in color. Much of the series was shot at the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, California.

[edit] The Return of the Lone Ranger

An attempt by CBS to revive the series in 1961, Return of the Lone Ranger, did not get past the pilot stage. The Lone Ranger was played by Tex Hill in this production.

[edit] The Legend of the Lone Ranger

1981's The Legend of the Lone Ranger caused much upset among fans when the movie studio filed a lawsuit and obtained a court injunction to prevent Clayton Moore from appearing as the Lone Ranger anywhere else, and then gave a cameo to his successful TV replacement, John Hart; the film was a failure. It did not help that lead actor Klinton Spilsbury's lines had to be overdubbed by James Keach. [16]

Moore, who never appeared publicly without his mask, was enjoined in the lawsuit from wearing it and started wearing oversized sunglasses the approximate size and shape of the mask. In an ironic sequence in the movie, John Reid, a newly graduated attorney, is travelling west in a stagecoach to meet his brother. Another passenger, an inventor, announces his intent to make his fortune from his invention of -- sunglasses! The stage is robbed and the inventor killed. As he lies on the ground with the broken dark glasses, John Reid says "So much for free enterprise."

[edit] The Lone Ranger (2003)

In 2003 the WB network aired a two hour Lone Ranger TV movie, starring Chad Michael Murray as The Lone Ranger. The TV movie served as the pilot for a possible series. However, the movie was greeted unenthusiastically; the name of the secret identity of The Lone Ranger was changed from "John Reid" to "Luke Hartman," and while there was still an empty grave alongside those of the five dead Rangers, its supposed occupant was unidentified, and the hero maintained his unmasked identity as well, becoming a cowboy version of Zorro as in the second film serial. Ultimately, the project was shelved.

[edit] Future Lone Ranger film

In March 2002, Columbia Pictures announced their intention to make a Lone Ranger film with Classic Media, who owned the film rights at the time. Husband and wife producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher joined the project. The tone was to be similar to The Mask of Zorro, and Columbia suggested that Tonto be re-written as a female love interest. The projected budget was set at $70 million.[17] In May 2003, David and Janet Peoples were hired to write the script.[18] By January 2005, the Peoples script was rewritten by Laeta Kalogridis, with Jonathan Mostow to direct.[19]

The Lone Ranger languished in development hell. In January 2007, The Weinstein Company was interested in purchasing the film rights from Classic Media.[20] However, the deal with The Weinstein Company fell through, and Entertainment Rights eventually optioned the property. By May 2007, producer Jerry Bruckheimer (alongside Entertainment Rights) set The Lone Ranger up at Walt Disney Pictures. Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, who worked with Bruckheimer and Disney on the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, were being considered to write the script.[21] In late March 2008, Elliott and Rossio were in final negotiations.[22] Disney then announced in September 2008 that Johnny Depp would be portraying Tonto.[23]

The Elliot/Rossio script had a supernatural tone,[24] and has since been rewritten by Justin Haythe.[25] In May 2009 Mike Newell, who was then directing Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time for Bruckheimer and Disney, entered negotiations to direct The Lone Ranger.[26] However, Bruckheimer explained the following June that he wanted to wait on hiring a director until Newell completed Prince of Persia, and until Depp finished filming Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. "The priority is most definitely Pirates 4," Bruckheimer commented. "They are going to cast the title role once they get a director and Disney greenlights. We don't have a director yet."[27] In September 2010 Gore Verbinski was hired to direct. Filming will begin after Depp finishes Dark Shadows.[28]

[edit] Animation

[edit] The Lone Ranger: The Lost Episodes, 2001

In 2001, GoodTimes Home Video released a videotape called "The Lone Ranger: The Lost Episodes." Along with clips from the first serial, trailers for the two post-TV series features, commercials with Moore and sometimes Silverheels in character, and two complete television episodes, there was a cartoon short, said to date from the late 1930s. However, with on-screen dialog balloons instead of recorded voices, it seems to come from the silent era. It remains a mystery.

[edit] The Format Films animated cartoon, 1966 to 1968

An animated series of the The Lone Ranger (animated TV series) produced by Herbert Klynn and Jules Engel of Format Films, Hollywood, and designed and animated at the Halas and Batchelor Cartoon Film studios in London, England, ran from 1966 to 1968 on CBS. The show lasted thirty episodes (invariably split into three separate shorts, with the middle segment being a solo adventure for Tonto, so that there were 90 installments in total), and the last episode aired on the 9th of March 1968.
These Lone Ranger adventures were similar in tone and nature to CBS' science fiction Western, The Wild Wild West in that plots were bizarre and had elements of science-fiction and steampunk technology thrown in. Even the Lone Ranger's arch villain in the animated series was a dwarf, similar to James T. West's nemesis, Dr. Loveless. (Tiny Tom, voiced by Dick Beals). Regardless, this animated cartoon was credited as being a Jack Wrather production, and it provided the first exposure many 1960s children had to the characters.
The Lone Ranger's voice was provided by Michael Rye {r.n. Rye Billsbury}, who had portrayed Jack Armstrong: The All-American Boy on radio. Shepard Menken played Tonto. The narrator in the opening title was Marvin Miller. Other "guest voices" were provided by Paul Winchell, Agnes Moorehead and Hans Conreid.

[edit] The Tarzan/Lone Ranger Adventure Hour, early 1980s

The Lone Ranger was featured, along with Zorro and Tarzan, in Adventure Hour cartoon shorts in the early 1980s, produced by Filmation. These episodes featured William Conrad as the voice of the Masked Man, though he was listed in the credits as "J. Darnoc" (Conrad spelled backwards). This series took a more realistic tone with a heavily historical context to include an educational element to the stories. Conrad had starred in the original radio version of Gunsmoke as Marshal Matt Dillon and was the announcer/narrator for the cartoon escapades of Rocky & Bullwinkle. This time he had 14 episodes, split into two adventures at a time, for a total of 28 stories.

[edit] Toys

Besides the premiums offered in connection with the radio series, there have been many Lone Ranger commercial toys released over the years. One of the most successful was a line of 10-inch action figures and accessories released by Gabriel Toys in 1973.

[edit] Video game

A video game version of The Lone Ranger was released by Konami for the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America in 1991. It is an action adventure game featuring three different perspectives: side-scrolling, overhead, and first-person exploration. The game loosely follows the plot of the 1981 film The Legend of the Lone Ranger, with the player's ultimate goal being the rescue of the U.S. President, who has been kidnapped by the Lone Ranger's nemesis, Butch Cavendish, although the player must fulfill several other tasks in the game before completing their main goal, including one segment where the Ranger must rescue his former fiancee Clara (a character created for the game) from Butch's henchmen.

[edit] Novels

The first Lone Ranger novel appeared in 1936, and eventually 18 volumes were published, as listed below. The first book was written by Gaylord Dubois, but the others by Fran (Francis Hamilton) Striker. Striker also re-edited, and re-wrote parts of later editions of the first novel. First published between 1936 and 1956 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 Bullet (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)

[edit] Comic strip

King Features Syndicate distributed a newspaper strip of the Lone Ranger from September 1938 to December 1971. Fran Striker himself initially scripted the feature, but time constraints soon required him to quit, replaced by one Bob Green, later followed by Paul S. Newman and others.[29] The original artist was Ed Kressy, but he was replaced in 1939 by Charles Flanders who drew the strip until its conclusion.[30] In 1981 the New York Times Syndicate launched a second Lone Ranger strip. The strip was written by Cary Bates with art by Russ Heath.[31] It ran until 1984. Two of the storylines were collected in a comic book by Pure Imagination Publishing in 1993.

[edit] Comic books

Dynamite Entertainment's The Lone Ranger #4 cover. Art by John Cassaday.

In 1948, Western Publishing, with its publishing partner Dell Comics, launched a comic book series which lasted 145 issues. This originally consisted of reprints from the newspaper strips (as had all previous comic book appearances of the character, in various titles from David McKay Publications and from Dell); however, new stories, by writer Paul S. Newman and artist Tom Gill, began with issue #38 (August 1951); some original content was presented as early as #7 (Jan. 1949), but these were non-Lone Ranger fillers. Newman and Gill produced the series until its the final issue, #145 (July 1962).[32] Tonto got his own spin-off title in 1951, which lasted 31 issues. Such was the Ranger's popularity at the time that even his horse Silver had a comic book, The Lone Ranger's Famous Horse Hi-Ho Silver, starting in 1952 and running 34 issues. In Silver's comic book, writer Gaylord DuBois wrote and developed Silver as a hero in his own right. In addition, Dell also published three big Lone Ranger annuals, as well as an adaptation of the 1956 theatrical film.

The Dell series came to an end in 1962. Later that same year, Western Publishing ended its publishing partnership with Dell Comics and started up its own comic book imprint, Gold Key Comics. The new imprint launched its own Lone Ranger title in 1964. Initially reprinting material from the Dell run, original content did not begin until #22, in 1975, and the magazine itself folded with #28 in 1977.[33] Additionally, Hemmets Journal AB published a three-part Swedish Lone Ranger story the same year.[citation needed]

In 1994, Topps Comics produced a four issue miniseries, The Lone Ranger and Tonto, written by Joe R. Lansdale and drawn by Timothy Truman.[34] One of the major changes in this series was the characterization of Tonto, who was now shown to be a very witty, outspoken and sarcastic character even willing to punch the Lone Ranger during a heated argument and commenting on his past pop-culture depictions with the words, "Of course, Kemosabe. Maybe when we talked I should use that 'me Tonto' stuff, way they write about me in the dime novels. You'd like that, wouldn't you?".[35]

The first issue of a new Lone Ranger series from Dynamite Entertainment by Brett Matthews and Sergio Cariello shipped September 6, 2006. It has started as a 6 issue miniseries but due to its success it has become an ongoing series by the same team. On September 15, 2006 Dynamite Entertainment announced that The Lone Ranger # 1 had sold out of its first printing. A second printing of the first issue was announced, a first for the company.[36] While overall considered a critical success, the new series has received some backlash from classic Lone Ranger fans for its graphic depictions of violence. The series has received an Eisner Awards nomination for best new series in 2007. True West magazine awarded the publication the "Best Western Comic Book of the Year" in their 2009 Best of The West Source Book!

Dynamite Entertainment:

  • The Lone Ranger Vol. 1 (160 pages, Collects The Lone Ranger #1-6)
  • The Lone Ranger Vol. 2 Lines Not Crossed (128 pages, Collects The Lone Ranger #7-11)
  • The Lone Ranger Vol. 3 Scorched Earth (144 pages, Collects The Lone Ranger #12-16)
  • The Lone Ranger Vol. 4 Resolve (Collects The Lone Ranger #17-24)
  • The Lone Ranger & Tonto (128 pages)

[edit] Singles

A popular record The Lone Ranger by Quantum Jump charted twice in the UK. It was banned from the air on its first release but then sold over 500,000 copies when re-released.[citation needed]

[edit] The Lone Ranger creed

In every incarnation of the character to date, the Lone Ranger has conducted himself by a strict moral code. This code was put in place by Fran Striker at the inception of the character. Actors Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels, taking their positions as role models to children very seriously, also tried their best to live by this creed.

"I believe.....

That to have a friend, a man must be one.[37]

That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.

That God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself.

In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.

That a man should make the most of what equipment he has.

That 'this government of the people, by the people, and for the people' shall live always.

That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.

That sooner or later...somewhere...somehow...we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.

That all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever.

In my Creator, my country, my fellow man."

In addition, in order to ensure that their character remain constant and true to their theory, Fran Striker and George W. Trendle drew up these guidelines and list of rules which embody who and what the Lone Ranger is and why he has remained a hero and a legend:[38][39]

  • The Lone Ranger is never seen without his mask or a disguise.
  • With emphasis on logic, The Lone Ranger is never captured or held for any length of time by lawmen, avoiding his being unmasked.
  • At all times, The Lone Ranger uses perfect grammar and precise speech completely devoid of slang and colloquial phrases.
  • When he has to use guns, The Lone Ranger never shoots to kill, but rather only to disarm his opponent as painlessly as possible.
  • Logically, too, The Lone Ranger never wins against hopeless odds; i.e., he is never seen escaping from a barrage of bullets merely by riding into the horizon.
  • Even though The Lone Ranger offers his aid to individuals or small groups, the ultimate objective of his story is to imply that their benefit is only a by-product of a greater achievement—-the development of the west or our country. His adversaries are usually groups whose power is such that large areas are at stake.
  • All adversaries are American to avoid criticism from minority groups.
  • Names of unsympathetic characters are carefully chosen, avoiding the use of two names as much as possible to avoid even further vicarious association. More often than not, a single nickname is selected.
  • The Lone Ranger does not drink or smoke, and saloon scenes are usually interpreted as cafes, with waiters and food instead of bartenders and liquor.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Goldstein, Richard (December 29, 1999). "Clayton Moore, Television's Lone Ranger And a Persistent Masked Man, Dies at 85". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1999/12/29/arts/clayton-moore-television-s-lone-ranger-and-a-persistent-masked-man-dies-at-85.html?scp=1&sq=&pagewanted=2. Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  2. ^ a b c Stassel, Stephanie (December 29, 1999). "Clayton Moore, TV's 'Lone Ranger,' Dies". LA Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1999/dec/29/news/mn-48531?pg=2. Retrieved 2009-10-19. 
  3. ^ Brewers Dictionary of 20th Century Phrase and Fable
  4. ^ "Disney preps 'Lone Ranger' remake". Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i0253b4ed794b135a4980bb7be375dd49. Retrieved 2010-09-27. [dead link]
  5. ^ "'Lone Ranger' back in the saddle". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2008/nov/12/entertainment/et-loneranger12. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  6. ^ a b Music of The Lone Ranger CD liner notes by Graham Newton, 1992.
  7. ^ "A Gathering of Kemo Sabes". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1993-06-09/entertainment/ca-1320_1_lone-ranger/4. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  8. ^ "The Lone Ranger: Justice from Outside the Law". NPR. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18073741. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  9. ^ Frank Buxton and Bill Owen, Radio's Golden Age: The Programs and the Personalities ([New York]: Easton Valley Press, 1966): 209.
  10. ^ Reif, Rita. ARTS/ARTIFACTS; Trivia Long Ago, Serious Treasures Now. The New York Times. 11 June 1995.
  11. ^ "Too Hot Too Handle," The Green Hornet (radio series) (November 11, 1947), ABC radio network.
  12. ^ Murray, Will, "Where Hornets Swarm," Comics Scene, # 9, (October) 1989, Starlog Communications, Inc., p. 41.
  13. ^ "John Hart dies at 91; the other 'Lone Ranger'". Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/obituaries/la-me-john-hart23-2009sep23,0,2385894.story. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  14. ^ "After 60 Years, the Lone Ranger Still Lives". LA Times. June 12, 1993. http://articles.latimes.com/1993-06-12/entertainment/ca-2379_1_lone-ranger/2. Retrieved 2010-09-27. 
  15. ^ "John Hart dies at 91; the other 'Lone Ranger'". Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/obituaries/la-me-john-hart23-2009sep23,0,2385894.story. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  16. ^ "The Legend of the Lone Ranger". DVD Talk. http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/34366/legend-of-the-lone-ranger-the/. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  17. ^ Claude Brodesser (2002-03-05). "Ranger rides to Columbia". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117861889. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  18. ^ Dana Harris (2003-03-08). "Col, Wagon rope Peoples for Lone". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117885874. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  19. ^ Jill Goldsmith (2005-01-09). "Finding gold in Classic fare". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117915937. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  20. ^ Steven Zeitchik (2007-01-07). "Weinsteins keen on kids". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117956872. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  21. ^ Peter Gilstrap (2007-05-18). "Pirates scribes ride wave of success". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117965303. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  22. ^ Borys Kit; Carl DiOrio (2008-03-27). "Disney preps Lone Ranger remake". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  23. ^ Jenna Cooper (2008-09-25). "Disney Announces Upcoming Films, Tron, Prince of Persia, and the Lone Ranger Starring Johnny Depp". UGO Networks. http://movieblog.ugo.com/index.php/movieblog/more/disney_announces_upcoming_films_tron_prince_of_persia_and_the_lone_ranger_s/. Retrieved 2008-10-31. 
  24. ^ George "El Guapo" Roush (2009-01-26). "Exclusive Interview: 1-1 With Producer Jerry Bruckheimer". Latino Review. http://www.latinoreview.com/news/exclusive-interview-1-1-with-producer-jerry-bruckheimer-6053. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  25. ^ Jim Vejvoda (2009-02-12). "Lone Ranger's Revolutionary Writer". IGN. http://movies.ign.com/articles/106/1068935p1.html. Retrieved 2010-10-22. 
  26. ^ Staff (2009-05-01). "Newell 'in talks for Lone Ranger'". BBC Online. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8028788.stm. Retrieved 2009-05-02. 
  27. ^ Edward Douglas (2009-06-11). "Bruckheimer Gives Updates on Pirates & The Lone Ranger". ComingSoon.net. http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=56211. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  28. ^ Michael Fleming (2010-09-27). "Gore Verbinski In Talks To Reteam With Johnny Depp On 'Lone Ranger'". Deadline.com. http://www.deadline.com/2010/09/gore-verbinski-in-talks-to-reteam-with-johnny-depp-on-lone-ranger/. 
  29. ^ Scapperotti, Dan, "Then you are...Lone Ranger," Comics Scene, #9, (October) 1989, Starlog Communications International, Inc., p. 44 (also corroborates artists source).
  30. ^ "The Lone Ranger comic strip by Fran Striker". Kenpiercebooks.com. http://www.kenpiercebooks.com/ranger.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  31. ^ Lambiek comic shop and studio in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (1926-09-29). "Comic creator: Russ Heath". Lambiek.net. http://lambiek.net/artists/h/heath_russ.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  32. ^ The Lone Ranger (Dell, 1948 series) at the Grand Comics Database
  33. ^ The Lone Ranger (Gold Key, 1964 series) at the Grand Comics Database
  34. ^ Lone Ranger and Tonto, The' (Topps, 1994 series) at the Grand Comics Database
  35. ^ Sheyahshe, Michael A. (2008). Native Americans in Comic Books. Jefferson: McFarland & Company. pp. 124–126. 
  36. ^ Lone Ranger #1 Sells Out!
  37. ^ Stassel, Stephanie (December 29, 1999). "Clayton Moore, TV's 'Lone Ranger,' Dies". LA Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1999/dec/29/news/mn-48531. Retrieved 2009-10-19. 
  38. ^ "Radio: The Masked Rider". Time. January 14, 1952. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,806226,00.html. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  39. ^ "The Lone Ranger: Justice from Outside the Law". NPR. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18073741. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 

[edit] Further reading

  • Bisco, Jim, "Buffalo's Lone Ranger: The Prolific Fran Striker Wrote the Book on Early Radio," Western New York Heritage, Volume 7, Number 4, Winter 2005.
  • Grams, Martin, The Green Hornet: A History of Radio, Motion Pictures, Comics and Television, OTR Publishing, 2010.
  • Harmon, Jim, The Great Radio Heroes, Doubleday, 1967.
  • Jones, Reginald, The Mystery of the Masked Man's Music (ISBN 0-8108-3974-1).
  • Osgood, Dick. Wyxie Wonderland: An Unauthorized 50-Year Diary of WXYZ Detroit. Ohio: Bowling Green University Press, 1981.

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