The Lone Ranger rides again

The Globe - - OPINION -

As a life­long fan of the cow­boy cul­ture, the re­lease of “7Ke /Rne 5DnJeU” movie this month in the­aters is a rea­son for cel­e­bra­tion, es­pe­cially be­cause the re­view­ers seem WR OLNe LW. 7Ke Rne genre miss­ing on both TV screens and the movies in re­cent years is the cow­boy fiOP. “7Ke /Rne 5DnJeU” ZDV DOZDyV VSeFLDO WR Pe DV D NLG. He ZDV WKe eSLWRPe Rf JRRGneVV. 2f FRXUVe WKe VKRZ PDGe all of us aware of clas­si­cal mu­sic with 5RVVLnL’V “:LOOLDP 7eOO 2YeUWXUe” DV WKe VWLUULnJ WKePe WKDW LnWURGXFeG RXU KeUR.

An­nouncer cred coy would come Rn WKe DLU DnG VDy “$ fieUy KRUVe ZLWK the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a KeDUWy HL-YR SLOYeU! 7Ke /Rne 5DnJeU! ... :LWK KLV fDLWKfXO ,nGLDn FRPSDnion Tonto, the dar­ing and re­source­ful PDVNeG ULGeU Rf WKe SODLnV OeG WKe fiJKW for law and or­der in the early western UnLWeG SWDWeV! 1RZKeUe Ln WKe SDJeV Rf KLVWRUy FDn Rne finG D JUeDWeU FKDPSLRn Rf MXVWLFe! 5eWXUn ZLWK XV nRZ WR WKRVe WKULOOLnJ GDyV Rf yeVWeUyeDU! )URP RXW of the past come the thun­der­ing hoof EeDWV Rf WKe JUeDW KRUVe SLOYeU! 7Ke /Rne 5DnJeU ULGeV DJDLn!”

And then Brace Beemer’s rich voice ZRXOG VDy, “&RPe Rn, SLOYeU! /eW’V JR, ELJ feOORZ! HL-yR SLOYeU! $ZDy!”

The Lone Ranger be­gan on Detroit ra­dio sta­tion WuYw in 1931 and 2,956 eSLVRGeV ODWeU, Rn SeSW. 3, 1954, LW ZRXOG enG. BeePeU, RULJLnDOOy WKe show’s an­nouncer, took over the lead role when barle Graser died in an auto DFFLGenW Ln 1941 DnG NeSW LW JRLnJ XnWLO WKe enG. ,URnLFDOOy, EeFDXVe GUDVeU didn’t look the part, in the early days Beemer made all the per­sonal ap­pearDnFeV DV WKe PDVNeG PDn.

HLVWRUy VXJJeVWV WKDW WKe EDVLV fRU the char­ac­ter was a real western law­man named Bass Reeves, an African Amer­i­can, who was born a slave and ZRn KLV fUeeGRP Ln WKe ,nGLDn WeUULWRUy EOk­la­homaF as a law­man who killed 14 EDG JXyV DnG DUUeVWeG 3,000 RWKeUV. Reeves, who died in 1907, was re­puted to be a crack shot and, be­cause he lived ZLWK WKe ,nGLDnV fRU PDny yeDUV, flXenW Ln VeYeUDO ,nGLDn WRnJXeV.

On the ra­dio and for the du­ra­tion of the show, Tonto was played by a VWRFNy, EDOGLnJ, ,ULVK DFWRU nDPeG -RKn 7RGG. 7Ke UDGLR VWDWLRn KLUeG Dn DFWXDO ,nGLDn WR PDNe SeUVRnDO DSSeDUDnFeV DV 7RnWR RYeU WKe yeDUV.

Tonto’s sig­na­ture ad­dress to the Lone Ranger was to call him “kee-mo-sahEee” ZKLFK PeDnV “WUXVWy VFRXW” RU “WUXVWeG fULenG.” ,W DFWXDOOy FDPe fURP the name of a sum­mer camp in Up­per Michi­gan that se­ries di­rec­tor James -eZeOO ZDV DZDUe Rf.

,n SSDnLVK, 7RnWR PeDnV “fRROLVK RU VLOOy” VR ZKen WKe /Rne 5DnJeU PRYies and TV shows are dubbed there his nDPe EeFRPeV “7RUR,” ZKLFK WUDnVODWeV WR “EXOO.” ,n VRPe nDWLYe $PeULFDn ODnJXDJeV, 7RnWR PeDnV “:LOG.” (-eZeOO nDPeG KLP, WRR.)

When the Lone Ranger went to TV long­time, cow­boy ac­tor Eand a mem­ber of the Gene Autry en­sem­ble com­pa­nyF &ODyWRn 0RRUe ZDV KLUeG. 0RRUe SRU­trayed the masked man in four of the fiYe 79 VeDVRnV — VLWWLnJ RXW WKe WKLUG in a con­tract dis­pute and re­placed by -RKn HDUW. BeePeU ZDV Rf­feUeG WKe 79 SDUW fiUVW EXW feOW Ke ZDV WRR ROG.

At one point in 1979, long af­ter the TV se­ries ended, Moore was pro­hib­ited from wear­ing the mask in pub­lic ap­pear­ances as the Lone Ranger by then FRSyULJKW RZneU -DFN :UDWKeU. 0RRUe wore wrap-around coster-Grants and FRXnWeU-VXeG. He ZRn. (7UXWK, MXVWLFe DnG WKe $PeULFDn ZDy UeGXx. 7Ke PeGLD SRUWUDyeG :UDWKeU DV D VFURRJe.)

Jay Sil­ver­heels, a highly ed­u­cated na­tive Amer­i­can ac­tor, took over as Tonto on the TV show ETodd surely didn’t look the partF, though it is said he strongly re­sented the mono­syl­labic dia­logue of­ten at­trib­uted to him — “0e JR,” “yRX DOO ULJKW” DnG VR Rn.

Some con­tro­versy ex­ists over who re­ally cre­ated the Lone Ranger — GeRUJe :. 7UenGOe RU )UDn SWULNeU. They are both given credit, but his­tory shows that a Lone Ranger-like ra­dio VKRZ DSSeDUeG Rn D BXf­fDOR, 1.Y., ra­dio sta­tion Ewrit­ten by Strik­erF two years be­fore the WuYw ver­sion beJDn. SWULNeU DOVR ZURWe 18 /Rne 5DnJeU nRYeOV.

The new Lone Ranger is played by acWRU $UPLe HDPPeU, DnG Ke MRLnV D ORnJ list of men to play that role from 1933 WR WRGDy. 7Ke YeUy fiUVW Rne ZDV GeRUJe Ste­nius, then Graser, Beemer, Lee Pow­ell Ln D 1938 PRYLe VeULDO, 5REeUW /LYLnJV­ton in a 1939 se­rial Ethe masters for both se­ri­als are said to have been de­stroyed by Tren­dle af­ter they ran, though one RU WZR FRSLeV GR exLVW), 0RRUe DnG HDUW Rn 79, 7ex HLOO Ln D 1961 &BS SLORW WKDW never aired, hlin­ton Spills­bury EJames heach dubbed his voiceF in the aw­ful “/eJenG Rf WKe /Rne 5DnJeU” PRYLe Ln 1981 DnG &KDG 0LFKDeO 0XUUDy Ln D two-hour 2003 made-for-TV movie that, if any good, might have be­come a se­ries (LW ZDVn’W DnG LW GLGn’W). 0LFKDeO 5ye also voiced the masked man in a lon­grun­ning TV cartoon se­ries Ehe had been the voice of Jack Arm­strong, The All$PeULFDn BRy, Rn UDGLR).

Johnny Depp plays Tonto in the new movie, and he will likely cre­ate him in some­thing of the im­age of Cap­tain -DFN SSDUURZ. BXW LW VKRXOG Ee fXn.

,n Rne VeULDO WKe /Rne 5DnJeU GLGn’W KDYe Dn ,nGLDn FRPSDnLRn; Ke KDG D Mex­i­can one, named Juan, played by 79’V &LVFR KLG, DXnFDn 5LnDOGR.

,W VKRXOG Ee D JRRG VXPPeU fRU NLGV Rf DOO DJeV. 1RZ WKDW WKe /Rne 5DnJeU LV EDFN DnG ULGLnJ DJDLn. HL-YR SLOYeU, DZDy!

Lis­ten to Ted Tay­lor Tues­days on WRDV FM (89.3) from 8 a.m. to noon or con­tact him at ted@ted­tay­lor.com.

Ted Tay­lor

At Large

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