The Lone Ranger rides again
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.