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The Lone Ranger episodes on www.frontierplayhouse.mx
[photo, Brace Beemer in garb]The Lone Ranger is a fictional masked former Texas Ranger who fought outlaws in the American Old West with his native American friend, Tonto. The character has been called an enduring icon of American culture.
He first appeared in 1933 in a radio show conceived either by WXYZ (Detroit) radio station owner George W. Trendle, or by Fran Striker, the show's writer. The character was originally believed to be inspired by Texas Ranger Captain John R. Hughes, to whom the book The Lone Star Ranger by Zane Grey was dedicated in 1915. The radio series proved to be a hit and spawned a series of books (largely written by Striker), an equally popular television show that ran from 1949 to 1957, comic books, and several movies. The title character was played on the radio show by George Seaton, Earle Graser, and Brace Beemer. Clayton Moore acted the Lone Ranger on television, although during a contract dispute, Moore was replaced temporarily by John Hart, who wore a different style of mask. On the radio, Tonto was played by, among others, John Todd and Roland Parker; and in the television series, by Jay Silverheels, who was a Mohawk from the Six Nations Indian Reserve in Ontario, Canada.
The first of 2,956 radio episodes of The Lone Ranger premiered on WXYZ, a radio station serving Detroit, Michigan, on January 30, 1933 or January 31, 1933. As Dunning writes in On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio:
There may have been a few late-night on-air shakedown shows prior to the official January 31, 1933 premiere date. Lacking concrete evidence, [Lone Ranger authority Terry] Salomonson is inclined to doubt it. "There is nothing in any of the Detroit papers to indicate this, but that in itself doesn't mean much. The papers didn't even list the show in their radio logs at first."
Sources disagree on whether station and show owner George W. Trendle or main writer Fran Striker should receive credit for the concept. Elements of the Lone Ranger story had been used in an earlier series Fran Striker wrote for a station in Buffalo, New York.
In any case, the show was an immediate success. Though it was aimed at children, adults made up at least half the audience. It became so popular, it was picked up by the Mutual Broadcasting System radio network, and on May 2, 1942, by NBC's Blue Network, which in time became ABC. The last new episode was broadcast September 3, 1954. Transcribed repeats of the 1952–53 episodes continued to be aired on ABC until June 24, 1955. Then selected repeats appeared on NBC's late-afternoon weekday schedule (5:30–5:55 pm Eastern time) from September 1955 to May 25, 1956.