At one point 91979) PRODUCER Jack Wrather took the mask away from Clayton Moore in fear his continued public appearances would hurt the sales of his new Lone Ranger movie. Clayton donned wraparound sunglasses and continued to appear in public. The movie was a huge failure and the mask was returned. I guess it’s true, “You don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger.”
When you hear the strains of the “William Tell Overture” do you automatically hear “Hi Yo Silver away.? The Lone Ranger, first heard on radio, 1940 voiced by Brace Beemer until 1949. In 1949 the Lone Ranger came to TV, the man behind the mask was Clayton Moore, the producers felt that Clayton’s voice might sound too different so he dropped his already deep voice even deeper, mimicking Brace’s voice. How many remember sitting in front of the TV as announcer Fred Foy opened the show saying “Return with us now…” The excitement as the lone survivor of a cowardly bushwhack led by Butch Cavendish (Glenn Strange) that left all the rangers dead including young ranger Reed’s brother. A lone Indian, Tonto finds the survivor and nurses him back to health and burries the dead, together they decide to add one more grave and keep it secret that the young ranger lived. Tonto says “You lone ranger now.” It is decided that a mask to hide his identity will enable them to avenge the rangers that died. Silver from a mine the ranger brothers owned provides the metal for the famous “silver bullets”. “The Lone Ranger and Tonto” roamed the west helping those in need and stopping the bad guys, never shooting to kill. When they accomplish their deed of good and they ride out of town someone says “I never got his name.” The immediate reply was “Why that’s The Lone Ranger”
Recently there was a marathon of The Lone Ranger on TV, as I sat anxiously awaiting the familiar opening with great anticipation I heard something that did not please my ears. Quick history: Back when the show was originally on TV shows were shot at 48:40 mode, 48 minutes and 40 seconds of show and 11 minutes and 20 seconds of commercials, today commercials take a third of the hour. To accommodate the new time allowed the opening, William Tell Overture, Fred Foy’s announcing, and that might “HiYo Silver” sounded more like an Alvin and the Chipmunks song.