When radio listeners heard Rossini’s “William Tell Overture,” they knew these words were not far behind:
“A fiery horse with the speed of light! A cloud of dust and a hearty ‘Hi-Yo, Silver!’ The Lone Ranger!”
Perhaps radio’s best-remembered drama, The Lone Ranger debuted on WXYZ/Detroit in 1933. Under the editorial guidance of creator George W. Trendle and writer Fran Striker, the Ranger was a white knight who, “with his faithful Indian companion Tonto…led the fight for law and order in the early western United States.” The show was a huge success for WXYZ and the newly formed Mutual Broadcasting System. (- Radio Hall of Fame).
Although the show was aimed a young audience, at least half of the show’s listeners were adults. Tales of the masked rider of the plains and his indian companion Tonto. The Lone Ranger is a fictional character, a masked ex-Texas Ranger who, with his Native American companion Tonto, fights injustice in the American Old West. The character has become an enduring icon of American culture.
He first appeared in 1933 in a radio show conceived either by WXYZ radio station owner George W. Trendle or by novelist Fran Striker, who became the show's writer. The show proved to be a huge hit, and spawned an equally popular television show that ran from 1949 to 1957, as well as comic books and movies. The title character was played on radio by George Seaton, Earle Graser, and most memorably by Brace Beemer who had been the show's announcer. To television viewers, Clayton Moore was the Lone Ranger. Tonto was played by, among others, John Todd, Roland Parker, and in the television series, Jay Silverheels.
Departing on his white stallion, Silver, the Lone Ranger would shout, "Hi-yo, Silver! Away!" As they galloped off, someone would ask, "Who was that masked man anyway?" Tonto usually referred to the Lone Ranger as "Ke-mo sah-bee", meaning "trusty scout" or "trusted friend." These catchphrases, his trademark silver bullets, and the theme music from the William Tell overture and underscores of music by Lizst, Berlioz, Mendelssohn and other classics, are remembered by the millions who came of age during the decades of the show's initial popularity or have viewed the television series or several theatrical film features. (- Wikipedia)