Saturday, April 08, 2017

The Lone Ranger Rides Again

Attention boomers!  Or anyone who watched the The Lone Ranger in the early west of television.  Ask anyone who did and it's likely the first thing they will remember is the opening theme and the stirring narration that ends with "Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear--the Lone Ranger rides again!"

Well, if this is you, you may be surprised to learn that film of this opening is a rare artifact.  The Lone Ranger series shot only five seasons (one in color), though it was a staple all through the 1950s and for decades beyond, at first in early evening primetime and then on Saturdays.

At some point the series went into syndication, and minutes were cut from each episode to make time for more commercials.  So apparently was most of the opening narration.

At least that is the probable reason that the complete narration is missing from most if not all episodes now available, on YouTube or in various compilation DVDs.   Most DVD packages only re-package the first couple of seasons, with a different opening narration.  Episodes of subsequent seasons carry only a partial version, with slightly different visuals from the one we remember.

So after years of typically obsessive and cockeyed searching, I located this fragment posted by TeeVees Greatest on YouTube, which includes the full theme (music from the William Tell Overture) that ended as well as began each episode.

I know you want to thank me, but I heard you saying--who was that masked man? Hi-yo Silver Away!

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