Tag Archives: western

Lone Ranger: The Return of Cavendish

Today, my favorite episode of my favorite series – The Lone Ranger.  The Lone Ranger is my favorite character, which is part of why it is my favorite series.  A large part of why the character is my favorite, aside from his heroic nature, has to do with my family.  As a kid, my dad and my grandfathers enjoyed westerns and sports, all of which I found boring.  I loved super heroes and cartoons.  The Lone Ranger was a show (the Clayton Moore TV series, of course) that I could watch with any of them.  I have fond memories of watching that show, and it didn’t matter if I was at home or at one of their houses.  If the Lone Ranger was on, we could watch it.  That’s a big part of why I love the character.

In the last couple years, as I’ve listened to more and more of the radio shows,  Brace Beemer has really become “my” Lone Ranger. His commanding voice is what makes everyone he encounters listen to him. Clayton Moore was great on TV, but Beemer was the man, in my opinion.

The Lone Ranger debuted in late January 1933 on WXYZ out of Detroit. Of the 3,377 original episodes produced, only 2,606 were ever recorded. Of those, only around 1,850 episodes are believed to still survive. Beemer took over the role in April of 1941 after Earle Graser, who had been the Ranger since April of 1933, died in a car accident. Beemer continued in the role until the series went off the air in May 1956.

The Lone Ranger gets a bad rap these days due to “the mistreatment of Native Americans.” Anyone who has listened to or watched more than a couple shows can tell you that is not the case. Tonto is the Ranger’s partner, not his slave. Most of the time if Indians are accused of wrong doing, there are evil white men behind it and the Lone Ranger helps prove the Indians innocence. That has nothing to do with this episode, but I thought it worth mentioning.

This episode, “The Return of Cavendish,” celebrates the 20th anniversary of the show. The show recounts the Ranger’s origin and features the dramatic final confrontation between our hero and his greatest enemy. It gives me chills each time i listen. I hope you enjoy it.

“The Return of Cavendish”
January 30, 1953
Cast: Brace Beemer, John Todd, Fred Foy
Writer: Fran Striker
Director: Charles D. Livingston

Download & listen to this episode:

More Lone Ranger episodes:


Six Shooter: Trail to Sunset

Today I want to share one of my favorite episodes of “The Six Shooter,” Jimmy Stewart’s western series. First, some background on the show:

Beginning September 20, 1953, “The Six Shooter” starred Jimmy Stewart as roaming cowboy Britt Ponsett. It ran on NBC for 39 episodes. Stewart had previously played the character in a popular episode of “Hollywood Star Playhouse.” Frank Burt, series creator, wrote the scripts, Basil Adlam provided the music, and Jack Johnstone directed. It was an intelligent western, rather than action-packed shoot-’em-up.

“Trail to Sunset” is a favorite of mine because it is quite different from anything else I have heard. Lynch mobs are, of course, a common plot device in westerns. The Lone Ranger and Marshall Dillon stopped them frequently. I’ve never heard a lynch mob story from this angle before – what if the lynch mob was successful, but had the wrong man? It’s a very subtle episode, primarily conversation, but I find it to be a very powerful episode as well, raising questions of moral and ethical nature. If you listen, I hope you find it as good an episode as I do.

“Trail to Sunset”
January 31, 1954
Cast: James Stewart, Robert Griffin, Harry Bartell, Lamont Johnson, Howard McNear, Forrest Lewis
Writer: Frank Burt
Director: Jack Johnstone

Download and listen to this episode:

The rest of the series can be found here: