The Lone Ranger

One of the most popular dramas of the “Golden Age of Radio,” The Lone Ranger (1933–54) detailed the adventures of a masked vigilante and his Native American companion, Tonto, in the post–Civil War West. Armed with silver six-guns that never claimed a life, the Lone Ranger helped expand and reinforce the American masculine ideal of physicality tempered by responsibility.

First broadcast on WXYZ in Detroit, The Lone Ranger quickly developed into a cultural and commercial phenomenon. Despite, or perhaps because of, the program's unrepentant borrowing from pulp and folkloric sources, the Ranger's comfortingly familiar masculinity elicited a devoted listener response. Audiences not only tuned in three times a week to hear the masked man's signature cry of “Hi-Yo Silver,” but they also devoured Lone Ranger comic ...

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