Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust.....

 and a hearty "HI-YO Silver........the Lone Ranger!"

Fred Foy
One of radio’s all time great announcers, Fred Foy died recently. He was most famous for his work at station WXYZ in Detroit, where a number of successful old time radio dramas were created.

His was the voice that introduced “The Lone Ranger” from the late 1940’s until the late 1950’s.

An announcer named Brace Beemer was the actor who portrayed the Lone Ranger on radio during those years.

Mike Wallace
(A little known fact is that one of the first of the Lone Rangers on radio was.....Mike Wallace!)

Foy, who was no relation to the vaudevillian Eddie Foy Sr. or his Seven Little Foys, was also the announcer and actor for a number of popular radio dramas of the 1940’s.

Sgt. Preston of the Yukon
According to my friend and radio historian, Mark Bush, Foy often told the story of the time he was performing on the show Sgt. Preston of the Yukon. (Those shows were LIVE back then.) The plot concerned a young man who had taken in a wolf cub that was nearly dead.

He nursed the cub back to health and eventually returned the grown wolf to the wild.

Years later, the young man was set upon by evildoers who left him to die in the cold of the woods. Things got exponentially worse when he noticed a pack of wolves gathering around him, most likely intending to do him harm.

But the leader of the pack stepped into the clearing and set himself between the wounded man and the rest of the pack.

Fred stood at the same microphone as the actor playing the injured young man.

The line was supposed to be “....those eyes, that fur, those fangs........That’s my wolf.”

Unfortunately......the actor finished the line by saying, “That’s my wife.”

The actor never realized his error and stood unconcerned while Fred choked and chortled his way through the rest of the show.  -Ed

"Hi-Yo, Silver! A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty "Hi-Yo Silver"... The Lone Ranger! With his faithful Indian companion, Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains led the fight for law and order in the early West. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. From out of the past come the thundering hoof-beats of the great horse Silver. The Lone Ranger rides again!"