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Today in History: ‘Lone Ranger’ Debuted on Michigan Radio

Ninety years ago, Detroit radio station WXYZ and seven Michigan affiliates aired a radio show that would go on to become a huge pop-culture hit. The show was “The Lone Ranger.”

And while the debut happened in 1933, many younger people today even know of “The Lone Ranger” thanks to a relatively recent Johnny Depp movie about the popular hero. Some of the show’s catchphrases - such as “Hi-yo, Silver, away!” - are still mentioned, too.

After the radio show’s debut, it would prove popular enough that Hollywood decided to make a “Lone Ranger” TV series in 1949. That proved popular as well, as it ran for more than 200 episodes. Comic books were made about the hero in white, and several movies have been made as well, including the Depp version.


The radio show featured several voice actors in the role of the Lone Ranger, but Earle Graser was the main voice associated with him. On the TV series, Clayton Moore became famous playing the Lone Ranger.

The show’s other popular character, Tonto, was played on the radio by several voice actors, including John Todd and Roland Parker. On TV, Jay Silverheels, a Mohawk from Ontario, played him.