5 Things You Didn't Know About The Lone Ranger

With the stirring notes of the William Tell Overture and a shout of “Hi-yo, Silver! Away!”, The Lone Ranger debuted on Detroit radio on this day in 1933.  To honor this anniversary, here are five things you might not know about one of the world's most beloved masked men.

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The Lone Ranger Had To Abide By Some Strict Guidelines When creating the Lone Ranger character, writer Fran Striker and producer George W. Trendle came up with several guidelines to describe his personality and his behavior. For example, the Lone Ranger always wore a mask and was never supposed to be seen without it.  Also, he could never curse, smoke or drink alcohol. He used perfect grammar, avoided slang and colloquialisms, and refrained from referring to himself as the Lone Ranger. When asked about his identity, he would present a silver bullet as his answer.

The Lone Ranger Is Related To The Green Hornet The Green Hornet debuted in 1936 on the same Detroit radio station as the Lone Ranger, but that's not the only connection between the two. The Lone Ranger's nephew was named Dan Reid. The Green Hornet's father was also named Dan Reid. So, the Green Hornet was a grandnephew to the Lone Ranger.  A Green Hornet episode in 1947 cemented that connection when Dan Reid made a remark that the family had a vigilante pioneer ancestor that he rode with in Texas. After that remark, the theme song to The Lone Ranger played briefly in the background, confirming for the audience that the Lone Ranger and the Green Hornet shared common ancestry.

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The Theme Music Is Unforgetable One of the most memorable things about the Lone Ranger is the theme music. The song is the March of the Swiss Soldiers, which is the finale of the William Tell Overture by Gioachino Rossini. Because of its use in the swashbuckling TV show, the song is one of the most recognizable pieces in the classical canon. The overture has been used repeatedly in both classical music and media. It’s been used in Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse cartoon The Band Concert as well as in cartoons that parody classical music or Westerns.

Clayton Moore Was Sued For Playing The Lone Ranger After The Show Ended. Clayton Moore was the most famous of the actors who played the Lone Ranger, playing the role for the first two seasons, part of the third season, and again in the last two seasons of the show. Altogether, he starred in 169 of the 221 filmed episodes.  After the show ended, Moore continued to appear publicly as the Lone Ranger, doing commercials and TV appearances wearing the signature mask. In 1979, Jack Wrather, then owner of the rights to the character, obtained a restraining order against Moore, enjoining Moore from appearing in public in his mask. Moore later won a countersuit, allowing him to resume his costume.

The Theme Music Is Unforgetable One of the most memorable things about the Lone Ranger is the theme music. The song is the March of the Swiss Soldiers, which is the finale of the William Tell Overture by Gioachino Rossini. Because of its use in the TV show, the song is one of the most recognizable pieces in the classical canon. The overture has been used repeatedly in both classical music and media. It has even been used in cartoons featuring Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and The Flintstones.