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Red Ryder Old Time Radio Program
30 minute western show
Red Ryder was a popular long-running Western comic strip created by Stephen Slesinger and artist Fred Harman. Beginning Sunday, November 6, 1938, the comic strip lasted until 1964. Red Ryder branched out from a comic strip to a long running radio program and movies, television, and merchandizing.
Astride his mighty steed Thunder, Red was a tough cowpoke who lived on Painted Valley Ranch in the Blanco Basin of the San Juan Mountain Range with his aunt, the Duchess, and his juvenile sidekick, Little Beaver, who rode his horse, Papoose, when they took off to deal with the bad guys. Little Beaver spoke in the pidgin English now considered an offensive caricature. (Example: "Spinach heap good. Me like'm!") Other notable characters were ranchhand Buckskin Blodgett, Red's gal pal Beth and bad guy Ace Hanlon.
The continuing characters of the comic strip were also found in the radio series, produced by Brad Brown with writer-director Paul Franklin and writer Albert Van Antwerp. Reed Hadley portrayed Red Ryder on radio from 1942 to 1944, followed by Carlton KaDell (1945) and Brooke Temple (1946-51). Arthur Q. Bryan had the role of Roland "Rawhie" Rolinson, and Red's sidekick Buckskin was played by Horace Murphy. Jim Mather provided Indian voices.
Numerous actors played Little Beaver: One of the most notable was Robert Blake (on credits as Bobby Blake), Tommy Cook (1942 on), Frank Bresee (1942-46, alternating with Cook), Henry Blair (1944-47), Johnny McGovern (1947-50) and Sammy Ogg (1950-51). During the same mid-1940s time frame, Henry Blair also portrayed Ricky Nelson on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.
The Red Ryder radio series began February 3, 1942, on the Blue Network, broadcast three times a week at 7:30pm Pacific time. When the Blue also acquired The Lone Ranger from the Mutual Broadcasting System, Mutual decided to compete by airing Red Ryder in the same time period. Thus, Red Ryder aired on the East Coast that year from May 20 to September 9 on Mutual. The series beat The Lone Ranger in the Hooper ratings, but the success was short-lived. Red Ryder was sold to a regional sponsor, Langendorf Bread, and after four months was no longer heard in the East.
Mutual and Langendorf continued the series on the West Coast Don Lee Network through the 1940s at 7:30pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, always with the familiar organ theme, "The Dying Cowboy" ("Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie"). Announcers on the show included Ben Alexander and Art Gilmore.
Although billed as "America's famous fighting cowboy," Red Ryder was notable because he usually did not kill his enemies but instead aimed for the hand to disarm them. Such sound effects were handled by James Dick, Monty Fraser and Bob Turnbull.
At the peak of his popularity, Red Ryder appeared in more than 35 movies and serials. Red was king of commercial tie-ins and licensed products, including an entire section in JC Penny. Even today, Daisy still makes the Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun, which remains the longest continuous license in the history of the global licensing industry. (Also made famous in the Christmas Story movie.)
text from wikipedia
Red Ryder episode list
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