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'Hi-Yo Silver !!!'

By Black Country Bugle User  |  Posted: July 27, 2006

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Who could forget the adventures of the Lone Ranger back in the 50s and 60s? Well if you have, here is Alan Keeling with a reminder of one of the most popular characters to appear on the little box in the corner:

"'A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty Hi-Yo Silver. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear as the Lone Ranger rides again.'

"What a start to every episode. The BBC first screened this series at Saturday tea-time in 1958 and it ran until about 1962, although in the US it ran from 1949 until 1957. The actor who played the Lone Ranger was B-Movie serial actor Clayton Moore, with the unmistakable Jay Silverheels as his trusted Red Indian friend Tonto. "Hawkeye" actor John Hart played the Lone Ranger for one season in 1952, before Clayton Moore resumed the role once again.

"The perpetually masked man rode a white horse called Silver, whilst Tonto had to make do with the less outstanding Scout. There were 221 half-hour episodes screened altogether, the last 39 of which were filmed in colour. In 1966 a 26 half-hour cartoon series was produced in London by Halas and Batchelor Animation Studios and was shown by ABC on Sunday afternoons in 1967. How disappointed kids were back then to forget to switch the goggle-box on in time to see the show and only remember when it was too late and the credits were rolling to be accompanied by, 'Be with us same time next week when the Lone Ranger rides again.'

In January 1967 the new channel BBC 2 began occasional screenings of several six minute colour cartoon films called collectively "Tales from Hoffnung." They were quite extraordinary and were produced by Halas and Batchelor Animation in co-operation with BBC Enterprises in 1965. The tales, based on the classic drawings of Gerard Hoffnung's musical concerts, were ahead of their time and the first to be screened was called The Symphony Orchestra from which the picture was taken. This was followed by The Hoffnung Vacuum Cleaner featuring a wacky musical Hoover-type contraption; The Palm Court Orchestra who survive gales, storms and even a sinking ship to play sentimental classic melodies; Professor Ya-Ya's Memories featuring the old professor's musical relations; The Hoffnung Musical Academy; The Hoffnung Maestro; and finally Birds, Bees and Storks featuring the voice of Peter Sellers as a typical father trying to explain the facts of life to his teenage son."

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